Imbolc New Life Moon
Red Herring Art Supply: Life is a Red Herring for Art. Life distracts from creating your next master piece. Be strong. Take control. Make your Art.
This odd little gallery cum art supply store sits at a right angle to the biggest Mexican restaurant in Denver, Casa Bonita. Not to get too distracted but Casa Bonita has cliff diving! inside. It defines whatever Spanish is for kitsch. And pink at that.
Kristi, the owner of Red Herring Art, is a pleasant, voluble person. The Colorado Sumi-e Society meets at Red Herring, so when I gravitated to the brushes and rice paper and ink sticks, we started to talk. She showed me a brush with faux jade beads as handles. “Would you like to try the rooster tail brush?” Say what? “Yes,” she said, “since we raised chickens when I was a kid, I was surprised to see rooster tail feathers uses in a sumi brush.”
I picked up the brush, a bigger one, with, sure enough rooster feathers hanging down where the usual goat or sable hairs would be. Dipping in the pot of water she offered me, I brushed a zen circle on a board she has that is reactive to water. It surprised me. In that it worked. “I don’t think I’m ready for this one yet.”
After buying a pad of larger rice paper and a larger roll, I picked out a new goat hair brush and a set of Japanese water colors for sumi-e. All the while we were talking and Kristi invited me to come to the Colorado Sumi-e meetings on the last Tuesday of the month. “You know, I use Kraft paper and plain old newsprint for practice.” Huh. Kraft and newsprint is cheaper than rice paper, for sure.
Kristi liked me, apparently, because after she rang me up, she said, “I’m going to give you the 40West discount. Because you should really be in it.” Took 10% off my bill. Nice. 40West is a Denver creative arts district that includes the area around Red Herring and Casa Bonita. Just up a slight rise behind Casa Bonita is the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.
“Oh, I’m just playing I said. I don’t have any real ambitions.” “We’re all just playing, especially when we take up a new medium.”
Pushed me back a bit to Thursday and those instances of joy. Play and joy go together, too. Maybe, come to think of it, that was the real message behind my last melancholy. Stop being so serious. Let go, lighten up. Have more fun.