Fundraising. Story 9: Preparation.

I forget which one of the world’s religions give this advise: – Be prepared!  Am sure they meant spiritual preparedness, but preparedness comes in handy in the material world, too. 
Robin Hayes and Kay Churchill had set a date for Battle of Sexes some time in August in a hay barn in Gardiner, with Bill Plympton on board. The main attraction at the silent auction will be a roll in hay with Signe Baumane, starting price $200 and a roll in hay with Bill Plympton, starting price $500. Yet another proof that independent animators will do anything for money.
But promising a roll in hay is only small part of this fundraising effort. While Robin and Kay are busy running around negotiating projectors, barn wranglers, food and drink vendors, me and Bill are set to the task to prepare our artwork for the silent auction. 
It sounds easy enough – for an artist to prepare artwork must be as easy as for a fish to take a crap in the water. But not always. The prospect to move from my loft of 15 years to a place unknown (and in Brooklyn!) puts my head in a very stressful place. It is like trying to sleep in the middle of a highway – if obsessive thoughts won’t kill you then panic attacks will definitely get you. It’s impossible to focus on anything but the destructive thoughts zipping by. 
On Saturday morning I got up and started to work on the roadblocks, to stop the insane thought traffic.

Once the traffic ceased, I turned around and took some acrylic paint and plywood sheets.
– First it will be The Tiger, – I said.
And the Tiger it was.

The Tiger looks at his tail as if he didn’t recognize his own body. The same with me and my obsessive thoughts – I always wonder where they come from, although I myself produce them like I produce saliva or snot.
Then I thought, lets do something erotic.
– May it be The Elephant! – I said. But elephant alone didn’t seem to convey the sensual aspect of what I had in mind. – Trying to pluck the flower! – I added.

This image is cute and would be safe in a children’s book. Phallic connotations will only spring up if you add my name to it.
– Lets do people! – I said. There was something really exciting with people recently in the news.
New York State Gay Marriage Vote!  
– Kiss and be united forever.
As the recent New York Times article on Dan Savage and monogamy indicated, it is possible that only same sex unions know how to make a marriage last.

Now, I think you are upset that I didn’t show the guys kissing, just the birds. A bird symbolizes a spiritual side of a person, his/her Soul. While I regard a physical distance between two people (with brief exceptions for sex) a key to success of a relationship, the birds can cover the distance and unite the two in the realm of spiritual.
– Talking about birds, – I said. – How about Brooklyn Bridge?
A bird highjacks the Bridge:

Brooklyn Bridge impressed me endlessly when I first walked over it in 1995. 
– I want to be here when the End of the Word takes place, – I told everybody around me. – It would give me a spectacular Last Sight.
But when the end of the world did take place on September 11, 2001 and I was right there by the Bridge, I thought that before I experience the Spectacular Last Sight I have to see if I can continue to live, so I run Uptown rather than perched myself on Brooklyn Bridge like this Bunny:

 Again, one can see the flower as something phallic, but lets just focus on the yellowness of East River below.
People do ask me what Bunny means for me, as it is a repeating image in my work. Here it is: Bunny for me means innocence and wonder.
– Let them be frogs! – I said. – Fucking happy frogs!
So the frogs came out happy, sloshing about in a pond.

There is so  much to learn from animals about being happy. Not the caged animals, but the ones you can find in a pond, in grass, in the sky. Humans kill and eat animals before they can learn anything from them. I am one of those humans.
– Let the hunter wonder into the forest, – I said. – Let the bunny tease him and lead him off the trail. 

Obviously, the hunter didn’t have a dog.


About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
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9 Responses to Fundraising. Story 9: Preparation.

  1. paolo says:

    why a roll in hay with Bill should start from 500$ and one with you only from 200$?

  2. Cecile Somers says:


    just out of curiosity: what time was it when you were done with these paintings? Was it still Saturday?

    And what did the thoughts say when they were allowed back in?

    My thoughts want to tell your thoughts to learn from the frogs and be happy and content. To be the thoughts of a funny, bright & sexy artist living in Brooklyn is a treat and an honour.

    Much love from my thoughts (which want to live across the frog pond too)


    • Cecile, I did the paintings on Saturday from 3PM till 9 Pm and then on Sunday from 9 am till 5 PM.
      The act of painting made me very happy and content. The bliss lasted till Monday 9 am when the first stressful business email came in. Yesterday I got increasingly more and more stressed and today at 9 am I was to explode from the stress. Unfortunately, I can’t paint till the weekend, so the bliss has to wait. Kiss.s

  3. Lance says:

    I have to buy one of these! Now knowing the back-story!
    Any left?
    Teetering on that edge is as seductive as any fantasized lover;
    An embrace from the perils of the unknown like a roll in the hay with a new-body…
    This new body perhaps the Reaper.
    “Last thing i see…” so eloquent a vision. Dramatic and poised.
    A flood-gate of emotion blasts into reality awakening the intoxication
    Smoking buildings upstage or perhaps add to an exodus.
    Awakened from the draw of what calls from below…
    ‘Perhaps another day…’

    We get to revel in the silent victory of that.
    That which is taken for granted -here today…
    I get to know a lady, not yet met.
    Animations of her real life related to.
    A life-line in what hopes to be a long life-span.

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