It’s official- I hate exercise and exercise hates me. I did my Wii workout again today. I really didn’t want to. I didn’t want to so much that I did the dishes and a load of laundry first. It made me think about how day-to-day life as an adult is essentially task-you-don’t-want-to-do after task-you-don’t-want-to-do except that you have the freedom to prioritize those things you don’t want to do and select the order in which you begrudgingly complete them.
At any rate, the workout went like it usually does. I sweated profusely and a few minutes into it I started to feel like I might puke. Eventually, the half hour of suck was almost over. The screen said “Let’s cool down!” and then had me RUN TRACK. While I suppose quantum theory dictates that it’s possible there is a universe in which running equates to cool down exercises, it certainly doesn’t mean that here. Or at least I thought it didn’t. But I obviously know very little about exercising, so maybe the Wii is right.
What I also found appalling was that this torturous event only burned off about 200 calories. That’s like… a cookie. It should say that at the end, “Congratulations! You burnt off a COOKIE! Yep, that’s right. Great job. Bet you’ll think twice about shoving some chocolate down your gullet next time, right?”
So after that debacle, I was free to work on some art. I had felt blah all day. I really didn’t want to do anything except recover from the workout enough to put dinner together. So I looked through my photos and pulled out this blurry one from a rainy evening at Fisherman’s Wharf a couple of years ago when we were visiting San Francisco with Rob’s dad.
I drew in the outlines with charcoal, blocked the sky in with blue and skipped the brush over the bottom for some cobblestone texture. Next were the dark spots with nice thick black, then the yellow of the lights in the trees, then that familiar sodium orange on the buildings, then the white headlights reflecting on the wet ground and making the trolley tracks. Once it got to the point of frustration and I had the basics all down, I stopped staring at the photograph and started adding bits of color and black to balance out the composition. I ignored the car bodies entirely. That’s the great thing about making a painting. I can edit at will. I get excited when I realize that I really do have complete freedom when it comes to making my own art.
I rocked out to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs station on Pandora Internet Radio (that kicks ass now that I have trained it not to play so much White Stripes), and eventually out came this slightly abstracted nightscape. Which, oddly enough, also kicks ass. This is an 8×10” original acrylic painting on canvas finished with some charcoal and matte fixative. Hope you’re enjoying your own “night out on the town”!