bemusing musings of a bewildered brush-wielder

the painting peddler

“Beeaa heaaa, beeaaa heaaa” cry the beer vendors at Yankee Stadium.  And as they peddle their inebriating wares, so in my parallel world I set up a sidewalk booth on the other side of New York City and cry “Paintins here, paintins here, buy one for da price o’ two and get da second one free.”

I’ve been painting, staring at paintings, scrubbing paintings, happily contemplating paintings, cursing paintings.  In all, I am very pleased with the body of work that I’ll be showing the next upcoming weekends at the Washington Square Outdoor Art Event.  It’ll be this coming three day weekend, and the following weekend.  The 29th, 30th, 31st, and the 5th and 6th.

The only problem I can foresee is that I have been doing a lot of gardening lately, and so currently have half of my truck bed filled with mulch.  As you know, decaying organic matter does not exactly smell pleasant.  So, I’ve got to go scrub the truck bed with bleach.

It’s a funny thought that the paintings that hang at the most important museums in the world are oftentimes termed as “priceless”, but before their illustrious lives on the walls of a hallowed hall, they had other lives altogether.  They leaned against kitchen tables, they were rolled up in closets, they were stuffed into backpacks in the Alps, they were in the hulls of fishing boats off of Maine.  One of the most important Da Vinci paintings has a particularly interesting history.  A man browsing a flea market happened upon a kitchen cabinet that had a beautiful old master painting mounted onto it.  He purchased the piece, and later found that it was the face of St. Jerome, which is now a centerpiece of the Vatican collections in Rome.  Last spring, when I stood in front of the painting and copied it, I could see that the wooden panel had, indeed, been cut.  Forgive me for following up a Da Vinci anecdote with my own unworthy story, but it is funny to think that my paintings will be spending a few days in the same pickup truck bed that was filled with mulch the day before.

St. Jerome, Da Vinci, oil on linen,


2 responses

  1. Everything in the world is connected, including Da Vinci, you, and mulch. It’s all part of the glory of the Creation.
    I’m off to Texas, but I’ll look for you on June 5. That’s a day after June 4, the anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, but in the afternoon, I plan to put on my Da dao Gongchandang (down with the Communist Party) T-shirt.

    May 25, 2010 at 6:59 am

  2. Kittie Davenport

    Kevin, I finally caught up with your blogs! Once again you have left a hugh kernal of reality in my puny brain. The concept of enjoying, having fun, emoting over a painting, vs. tackling the sucker! Thanks. The blog about the violin and the painting left me in awe of the attachments that make up your world. Wonderful! Love the loose string on the instrument!!!!! Now I must garden- weed actually– then try to scrub out part of the painting we worked on Mon. K

    May 26, 2010 at 3:05 am

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