Without warning and with a rush of unexpected intensity I began painting at 50. The first piece, a crude scribble was made by slashing at cheap paper propped on a cheap easel with a set of cheap oil pastels. I pushed the soft crayon-like sticks with such force onto the paper they crumbled and broke. Throughout, however, I was exhilarated and thought I might have actually been smiling. After a few minutes of erratic movement an anonymous face emerged on the paper. Somewhat confused I wandered downstairs from the second floor vaulted ceiling, beige berber carpeted space above the two-car garage set in idyllic Quaker Hill farm country, itself steeped in natural beauty incredibly absent from what I had just painted. I walked across the lawn into a workroom under the two-story home my ex-wife and I recently purchased (another story) and looked around on the paint shelf for something, a finishing touch or solution perhaps to my painting. I could have as easily grabbed a can of black spray paint and covered the whole thing but instead I took a can of shellac and headed back to my painting. As I re-crossed the lawn and climbed the stairs I kept muttering in an echo of jersey dialect from my youth that I would give my creation a “good shellacking”. Which I did, with speed, flair and about six strokes with a 3-inch cheap brush. I moved back to eye my masterpiece. At 50 I discovered weird art dwelling inside of me and was fucking pleased it was about to come out.

…To be continued