Sunday, October 2, 2011


Tentative. That's how I've been feeling for sometime now. It may have began to percolate months ago, but probably manifested when I went to pay my respects to Jen Trute.

In that little studio of hers overlooking Oceanside bay, stacked vestiges of an artists working life condensed into boxes, unpainted canvases and medical equipment.

That it reminded me of John Liddy's post legacy, was all too much like bad de ja vu.

That arc again-that shadow.

It made me wonder what my own ramshackle legacy would be, how the final tally would be disseminated-the books, the materials, the art. When personal effects and debtors are settled, would the most I could hope for be a hidden artifact collecting dust in a thrift store corner?

So, on the day I was interviewing for my return to the bourgeois lot of a regular paycheck, I was also at Jen Trute's former studio, inheriting boxes of oil paint and brushes, stacks of canvas, volumes of art books.
Irony gluts like a bloated slug.

And yet, for all her penultimate generosity, for all my gratitude, I couldn't shake the sense of feeling like some ghastly vulture. It made me tentative, especially when I got home and unloaded the boxes.

Let me tell you that Jen Trute was as meticulous with her materials as she was her work. High quality paints were ordered into color category, whilst thousands of swatches on cards annotated mixed values, and brushes separated into jars by size and material-everything as pristine as the day she had purchased them.

It all felt a little intimidating-I felt a little unworthy of the torch being passed.

Until finally I realized the best way to break the spell, and honor her, would be to paint her-or at least an imagined portrait of her-since we were acquaintances but never met.
And what better way than to do it using the materials she lovingly procured. Here then is a progression of the new piece-"tentatively" called Red Reaper- but done very much in the spirit, honor and paint of the incomparable Jen.

I think she would have liked it.

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