This week I wanted to see if I could create a piece using Painter, Illustrator, and Photoshop. I’m really getting to like Illustrator & the pen tool, thanks to Bryan, who’s always so patient with my dumb questions.
So’s digging through my stuff, I found an old screenwriting assignment from a couple years ago. Screenwriting was an interesting class. We had an assignment every week to analyze and philosophize on the theme of a certain story. I got bad marks on that. Mostly because I’d write something impatient and sarcastic.
One week, the teacher deviated from the regular assignment. She wanted us to come up with a “black humor” piece. Yippee! I was pretty zippy about it. I looked through some of my favorite black humor authors–Roald Dahl, Gary Larsen, Shel Silverstein–and using that inspiration, came up with the crazy poem, “Trisha McNair.” It’s told from the viewpoint of a 2nd chair flutist. My only assignment that got full marks. :D Enjoy!
Trisha McNair was our flutist, first chair,
and made sure that everyone knew it.
She’d whine and she’d rage at the turn of each page
and always made second chair do it.
She’d pout and she’d fume if you played out of tune
or if you squeeked out a wrong note
If you messed up her song ‘coz you play a sharp wrong
expect Trisha to lunge at your throat.
“You’d better not slip or mess up on this trip!”
she said, as we packed stuff away.
“I want to hear the crowd holler and cheer
when I reach my cadenza’s high A!”
Trisha McNair said that she didn’t care,
grabbing my window seat on the plane!
“Flutists,” she said, “gotta keep a clear head.”
And she pressed her nose, hard, on the pane.
Moscow was grand, agreed the whole band!
Except, of course, Trisha McNair.
She hated the food, she’d bellow and brood
’bout the weather, hotel, and her hair.
On concert night, the stage shiny and bright,
Trish began her “Concerto for Flute.”
…When through the door burst a Bolshevic Horde!
screaming “DON’T YOU DARE MOVE OR VE’LL SHOOT!”
Blam! Blam! Hard and loud! They surrounded the crowd!
Big guns at the ceiling a-shootin’!
And when the dust cleared, and old man with a beard
emerged, grinning. “‘Allo! It’s Rasputin!“
“I’m back!” he delared. The band huddled down, scared.
“And I’m going to make you all pay!
Now, girls and boys, don’t you dare make a noise!”
…And then Trisha hit hard her high A.
Most famous musicians have lofty ambitions.
High goals! For a stars they’re a-shootin’!
But I got first chair ‘coz of Trisha McNair;
who staunchly refused to stop flutin’.
I went home for the weekend, and found the very first journal I’d ever written in. In an entry titled “March 21 1990 wensday” I wrote, “Now I can Draw very good! can you Draw a laDy? turn to the other page.” And on the next page was this. All right, I was only 7, so I’m okay with the stick legs, the frog face, and the two right hands. I’m not sure what’s coming out of her mouth there. Anyways, the entry ends with “I can draw very good and that’s privet!” I wonder if I was that conceited in real life. I can draw very good…compared to a patagonian monkey. Or a class of first graders. I didn’t get out much back then. :D
I got a chance last week to take a sketchbook trip to the zoo. Ya it was fun! I only have red and grey prismacolors, so the macaw was my fav. Here’s something funny, though–all throughout the zoo were signs, everywhere, saying things like “Zookeepers wanted!” and “Job shadow a zookeeper!” and “Be a part of the zookeeper experience!” So, either they’re not paying enough or no one wants to clean up poop. I thought it ironic they had a sign on the chimpanzee cage. 10 years ago, the chimps escaped, hunted down a zookeeper, and ate him. (You guys remember that, right? They really did!) Later that day I was eating lunch at the Grossly Overpriced Grizzly Cafe when two zookeepers walked by, deep in conversation.
ZOOKEEPER 1: …And then I couldn’t reach into it’s cage, you know, because it was trying to strike, I mean, it was poised to strike and everything, it had already tried twice…
ZOOKEEPER 2: Oh, I totally hate it when that happens.
I don’t think I’ll send in my resume anytime soon.
Welp, here’s another spread of the Frog Crookster story. It was a good exersize for me, I messed around a lot with custom brushes. I think I’ve been over-ambitious with this project, though. I’m not a good enough artist yet to really whoop it. It was fun to paint anyways.
My nephew says the frog looks like a pickle with legs. It kinda does. Oh great, now I’m hungry.
And, for those of you who know about the writing project I’m doing, I finally finished the first draft. It took two years, but it’s coming along. Woot!