Friday, January 27, 2012


I had two neat things happen to me this week. The first was a splendid tiny art show with a German art student.

My friend Dustin the video artist had a little get-together after his most recent opening, and Liv had come, being an video artist herself and interested to find people who do things. And in that magical way that these things happen she and I got to talking about painting and art school and whether or not getting an art degree matters. I seem to know a lot of art students right now -- mainly post-modern types, which is, be fair, a very different school than mine -- and we talk about this a lot. I’m always curious to see what people are getting out of school. Liv has a delightful way of talking about her school.

My is an old building, and it is filled with people...and that’s it! It is an old building filled with people..

We met again to talk about painting and she told me she’d been wanting to do a little show of all the paintings she’d made while visiting Portland. And she wanted to know if I’d like to hang anything with her. I said of course, and a few days later we sat in her Uncle’s garage-turned-studio while a curious little knot of people chattered happily around the paintings.


Liv’s paintings are very geometric -- mostly tiny shapes or lines scattered across a white background like tiddly winks. She’s been painting on linen and had a huge piece tacked slightly away from the wall, and when the wind blew it would roll gently and the effect was very good. Almost like the lines and triangles were dancing. My contribution was that gardener I just finished, and it was wonderful to see people crowded around it gleefully pointing out details. “Look! He’s planing leeks!” The show was very small and very wonderful.


This week I also had a brief phone conversation with Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, an illustrator I’ve admired for years.

I had hoped that we could chat like friends and colleagues but unfortunately I was basically like Lucy in this picture and got quite tongue-tied. There was no cause for it because Jenny is as down to earth and generous as I’d hoped she’d be.

After our conversation my hopes and plans now have outlines and arrows. It helps so much. I feel like a little tiny kid setting out into a great big world, sailing a paper boat into a churning sea of unknowns. But at least now I have a map. It’s hand-drawn and a little winkled because I keep squeezing the edges. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.