Friday, September 30, 2011

The Stick Figure Artist

He sits alone in his artistic citadel. (Hallelujah, that's a great sentence!)

You might call him an alone kind of guy. Something of a social clod. Perplexed by the madding crowds, the jostle and bustle of too many foreign bodies. (Wow, I'm really fleshing this bastard out!)

(Sorry for the parentheses, I know everyone hates them. I'll try to keep my own delight down to a minimum. On the other hand, who am I trying to spare? You, certainly, who are my lovely guest. Let's get back to the stick figure dude...)

There he is, and that's a self portrait you see, alone in his artistic citadel. He's sort of like me in several ways, thinking he is artistic without there necessarily being any evidence to prove it.

By citadel, I mean he's not sitting on the floor. He's up at the kitchen table or at his desk, sketching out his pathetic little sketches in a sketchbook, a regulation sketchbook that he got at the stationer's store. It's run by an English chap, well known for his accent. He, our artist, spends too much on sketchbooks, more than his sketches probably deserve, but the English chap's accent is seductive.

So there he is, once again, hunched over the sketchbook, using his imagination, digging deeply into his thoughts to come up with yet another stick figure sketch. There's a lot -- a hell of a lot -- of straight-on views like that, since profiles don't come easily. Mostly straight-on views, that in my opinion aren't going to appeal to anyone.

(Pardon me while I pause to think. I'm thinking, Who am I to judge such an one? Nobody, really, except maybe ... I could be the stick figure artist. His sketches and mine are straight-on. And too much for anyone to bear. He likes to think maybe the madding crowds will see his sketches. That's a natural inclination, perhaps, although it has a social component, too. End of my thoughts. He needs to think, Why do I even care?)

One of the stick figure artist's great projects, great to him, was to fill a tablet with little drawings at the edge, so he could flip them and see his work in motion. It took a week of meticulous drawing, and what he finally came up with was a stick figure picking his nose. The piece he entitled, "Everyone Does It."

Let's say someday, like when he's on his last stick, he might become famous. Suddenly his tablets and sketchbooks are in big demand. A museum somewhere heard the buzz and decided to jump on them. Now, as his life's breath is on the wane, suddenly his figures are going for big money. Like one figure for four figures or five.

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