Thursday, July 15, 2010

Of Old Textbooks and Nail Polish Doodles

After finishing one free writing piece two nights ago, I feel so refreshed suddenly—I think my writing hiatus will officially be ended (I’ve finished drafting a fanfic, a poem, and the first part of a random short story tonight when the power was out). The exercise was so cleansing, I recommend anyone who think their creative juices have dried up to go try free writing. :D

Anyway, the exercise did not just hurl me back into my comfy writing turf, it as well made me recall my earliest encounters with Madonna’s. Just so everyone knows, the Madonna I mentioned in my free writing piece is not inspired by the musical icon—it’s the Madonna in art, aka a portrait or sculpture of Mother Mary alone or with the infant Jesus.

I was probably eight or nine years old by then, and my favorite Madonna’s were Da Vinci’s Madonna of the Rocks and Raphael’s Madonna of the Chair. And then it struck me: those were the times that I really began loving to read. How, you say? Well, where else would I get to encounter those art pieces when I still do not how to use the Internet? Bingo: books. Textbooks, technically—the only books in the house by then were my cousin’s, who was studying at PUP. I was first engrossed with his Chemistry book. Just for the record, I’m no genius and I can’t understand everything written there except the scientific answer to the timeless question of every kid: “why is the sky blue?”and that water displacement thingy (the one where Archimedes sunk in his bath tub and then bolted and ran around yelling “Eureka!”, remember?). Next, I acquired his biology book and I remember copying a black and white illustration of a Venus flytrap on my composition notebook.

Then there came the second “eureka” moment: those were also the days I began to love drawing.

So back to the Madonna paintings, yes, I’ve seen and read about them in a humanities book. I’m an ordinary kid so I got easily attracted by pictures—I remember folding every other page of that poor book when I saw paintings, drawings, and outlines of churches (I think it’s in the architecture section). I forgot what artwork drove me to try painting myself, but from the bits I can dredge up, it’s exactly after seeing a full-page of that illustration that I first yielded a brush…

…a nail polish brush to be exact.

My first ever “painting” was done on the wooden kitchen wall of my grandmother’s house. The nail polish is red, and my model for that childish handiwork was Anne of Green Gables. Er, or perhaps just someone with red hair that flows in two long braids and wears a balloon gown; I thought it’s Anne because at that time I loved that morning TV series. My memory’s a bit foggy, I’m sorry, but I’m sure as heck that’s what I drew on the wall. I haven’t gone to my grandmother’s kitchen for years now but I doubt the painting was still there. Just in case it’s still there, I will try to take a photograph and post it here. ;D

The next thing I remember, I was making my own “illustrated book”, a couple of typewriting papers stapled together where I drew girls, dolls, and rainbows and wrote my description for them. :) At present, I’m a struggling journalism student who promised myself that someday, I’m really going to write my own novel and have it published. :D

It feels so nice to reminisce those days, and I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for the free writing piece I mentioned at the beginning of this entry. I find it awesome that my love for reading, drawing, and writing were connected. :)

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