Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Here is what my dining table currently looks like. I've got sketches and paintings and ideas scattered about. I'm constantly thinking and planning and manipulating materials. I've been thinking how cool it would be if I could offer PHOTOGRAPHS and PAINTINGS. A few of my friends have let me use some of their photos to practice with and build up a bit of a portfolio.

April and Randall

While these are very rough, I think the talent for capturing a mood and a feeling and a face is there. And yet, I have the art of manipulating it the way that I want...playing with colors and lines and shadows in a way that I can't when an image is caught only on camera

Stephanie and Kurt

I've thought a lot about manipulation lately. It happens a lot. It happens with everyone and I've had a bit of it this week with someone I barely know, a man, who is trying to get me to date him. He is SO obvious in his manipulation...the compliments, the guilt trips, the slight phrases that are said to get a certain response. I keep wondering if the world of dating is rooted, somehow, in subtle manipulations? I only had a few interactions with him, but does he not see how transparent he is? 

Stina and Theo

Are you the type who can see clearly when someone is trying to manipulate you into a certain reaction or mood or belief? Do we manipulate ourselves? Can manipulation ever be a good thing? What is at the heart of it?


Stina said...

At the root of manipulation is control, and as a master control freak, I think I have a very good radar for when someone is trying to manipulate me. But maybe it is just a matter of perspective. Instead of thinking someone is trying to manipulate (which implies ill-intent), maybe they are just trying to challenge you or make you grow. (Not that I think this is the case in your dating scenario.)

I saw Theo's little face in your first collage photo and it made me smile!

mapelba said...

Sometimes I know I'm being manipulated, but I go with it anyway. Depends on the person, the situation, and many other things. I grew up among master manipulators and now I worry that I'm doing the same thing without even realizing it.

But I'm a writer. What else does a writer do but manipulate characters and readers?

A man who manipulates you into a date would manipulate you the rest of your life. Stay away from that! Of course, I say that but I think my dad and his wife manipulate each other every day--to different levels of success--but it is part of their routine. They can't communicate in any other way and they make each other happy. Go figure.

Kristan said...

I *adore* the April and Randall drawing!

As for manipulation... I'm bad at it, and I don't like it. I'd rather be straight forward about everything. However, that's not always possible, so I admit, I sometimes pull out a scheme or two...

Michelle said...

I really love your paintings.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
Only be manipulated by Nature, not us. Manipulation by human kind leads to good. Why, in our western written language which defines all supposedly, is there only one letter difference between the words good and god?

Ruahines said...

Sorry D'Arcy, I meant leads to No Good! Just got back from 4 days in the mountains, so my computer skills are not good.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

I continued to be stunned by your talent.... keep painting, girl. They are BEAUTIFUL!

smiles4u said...

Wow! You never cease to amaze me with your talent. Those pictures are beautiful. I would so love to have you do a picture of my husband and I or my children/grandchildren some day. I hope your break is bring much refreshment and renewal to you. Bless you my friend, Lori

Rowena said...

I HATE being manipulated. I don't mind someone doing it accidentally, but if I think they're doing it on purpose, I get so mad.

But I LOVE your paintings. They remind me a little bit of Elizabeth Peyton. Keep it up!

Oh, and did I tell you I sent your Flying Girl? She's coming!

D'Arcy said...

Thanks everyone.

I would love to paint any and ALL of you when I can! I'm really getting into seeing it every day..something that WASN'T there just a day before.

Maybe I have a God complex, because I REALLY love creating!

And yes, manipulation, I have a good radar for it and have decided I won't tolerate it, even if I don't date as much, but honestly, I don't need to waste my time and I have a pretty good idea whether or not I can have a decent evening with someone or not.

So I'll just keep creating!

Sugar jones said...

okay, first... awesome sketching!

As for manipulation... in a scheming way, never good. But creating the optimal situations at work where idiots feel lulled into being nice to you through calculated behaviors? We've all been there. I think that sort of manipulation, in work or in our social circles, would fall under survival... finessing might be a nicer word. ;)

G said...

I love what your dining table looks like.

little miss erika said...

Oh joy! I just found your blog and I must say I can't wait to keep reading. So far I've seen a few of my favourite things: old, frilly dresses, language and the pulling apart thereof, Jesus, and painting.

My favourite part of using pastels (my medium of choice) is definitely manipulating colors and shapes. I love to change shapes to give me more space to use the colors the way I want, to bring out my very favourite curves and straights.

And when it comes to other manipulations? I'm afraid I've always been very gullible, and now it seems I'm always wary.

Our minds are always manipulating everything. We create our own reality from our senses, our knowledge, and our interpretations. Brains are so fickle. So so fickle.

Okay this is a novel. I'm done now.