Performance Anxiety

wolf mask sketch in notebook
Isa's son in a red jackal headdress
Egypt in Aspen.

It seems I am still doing homework. When I was in elementary school, my parents never went near my homework. They may have proofed some papers in high school, or noodled around with a math problem, but I was on my own if anything crafty surfaced.

It’s a different matter these days, and I find myself manipulated with the line: “But, Mom, you’re an artist, you can do ANYTHING.” And off my ego and I go.

It started with a quick sketch in my calendar...

The fourth grade is studying ancient Eygpt and its mythology. Our son was assigned Seth, or Set, the God of chaos, and for those of you who do not know him, this was a good match. However, Seth has both a complicated personality, and visage. He has a bright red jackal head with menacing devil eyes.

In the beginning.

If you need a blow by blow of Egyptian mythology, our son is your source. If you want to talk for hours about anything random, bingo. If you need to know the nuances and differences between DC comics and Universal comic characters, he can take hours of your time. But building a jackal head from hell outfit? Not so much.

Getting in character.

So I bought paper mache mix and built an armature and got to work covering it and recovering until the whole thing weighed as much as Jay Defeo’s famous painting The Rose. It took days to dry.

It cracked when our son tried it on, and I cracked with it. I had crazy glue in odd places and I had several deadlines lurking in front of me, and spending hours mastering this new sculpting material was not what I had in mind.

I skulked and whined. I behaved like a three year old. I wrote a grumpy email to his teacher. My daughter snapped me back to attention: "Mom, you need to calm down, this is fourth grade we're talking about here. FOURTH GRADE. No one cares."

And then I started over. I rebuilt the armature and used old fashioned newspaper strips and methyl cellulose and came up with this.

The final product -- Seth's head.

It was fun, campy(our son added the blood smears on the teeth) and best of all, he was delighted and aced his presentation.

I hope I get an 'A,' but I'm nervous because one of the front teeth fell off......

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