Today I used the last of my tube of Viridian Green paint. You might not think this is a big deal, but that tube of paint has a story.
In 2001, I started taking art lessons. As I worked my way into painting, several people kept telling me that I should take classes from Jack Dempsey, who was a legend in the local art community.
The problem was that he was retired and only teaching a few times each year, and his classes filled very quickly. But one evening, I got lucky. I was at a jam session watching a few jazz musicians , when I saw Jack sitting across the room at a table by himself.
I worked up the courage to speak to him, and walked over. He was polite, but told me he’d need to see my drawings before he’d let me take one of his classes. I’d just come from art class, so I convinced him to wait while I ran out to the car and grabbed my best work.
He unrolled my drawing of Wynton Marsalis, and grinned. Then he reached across the table, extended his hand and said, “I think you and I are going to get along just fine. I’ll send you the supply list tomorrow. Buy exactly what I have listed– no more and no less.”
The supply list included a tube of Grumbacher Viridian Green. I’ve used the same tube for the past ten years and thought of Jack everytime I squeezed it on to my palette.
So today, as I finish this tube, I thought it was only right to paint Jack’s face as I remember him. And of course, the background is green.
I’m teaching a few classes in the Portland area this spring and I’d love to see you there. Or if they don’t fit your schedule, I’m always teaching private lessons, too!
First, I’ll be teaching two classes at 100th Monkey Studios in April. One for Adults on Saturdays, and one for kids on Thursday afternoons. Go find more details here.
And then beginning April 20, I’ll be teaching at Portland Parks and Recreation on Wednesday evenings. Register here.