Thursday, May 3, 2007

Backstory 10


The Skipper



I finished up my job in Wyoming, and moved back to Bellingham to straighten things out with Julia, and see if I could make something of myself in the world of art.

However, I soon learned of my friend Matt’s plan to ride his bicycle from Bellingham, WA to Chile. The opportunity was too great, and how wonderful it sounded in comparison to the idea of getting serious about life in Bellingham.
I decided to go along with Matt, at least until Berkeley, CA where my brother had offered me a position, cat-sitting for he and his girlfriend while they went on vacation in New Zeland. At this point I told Julia I would definitely be back soon, and asked if she would wait for me if she could. I packed up a bike trailer with all that I figured I would need, which included a number of small canvases, a french easil containing oil paints and supplies, a camera and tripod, and a laptop computer. My idea was to make “Bike Size Paintings”®. Soon, I realised that I could not keep up with Matt under the October rains, hauling one hundred pounds of gear, and get any painting done. I told him to go ahead, and I set out to really tackle the “Bike Sized Paintings”® idea. It lasted one afternoon. The next day I rode like hell through pouring rain to the next town, where I got a motel room. I shipped all my painting supplies to my brother in Oakland the next morning. I rode the rest of the way with Matt to Astoria, Oregon before my achilles tendon, and my knees felt the stress from the weight I had tried to pull. I saw Matt off, and decided to catch a train from Portland to Berkeley. The one painting, about this bike ride, that’s worth mentioning is a painting I did afterward of a kid Matt and I entered into a rock-skipping contest with on the beach under the Deception Pass Bridge, on Whidbey Island.

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