Five Recent Paintings and a Short Lesson On Painting In Las Vegas

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“Loneliness
Saturday night / early morning in the gayest bar / the beginning of the spring”

by Alexey Stepanov

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“Ira Lavrentieva” by Andrew Makarov

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“Victim Denunciation” by Alena Levina

Oil on cardboard, 30 x 30 cm

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“Dream of Red Fish” by Lena Ulanova

I have been away from busy thoughts for the last eight days. My family was allowed our yearly American week off. We booked it when the snow was blowing, but took it when the flowers were blooming. Big mistake. Metro Las Vegas is no place for a moralist. The outskirts are heaven on Mars. I could live in the Mojave desert for several months hooked up to a Colorado River I.V. fearing the summers would push me back to the air-conditioned nightmare that is Las Vegas Boulevard.

Anyway, I was stuck in the resort less than a day when I felt the overwhelming urge to counter the onslaught of vacuous kitsch. I brought along a few paints and folding easel, hoping to plein air bravely like some Russian painters I know. It would have been easier to streak past reception right through the nicotine casino.

So I painted in the bathroom.

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Overall, as usual, it was a memorable travel experience. I often think of my day-to-day  as commonplace. It takes a side trip to anywhere for me to relish the repetition, with new knowledge to tweak the few routines that became more draining than rejuvenating.

I was offline until the last day, when I received an update about Lena Ulanova. She joined the circus and will be traveling for the next four months. Alexey wrote that he is certain some great paintings will come from that experience. I hope so. I miss her prolific creativity.

There is no good in painting without other painters.

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“At Las Vegas Resort Depressed That There Are No Real Animals” 2016. Acrylic on wood panel, 12 x 9″

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