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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
I work for FEMA and spend the vast majority of my time
on deployments all over the US and I am seldom home.
The work involves long hours - six or seven days a week for
months at a time, during which I live in hotels.
I also paint at every opportunity, and this usually involves
re-arranging furniture and using whatever is available to
hold paint, brushes and canvasses. I’ve learned to paint
fast and a little sneaky since the hotel staff frowns on paint
splatters and pin holes in the walls. Finding art supplies
can be a challenge so the canvasses may be from a drop
cloth purchased at a hardware store and paints and gesso
may have to be homemade or mixed from bargain store
brands. I’ve even resorted to cutting my own hairs on
occasion for a makeshift brush (pathetic, but useful). I work
with any medium I have on hand because the only thing
that matters when I get the urge to be creative is that it
gets expressed somewhere (a habit which labeled me as
a juvenile delinquent back in Brooklyn). I’m much more
careful these days with how I express myself, although, I
will admit, it’s still hard to resist going into abandoned and
dangerous places. These often provide the best muse.
There is never a shortage of interesting places or people
and as soon as practicable, I begin exploring. In Alabama, I
met an extraordinary artist who had a backwoods museum
of curiosities and art that was weird and amazing, and
I painted a portrait of his friend “Mr. Henry”, a venerable
old black gentleman with an extraordinary face who lived
in an old weather-beaten shack on this property. In South
Traveling Studio
by Jose Antonio Serbia
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