Spider, WaterColour on Canvas Board
It was a fine day in autumn, 2007, bright and still warm enough for Mikey to be out in the garden. His favourite place to be. I can leave him outside there by himself for short periods of time, (short periods of time in our world never amounts to more than three and a half minutes, or so) the fences are high and the garden itself is small and Mikey cannot escape. Mikey loves mud and sand to the point of obsession. Fist fulls of mud usually get distributed on everything that has a surface which means practically, well, everything. Mikey does not like wearing much in the line of clothing and at every opportunity will gift my neighbours with a pair of flying underpants over the fence, the pairs that don't make it over to the other side end up in the trees and there they sway until nature swallows them. Fortunately my neighbours are very understanding, they wait until there are a few pairs then quietly drop them in a neat pile back over the fence. I used to get awfully embarassed about it, nothing quite like wandering around your yard in peace only to be hit by a pair of underpants out of nowhere. Mikey needs to be watched all the time.
On this day I noticed a big spider spinning a web, an amazing thing to watch. With Mikey down at the bottom of the garden, happily drizzling dirt onto a piece of paper I went inside and got my camera and tripod. I love photographing scenes like spiders spinning webs! I carefully set the camera onto the tripod, take a few minutes to line the shot up, get the macro functions on the camera focused, the light is right and I could feel that little flutter of excitement you get when looking through a viewfinder and thinking "this will be a great shot!" I clicked off one shot and with my eye still looking through the viewfinder I saw one swift blur of a hand reach out and pluck the spider off its web. My head popped up and I felt my eyeballs bulge out of their sockets when, as if in slow motion but in actual time, Mikey turned the spider towards his face gave it a fleeting glance then placed the spider in his mouth, and swallowed. Mikey has swallowed a great ecclectic mix of items but never a living thing, well there was that time he bit into a snail but I got to his mouth in time to remove the unfortunate snail, a crushed shell but still alive.
This is the Photo, it did turn out to be ok, unlike the Spider!
Mikey went back to his spot and continued on his mud drizzling quest as if nothing happened. I felt bad for the spider, really bad. So I painted it, using water colours and the picture is hanging next to the kitchen door leading to the garden. As an apology to the spider world and a warning to others to avoid the sparkling blue eyed spider munching boy.