I just spent a week in Austin, Texas to see what the big deal of this quirky little city is all about. Well let me tell you, it's quirky with a twist. It's a long island ice tea with a shot of tequila. It's a lovely girl who drank 3 Starbucks coffee in a row. During my brief stay there, I went to visit the Blanton museum, which is by the University of Texas. Great little museum, I saw the exhibit "The Birth of Cool", which tells the story of American life in 1959. From unique architecture to modernistic art and Miles Davis, it was really cool to see how it all influenced American culture today. I would have been happy to live at that time, everything was so new and innovative, homes and cartoons and fashion was cool, and the art was amazing. If I decorated my house with 1950's style, it would look cool because everything goes these days. I'm a bit retro in that aspect, but I like progressive thinking. Austin appears to embrace that spirit, turning a sleepy capital into a progressive, lively place where the median age is 29. Lots of beautiful women here! I also went to all these bars, I didn't want to spend $600 on a ticket to see bands, but all around Austin there was all these unique bars and clubs you can just walk in, listen to a few songs, walk out and go to another place. I lost count but I saw at least 20 different bands. One of the first bands I enjoyed was a singer named Brian Pounds. It was just him with the acoustic guitar and his keyboard player, playing electric piano. 6th street was off the hook, it was like an outdoor shopping mall that resembled characters from the East Village in Manhattan. Music is to Austin where Santa Fe is to art. I managed to squeeze in a trip to San Antonio where I took a boatride on the riverwalk and explored an arts village called Villeta.
Austin Capitol from the inside
I also got a chance to paint with the Austin Painters Group in Emma Long Park. It was a half hour drive from downtown, and I had to drive through amazing hills and scenery to go there. It was quite spectacular!
My easel at the lake at Emma Long Park
I painted a few hours in the park by a lake, and it came out good. I also found a cheap place in a condo area a few hours from downtown. I took the bus in to save milage, I enjoy public transportation because I get stressed out driving. Austin appears to have better than average public transportation.
As for some memorable concerts, I got to see The Proclaimers (Ironic, as I'm typing, "500 Miles" comes on the loudspeakers by The Proclaimers) I also got to see Devo as my finale, I really enjoyed that show. If you like the Talking Heads or Peter Gabriel, you'll enjoy Devo.
I left Austin Saturday Afternoon and got back to Santa Fe in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I managed to do my art show on Sunday. Great weather, but no sales and not much foot traffic. It was the first time and didn't make a profit, so I have to regroup and get more paintings done. As Austin is a progressive city, I'm trying to be a progressive painter, always moving forward in life, always trying to improve. I'll post some photos of my trip. It was a great experience and time will tell what kind of effect it will have on me.
Austin and Lady Bird Lake