Pinto Heaven

Published September 5, 2011 by rlmcdermott

I’ve been working almost non-stop on these landscapes for the last two weeks.  In the process, I tore up four drawings.  Some of those drawings; I worked on for days.  I’ve noticed since I’ve been doing “Art” that’s how things happen.  You hit a wall, stall like an old Pinto in winter (I know how an old Pinto can stall since I drove one for far more years than was sensible or safe,) and then an epiphany.   At the cost of those four landscapes; I realized I was going down the wrong road.   I remember that old Pinto took me everywhere–it sounded like a tin can on drugs, looked like a tin can on drugs, could barely clear a speed bump, and died an awful death when a drunk driver hit it one cold January night.  I was living in Manhattan then and used to park the dear-old-thing at my Mother’s in Queens.  I got the call in the morning that there had been an accident.  I rushed home to find my Pinto, now parked on my Mother’s front lawn, looking like Lawrence Welk’s accordian.  The tow-truck driver refused to back his truck up on the lawn to retrieve the badly battered Pinto.  “Give it a try”,  he said to me and, so, I climbed into the now very small driver’s seat, put the key into the beloved ignition and heard the engine turn over and catch.  I drove the Pinto Accordian off  my mother’s lawn and watched the truck tow it away to Pinto Heaven.    I learned a lot about life from that Pinto and I’ve also learned a lot about life from my art.  You have to have the courage to get into the badly parked car to start the engine and you also have to have the courage to see that sometimes you’re  just plain driving down the wrong road.  I was on the wrong road with those previous landscapes and, hopefully, they are now hanging on a wall somewhere in Pinto Heaven with a badly battered Red Pinto as companion.

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