It may already be clear to many of you that I not only submit to the occasional, but also tend to admire, mildly shameless behavior. And so today, in that vein, I'm indulging in some shameless mister promotion. Which, as far as I'm concerned, is far more admirable than some shameless self-promotion. And of course, I'd never stoop that low.
I've also got to promote our awesomely generous friend, Scott, for designing the mister's new website, StuartKingDesign. (As well as his previous one.) Scott is superbly talented, and also regularly engages in shameless behavior, and is thus, obviously, owed my admiration.
It's to be expected that I just might be the mister's biggest fan, but let me say, it's deserved. For not only does he put up with me and all my erm, quirks, he is an inspiring, and inspired, artist.
This guy funded his surf adventures, and travels around a decent part of the planet, with a paint brush. He began by painting signs and murals for hostels and businesses in whatever corner of the world he was visiting, often for a free place to crash, and an open bar tab. And back in those days...our invincible twenties, that bar tab could run up something fierce. Nowadays, being the rather more responsible husband and father that he is, he actually gets paid for his work, in real money...rather than endless jugs of kamikazi and shots of absinthe. Oh yeah, that's the way it went down, back in the day. Good times.
Okay, I'm going to tell you just one, and I have many, little stories of when I met the mister. But before I do, and before you start judging me for being a sentimental sap, and anticipating a possible issue with regurgitation (don't want to use the "I just puked in my mouth" thing yet again)...please know this: I am no sentimental sap. Period. And this is only one anecdote from the past, and it's loosely related to painting, so calm yourself and your queasy stomach. This will not be a hearts and flowers love story. (Although I have those too.)
Right. Here's where we met.
Praia da Luz. A lovely village on the south coast of Portugal. Full of some serious, and I mean serious characters. Some of which may (or may not) have included: British ex-pats turned entrepeneurs, ex-cons turned entrepeneurs, surfers turned entrepeneurs (a la surf tourism), and a healthy number of honest-to-goodness talented, friendly, and generous souls. Including the mister.
I'd just that very week landed myself a job waiting tables at a beachfront cafe, as well as a flat near the beach. (The flat I later lost, thanks to my over-active mouthy tendencies. Another story, for another time.) In walks Matt, whom I'd already met, a fast-talking, crass, and hilarious character that seemed to me, in all my Yankee naiveté, to be straight from a Guy Ritchie film. With him is a quiet, tan, and lovely surfer. Eye contact made. Boom. That was it.
Okay, it's sounding sappy and sentimental, but just hang on.
Following a (shameless) round of drinking games, some minor, but to be expected, injuries from taking a tumble on the rocky part of the beach, while probably (shamelessly) trying to impress with my ability to handle my liquor, that was IT. I know, super romantic. And the big bonus: I didn't frighten him off with all my spastic tendencies. Which is really, honestly, miraculous. Because I possess a fair few.
I soon discovered that he was painting a surf mural on the front of The Shack, a cafe adjacent to the one where I worked. (Legally, of course.) I am, in all my shameless glory, actually ashamed to admit that I fairly stalked the mister at his work, painting. Folks, this was a very, very small village at that time, fortunately for me, because it gave me all sorts of excuses for constantly passing by The Shack, oh-so-conveniently, while the mister (then known as Stuart, or Stuey, to his friends, which was everyone) painted away in the hot sun. Maybe shirtless. (How could I not pass by, repeatedly? I am, after all, a devoted patron of the arts, people!)
It probably went something like this: "Oh hey...how's it going...painting? Nice...nice. I'm just off to pick up my laundry. Yeah, so, um, going out tonight? Right...well...see you."
An hour later: "Hey again...still painting that part, huh? I just forgot to get something at the AliSuper. Wow, that's really cool ...seriously... um...so...where are you going to be tonight? Privé? Cool...I'll be there after I get off at 2...Right...well...later."
45 minutes later: "No way...you're still here...Oh my God...you probably think I'm stalking you...Can you believe I forgot to get bread, and I was just at the AliSuper...ah...I'm such an idiot. Well, see you tonight...maybe...you know...whatever."
Yeah. Painful. I have pointed out previously that I am a major geek. Get this though, he to this day, didn't think anything of it...had no clue that I was a huge, nerdy, full of (bad) artifice, stalker. Just figured I was rather forgetful at running errands. Ha!
So, I scored the painter of surf. And he's awesome. Go check out his work, and Scott's great site design, at StuartKingDesign.
And if you happen to be in Seattle, on June 11, stop by Venue Gallery in Ballard, from 7pm til close, for some wine and app's, and art. The mister is the featured artist, and you know, I'm biased and all, but he is worth checking out. Take my word for it.
Oh, and I just may be pouring the vino. Which is a sure sign of a good time.