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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Learn Your Craft











Or maybe not. 


More of the continuing evolution of the garden pages. 

Prose. Check.

Photos. Check.


Garden pages.


The paper trail led me to Tim. At our local art supply center. A treasure trove of ink and pens and frames and easels and Tim. I told Tim I had an idea. A dream. In the experimental stages. Super secret. Tim smiled. He'd heard it all before. An artist himself. A musician too, He never laughed. No, that's not true. He laughed with me, but not at me. He taught me about paper. Exquisite watercolor paper. Smooth? No, I needed something with a finish, finesse, a paper patina. We found it. We talked about music too. Woodstock. Jimi. John and Paul. Clapton. The blues. Tim recognized the unfinished business that stood before him. A return customer. An artist in residence, he said. Me. An artist. Big shoes. We'll see if I can be a return on his investment. 

Paper. Check.

Frames. Nope.

Limited budget. Yup. 

Learn to frame.

Field trip.

I wandered through frame shops. Surveyed frame styles. Tried to sort out glass, mat board, hangars, wire. Wired. Over-whelmed. Too much information. Too much money. 

One fairy godmother. One sweet afternoon. A frame shop near my home. Must have looked like a frame stalker. Out came the frame whisperer. The owner. 

I know no boundaries. I blabbed. Told her my secret. Waved my hands around a lot, while describing the vision in my head. I played a touch of "air" artist, until she grinned. Said it was a slow afternoon and a good day. A day to teach me to frame. 

She did. Patiently. Freely. Laughing. Confiding in me how she dreamed of owning her own shop. Could see it. The store front. The inventory. The decor. Years. Years and years ago. Watched this spot. Her spot. Change and transform from one retailer to another. Until. A framer moved in. Into her spot. She told me at that exact moment, she knew exactly what she needed. Her learner's permit. She was not ready to drive. So she worked part-time. Learned her craft. A few months later, when the owner sat down, she stood up, license in hand. The torch was passed. 

I was payback.

A belated thank you to the universe. Lucky me. 

I left with my learner's permit and instructions to practice. I did.

I broke fingernails. Cut my ill tempered self on untempered glass. Vowed to no longer cut corners or exposed digits. I bought unpainted frames. Built a makeshift painting shed in the garage. Made paint puddles everywhere. A human drop cloth.

My back hurt. My fingers were bandaged and splinterized. I was tipsy from brandishing glass cleaner and sticker remover in an enclosed space. 

Lesson learned?

Swing a hammer. Pound a nail, Paint a wall. Practice. Learn my craft. Otherwise, the roof might fall in. It might anyway, but at least I'll know how to rebuild. 

Oh and as my mother taught me...always send a thank you note. I am.

....more to come

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