When I was a teenager my friends and I would use the word “blah” to describe a state of malaise. “I feel kind of blah”, we’d say. Of course adolescents are not known for their articulate and eloquent verbal expression. Now, as an educated well-read adult 😉 I prefer a more sophisticated vocabulary. So what am I feeling the past few days? Lassitude, torpor, ennui – I love “ennui”. Great word.
With so much free time on my hands, and lovely summer weather to boot, you would think I’d be taking full advantage of my days. But I’m only taking half-advantage. No, more like a third. I just can’t seem to get my act together. Some of it can be attributed to the beast, which notoriously sucks motivation out of you like a parasitic leech. But the beast is not solely responsible for my inertia. There are other factors at play. I’m feeling physically lethargic. Not sure why. Plus, my birthday is approaching in less than two weeks and I’m not exactly thrilled about it. I’m also grappling with strong emotional feelings for a certain person in what is, let’s just say, a “complicated” situation. I’ll leave it at that.
So I’m slacking off in my exercise regimen, my blog posts, my house chores, even in phone calls and emails to friends. Oh shit. I’m a slacker! But I am making some effort. A half-hearted effort, but an effort nonetheless. The other day I attempted to sort through the tiny storage/junk room of my house. I discovered a bag of old clothes that were meant to be donated to goodwill which I completely forgot about. I also discovered two brand new, unopened packages of printer paper. Yay! Mostly I was surrounded by cardboard. Let me tell you about me and cardboard; I love cardboard. I won’t part with cardboard. I’m unable to throw out or recycle cardboard. I want it! Why? I have no clue. I keep thinking I’ll use it eventually for something. And when and if that day comes, I like knowing that my stash is there.
Toulouse-Lautrec would have done a giddy little dance over my cardboard collection. The immensely talented French artist worked often on cardboard surfaces to great effect. Now for those of you who are unaware, I should inform you that I harbor hostile feelings toward Toulouse-Lautrec over his blatant contempt for professional artist’s models. I even kicked his ass once way back when. But as much as it pains me to say, I confess that I really love his art, especially his unfinished study sketches done on cardboard. I found three great ones to share. It’s interesting that he used the cardboard surface unprimed, and worked directly on it with just oil paint thinned with turpentine. The brown tone of the unpainted areas functions as a color in the composition.
Nude Girl Putting on Her Stocking, 1894:
Woman Lying On Her Back, Both Arms Raised, 1895:
Nude Girl, 1893:
Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the weekend. I’ll be back very soon, hopefully without the “blahs”. 😆