I admire those of you who are artistic and  creative souls  , you painters , musicians , flower arrangers , dancers . I had an electrician installing a new service panel at my house today . I admire craftsmen , anyone with special skills , tile setters , plumbers , electricians , carpenters , mechanics .Steve Pock electrical 006

I’ve painted . Houses . Walls . I’ve wallpapered a few times . I wallpapered a billboard once in a movie theater . The desperate manager  paid me three hundred dollars for what was  a simple job . I told him that I knew how to wallpaper when I didn’t . I had helped a painter friend of mine wallpaper , once ,  years before that  ; really had just watched him work ; but I needed the money . I studied up on wallpapering , asked friends for last minute advice ,  and managed to do a decent job on  the billboard .3 blind mice & walls 007

I’ve painted the walls in my house . If I were rich I would have hired a painter . I’ve seen professional old school painters work . I can’t paint on such a plain  ,  so well , with such smooth  dexterity   ,  so elegantly , but   I do well enough . I get by .

I suppose that we live in a do-it-yourself society nowadays . Skilled craftsmen , expertly skilled craftsmen ,  seem to be few and far between . I think that respect for good craftsmanship is deteriorating . Older houses display the efforts of old time craftsmen .  More current design requires less , less filagree ,  less ornamentation . The old masons , tile setters , woodworkers , painters , have receded gracefully , have slipped smoothly ,   into myth and memory .  They are not completely gone , but are , I think , infinitely  more rare creatures  now , are probably few and far between , are harder to locate .

I took a silk screen class once , years ago , at Barnsdall Park in Hollywood .  Mrs. Barnsdall was a wealthy woman in early Hollywood who left her house to the city of Los Angeles .  Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built the house . It , and the surrounding land , is  now a park . A friend of mine , a professional  photographer , talked me into signing up for the evening silk screen workshop there .

The class turned out to be small , crammed with artists in other mediums  ( media ? )  who intended to transform their oil paintings or water colors or photographs or sculptures into silk  screen representations . I seemed to be the only stowaway , the lone imposter , the unmistakable wannabe  artiste ,  sneaking in to the unshared artists’  realm .  I have to say that the other class members  subtlely scoffed at my silly mice   , softly snickered ,  shunned me  .  The instructor , however , liked me , liked the fact that I was there simply  to enjoy myself , to do my rough-edged  amateur best , and to have fun .3 blind mice & walls 005

We designed our own projects . The others presented their framed masterpieces , their works ,  their predetermined ,  fated projects  , and  set to work . I fumbled , agonized , decided to do mice , maybe , three blind mice . The instructor thought my idea was great . The others turned away , couldn’t see the fun in  the mice , seemed to consider my intention  a senseless caprice ,  not worthy of serious interest . The instructor offered his help and  his advice ,  knew I was having fun . He was there for fun , too , I think , not to be professional , not to be a snotty artiste , but to teach , to share his love of the techniques  of screen art .

I have one print of my mice on a wall in my house . My mother had another on her wall . My mother could see the fun in my mice  , too . Now I have both of the prints . The one that was up on my mother’s wall is hiding among some other homeless works of art , stacked haphazardly on the floor , waiting , hoping for future display , looking for a spot on a wall or for an unoccupied  nail , waiting in queue , languorous  , yet  hopeful . 3 blind mice & walls 009

3 blind mice & walls 018 3 blind mice & walls 020The walls are occupied in my house . Get on the waiting list if you wish ,  but there is no room now for three blind mice . Sit and wait . Visit with the other collected works of art ; lean on them .   Relax . Chill . Are you mice or are you men ?

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