Thursday, December 02, 2010

Nous Orleans.

One of City Park's famous oaks at night.
If the title of this post isn't copyrighted, I'd better head over to an attorney.  I've been running a lot of notions through the idea-o-matic recently.   I went to school to be a painter, many years ago.  I kept at it while I was in the Navy.  When I lived in New London, Conn. I had a studio in the DeWart Building not once, but twice, under different ownership.  The first time I was the only artist in the building.  The second time was to share a studio with Don Eccleston, a superlative gentleman who has sparked the artistic interest in two or three generations of New London children.  Mr. Eccleston's work is without peer and he was a good person with whom to share a studio.  I should also mention that the gracious and talented Brad Guarino had a studio there at the time.

I quit painting when I turned 40.  It wasn't a gesture a-la-Duchamp.  I didn't while away my hours playing chess.  You don't need a studio to be a writer, just a laptop or a pen and pad.  It isn't that I didn't enjoy painting.  I made a profit.  I didn't enjoy the hustle.  I didn't enjoy attending gallery openings and having to discuss my work.  I am not a deep thinker and I think the work speaks for itself.  I still have to discuss my writing and sell it (I am a poor salesman; my Electrolux paychecks proved that) but the audience is a step removed.  That said, I am pleased as Punch that my paintings still hang in New London homes.  New London is where they belong.

I've got an itch to start painting again and not only because I will have the space to do it once I move into my new house.  New Orleans has got my sap rising.  I know how the maple feels when the temperature rises.  I hope my product is just as sweet.

I've lived in New Orleans not even six months yet.  It took me seven years to crack New London's code and be able to adequately describe it through images and words.  Yippee the Whale, the totem that appears in the upper (your) right column of this blog is one of the products.  New London is Connecticut's Whaling City and the source of my nom-de-guerre.  King really is my last name.

"In a New London State of Mind, even the angels dream of renting a loft on Bank Street."  When I penned these words, I knew in a flashing moment that I had cracked New London's code.  Everything after that flowed as easily as sperm oil out of a flensed leviathan.  I wrote uncountable essays based on that insight and was the best-selling chapbook author the Whaling City had ever seen.  As far as I know, my record is unbroken.  This isn't braggadocio.  Anyone could do it.

It's going to take a while for me to crack New Orleans's code, but I am impelled to try.  I zigzag around with eyes open and ears bent, observing and listening, nerve ends atingle, accruing grit and stardust wherever I wander.  Spend too much time in one place thinking the same things and your synapses ossify.  New Orleans is part of a great, rarely seen river held in place.  Currents pool in eddies that reject pause.  Flux and vectors stir along the streets in constant ferment.  If you haven't seen something new in New Orleans today, you must have stayed in bed.

Stimuli bombard me and they demand an expressive release.  It is time to take up more than a QWERTY keyboard to record my impressions.  The brushes and paint pots call.  Fine art supply stores take note: a new customer is afoot.  He isn't against discounts.

My Orleans Parish is yours.  Let's share.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah Whalehead. If rocks could talk. I remember a trio standing before the winds, anticipating and denying our destined paths. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. You inspire. thank you. me.


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