mong those early discoveries in mid-century San Francisco were newsies calling out their paper's name in Chinese! enroute to the Black Cat Cafe with paintings on the walls! And only two blocks away from a cable car which the town's government was trying to junk for better automobile flow. At the Black Cat, I encountered an habitue I'd met at a boho bar in Seattle. A month or two before, back there, I'd seen her dance, after enough drinks, in her Doris Day pink linen duster and sheath, the latest fashion. And don't forget matching hat and shoes! When she'd lift her skirt there was no underwear beneath. She had been interested in portraits I drew of tourists. When I told her I'd begun to paint, would she like to see what I'm doing? she invited her NY to stay at my SF digs.

Then began some serious instruction: a truly stable medium and some serious sideline qvetching on care, caution, and other matters of practice.

"Knife all that medium into the paint!"

"Test the color on your brush before you put it to the canvas."

Most important, she introduced me to paintings by modern masters and began what might have been a terrific practical exploration of the history of modern art, but that I was too busy making some myself, and too young and dumb to realize I'd found a Teacher. Who posed nude, yet.

She had dipped me into the paint of Divisionisme and I was launched into a sea of spots:


WOMAN IN ROBE (Pat Douglas) 1951 Oil on Canvas 30" x 12.25" (11.8 x 4.8cm) Private Collection, Cambridge, Massachusetts


I used to think she left because the food and booze ran out, but later, I'd sometimes think, she gave up on me.


NUDE (Phyllis) 1951

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