So far my days have blended together like the colors I mix to paint with: wake up, paint while listening to music, cook, paint again, and when my recommended hours are over (or I’m just too tired to continue) I watch TV. I did a check in today with my adviser, which went well, and I finally finished the first two paintings, Blue and Apple. I decided to celebrate with a nap and some funyuns, and then I prepped the next two canvasses: The and Why.
I was shocked when I finished the two paintings. It’s been a minute since I actually felt something was well and truly finished. It’s a blissful, surreal feeling, like the end of a 5k.
Alec put me in a bit of a worry last night. I had started texturizing the ‘p’s in apple, and I was worried I was too off the mark. But oil paint takes forever to dry, so I figured if it wasn’t accurate I could just scrape and go again. But the labor involved in that one letter was tremendous. I had an inspo picture for lichen, which Alec described as being the texture/mottling effect of the color, so I sat in front of that single letter adding paint for an hour to get the desired effect I wanted. I had to continually shape the wax I was working with to get the right texture. Plus, nature is very precise. To mimic nature, you have to understand the rules it operates by, and create accordingly. He didn’t get back to me until this morning, impressed with my accuracy, but by then I had figured he had already seen it and okayed it. He’s good like that. But still…I was worried. It’s not like I’m representing what I see here. I’m a conduit, like wire, between the canvas and his brain.
And then, out of my Instagram post, came a miracle. My friend Ally, trusted ally and bestie, has synesthesia. Her words are colored. Bless. Just as I was looking for someone else to do this work for, she popped her head into my inbox, asking which colors I was gonna use, and how they probably weren’t going to be her colors, and in between my queries and qualifiers, unprompted, she tells me she also sees my name in pretty colors.
Both she and Alec give me new reasons to love my name. Growing up, I was always made fun of, called Kimono, kimano, kimiko, etc.. Literally anything a kid about 12 and under could think of to demean a name they’d never heard of before. But now, as a young adult, what I used to get made fun of for makes me cool. My name is different. Therefore, I must be somehow different (read: cooler and more refreshing) than the names and people someone is normally used to. I’m an unknown. But with Ally and Alec my name is more than just exotic sounding. lt comes to life for them in a way that it never did for me. Alec see my name as this crossfade between sunset, night, and the daytime (hell, it’s the banner for this blog). And Ally sees my name as this pinkish/purple and white confection. So for the first time in my life, my name is not just weird, it’s beautiful, and I owe that to the involuntary neurological reactions that my friends’ brains have to my name. Weird? Yeah, probably. So what?
Do you know what’s in a name?