Thursday, December 18, 2014

Artist cave

The sign on the door tells us what time slot we is a sign for the election "Clinton-Gore"96!"
He does not know it yet but this is the year the decline started.
He is an artist.
He knows nothing else but to translate his time here in this Universe  by putting  images he admires on plain papers, canvas, masonite, a wall, a piece of fabric.

He was one of four brothers, the young one. In his early childhood he would pick wild flowers and bring them home to mother. He would draw them after she had put them in a jar.
As he grew older this habit never left him and he continued to search and listen to teacher who could explain the fine lines and tricks of drawing. He was a sponge and took it all in.

When Disney came out with Snow white he ventured alone to the big city of San Francisco on the Greyhound bus. He only wanted to see the film as often as possible. He took note of every artist involved in
the film's making. He filled his very soul with the animation of that film.

The war picked him up right out his last days in high school. The young man left right after his June 8th birthday and
was quickly going on board to a land called Phillipines. He became a man with a uniform, a gun and all the trimmings for war.
They put him in the drafting dept. , he said he heard the shooting but he continued to do his work, he was under Mc Arthur, the General with the Pipe and a temper.

Returning from war he felt very fortunate as there was a GI Bill. This Bill gave him the possibility to go on with his studies and have some funds to work with. He studied under Amyx in Hartnell College and became a watercolorist. After 2 years he continued at Chouinard Institute which was then the very best art school on the West Coast. Edith Head and many of Disney people were teachers there. He had the best of the best. Later Chouinard was purchased by Disney.

He discovered in LA that Disney did not pay much to do the animation so he ventured on to San Francisco near his home town Santa Cruz. He took odd jobs, shipping in Macy's, made mattresses, then airplane tires, enough to keep him in Ice cream, brushes, paint and a small place to live.

Soon he had one man shows and started to make a name for himself. By 1968 the hippies took over the City by the Bay and he just could not handle all the changes. Returned home to mother and sister in Santa Cruz
he started all over again. In 1969 enters a new way of life, a wife and 2 children.
By 1970 he and the gang moved to Nerja, Spain. for almost 5 years. He was in heaven to be able to paint
around the small villages and continue his work on trompe l'oeil. By 1973 he won prestigious medals in Brussels together with medals from the City and a title :"Commandeur".
A new addition came into the family another Kensinger, a boy!

Upon returning to the USA we had the help of a special friend in WNC.Starting all over again, shows indoors and outdoors from Virginia to Florida, cut into his painting time so he hired an agent who did the
shows for him.

By the late 1990's he was diagnosed with Alzheimer. He never accepted that fact and as he grew older and sicker he did not understand it either. He still painted but it became quite hard, soon he would ask his wife how he should mix the background. His last painting about a gorgeous lily from the yard he made almost stick like figures for stems. Then he stopped.

He had made the upstairs of the house, a mansarde type of under the roof a set of rooms, his own, he had been shipping there when we did eBay with the stock from the antique shop we owned.
Now all he did was get boxes, behind stores he would look in dumpsters he would find treasured boxes.
The upstairs became :MINE! Do not enter! He became very suspicious of anybody coming into the house. Even to the point when he did not want his own son around. Followed by the wife who was kicked out of the bed.

Boxes upstairs collected treasures such as empty coke cans, pebbles from the driveway, bibelots objects from a shelf here and there. Things just left an empty mark on the shelf and life became hard for
every one. One can't imagine this very gentle soul , this old fashion gentleman, becoming this
type of grouchy, hurtful, violent person.

He passed on in 2010,
Enter the wife, the widow!
I went upstairs and had a hard time breathing. Boxes everywhere piled and piled into miniature towers.
No room to walk even, I could see the end of the rooms and they all seemed full.
I sat on the steps and cried my eyes out.
How could I, how could I ever see the rooms again.
I started slowly to pack the magazines in view, dozens of magazines from the Christian Science reading room which they put outside for FREE and he managed to always bring some home, under his arm and
go upstairs. I must have thrown out dozens and dozens. The job went slowly and the pain was harder and harder.
An abrupt stop came when I had a kidney removed followed by breaking my back just a week later.
Not recuperating very well from the fall I no longer went upstairs and tried to forget it.
Every spring my kids would say they would go and empty the second floor.
Kids have their own life and I was not demanding anything that I could not do.

So quite suddenly son and daughter jumped in "before winter" and started to empty the boxes and put them out to be cut and folded, grandson filled his truck, on his first ride to the dump he had 420 lbs on
cardboard all folded neatly in packages!!!!!Pebbles returned in the drive way. Photos being kept for later perusal, paintings discovered, treasures found again, notes on everything . He would write MINE on everything he could, that must have been years before his passing as he no longer could read not write on the last years. He must have felt his persona leaving him so he wanted to stake a claim on whatever:MINE was his new mantra.

Now and then the kids let me come upstairs during the clean up , it hurts, it hurts so much.
2 rooms done and one last one to be finished this week end.
Daughter hired a dumpster.
Real Estate people are becoming noisy! Many people want this house it is historic and in all original shape. I hope I can leave it feet first. I love this place been here since 1978or was it 77?

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