For some it is simply daybreak, others need to jump out of airplanes. For me inspiration requires solitude, which is a double edged sword. Quiet moments allow the whisperings of the unconscious to surface, but the nagging whine of solitude is loneliness and painting involves a lot of time alone. The balance requires more maintenance than a trophy wife. In the lonely moments I get why people tolerate rooms full of screaming children. A phone conversation with a friend, even a friendly clerk will send the ghosts that plague seclusion to the naughty mat for a time out though. In Los Angeles people don’t often return a smile. It made me want to check my shoes for dog shit since I just didn’t get it when I first got here. People stare stonily ahead in passing. In every other country I’ve been to, well except Norway, people regularly say hello to strangers. There must be a lot of Norwegians in Los Angeles.
The Hawaiian artist, Kealoha Pa showed me how to paint on wood many years ago. He studied with furniture makers in the Philippines. His koi pond painted on a table top is truly inspired. I ran into him a few times when he was selling artwork at festivals in California and he comes to mind because I was surprised he had sold his place in Hawaii. He owned a remarkable, yet remote, beach front studio that he gave up when the isolation became intolerable. His place was every artist’s dream and it simply wasn’t enough. Or maybe artists are more difficult to please than food critics.
Painting on wood is less forgiving than the moral majority, mistakes can’t be undone. Thanks Kealoha for showing me the basics. These are my latest.