From time to time I like to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone and try something completely new.
This year, I tackled Albert Einstein.
There were some very personal reasons for why I wanted to do this painting. I needed something large to “chew” on (so to speak) while I made peace with some demons from my past. I don’t want to make this out to sound more dramatic than it is. The simple explanation is I was “officially” diagnosed with two fairly significant learning disabilities which explained a string of consistently bad report cards from Kindergarten right through to Grade 12. Truth be known, I’m not sure how I managed to pass each year (they certainly didn’t pass me because I was too tall, which I’ve heard has occurred from other students back in the day).
Anyway, to make peace with some of these fairly horrific teachers I had, especially in elementary school (where you could become a teacher pretty much out of high school – taking courses in the summers), I decided to go to the energy and wisdom of Albert Einstien, making a mock cover of a magazine which doesn’t exist (until now).
The Einstein quote on the magazine has long been a favourite of mine, as is the following:
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
This pretty much encapsulates most of my formal eduction. In fact, were it not for my marks in band and art, I would have most likely failed every year.
Painting Einstein I was able to channel the pain from my past that I’ve always carried towards some of those tyrannical teachers (and as a dear friend wrote: “…they probably weren’t actually educated enough to come up with a better professional solution that might require something more of them than the universal panacea: you work harder; we’ll sit back, keep our imaginations in park, and judge.”)
Regardless, it is something that made me who I am, and at the end of the day, I have to meet it half way and shake hands with. As the same dear friend wrote: “Hard for me to envy the testing but easy to see how it builds character, personality, unusual neural networks that others don’t/can’t have unless they bang into a big constraint.”
The song list on my iPod for my 2011 creations:
Winter Dies – Midlake
The Courage of Others – Midlake
Rulers, Ruling All Things – Midlake
Best Unsaid – Michael Brook
Oh My Heart – R.E.M.
Sinking Friendships – Jonsi
Saint Naive (Live) – Jonsi
The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
Ready to Start – Arcade Fire
Modern Man – Arcade Fire
UBerline – R.E.M.
Every Day Is Yours To Win – R.E.M.
Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I – R.E.M. (seriously, one of he best songs since Night Swimming)
Blue – R.E.M.
Photosynthesis – Carbon Based Lifeforms
Exile Vilify – The National
The Devil’s Tears – Angus & Julia Stone
Be the One – Moby
The Day – Moby
Stella Maris – Moby
The Violent Bear It Away – Moby
Lacrimae – Moby
Canis Lupus – Alexandre Desplat
Open Your Eyes (feat Peter Gabriel) – Salman Ahmad of Junoon
Perth – Bon Iver
Michicant – Bon Iver
Hinnom, TX – Bon Iver
Calgary – Bon Iver
Another Day in 1977 – Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush
Forever Lost – God Is An Astronaut
How Does It Make You Feel – Air
Praan – Garry Schyman
A Dedication – Washed Out
Allies – Blue States
25 Years – The Go Find
We Bought a Zoo – Jonsi
Wapusk – Kathleen Edwards
Get It Wrong, Get It Right – Feist