This mountain view was greeted with 40 degrees and a skiff of snow not more than a few hundred feet from the house...on the 23rd of April...in Tucson, AZ.! From time to time I hear from people interested in attending a workshop...wondering if I offer classes etc. Well, I'm thinking about hosting/teaching a painting workshop in San Diego, Ca. the first week of June...or in the fall. I'm putting feelers out now to see if there's much interest. If we can get 6-10 students for a two or three day gig I think we can make a go of it. What think ye? Let me know if a rendezvous of this sort would trip your trigger and we can begin to make plans for a smashingly good time of painting near the surf, wind in our hair and sun on our back...or something to that effect. Write to LosHawkins @ Yahoo
Thursday, April 15, 2010
BORDER PATROL UPDATE: Well, San Luis isn't really the bleak and barren place I thought it to be. I mean, they even have a Wal-Mart! After a shorter-than-usual four hour road trip with Eddie the wonder kid (learning to drive on freeways) we were greeted with lush fields of wheat, onions and other green stuff that produced a variety of fresh and happy smells and (windows rolled down) my favorite sound in the whole wide world...the song of the meadowlark. Turns out they really did need Paco the shape-shifting man of international intrigue and loquacious linguistic abilities, to get their car back. We met with the administrative lieutenant of the San Luis police department who helpfully and efficiently released the imprisoned vehicle to us. From there we proceeded to the impound lot. Once at the lot we hatched the daring border-crashing plan. At first they wanted me to be the driver to get the car across. But it was I who engaged the tow truck owners with friendly conversation and delicately described to them our dilemma. It seems no one there (on the US side) was very intent on making anyone's life harder than it already was. These guys (we'll call them Pepe and Pedro) offered to drive the car across the last border check point for Lizeth who wouldn't be allowed to 'cause she only has a Mexican driver's license...won't work with an American car that is owned by the driver...get it? Pepe and Pedro also agreed to reduce the tow/impound fee after we discovered that Pedro's nephews were attending school in Alberto's home town (and I reminded them that the police had told us it would be less) So, after all was said and done, the car that was supposed to be released to me by the impound lot ended up being released to the friendly tow truck operator who ran the lot and I and the wonder kid just shook our heads in wide eyed amazement. We followed them a few blocks to the border as they brazenly crashed the line with happy countenance and innocent smiles all the while whistling a little tune that sounded something like a cross between the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and the Mexican Hat Dance. It might be interesting to note that all our interactions with people and even the official proceedings were conducted in Spanish. From Tucson to Yuma to San Luis, all in America, all speaking Spanish. I think it's time some of you did some serious investing in Rosetta Stone. (The In & Out Burger in Yuma was the only exception...if they would have pulled the tex-mex thing on us ...well, I did still have my .357 magnum.)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Did you see the movie 3:10 to Yuma? I might need to go to Yuma this week...I'll probably not take the 3:10 train. You know what that means? It means the chances are real good that a hellacious gun fight will ensue leaving a pile of bloodied and wrecked cowboy parts and pistol cartridges strewn all over the desert. Alberto tried to cross the border into Mexico with Martha, his daughter Lizeth and a questionable character that was supposed to help them get their car across without a hitch. No tomfoolery was expected and since they paid good money to have something done for them that any person with a clear conscience and a little bit of savvy would have done themselves, they were sadly surprised by a series of unfortunate events. Somehow the vehicle was sequestered by an Arizona Sheriff's deputy about twenty miles from Yuma in the bleak and barren border town of San Luis, Arizona. The car runner disappeared (arrested?...no one knows) and now my sister-in-law, her husband Alberto, and their daughter Lizeth (with baby in tow) are stuck on the border awaiting the decision of a local court as to when they can get their little SUV out of the San Luis impound lot. Chances are I will have to buy /bail out the vehicle and or help them interpret their way out of getting hornswoggled by another "helper" posing as a lawyer who just happens to be there at the ready, preying on the fears and ignorance of people from south of the border. I see this kind of twisted entanglement all the time and it truly is unfortunate. So much ignorance and fear carry over from the corrupt and muddled-up third-world setting our Mexican neighbors grow up in that they are truly paralyzed when it comes to dealing with any kind of legal issues when they're here in America. This is a perfect and sad example. These people should be able to walk into the Arizona police station and ask for their car. All their papers are in order. They have legal title, registration and insurance. They could easily explain how they had walked across the border to Mexico while a "friend" transported their car through the complicated import process (in Mexico) but was nabbed by the police right before he crossed the border, (ostensibly for not having a driver's license and no proof of insurance) and now say, "Give me my car...por favor!" But instead, they are afraid of the police, afraid they won't have enough pesos for the bribe they'll have to pay to get their car back, afraid that when they do all their belongs will have been stolen (like in Mexico) and, they are willing to get ripped off again by paying someone to do all this for them "so they won't get caught." The thing is, there is nothing for them to "get caught" over. They've done nothing wrong or illegal but they feel like they have. This is the sad result of oppression. And it's exactly why so many immigrants don't assimilate well in our society. Their hands are tied and they become easy prey for the bad guys from their culture who have learned to take advantage of humble folk . That's where I and my .357 magnum come in. Now it's personal and these sons-of-dogs are messin' with my family...and it's 3:10 to Yuma.
PS...I've never seen the movie.
Friday, April 9, 2010
These two snappy little tonalist paintings are available this week. Here's the link to see them and to place a bid. As much as I like the "glorious clouds" I am more drawn to the muted colors and diffused light of these tonalist style paintings. Yes, there is joy in the effervescent glowing of rainbow colors gushing out of every pore and particle of those billowing cloud formations that haunt my palette and easel but, for all that, I prefer depression, sorrow, mourning and grief-stricken melancholy over displays of candy-coated transient joys.
I have been expert in both embracing poverty and calamity in my short life. And if all that mouldering and self loathing I've been so found of wasn't enough...my dog is dying! Davey has a nasty cancer in his throat and will be gone before long. He's only eleven...they've been the happiest years of our lives together as a family and the ol' boy has been a big part of it all. The other night I heard through open windows the coyote's howl and the answer from a neighbor's dog from up the road. As I strained to hear a late reply from a familiar voice that never came, I realised I will never hear his gentle happy bark again.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
The great first century erudite, Paul the apostle, has no equal when it comes to explaining the mysteries of faith. For anyone who has even a smidgen of an inkling that history has been altered (for the better) by the words and deeds of the Savior, there is none better than Paul to explain their implications. He said..."For the love of Christ compels us, because we have concluded this: that One has died for all...so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died...and was raised."
I know, it's a tall order. It's always that way...always has been. It's not easy to hear, not easy to embrace. There is nothing attractive about a man being tortured on a piece of a tree stuck in the ground. In fact, it is one of the most repulsive images available to the mind. Yet, for all is horror and apparent foolishness, the cross has become the most remarkable symbol of love for countless conscience-stricken souls throughout the ages. Who is able to explain this? And why is rescue and comfort found there like no other place? Why indeed. Well, I'll leave you with this Easter muse, and if perchance your little heart is disquieted by frequent bouts of conscience know that there is a risen Savior whose love knows no limits! "...so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him."