Today is cold, you can feel autumn in the air in the early rustle of dry leaves and in the faint screams of horror movies from distant flat screens. Little has changed in the welfare city, outside the window there is a meth lab and a drunk pulled over by policemen who are having him recite the alphabet in pig latin. Many updates, many stories to get in there, just have to find the right place to start.
The band I was working with broke up a few years ago when our singer started dating our bass player then they had a falling out. Shortly after that my old friend Spiritcage moved back into the area and began coming over to paint. He is a more accomplished and experienced artist than I, and taught me things like how to paint a portrait with nothing but a pallet knife, how to not be afraid of using paint, and how to make chili that will burn skin. I started painting every weekend, bringing in a rotating cast of artists. Our little painting group grew and changed over time, members arriving and departing. Eventually Spiritcage moved to Austin, Tx but I kept the group going.
Pat, one of our members died. He had a heart condition, fell asleep one night and never woke up. You never know how much time you have. His memorial was filled with 80's music and his paintings, and I was amazed at how much great work by him we had never seen. He left behind water bottle with little paint flecks and a bumper sticker that reads "Waste Your Life. Be An Artist". I look at those and they inspire me to do more, to continue to try and improve.
The last few Wednesdays I have been taking a class the local art center. I stand in front of an easel in a basement room with a young realistic painter and 5 retirees, painting models in drapery, listening to clear channel music and discussing art. I want to go with my usual technique and jazz up my model paintings with collage work, grafiti letters, and sea monsters, but am not sure the rest of the artistically conservative class would enjoy it. Either way, will learn what I can.
The painting class was an effort to reach out and meet new people in this area. It seems the older I get the harder it is to maintain friendships. Does anyone else find this to be true? Perhaps it is the welfare city. Everyone here is either much older or addicted to pills and kleptomaniacle. So we may move, just looking for the right place. Looking for a home in every place I see. Will I find it? Most never do. Wander paint, reach, and reach. I wish you happiness and light.