Thunderbird and Boat more SLO
12x 16 oil on linen
I think this was the third day into the SLO paint- out. We went down to the Moro bay harbor to try and find and interesting old boat or run down wharf building inspiring enough to paint, but I found it all to renovated.
Lo and behold sitting bleaching in the sun in the farthest part of the parking lot was a rusty old thunderbird with a boat behind it. I had my subject.
As you might well imagine I got more than one onlooker questioning my choice of subjects. The running joke was they were used to artists facing in the other direction, painting the boats, yep.
The most determined one tried to get me to paint his near by docked boat; if I were more of a salesman I would have taken him up on it, my gut told me he would have bought the final product. I was already into the grove so I politely declined, regretting I didn’t at least make friends with the guy as I could have used a ride across the bay so I could paint the power station on another day.
The highlight of the day was when a guy around 40 or so wandered by said “hi “ and kept going, stopped, thought better of it and came back to talk to me. He was clean and well groomed, but pretty quickly I had the feeling he was staying at a half-way house of some kind either for mental patients or recovering abusers of some kind. He was talking a little fast and acting younger than he was, not dumb as much as overly nervous for his age. The biggest clue was he kept leaving then coming back with the “just one more thing” question, like Colombo on to much coffee.
My favorite moment from him came when he took out a “to do” reminder list in a little notebook. He wanted to show me the proof of what we had in common, how providential it was meeting me in the parking lot at this moment in time. Because on his list: along with getting a car, calling his Mom and doing the laundry was; learning how to paint.
He had many questions; I answered them all as best I could, gently, but seriously about the challenge ahead of him. He seemed to appreciate my forthright opinion and I could tell he was happy he made the effort to talk to me, but was grappling the daunting task ahead, could he do it? Clearly it was going to be a real effort. I could see him deflating a bit so I told him studying to be a great artist was one thing, but he could start painting just for fun anytime. That picked him up and he soldiered on with a jaunty lilt in his walk.