Friday, January 16, 2009

Morning Becomes Electric

A few months after starting this blog, I realized that much of my artwork concerns the capture of 'moments in time' and this one was certainly fleeting. It was 6:29 AM on Wednesday January 14th 2009, a view from my car of Woodbine Avenue, at the corner of 16th Avenue in Markham (border of Toronto) Ontario. A rising sun illustrates the swiftness of time and it's inevitable passing in the most undeniable way. The colours, as such, changed moment by moment. In the case of the colours I had to rely on my memory (I don't carry about a full art-kit), but I had the opportunity to sketch this in pencil in my miniature doodle diary (more on that later, I'll get around to it, promise).

You make ask, what on earth were you doing in your car, sketching, at that precise hour? Here's your answer:

I have a part-time job that brings me into the city two days a week. Regular hours allow me, with minor inconvenience, to carpool with my husband who works in the same vicinity, but the timing is off by one hour. That means, two days a week, my car becomes my office/breakfast nook for the space of one hour while I wait for doors to unlock. In spring, summer, and fall this is a cozy arrangement. Most winter days are just fine, as I wrap up in layers of clothing, and cradle a fresh coffee. However, last Wednesday the temperature plummetted to -19 Celsius; a temperature that even I lack the fortitude to withstand at rest (no problem with skiis on). So a change in plans was necessary, and it involved a visit to Tim Hortons. I parked in their lot and while I was finishing my first coffee I was regaled with a brilliant vista. It was -19C at the time, and the city was steaming in technicolour. I absolutely had to sketch it in, and memorize the colours for later. It reminded me that natural beauty can be found almost everywhere and it is a worthy endeavor to find it. I've been in this parking lot before, and have seen goldfinches and baltimore orioles flit through the pines. Squirrels inhabit a 3-D grid of wires and branches that cross rivers of cars. The flat blankness of the rooftops provide perches for doves, and neglected office gardens become nests for Canada Geese. We are often upset at the intrusions of wild things into what we believe to be our domain, as if there if there is some invisible barrier transgressed by their presence. Their presence, however, is but a reminder that we are not alone on this planet, and the space therein is to be shared by all.
Look for beauty everywhere, and appreciate it where ever you find it.

PS. The title is a play on words. Mourning Becomes Electra being some boring 20th Century version of a Greek Tragedy about a girl who sleeps with her father and then gets upset about it. It was a school trip and my first trip to a real professional theatre. All the actors were dressed in grey fleece sacks (athletic fleece, such as the kind used to make track pants) and I was hugely disappointed. I suppose the designers were successful in making an indelible impression, but it was not a good one.

Image: coloured pencil on black canson paper, approx. 9" x 6". Pencil sketches from my doodle diary (apprx. 2x3)


Jennifer Rose said...

that sounds like um an interesting play lol The first play I saw was a small theatre production of Cats and then when I went to see Phantom in TO.

I love all the colours in this. Prefect representation of a sun rise on a cold day :D I want a timbit now lol

kaslkaos said...

Sending you a virtual timbit. I'm such a fan of their coffee I drink it at home.
The play was BORING. Modern, soulless, blah. Electra is the female version of Oedipus. The original Greek tragedies were quite good and stand the test of time. The tragedy is that characters don't know what happens, and then when they find out, everybody dies. It's funny when you distill it to nuts and bolts but they are considered psychologically insightful. This is way too much philosophy for a for tv.

Chrissy said...

I love the theatre but am quite careful as to what I go and see.. ;)
Why is it that cold temperatures often results in some fantastic colours. Our tempertaures are more nomal now...but we did have some spectacular skies for a while. Well done on the capture of this one, it does look very vibrant :)

kaslkaos said...

Wiki'd Mourning Becomes Electra-turns out I'm calling some classic American theatre boring--oops. I'll blame it on the teenage mind. Added a link too, I suppose I should read the play now.
Hey Chrissy, I may see part II tomorrow. The temps are dropping just as low. And yes, everyone saying it's the cold that brings on those colours. It was nice to see.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

At that time of the morning,when it is not so cold, that hour would be like a gift. Wonderful that you observe it and take such solace!

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Michelle, but I think it was the cold that made the colours! I was thrilled to be in the right place at the right time. Glad that I was not too sleepy, cold, or grumpy to recognize the moment.
And yes, when it's not blastingly cold, I enjoy my hour in the car very much, though I confess, I usually just read & drink coffee & listen to news.

Cat-in-a-Box said...

Your little twice-weekly ritual sounds fabulous! After leaving a life where I would have been annoyed by the goose poop and (thankfully) waking up to the beauty around me I can only hope that more people take your advice to heart!

(Oh, and Tim's rocks - we stock up on it every time we're near the border!)

kaslkaos said...

Mmmm...Tims. This is turning into a walking advertisement for the place. I want coffee.
And yeah, I'm hooked on that hour. My co-workers feel sorry for me, knowing I'm waiting in that car, all by my lonesome, wrapped up in mitts and blankie, hah! Little do they know...


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