Shadows And Sheen

“Writing was a dream I had when I was a kid, but then I grew up.” Tim Allen’s character in Joe Somebody said that.
I don’t remember wanting to be a writer when I was a ‘kid’. I dreamed of being an artist. That was all I wanted out of life — to be an artist. All.
My parents both had talent and dabbled. My mother drew us the most wonderful paper dolls and images to embroider. My father sat with me one time to show me how to draw in perspective.
My mother recognized the passion I had and purchased a used Jon Gnagy drawing kit from a thrift store one year as a Christmas present. She couldn’t have gotten me anything that would delight me more.
Jon Gnagy was a television personality — an artist who taught — when I was a young girl and all we had was black and white TV. He was mostly just teaching how to do perspective and make shadows and sheen — so black and white was enough.
Years later, when I was in the beginning of 20s, I had a date with a handsome young man who took me up into the mountains and we stopped at the very venue where Jon Gnagy was practicing a new color concept in front of an audience there and we sat in. He was hoping to eventually broadcast it on color TV, which was prominent by that time.
I was excited to death that I was meeting one of my heroes. He was trying to overcome having become a has-been but I didn’t register it then.
Throughout his whole presentation, I was jumpy and couldn’t concentrate because I had, just before we arrived there, found a tick on my chest and kept thinking there were more — so I was fidgety in my seat.
The handsome young man and I had just been out trekking in the shrubs and my long hair had caught one, me unawares, and I had also slid down a steep hill on my butt and had rocks and sand in my pants. After finding the one tick and being aghast, I couldn’t help but think, from then on, that every little bump was a tick.
Most of what I remember about that presentations was ticks — and shaking Jon Gnagy’s hand. I was very fascinated with the concept he was trying to accomplish though and had a feeling of great admiration as I sat there worrying about ticks.
I was still wanting to be an artist. I was probably just back from a summer art school scholarship and still thinking I could be.
Being young and wanting to be an artist, I wasn’t quite aware yet that art takes all kinds of forms — but I did know that I was dying to find a way to get something that was balled up inside of me outside of me and at that time it was through drawing and painting — though I gravitated to all things creative.
When I got too balled up, sometimes I wrote — or drove in a car — once I was old enough to drive. Before I could drive, I rode my bicycle to do what I called clear the cobwebs from my mind.
Writing was a go-to for the ultimate pressure release to try to escape overwhelming emotions — so, if bike riding or driving didn’t do the trick, I wrote. I never thought anything of it, I just simply had to do it. Things came pouring out.
I would read things over again from time to time through the years and as I got old enough, most of it went in the bin because it was pitiful. I could see though that it was definitely a way to congeal thoughts and, at the least, get them out of my head.
I would eventually take a creative writing class and begin to take it more seriously. There was still a nagging need. That was in the 80s.
The only reason we may have to give it up when we grow up is because earning a living gets in the way. I was lucky to find a way to make a living and practice art, (though many wouldn’t agree), by working in the field of interior design. It was basically selling stuff, but it still used my passion and artistic muscle throughout the practicing that was required to formulate the things I needed to sell.
As it turns out, everything is about selling — so that was good practice too.
Nothing in life is a waste.
It might be a hologram though or a computer interface. We may never know.
But in the meantime, the best we can do is to use this interface to try to make the most of what we are given.
A science fiction writer will use that interface curiosity to write a sci-fi novel. It’s way out of my league — though I am immensely curious. Curiosity is another one of the necessary ingredients to finding a way to make whatever this interface is make sense to enough of a degree to get by while we’re in it.
Jon Gnagy may never know how important he was to me when art was a dream I had when I was a kid. I tried to let him know a little the time that I met him. What an odd event that that chance encounter happened.
Not so odd if this is a game we’re in after all and we are at the controls. Now to learn better how to write the story line and draw my avatars.