"Don't talk of dust and roses. Or should we powder our noses? Don't live for last year's capers. Give me steel, give me steel, give me pulses unreal." -David Bowie
I have spoken before about turning my back on art out of frustration and pursuing stability. I donned a suit, an ego, expense accounts and took pills. Never a day went by without that hole inside of me growing deeper and deeper eating me alive. I sheepishly sought inspiration and looked up an old friend who has always been the most gifted musician I have ever known. I went to see Rick Snell play.
We rekindled our past friendship and I admired him profoundly. Not only had he become more prolific as a musician and in complete command of his craft, he also was a living example of the depth of devotion to one's life calling. I asked Rick, "How do you do it?" His response was honest and very matter of fact, "You just do." I asked Rick to model for me.
This post is with concern to belief and faith and an infinite resignation to one's life calling. Rick showed up dressed for work with a cup of coffee in hand. Though I did style my Upper East Side studio apartment to look like the Green Room of some sleazy club, I noticed quickly this was a situation devoid of Rock cliches though full of its mystique. There were not going to be ashtrays, and knocked over beer bottles and intimations or references to drug use. Rick sat down and held his Gibson ES 335 in his hands intimately as if inextricable from his very person. In one way like holding a lover, in another like an extension of his very being. I remember looking and couldn't tell where things started and where they ended. It was as if every curve fit perfectly to his. He looked straight at me, calmly, comfortably. This is just what he did.
As I was completing the painting my life shifted this way and that and I often found myself in and out of bathrooms of some dump bar or another. I noticed graffiti and either drew it then and there, took and iPhone picture or committed it to memory. I was fascinated that others before me found themselves most likely in the same state with conflicting emotions and chronicled them with a Sharpie. Some better than others. This also crept its way into the work.
A great deal more has happened since the inception and completion of this painting. What started as admiration grew into influence then into a guide to always fall back on in moments of doubt. I have whole heartedly devoted myself to my work and find the same word passing my lips when asked, "How am I doing this?"
You just do.