Monday, January 3 2000
I spent most of the day preparing stuff for shipment to San Diego. I was mostly interested in my collection of analogue music studio equipment (my four track, for example), my music CDs, some digital electronics and a few of my better paintings, the ones I could easily find.
Original Sin and Felis Diabolica await shipping in front of the Honey House (where they've been stored for the past year and a half) on "the grounds" of my childhood home. Photo by Kim.
I loaded all this stuff into my mother's (Hoagie's) pickup truck (a 1983 Chevy with more than its fair share of age spots) and she, Kim and I took the scenic route out to Waynesboro, 15 miles east of Staunton. My mother is now working some sort of scam where she's an "artist in residence" at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center in Waynesboro, and this affords her a studio room to herself and even half a bathroom. As someone says in my workplace when he's sardonically jealous, "must be nice."
A block from the Art Center in a dreary old 70s-style wood paneled building a dry cleaning place called Augusta Cleaners. In the front of Augusta Cleaners is a UPS pickup service run by a straight-talking and methodical man, and Hoagie had recommended him for the shipping of paintings. She told me she just takes her paintings down there unpackaged and he handles everything from there. That was exactly the sort of service I needed. And that's what we were doing driving to Waynesboro.
While Hoagie and Kim were off basking in the glow of unfinished art in Hoagie's studio, I was helping straight-talking methodical guy with the packing of my art. He had a keen eye for shapes and sizes and the strategic placement of bubble wrap, plastic tape and styrofoam popcorn. When, for example, one of the dimensions of Original Sin overwhelmed a standard bicycle box, straight-talking methodical guy found another narrow box, cut it into two pieces with a serrated knife, and fashioned a customized cap for the bicycle box, extending it four inches in the necessary direction. We had a little small talk as we worked. "I'd like to do art, but it never really came to me," straight-talking methodical guy said, "but making these boxes is my art I guess you could say." What straight-talking methodical guy did really was art too, demanding keen right-brain spatial skills. The cost of wrapping and shipping eight paintings of various sizes along with two heavy pre-packed boxes came to about 230 dollars.
Over at Hoagie's upstairs studio, I was struck by how relatively uncluttered the place was, compared (say) to the Shaque. Hoagie's been doing lots of mosaics lately, and like several others before, her latest masterpiece is an image of a turtle. One of her mosaic turtles on display downstairs was actually a three-dimensional sculpture formed over the surface of a turtle-shaped cobblestone.
A mirror covers a copy of the central figures from Nuclear Family which I painted on a freezer outside my Shaque. I used the freezer for somewhat ineffective storage. Photo by Kim.
In the evening I took Kim up to the Honey House to show her what paintings remained. She was especially drawn to an eerie red painting called Nuclear Family as well as Picasso-cubist style work called Wrong Room. Not only was she telling me that these particular pictures would one day be especially valuable, but also that she wanted to buy them. So I found myself selling my own girlfriend two paintings. I can't be too proud of such a sale, but there it was, a sale. And now my mother has to ship more paintings to San Diego for me.
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