|My palette area|
|center with Elmo|
|Elmo in Shanty Town|
I love my communal studio space!!!! I love this social media. I don’t know if everyone knows this but I used to paint decades ago. I had a couple of great galleries showing my work and selling. I had regular sales with the Washington State Arts Commission. I got one almost two of my paintings in the Swig Collection. I even went to an art colony in upstate New York for a month. Then I stopped. I had issues, priorities, marriage, then no marriage and one wonderful baby girl, who is 10 now. So I am back and it is great. I am like a person who wandered out of the desert and is drinking art like crazy. When I was doing it before I think I felt a little bit (OK, I felt a lot) of guilt about doing it. People were saving the world and there I was spending my days rendering nude women, dogs, and fish in oil paint. And painting was something that someone was always saying was dead. In any case, I felt like I was getting away with something huge by being a painter. Now for some reason that feeling is gone.
Anyway, in the ten years I’ve been gone, things have really changed. The art is different of course, (flat paint is in), the community is a lot different and there is all this social networking that is really nice, which means less promotional drudgery and postage. I feel like Rip Van Winkle. I feel like a dinosaur. As Rom Sleeper Nisnian Jr., another studio mate, says about me, compared with most painters nowadays “you throw a lot of paint”. I paint thick. Also before I stopped painting, I worked at home. Now I paint at Art Explosion at the corner of 17th and Potrero, in a huge community art space we lovingly call Shanty Town. I have found my people. Most of all, I like how everyone shares and communicates. Things are not as mysterious. I learn so much when I am just hanging out, not smoking, in Shanty Town.