I was a really lousy artist as a kid. Too abstract expressionist; or I’d draw a big ram’s head, really messy. I’d never win painting contests. I remember losing to a guy who did a perfect Spiderman.
This last weekend, I dragged myself out of bed… if not exactly very early, then rather earlier than later. I thought of what I needed to do with the rapidly slipping away day and I thought, “I need some miles and some photos.”
So I packed my camera into a handlebar bag and rode to the DART station – intending on taking the next train that pulled in, no matter which direction it was going. The Red Line came first, going south, so I headed downtown.
The day was warming quickly and I didn’t feel very good – so I wasn’t going to be able to get as many miles as I wanted. I rode to Klyde Warren Park and picked up something to eat from a Food Truck, read a book, and rested for a bit. Then I headed to Deep Ellum to see what I could see.
Sometimes, it’s important to be able to trust fate, to follow your nose and see where you end up.
As I crossed Ross I saw someone up on a ladder spray painting a mural on the back wall of a building. I’m a big fan of urban murals but have rarely been able to see one actually being made. The artist was working off a photoshopped photo of the site with the design, taped to the wall. I parked my bike and dug out my camera.
The mural was being painted by an artist from Denton, Eric Mancini. He said he was Velcro-ing some artworks to the building when the owner came out and told him he had been thinking about placing a mural there. Eric was glad to comply.
The mural was a stylized Technicolor portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat. “You can tell by the hair,” Mancini said.
We chatted a bit about art, about Denton (“Denton has become what Austin thinks it is” – one of my favorite sayings), this and that. “I’ll finish this later today and then do one of my tree paintings on the rest of the wall,” he said. He needed to get painting and I needed to get some more miles so I packed up and rode off – he climbed back up his ladder.
Now, this weekend I’ll go back and take some photos of the finished work. More photos, more miles.