I spent a week in West Nashville painting on a long white wall for Off The Wall Nashville — An initiative to help reinvigorate a busy somewhat industrial corridor on the west side of Nashville that is beginning to “wake up” again. Some folks run away from a beast soon to wake — others cook it breakfast.
I was lucky enough to have a week of dry weather. Dry weather is good for painting. A lot of sun and dry air is good to bind paint to a cinder block wall. I drank water out of a big jug and I spent most of my time on a ladder along Charlotte Avenue. I thought I would have time to do a few other art projects while I was there but I did not. I ate a lot of cherry tomatoes and took notes of the street characters that would walk pass my painting in progress. I ate seven (7) bananas and laid the peels out end to end on the sidewalk pointing towards the west. That is the general direction bananas tend to migrate in the late summer.
I finished the project the evening before I had to leave town. When I sat across the street and looked at what I had left on the wall I felt good inside. I was dirty and mean and had dust in one eye but I felt good.
I got to see and meet some great folks while in Nashville. I saw the Van Lears play at the Hutton Hotel. I saw a couple of the Futurebirds and we took selfies. I ate at Wild Cow vegan restaurant and laughed a lot. I visited with new friends at Dino’s under a wooden Dolly Parton and I connected all of the dots at the Wilburn Street Tavern. I met friends that hand-letter signs and ride in stagecoaches full of gold leaf — friends that live on a farm in a converted bus with a van welded to the top — friends that like ramen and have an album coming out soon — white-haired auto mechanics with cigarettes glued permanently to their bottom lip that helped me out of a jam — people in the parking lot that wanted to talk about my painted van — a guy that told me where I was when I was a little lost — a man from a scene in the Dukes of Hazard that pointed me to the gas station and then told me how he had to replace his fuel tank on his truck — the smiling guy with a braided beard like a warrior troll — the tough-man personal trainer at the gas station that lauded my accolades — Jennifer the flower lady who sold newspapers on the corner and the guy with a tiny dog in his bike basket. Oh yes, and a man in a purple suit named King who told me ” Love was always a necessary ingredient in whatever you do.”
I hope people enjoy the art I left behind on the wall on Charlotte Ave. I would like to go back soon and see all my friends. I hope the banana peels are still there or if not I hope they are basking in the western sun.
Here is a little video I made about a big painting.
see you soon,
Kyle BlackCatTips Brooks