Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Today I am a painter

My officemate noticed my entry to the office painting contest and asked me to make him a small painting. Gladly, I obliged.

The weird thing is that these days, the only way that I can paint is if Miguel's asleep.

Flashback: one Saturday afternoon two years ago, when I was attempting to complete a portrait assignment for an artist's group. Miguel wakes up from his nap in the other room and is upset that I'm not around. I hear his footsteps going all over the house. The studio door is closed. "No, don't find me just yet," I say to myself.
Miguel, bursting into the studio: Mommy, what are you doing?
Me: I'm painting.
.
He watches silently. I breathe a sigh of relief and keep painting.
.
Miguel: Stop that, it's panget! (ugly)
Me: IT IS NOT!!
.
I guess that after the novelty wore off (in all of 3 minutes) he realized that I wouldn't stop painting soon.
.
I planned to work over 2 nights. I spent Sunday night prepping the canvas and doing my sketch. Monday night I planned to paint.
.
So I set my alarm for midnight before putting Miguel to sleep. A few hours later, after some struggle with the alarm, I got up at 2 am and started painting in the bathroom-cum-studio. It was a long time since I had painted, and I was really getting into the colors. But after an hour I heard a thud - tugudug!
.
I checked up on Miguel and saw that he was lying perpendicular to his bed, in danger of falling off. "Miguel," I said, "don't fall off." I adjusted his position, but by then he was awake so I decided to turn out the bathroom lights and lie down on my bed until he fell asleep. I listened in the darkness for about 30 minutes until he had stopped fidgeting. Then I got up, walked to the bathroom, closed the door, turned on the lights, and continued painting.
.
I was getting lost again in the artwork when I heard some footsteps outside the bathroom door. Ayayay! I couldn't let him see the painting now; it would just get him curious and I didn't want to have to answer questions until 6 am. I stood up immediately and blocked the view to my "studio" as I held the door ajar. Miguel stood there in his sando and jammies. "Mommy, why are you taking so long?" "Just cleaning up," I said as I turned out the light and led him back to his bed.
.
This time it seemed to take forever as he tossed and turned on his bed. I was itching to get back to my painting; I didn't want to finish it another day because I knew that I had to give it time to dry. When all seemed still I decided to use my cell phone light to check if Miguel was indeed asleep. I silently reached out for my phone, pressed the button and cast the light on my son - only to discover that he was staring right back at me. Darn! I quickly put out the light and resigned myself to a long wait.
.
It was 5 am by the time that Miguel was truly asleep. I got back to my "studio" and painted away for 2 more hours. I was almost done but had to clean up because I had to wake up Miguel, get him dressed, have him eat breakfast, and bring him to school. I must say that I cleaned up so fast and so well that nobody would know that I'd been painting - even the smell was absent.
...
.
During the drive back home from his school I was feeling so sleepy that I decided to crash on my bed rather than eat breakfast. My sis woke me up almost 2 hours later asking if I was going to work. Not in this mental state, I thought to myself. Finally I hauled my ass off the bed, realizing that I had to finish the painting before Miguel got back from school.
.
In about an hour I was done.
.
In all my years of painting this is the first time that I actually lost sleep because of a work in progress. I know that it sounds silly, sneaking off from my son to paint in the middle of the night, as if I was doing prohibited drugs. But I must say that I did enjoy painting again. When the office painting contest (which I didn't win, shame, shame, shame - but anyway you can't always win, can you?) was held, I realized that making 8x10 artworks was doable for somebody in my situation. I could even have an exhibit in 9 months. As long as Miguel stays asleep, that is :)

4 comments:

barbiegirl said...

you probably could've painted more if you DIDN'T STOP TO TAKE PICTURES! hahaha!

angtagulan said...

har! scary, it makes me want to not have any miguels around when i grow up.

sandygirl said...

"when i grow up?" sinasabi ko nga ba - bata ka pa talaga! :)

angtagulan said...

ngyark! wag ka magalala lalaki din ako sandy!!! at pag nangyari un... ;)