Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Fussy jobs

I prepare my own canvases to paint on. For those who don't know, the hapless painter visits the art supply store and buys rolls or sheets of canvas and many wooden stretcher bars. Takes them back to the studio, fits four stretcher bars together, squares off the corners, cuts and stretches and staples or tacks the canvas on to the bars. Then puts at least two coats of gesso on the canvases. Voila. Yesterday I visited the art supply store. This afternoon I spent two hours picking bar code stickers off every one of the wooden stretcher bars. All 68 of them. Arg. I swear, it's the little things that drive one mad. The stickers shredded, every one. Loud house music helped. And cursing.

Another fussy job: I've been sorting and packing books in the shop, off and on for the past several weeks. Here's the routine: every book must be taken off the shelf, scrutinized (when did I buy this, how much did I pay for it, what did I price it at, what must I now price it at to sell it at the antiques mall booth, could I sell it online, do I want to read it, will anyone ever buy it at any price), placed in one of several boxes or piles (home, internet, goodwill, antiques mall booth, possible antiquarian bookfair). Every single book. Some sections are easy. I rescue a few great books, and a few valuable books, and the rest gets marked down and goes straight to the booth. Most, though, not so easy. And loud house music does not help. Nor cursing. In fact, distraction of any kind is distressing.

My frontal lobe is weary.

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