Friday, February 10, 2012

Winston's Review: Suzanne's Purse


It's me, Winston J. Schmidt.

Suzanne's been going through a weird time lately, so I've tried really hard not to review any more of her yarn. Also, she started keeping it behind a closed door, so I can't get to it, but, even if she hadn't, I wouldn't eat her yarn right now.

But you TOTALLY should, because guess what? It all tastes GREAT!

Molly? That's not cool, because eating yarn makes Suzanne sad, and...

She didn't look sad when I tested the mouthfeel of that 600-yard ball of Interlacements superwash, or when I helped her out with a stress test of that ball of Pure Merino. She said it wasn't my fault, and she patted me on the head and said I was a GOOD DOG when I let her take it away without trying to grab it and run. Maybe it makes her sad when YOU do it, but when I do it she thinks it's adorable, because I'm a loveable scamp! Yaaaay!

O.K., um, anyway, some of us have been trying really hard not to do yarn reviews. I moved on to other media, because a guy likes to express himself through his art. I hope you like it.

Winston's Art: Suzanne's Purse

Materials: Corduroy, hard plastics, paper, leather, cloth, wood, nylon, foil, ink

My Process: I was trying to express my longing for Suzanne's steady presence in my life. Everything's changing, and a guy gets nervous, you know? Accountant Boy just stopped coming home one day, and I don't get why, because I only took a dumper in his shoes one time, and that was a long time ago. How do I know Suzanne's not going to leave me, too?

So, she went out for like, thirty-seven hours (three hours, down the street to a disaster preparedness meeting - ed.), and I got lonely and scared. My first thought after undoing the latches on my kennel with my tongue was, "If she were here, I'd happily lick her nose so that she knows how much I love her. What smells the most like Suzanne's face?"

I came up with eyeglasses, and I know she keeps them in her purse, because I've tried to eat them before. They were in a delicious rawhide case, which I gnawed to pieces, and the frame was hard and smooth, like a thin Nylabone. I only got a tooth mark on them last time I tried, but I was really able to go to town on them during this session. I popped out the lenses, then I mangled the ear pieces so that they couldn't be fixed again. The case wasn't tasty rawhide, because she's picked a cloth one when she had the glasses fixed the first time, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. It still tasted like the inside of her purse, which tastes like Starbucks pastries and sunshine. I was pretty proud of this work, so I left it in the middle of the carpet in the front room.

I was still unsatisfied with the scale of the piece, so I went looking for something else to add. She also had a pair of Wayfarers in there, and - lucky me - they were in one of those rawhide cases, so I ate the ear pieces off of them, then I resculpted the case. With my mouth. I didn't want my display to be monotonous, so I did this part in a different room, so that the two works didn't share a sight line. I placed everything gently on my downstairs bed, which was a commentary on royalty and privilege, because it was reminiscent of crown jewels on a velvet pillow.

It had been, like, forty-six hours (Three hours. Only three hours. - ed.), and Suzanne still hadn't come back, so I continued working. By this time, though, I was pretty tired, so I dragged her finger exerciser up onto the purple couch and chewed the palm pad off of it. I also got down a lot of the blue plastic, even though it looks kinda good here. (I incorporated that into subsequent earthworks projects for weeks afterward. I call that installation Le Poo Bleu.) I left the rest of the hand exerciser on one of the couch pillows, as a commentary on the push and pull between activity and inertia.

By now, I was getting really nervous, because she'd been gone for eighty-three hours (Winston! Dammit! It was only THREE HOURS. Wasn't the fact that the sun didn't rise and set on you while I was gone kind of a tip-off? - ed.), so I stopped thinking critically about what I was chewing. I ate her earphones, but they were hard to bite through and kinda stringy, so I got them stuck between my teeth. I moved on to a reuseable orange grocery bag, just because I thought it'd have some good flavors in it and it would have contrasted nicely with all the blue stuff I'd spread around, but it was hard to tear up. I only got the attached carrying pouch free. I pulled apart a couple of pieces of paper, but that was even less satisfying.

Finally, all I had left was the collection of stick-things. I splintered the wooden one into six pieces, because it smelled like Suzanne's hands, so I really wanted to take it all in. The splinters poked my face, though, so I figured I'd try the other stick-things to see if they were better. I'm happy with how that went, because I was able to use the blue stick-thing to garnish the carpet around the eyeglasses. The carpet was a pretty shade of azure when I was done, like a summer sky.

There wasn't much else to use after that. I was about to chew what looked like the very best plastic bit in her purse when she walked in the door. She told me how much it meant to her when she picked it up and wiped the spit off of it. "Winston? This is my car key. Do you know how much I'd have to pay to replace this if you chewed it up? Of course you don't, because you're a dog, but let me tell you, big guy. Several hundred dollars. What is wrong with you?" And then I felt bad, because I think what she meant was "What is wrong with you? This bit would have tied the whole thing together, and I can't believe you didn't use it."

She picked it all up, probably so that Molly wouldn't mess with it. I think she really liked it, because she spread it all out on the counter and started crying.

Conclusion: I’m happy with how this project came together. I’ve worked with some of this media before, but I haven’t had this much freedom to experiment with it. I still like working in yarn, but it seems kinda done now that Molly’s into it. I like to be cutting edge. I think Suzanne’s trying to keep my work relevant and fresh by holding it back from the public. She started putting her purse in the hall closet so that I wouldn’t get burned out in my new media. Sometimes she slips up, and leaves it on the counter though, so there’s still a chance that I’ll have an even bigger installation in 2012. Also, I learned that there’s other stuff in the house that gets my creative juices flowing, so look forward to my writeups of that in the next few weeks.

Anyway, thanks for reading along.


Winston J. ‘Bug’ Schmidt


jabblog said...

Winston, you are such a creative chap. You could teach Gus and Bertie a thing or two. Our Winston is a cat and he doesn't create anything other than a lot of noise when he's hungry. I like your style:-)

SharonW said...

Winston, you can always tell true artists by their dedication to their work. I salute you!