Damn, it Feels Good to Be a Painter: I’m Every Color (Thanks to Bob and Frida)

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I want to be all of the colors simultaneously. When my kindergarten teacher asked me what my favorite color was, I said “Rainbow.” She responded with, “That’s not a color. What’s your real favorite color, Catherine?” I said “GLITTER” with a smile on my face. I knew damn well what I was saying. Glitter and rainbow are colors: they are all of the colors and beautiful intricate sparkling facets of diversity. Who knew I was just a budding color theorist? A tiny little genius really. I didn’t and still don’t give a fuck.

I have always wanted to be a rainbow, wear as many colors as possible and dye my hair the spectrum. I am my art, my art is me – I wear it like a flag with fashion, makeup, and crazy fun hair. Dying my hair fantasy colors has been something I’ve identified with for my whole life. I remember the first time I had pink in my hair, I was exhilarated. It made me feel so beautiful, so punk. My mom hated it, but my best friend was the one who put it on my hair. Pink hair don’t care. I have been a lot of colors since and don’t see myself going natural anytime soon. My roommate is a true unicorn, his hair (even his pits and pubes) are always a different, perfect hue.

The other day I slept past noon, then I woke up all gross and depressed, crusty from being a mope. Heartbroken and lost in my stupidity. I needed to create. That first stroke was like that perfect glass of water when you slept too close to the heat vent and feel dried out. Making art revitalizes me, it puts life in my veins. It is a necessity, NOT a hobby. I went to art school when I was told to be a doctor. I knew at a young age that all I wanted was to be happy for the rest of my life, I never cared about money. Art is my air. Money is evil bullshit that people kill over. I would rather help be the voice of my generation, comment on the world at large, show people the pictures in my head, and express everything. Even making bad art feels good.

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I AM AN ARTIST! In a dismal world you need to find the luminescence. Sex, politics, ugliness, and beauty. I make art like I make love, passionately and with every part of my soul. You know I care about you when I make art about you or for you. I have so many things in my head that I want to make, and if I take the time to do a stupid portrait of you, that’s love. Art is selfish until you share it. Art is therapy, it soothes a weary heart and puts mortar between the bricks of a positive life foundation.

I sacrificed a lot of kisses in the name of art. Scrumptious yummy little droplets of chocolate kisses. I harvested their foil and little kisses flags to glue on to my painting. I use every opportunity to make art. Inspiration is instigation. I enjoy sparking art in others more than anything in the world. To create is to live life to the fullest. There’s no regrets in art, just happy accidents as Bob Ross would say. I will always share my art supplies. I love bringing a box of porn, scissors, glue, and just let people live out their fantasy. Hilarity ensues – instant party slayer.

I remember hanging out with my grandma watching Bob Ross and desperately wanting to paint like him. He created luscious landscapes with a zen-like ease. Some Bob Ross wisdom: “I think there’s an artist hidden at the bottom of every single one of us. You too can paint almighty pictures.” I was always so incredibly obsessed with art. I did watercolor paintings of drag queens. I outgrew my Catholic school’s art cart and the do-it-like-the-example philosophy to art very young and my mom was awesome enough to further my art advancement with outside classes.

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I remember finding Frida Kahlo for the first time. I loved that she didn’t give a fuck about her eyebrow. The hair on her upper lip inspired me. She revolutionized the selfie and didn’t give a flying feminist fuck about what a woman was supposed to do or look like. She was a bisexual communist painter who had an affair with Georgia O’Keefe. My kind of weird, I saw her as a soul sister. Her pain so freely expressed in front of me, teaching me to express my own.

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
― Frida Kahlo

I am so happy that I am not alone. I wish I could have met them both, instead their inspiration lives on in my heart and work. I’ve done burlesque as both Bob Ross (aka Boobs Ross) and Frida Kahlo respectively. I have painted canvases with my boobs as the brush on stage in front of shocked fans. That feeling is everything.

I use art to lift me out of horrible holes. It puts the lotion on the skin – and believe me I need lotion, my skin is the worst. It puts the paint on the canvas and the ink on the paper. I look at the world with intention, I search for beautiful intricate details in moments of pure madness. I see possibility in the abject and linger in the strange. I want to change things, even if just within myself. Damn, it feels good to be a painter.

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