"Silver Oxide Exhalations" by Richard F. Yates

I asked my family for a new pair of slip-on Van's sneakers for Xmas. I'm too old and back-brokeny for all this bending over and tying shoelaces bullshit, but I want to remember that I USED to be a wacky skateboard kid when I was young and limber, and seeing these Van's whenever I slip on my foot-protectors, that'd be keen! SO PUNK!!! (Grandpa Punk!!!)

Here's one of the ARTs I did today!

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[Colored pencil on reclaimed cardboard with digital embellishments and color.]

The grandbaby was over for a few hours today, and we made lots of art! Here's a performance piece we worked on (photo and editing by me):

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And this NEXT piece is the first work that is ENTIRELY by Baby Felicity! Her hand (left hand, I might add), made all of these marks!!! I'm so proud! Definitely going to have to frame this historic work!!!

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Not to be outdone by a sixteen-month-old, I cranked out a few more pieces, too...

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One might reasonably ask, "Why??? Why is a guy who is almost 50 drawing with a toddler instead of doing something USEFUL?"

There is a myth in this culture that in order for something to be worthwhile, it has to have a DOLLAR VALUE attached to it. People can have hobbies, of course, fishing or playing golf or watching sports---but for a grown man to spend time, EVERY DAY, making art that a fourth grader would be ashamed of....that's just WEIRD, right?

I don't care if it's weird. I'm not interested in the COMMERCIAL VALUE of (most of) the art I make. And, most importantly, I 100 percent disagree that it's a waste of time! Here's why...

(1.) Today, I was spending time with my granddaughter. We were sharing what I HOPE was a fun experience, and I'll continue drawing and spending time with my grandkid(s) for as long as they want me to. We're working on important skills here, as well: hand-eye coordination, color recognition, esteem building, cleaning up, and dozens more! This is SERIOUS PLAY!!! I also enjoy creative time with my wife and daughters, although those occasions are less frequent than they used to be (my wife works a REAL, FULL-TIME JOB, and both of my daughters have their own homes!)

(2.) On days when the kid AIN'T here, I still love to draw and write, even when the things I'm making are total nonsense! Long before my first NFT sale, before my first cryptocurrency based upvote, before blogging, before my first gallery showing... I drew. I painted. I recorded weird songs and stories. I wrote poems and tales. I made masks and costumes and puppets... I once, when I was about six-years-old, drew a monster on a piece of paper, then placed that drawing right next to a lightbulb in the bathroom when I went to bed, hoping that the light or heat or energy from the glowing bulb would (somehow) give LIFE to my creation...

Magic.

Sadly, it didn't work... But I tried again using various methods (robotics, magic, self-publishing...), always trying to breathe life into my creations...and always believing that I'd FAILED...until I gradually came to realize that I hadn't failed at all, I'd just misjudged my understanding of "LIFE."

I am a creator...and that's all I'll ever be... (Ha!)

(3.) Sharing my nonsense helps others. Some people might think what I do is garbage. A juvenile, talentless, waste of time and resources, and that's fine. Not everyone has to like what I do. I don't often care for most artwork that I see in galleries or for sale as NFTs. All that technically skillful, conventionally beautiful, successful "ART" out there tends to bore me... I like odd, quirky, imaginative, expressive, unusual, clever work... More than "commercial appeal" or "beauty," I enjoy something more personal! More exciting! More freakish... (You probably don't care, and that's fine!)

And I know (because they've told me so) that some people ARE amused by my efforts. They laugh when they look at my drawings. They get those weird, quasi-mystical neurological ZAPS when they see or read or hear my stuff!

And this ability---the ability to make folks a tiny bit happier, at least for a few moments---however devalued or misunderstood or maligned it may be in our capitalist culture---is pretty special. Making my granddaughter laugh or my wife smile or my online friends "LOL" at me (usually in emoji form) is wonderful. "So shines a good deed in a weary world..."

I can make a few folks FEEL BETTER with what I do...even MYSELF, sometimes...so you know what? I'm gonna keep doing it! Keep on keepin' on...

[This was post #12 in my November #HiveBloPoMo challenge! At least 30 posts in 30 days! Looking pretty solid, so far!]

---Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

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