Last week, I went to the Long Beach Museum of Art. It wasn’t planned. My friend and I were driving to LA to pick up the 99 year old Gibson mandolin he just purchased. It’s like the beautiful young granddaughter of my 150 year old Mandolin. In any case, we had lunch in Long Beach at Fresh Kabobs (which is fabulous), and then found out there was a PayPal glitch and he would have to wait on the mandolin.
He hates planning (I love it, but I’m flexible), and essentially started taking random turns towards downtown Long Beach. We ended up snagging an awesome parking spot and off we went.
Well, the LBMA is kind of a mixed bag. And, as if often the case, I found myself laughing through the first exhibit. Some weird set of dual holographic photographs. It is what it is, contemporary museums have contemporary art. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s weird.
But then, we came around the corner to the most spectacular watercolor I’ve ever seen. 30 ft long, and completely immaculate. My friend wasn’t really sure what to do about my casual scoffing turned to stunned reverent disbelief. As an artist I’m fairly technical and my appraisal of other people’s artwork tends to be likewise. I am telling you: that piece is flawless.
And then I basically had a melt down wondering what the fuck I was doing with my life and why I wasn’t closer to doing that. Bless my friend, he fed me ice cream and then sat me down to paint. When I tried to use him as a distraction he left so that I would be forced finish something. That was the night I made My Onion.
As it turns out though, the artist who painted that gorgeous thing, Lori LaMont, is in residence right now. Meaning she just hangs out downstairs a few days a week. She had just left when we got there, but, the museum staff informed me, she’s always in Friday after noon. And Fridays are always free.
So today, after a more productive than average week, I gathered my courage and went back. I introduced myself, tried to hide the fact that I felt like a worshipful fan girl, and talked with her. She was so nice, answered some burning technical questions for me, but over all was just a lovely human.
And after talking to her, I feel like I can do it. I am going to finish my show.