29 October 2009


This is a typical Myerly request. One word with no elaboration. I was chatting with Becky Myerly the other day and complaining about disorganized people making my life difficult. (Though I think I may be one of them.) Out of no where Becky took out her checkbook and told me to make her a painting from the word "organize". As always, I'm up for this kind of thing.
This is the fifth painting I've made here for the Myerly family. I met Becky and her daughter Sophia the day after I wrote the first post of the Panda. I was so focused on the blog that I couldn't shut up about it. Fortunately, they were interested.

I've been reading a lot of kids science books to Theo. We recently read Magic School Bus Goes to The Bees (or something like that). In not so many words, it told us that bees are organizational robots. The only way they are able to survive is by dividing up their work and relying on one another. I think we read something similar to this in The Magic School Bus Kicks it with Ants (or something to that effect), but ants aren't as attractive, so bees it is.
I actually made this painting twice. I painted it, was unhappy with it, gessoed over it, and then painted it again with the same subject matter. Why? ...I thought it would look better the second time. Does it? I don't know.
I'm not certain that this painting is as much about organization as it is about obsessiveness. Maybe I sometimes confuse these two things. It would explain a lot.

While I was drawing out the bees for the second time, I couldn't help but think about those 4H bug boards, where they place the Latin names under the stick pinned carcasses in neat rows. Very organized. Different bugs classified by similarities hanging with their own kind. Organization relies on classification and classification effects the way we think about things. If I were to go to the 4H building at the Minnesota State Fair to study a preteen's board of local bee species and find a cicada on it labeled "North American Green Bee", I would make different assumptions about what a cicada is. But a cicada is not a bee?... depending on the criteria for classification. Right? They certainly have things in common.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that being organized is walking a fine line between rigid thinking, crazy thinking and...well, being organized. Perhaps someday I will be able to walk on that line correctly.

Thank You Becky Myerly!

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