Clapping the Erasers & New Work
I moved from Catholic school to Public school in the third grade.
Accustomed as I was to being hit with a ruler, it came as a welcome surprise that not all schools operated that way. Honed by the fear of my former experience I was a model student. The delightful benefit of my exemplary behavior was the privilege of being allowed outside the building to “clap the erasers.”
The experience of being “beyond the wire” so to speak was a delicious whiff of freedom. A wicked delight went through me.
In my mind I formulated a plan.
The Railroad was a mere two blocks away — if I just dropped the erasers and ran, I wondered, could I…
Fast-forward fifty years to the time of Covid.
No longer teaching my regular classes or workshops, with traveling curtailed, life came to an unnatural stop.
The former urgency I was used to feeling had simply evaporated — just like that.
I had time to consider what I wanted to do. I now had no excuse not to begin finishing all of the paintings for my Rust & Roadside project and follow a dream of working on large canvasses.
For the first time in my life I had the opportunity to study with an unbroken creative flow; to truly get lost for days, even weeks on end — a dream.
I wandered, wondered and daydreamed: everything I got in trouble for as a kid.
And I get paid for it.
Last week I was wandering around with a great cup of coffee, my French easel on my back, my nostrils filled with the scent of blossoming trees while people rushed all round me, headed who knows where.
Instantly I was back in my third-grade self.
I made it, I thought.
Actually dropped the erasers and they haven’t found me yet.
(A special thank you to my partner in crime and curiosity, my wife Natalie who keeps me tethered while my head is in the clouds and has supported me every step of the way.)