Monday, July 23, 2007

Port Sydney Trip: Day 2-5

I started painting... I hung out with some people, met a fan, painted, skateborded, got stiches on my chin, got a sweater, prayed, kissed my girlfriend, played camp games, ate camp food, got a free sweater, painted, painted, painted and eventually came back home carrying 46 cans of paint on my back while I walked from London to Dorchester at 3:00 am. I prayed while I was walking asking God for the spiritual gifts that I talked about with lionheart and I began to speak in tounges for the first time. Very exciting week all in all. It was wierd meeting a fan who had a collection of pictures of my work who I've never met. People who I've met have liked my work, or strangers who are fans have contacted me and stuff but I've never stumbled accross a real fan by accident before.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Port Sydney Trip: Day 1

I got back from Ohio and I arrived in London to pick up my fiance Tara who I'd be traveling with on this trip. I was going up to a christian children's camp to paint thier skatepark and figured it'd be nice to have her around for this as sort of a vacation for her. I didn't like using just stock tips and rust-oleum paint for the last few days so I decided to stop off at the graffiti store before we left. The store was closed but the guy let me in anyways and I got some tips and 5 cans of nice paint. It was a very freeing experience to know that I would paint with good paint again, it's been a few months since I've had that luxury. The trip by bus was a lot more comfortable than any other trip because Tara was there, it was really relaxing and certain things are easier with two people (ex. I'll watch the bags you go get food). We arrived in Brace Bridge at 2:20am where we expected to be picked up but no one was there. We called the camp but no one was answering, we left messages but no one showed up to pick us up. We waited 'till 6:00am when the lady at the motel nicely hinted that maybe it was time for us to leave. So we called a cab to take us to Camp Mini-Yo-We where Oliver the guy who was supposed to come get us apologized for the mix up he thought we meant 3pm not 3am.

Ohio Trip Again: Day 4

Woke up really early and one of the Bikers gave me a ride back into town to catch my bus. Before I left Lionheart told me to seek after the spiritual gifts he's been talking about all week because I'll need them for what I'm supposed to do next. I talked with the biker who gave me a ride about the church's relationship with art from a biblical and historical perspective. I took a couple of really nice guys from Detroit out for lunch. I met a couple traveling back by bus from Guatemala and arrived back in London all set for my next trip in a few hours.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ohio Trip Again: Day 3

Well it was the big day M:Y fest was here and I was kinda nervous , especially when lionheart told me I'd be doing some public speaking but not to prepair for it. I was part of a few skits and just told a little bit about myself and what I do. I started painting a 4x8 board some kids wanted their t-shirts painted and one guy brought over his truck to paint outta nowhere so I painted the truck. He said he was going to take it to the rodeo and show it off. The first plywood piece was raffled off to a kid who gave it to a youth centre. I finished the second painting late and after the last band played on stage at the festival Lionheart got up in front of the crowd and said he was going to raffle off the last painting. He called me up to the stage and said something like...

"we're not in the habit of glorifying anyone of us but let me tell you about this guy battle. He's been painting since 1:00 and when a truck showed up he said let's paint that too and he kept painting until 11:00. His car broke down before he came here but he said 'I still wanna come out and support M:Y fest' so he took a 12 hour bus ride to get here. You Christians wanna learn about perseverance take a lesson from Battle... and ain't nobody pay his way and he's trusting God to get him back home. We want you to know something... No matter what you've done or what you've been through Jesus is waiting to hear from you."

And he went on to give an impassioned short message of the redemptive power of Jesus and Jesus' ability to turn a life around. I stepped off the stage with a slight feeling of embarrassment from being haled as an example of perseverance. When some guy came up to me and gave me a handshake with some bills in it. Embarrassed I reluctantly accepted it and realized Lionheart's "and ain't nobody pay his way" comment prompted this generosity. Fearing more awkward exchanges I made a bee line towards the truck where I planned to wait out the rest of the night. Then I hear a woman shouting "Battle!" but I ignored it until she was so close and so loud that I couldn't pretend I didn't hear her and another awkward exchange occurs. The second board that I painted ironically went to a fellow graffiti artist named "Windex" I talked with him for a long while about God, Graffiti and the law. Lionheart tracked me down and delivered a fist full of donations given to him on my behalf and I told him I didn't like accepting money. He told me that I better get used to it, you didn't ask for anything and these people are getting blessed by the act of giving and you are getting blessed by the act of receiving and it just covered the cost of my bus tickets.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ohio Trip Again: Day 2

Got up in the morning and helped Lionheart and a few guys get some of the bikes ready for tomorrow. It was really cool to be working on the bikes: running cables, banging spacers, bleeding fluid, tightening stuff up and connecting wires. Three of us put together the front end of a bike and some other people watched and some polished chrome. Some neighborhood kids came by and I painted their skateboards and mopeds. Lionheart is an evangelist and he put on some pressure to tell the kids about Jesus. His style of conversation and mine are very different, Lionheart is very bold and blunt about spiritual things, I try to connect with people, listen to their issues and when they hint that they want me to respond I speak whats on my heart. I love just hanging out with Lionheart it seems that everywhere we go he's reaching out and telling people about Jesus, it's awesome to see. Lionheart talked to me about the five fold ministry, the nine spiritual gifts, speaking in tongues, demon's cast out, a blind man given sight, a cancer patient made well, two KKK members accept Jesus. It's all fresh and new since my last trip, it's amazing, and it's happening all around me, every few minutes something incredible happens. We talked about knowing the bible V.S. knowing spiritual things. I realize I may have knowledge of the bible but some things I know very little about. I gotta pray hard. I'm so thankful that God has arranged for me to be here at this time.

Ohio Trip Again: Day 1

I'm on my way to Ohio again to meet with Lionheart and paint at an outreach event the're having here. On the bus ride I talked to a buddist monk from Lao who's master died last month. I was expecting more from him. Like him to be really deep and, and have like an aura or something, he didn't, he just had a safety orange robe that made it look like he was glowing. He invited me to his temple I said I don't think I'll be going but thank you for the invitation. on the next bus I talked to a guy named Mac who was on off-Broadway actor and a christian. Nice guy, we talked about both of our failures to be evangelists in the traditional scence, ecclesiastes, art, drama, the death of a salesman etc. He liked my work so much that he wanted something I'd done so, I sketched his name with a cross and a mask and a bible quote and he said he was going to hang it in his dressing room wherever he goes so people know what he's about (the cross). He offered to pay me but, I told the customs lady that I wouldn't sell any art while I'm down here (not that I ever sell any art ever) . In Columbus I talked to a guy from Kalamazoo (where my last trip was) whose dad was a pastor. While I was on the buses and waiting at layovers two different people made the same comment to me, at different times and it's not a common comment. They said "don't give up". Lionheart is still the same friendly guy I came to love my last trip, he drove to Columbus at 2:00 am to pick me up and has been looking for a car for me last week which is really a little too generous. He's got a lot of work to do tommorrow to get ready for this event coming up.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sketches 27