Monday, April 16, 2012

Good luck, heart & soul

Chinatown in Los Angeles is a good place to spend some time. I painted there on Saturday. I stood outside a store that didn't open until 11; the store had a gong to strike for luck. An older Chinese man helped me set up my easel. I can handle it myself but help was nice. A young man stopped by before I really got started and showed me his sketchbook; it had the most excruciatingly beautiful drawings of books that he wanted to make. I had my picture taken with a man from China, presumably just because I was painting. A woman asked for a restaurant recommendation, and I sent her to Yang Chow. She will never forget me, I think, because it is that good.

There is a piano near where I stood. It is part of the "Play me I'm yours" Los Angeles installation. I was entertained by little kids pounding keys, classical music, classic rock, rockin' boogie woogie, and Heart and Soul about a hundred times. I ran into my sister-in-law; a city of 3.8 million, and only one sister-in-law. I packed up my painting stuff and went shopping for a big straw hat for my kid who's going to Cochella, a messenger bag with a dragon on it, tiger balm, and savory baked pork bao.

I was pretty disappointed with my painting, but it has grown on me. It has kind of a sweet simplicity. So much, perhaps, that someone on facebook thought it was Chinatown of a time longer past. The tall pagoda is Hop Louie, a restaurant. Right out of view is a wishing well where you can choose your fortune with the toss of a coin.


  1. Wow, what a fun read about your adventure in China town and running into your SIL. I like the painting a lot and it makes me want to take a trip there and eat at the place you recommended. We never go into LA much anymore now that my husband doesn't commute to work.

  2. It definitely was a great day for you I guess, I liked the simplicity with which you dealt with this tough composition.

  3. Perhaps I overlooked it, but why were you initially disappointed with this painting, and now less so?

  4. Mike: I think if a person is an aspiring artist, it's because he or she is very sensitive to visual beauty. We aspire to that, so we're also easy to disappoint. On the other hand, it's my work and my vision, and I'm apt to grow some affection for it.