Tag Archives: dentist

Today: What I made | 005

So, we know I both fear and loathe Las Vegas going to the dentist, right? And that I semi-accidentally didn’t go for several years?  And that, ironically, I broke a tooth (more accurately: an old filling fell out) while flossing, prompting an emergency visit to that place of fear and loathing?  (If you didn’t know those things, consider yourself fully caught up.)

its a good day to have a good day

Materials used: Pentel brush pen (pink)… and, um… that’s it.

It’s been a year, and I’ve stuck with regular cleaning appointments and approximately 800 other appointments to replace various old dental work and (shame on me) tend to one or two… fine, three cavities.  I have one more visit to go and then I’m done with my treatment plan, which feels mostly good.

The last couple appointments, though, have been especially uncomfortable and annoying.  A temporary crown fell out twice in one day.  Oh, and a dental assistant tried to pull out a permanent tooth instead of the loosening a different temporary crown.  It was all I could do to not flee the office and cry in my car.  Or stress eat an extra gluten-y donut.  I know it’s silly, but I can feel my heart rate quicken even thinking about being in the dentist’s chair.

If you’re wondering what the H the dentist has to do with art-making, welp… Not much. But I did find my mind wandering away from the drill and that annoying suction thing and toward my sketchbook.  I thought about what I would paint or draw or paste if I wasn’t, you know, at the dentist.  Much of what I made in the last week or two was cooked up there.  And that cooking up (along with a pair of noise canceling headphones and some Led Zeppelin) got me through those appointments.

This is a super roundabout way of saying that you don’t need to be sitting before an easel to be creative.   And creative thought can be just as powerful and transformative as the actual act of creating.  You simply need to be open to possibility.  (Dental insurance doesn’t hurt though.)

Anyway…  Here’s what I made.

What I made | 005

rumi quote heartMaterials used: Gifted scrapbook paper, Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), gel medium (matte), scissors (obvi)

I come back to this poem often.  When Graham (a fellow Get Messy member) sent me a beautiful packet of pink papers, I started snipping and doodling away.  Sometimes pages feel like they make themselves.

I weirdly enjoy drawing hearts and regret not being a better student in biology.  Just think what else I would be able to draw if I had spent more time paying attention and less time being grossed out and/or fainting.

wendell berry peace of the wild things

Materials used: Strathmore Artists Tile (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), magazine pages (Edible Boston), Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, random alphabet stencil, Micron 01 (black)

This is an old work (and one I’ve shared before, I think),  but it feels sort of like a cousin to the one above.  And I get the same comfort from reading Wendell Berry that I do Rumi, so I thought it worth sharing again.  I recently came across this recording of Berry reciting the poem quoted here.  It’s just perfect.

  • Other writers and poets that I constantly return to: Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, and Hafez.

this too shall pass

Materials used: Starthmore Artigan paper (black), Sakura Gelly Roll pen (white), gel medium (matte), magazine pages (WSJ magazine).

Another collage, and more evidence that I don’t really know what body parts look like.  For the record: that’s a head.  With ears.  And a neck.

Moving on: How divine are these words?  They sort of stop me in my tracks.  And I have a crush on my own handwriting.  

watercolor pattern

Materials used: Winsor and Newton professional watercolors, round brushes (2 and 6, I believe).

Just some good ol’ watercolor doodling while watching The Americans.  (I am convinced Clark, who came to us by way of Russia, is a spy waiting to be activated.)

root down to rise up

grow up

Materials used: [top] Micron 08 (black), acrylic and watercolor paints, colored card stock, glue stick [bottom] Magazine image (Real Simple), black acrylic paint, colored card stock, gel medium (matte), glue stick

I really love how these two turned out.  They’re sort of half flower show, half yoga class inspired.  

P.S. The next Get Messy Art Journal season starts next week — it’s a collaboration with 30Lists and should be really interesting.  A new season is a great time to join Get Messy, especially if you’re looking to jump start your own creative routine.  No emergency trips to the dentist required.

Also On Tap for Today:

What did you make this week?  Which poems or stories or quotes do you keep coming back to?

Today: The only thing to fear, is the dentist’s drill.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] (…And fear itself.  But let’s be honest, the drill’s scarier.)

You’ll probably lose respect for me, assuming you had any in the first place, if I tell you how long I’ve put off going to the dentist.  I consider myself to be rather healthy, and furthermore, responsible, but those attributes go out the window when it comes to my crippling fear of the dentist’s office.  I suppose I have good reason for being terrified, having had all sorts of dental work done and redone and re-re-done.

But really.  I’m 28.  It’s time to get over it.  And by get over it, I mean have my 28 year old boyfriend accompany me to a routine cleaning, with the promise of laughing gas if I need it.  Nick has a great dentist (which comes in handy when your tooth gets knocked out by a fellow fraternity brother wielding a trash can…ahem…) and pep talked me into making an appointment.  And apparently, he took pictures.

This is me, nearly breaking my own fingers.

Nick met me in Copley and lead the way to the office.  I walked in, I completed paper work, I had x-rays, I nearly fainted, I had my teeth examined and cleaned, I nearly cried, I had another set of x-rays, I rinsed, I nearly fainted again, I agreed to come back for follow up visits, I re-applied lip gloss, and that was that.

You know how people say, “It’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be?”    I am the reason people say that. While the dentist and hygienist were reviewing the x-rays, I tried to convince Nick I would have 20 cavities and would subsequently need 37 root canals, 2 of George Washington’s wooden teeth, plus whatever a bridge is, and that I’d probably have to sell Clark and both of my kidneys  to pay for half of it.  For the rest, I’d try pass off Monopoly money as real money.

Yes, I do have to go back to get a few things fixed, but it’s no where near as bad as I imagined.  In fact, I am not sure I even have 20 teeth, so I definitely don’t have 20 cavities.  (Okay, I just counted.  I have 24 teeth.  I think.  I had some permanent teeth pulled as a tween, so I guess that makes sense.  Why I am typing my inner monologue?)

Even without dental insurance, the damage is manageable.  I’ll go back in the next month or so, get things taken care of, and never… ever… miss another dentist appointment as long as me and my teeth shall live.  You (and Nick) have my word on this.

And word is bond.  Sort of like my bonded front teeth, resulting from an unfortunate swimming accident in 1992 or thereabouts.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Clark has his 1 year check up and Rabies vaccine!  No foaming in this condo!
  • I sort of love this apple pie-rate ship 🙂
  • Soccer game (only two more left!)

What are you most afraid of?  Who’s your best cheerleader when it comes to overcoming your fears? (Booze doesn’t count, people.)