Thursday, May 21, 2009


We have a saying around our house that there is no situation, no matter how dire, that cannot be improved if it comes with a free taco.

Stuff happens. When I got the message from Pascal that the workshop we had planned would have to be postponed (through no fault of his own) my heart sunk. Two of his eager students were sitting at the table across from me, and I knew that others had driven or flown in that day from far afield, and were settling in for the week at local lodgings, filled with anticipation for the opportunity to study with one of the best regarded muralists in our field.

We met at class time the following morning to discuss our options, and decided that since we had a well stocked studio, a beautiful day, a lot of food, and time set aside, we should take the opportunity to explore some of the techniques that I have come up with in my 20+ years of painting, and possibly share tips and tricks with one another--a paint jam of sorts. Still getting over our initial disappointment, we started going through boards when the whole group was drawn to a sample--Can we do that one? Yes, yes I think we can. And a demo on this? Yes, that should be fine. And this one other technique? Ok, we'll start here and see how it goes. No whining. Resignation turned to curiosity, interest peaked. This may not be so bad, even if it's not what we came for. Eerily, there were primed and even pre-textured materials just sitting around the studio that were perfectly suited for the tasks at hand, in quantities just sufficient to the number of students attending.

And so it went. We were all sorry that Pascal couldn't make it, and our hearts went out to him because he didn't have the benefit of the wonderful time we had once we got over the disappointment of his impending absence. This amazing group of people came and learned, laughed and generously shared their insights and their knowledge and created a synergy that was a gift to all participants. With it came an unexpected bond, touching every heart in what might easily have gone awry had the participants not had the openness to let things unfold into the painting-eating-wine drinking-birthday party-music making conversation fest that emerged.

It came with a free taco.