Watching Paint Dry

Warren the Artist

Warren the Artist

 Austin, Texas, Warren’s large painting studio located  on the back of his landscaped  property. Warren is putting on his artist’s hat today (literally) working on a 60” x 40” acrylic painting. Writing Coach Jacob is the observer today, watching and writing as Warren goes through his artistic process.

Watching Paint Dry

By Jacob Pousland

Warren begins with a ritual dance of preparation. The studio must be cleaned, the acrylic paints organized in neat rows, fresh water is readied next to the glass palette. The water and a plastic box can keep the paint wet for weeks, Warren explains as he pushes aside a couple canvases that were “distracting” him. The easel is an enormous 8×4 foot piece of painted white plywood with peg holes drilled into it; Warren adjusts the pegs to keep the artwork at eye level. The final touch is his apron and artist’s hat, because in his words “I also like to wear a hat while I paint. I don’t know why, It just always feels more comfortable.”

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The Art Seller

The Art Seller from Sketch Book sketched in Venice (2000)

The following is an excerpt from Warren Cullar’s Sketchbook (ISBN 0-9747782-0-6) published in 2003.

The Art Seller

from Sketch Book

sketched in Venice (2000)

I was taken with the activity I saw at the Rialto Bridge in Venice. We had stopped for lunch and to write postcards in a little café, where the waiters were full of themselves. An art vendor captivated me. She had a steady stream of people walking by looking at her painting.

It was a beautiful pleasant day and I became quite nostalgic. Feeling a universal connection and identifying with her, I decided to sketch the art vendor.

The scene reminded me of the many hours I stood, during my twenty-seven years as a street vendor, waiting for collectors to buy my art works. In that beautiful city with centuries of art, I felt universally connected to all artists past and present and wanted to capture that connection.

Next Sunday on August 31st read Watching Paint Dry as Jacob writes about his experience watching Warren paint a new painting.

On the Road Again

Christ in the Desert Monastery road, northwestern New Mexico near the Rio Grande.

Christ in the Desert Monastery road, northwestern New Mexico near the Rio Grande.

Warren spent a week packing for his trip to Loveland Colorado for the Loveland Sculpture In The Park Show. This week Warren retells his roadtrip deja vu and shares some advice he gave a bellhop in New Mexico.

On the Road Again

The inside of my Cadillac Escalade was getting ready for another road trip. Clothes hung on hangers behind the driver’s side, a well-organized food box behind Kitty’s seat, the space between loaded with plastic divider boxes with everything from road flares to safety pins. The giant first-aid box was buried beneath them and behind that a “GOOD” emergency backpack. “GOOD” is an axiom for “Get Out Of Dodge.” It contained a knife, solar blanket, dry food for three days, water, matches, ponchos, gloves and a laundry list of other items. Four small suitcases and a case of wine for our Colorado friends along with our pillows completed the traveling supplies. Collecting and packing had taken a week and I was doing the final preparations for our road trip.

The driver’s seat was adjusted; I slid the plastic wrapper off a CD box containing three compact discs. Tony Hillerman’s story, Talking God, one of a few I had either not read or listened to on previous trips. I relished the stories of Joe Leaphorn, Navajo Tribal Police detective, as he solved murder mysteries on the Navajo reservation. Wife Kitty opened the door and noticed the CD I was placing in the slot. She warned, “Warren, do you remember the time we were driving to New Mexico listening to another Hillerman story?”

“Of course.”

“Remember how we were so absorbed in his story, then stopped for gas out in the middle of nowhere and the old gas station had ‘out of gas’ signs. And how we went in, took a bathroom, break, bought a bag of Cracker Jacks and drove on West on I-40 toward Santa Fe and stalled because we didn’t get gas?”

“Let’s not do that again.” She pointedly suggested. The stage was set for another turn of events.

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