Today I finished a new piece, Placate.
The text says,"Does it placate Mister Death to talk about him on and on? Is it polite to talk behind his back? Ought one not to invest heavily in puppies?"
Larger images are on my website here.
I borrowed a skull from my neighbor across the street so I could draw it in this piece. She's a lovely person, and she'd happened to mention that she had one while we were chatting on the street one time, so when I needed to draw a bony head I went tripping cheerily across the street to ask if I could borrow a cup of skull. I felt very jolly about the whole escapade while I was planning it. I loved the idea that my neighborhood, which has recently become extremely gentrified, still had enough artists in it to support such a wacky neighborly exchange.
But then she put the skull in my hand.
And it felt like a head. I wasn't ready for that. I thought it would feel like a plastic skeleton's head- like the kind of skull you see in anatomy classrooms. No. This skull was lumpy and individual, and it felt like it does when you touch the back of someone's head.
I pretended I was brave. I didn't want my neighbor to know that it was all I could do not to play hot potato with the skull until she took it out of my hands. I played it cool. Or tried to. When I got the skull I remembered that my neighbor had mentioned that she'd bought the skull on ebay. Which seemed very much worse when it was in my hands.
I thanked her profusely and then ran inside and got a towel so I didn't have to touch it. I hauled it up to my studio and spent the next several waking hours drawing it as fast as I could. Just so I could return it. With cavalier jokes. About the creepy rattling noise it made when it moved.
Next time I'm borrowing the puppy.