I first went to Los Angeles when I was 18 years old en route to Fiji. It was a fascinating trip staying in Sunset Boulevard. I was so surprised seeing so many homeless people and the ambivalence of the locals towards them. I love the musical Sunset Boulevard which was on in London last year with Glenn Close playing the fabulous Norma Desmond. I can imagine her staying in a beautiful yet fading Hollywood house surrounded with tropical plants and tended to by her butler. I couldn’t get over how difficult it was to walk around the City. I then understood why Joe said “if i lose my car it’s like my legs have been cut off.” Although I’d been to the US as a child because my Aunt lives in California, the first time as an adult was confusing to work out the tipping policy. I am still not sure if I know the right amount to tip.
I remember visiting a hotel, possibly the Standard where there was someone sleeping under the reception desk as a form of art installation… I found it very funny. Having said that the actress Tilda Swinton did a similar thing for an artist and slept in a glass box in a museum during the day and people came to watch this living exhibition.
We went to Chateau Marmont and had drinks which reminded me of The Wolseley. We also spent New Years at a house party in the Valley. I was reminded of Los Angeles when I watched the well-written and beautifully drawn animation Bojack Horseman. If you haven’t already watched I highly recommend it. It’s dark but funny and I think captures the desperation and loneliness of Hollywood life. I found LA very odd but also quite refreshing in it’s difference and multiculturalism.
I am learning to use acrylics and watercolours. I find the best way to learn to paint is by copying the brushstrokes and markmaking by artists. The paintings here are influenced heavily by David Hockney and Duggie Fields. I am also listening to the soundtrack of Sunset Boulevard whilst doing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOMR6ecEPXI&list=PLh5ruKhja3nLQhD73fR9D3fglqoRAX069&index=2