Saturday, October 13, 2007

An October love-note.

Last week I bought a set of watercolors at a small art store in Banglamphu. In college, I was always working on at least one art project, spending hours in the painting studio or the sculpture shop, or working on illustrations in the drawing room. I especially miss doing that around Autumn; I have great memories of taking a break from the studio, the smell of paint thinner clinging to my t-shirt, and crossing the lawn of dead leaves on the way to the campus cafe to get a coffee to refuel. While it would be impractical to work on any large scale oils during my time in Bangkok, water colors provide an art form more suitable for nomad living. I'd really like to do a watercolor for Halloween, to send out as cards to family and friends back home. I've never really worked with water colors though, so it's proving a bit of a challenge. My first effort, a deep green Thai pumpkin with pale yellow flesh, came out pretty muddy. By the time I'm able to paint something worth sending home, Halloween will likely have passed.

I can't imagine anything more likely to rekindle the feelings of Halloween than a little craft-time. My earliest memory of the season was of planning a Halloween party while in Kindergarten. My mother drove me out to a small stationary store on the other side of town, where I was to pick up supplies to make invitations. After a few diversions along the way, like admiring the changing leaves along the Rio Grande and stopping outside a farm to look at their Bison, we made it to the shop. In my memory it was a sweet little book and stationary store, but in reality it was probably in a strip mall. I selected several sheets of Mrs Grossman's stickers, featuring grinning jack-o-lanterns (like above) and tiny black bats.

While my taste might no longer run toward Mrs Grossman's, I still think sending some Halloween correspondence seems like a good way to inaugurate the season. I found the above card from EmptyGeorge at Etsy; I think it nicely combines some classic creepiness with a nice touch of style- and I like seeing something for Halloween that isn't just in orange. However, if you feel like making your own cards, it might be fun to get some colored paper and a few rubber stamps. The eerie stamp below comes from Alpha Stamps' website, which offers a number of Halloween designs, including a few inspired by Mexican artist Posada. If my watercolor skills don't improve soon, I may have to order one myself.

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