Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Taping up for Babyface

Taping up for Babyface
Oil Canvas Panel, 4x6"


This is a painting of my husband Taylor, inspired by our climbing trip to Hueco Tanks, Texas. 'Taping up' refers to the practice of taping the fingers prior to rock climbing. We use white zinc oxide tape, and it helps protect the tendons in your fingers. When climbing, especially bouldering (which is an intense form of climbing without ropes), there is an immense amount of weight borne on the fingers, and injuries are common.

Taping up can also become part of the ritual prior to attempting a hard climb - preparing yourself mentally and physically, might involve chalking your hands, cleaning your shoes to achieve maximum friction, and visualisation - of the moves, of success.

I loved this image - I think it's both personal and universal. Most people have little rituals they perform (often unknowingly) before they do something important, or stressful, or exams, flying (if you're scared), first dates, etc. Before I start a big painting I have a series of things I have to do before I'm ready - eg. organise my space, make sure there are no distractions, and wake up knowing that I'm going to paint that day - all those little things which help to focus on the task at hand.