I have been a big admirer of the works of NC Wyeth for a long time. You might remember his illustrations from your favorite classic YA adventure novels (now assigned texts in college 19th Century and turn of the century literature classes), books like Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Last of the Mohicans, A Boy’s King Arthur, Kidnapped, The Yearling, Robin Hood, The Deerslayer, etc. Very popular books in the early 20th Century with themes and storylines still made into movies today.
I loved his style! BIG color, lots of drama, action, adventure, stunning landscapes. I wished I could paint like that ever since I saw my first Wyeth up close at Texas Tech University. But I was a cartoonist at the time, and an occasional portrait artist, and I was working towards a PhD in Creative Writing. I wasn’t thinking of myself as an Artist, nor was I think of myself as an Artist who was going to study Wyeth.
As a gay man, growing up so Other from other boys, I had a peculiar relationship with the World of Boys and Men (which I will write about more in a later post) and that was a world that belonged to Wyeth as well. I had felt excluded for a long time from that world, and made up for it by being in other worlds. But I lingered outside the borders often and looked in at Things Which Were Not For Me.
So I pursued writing and teaching as a career, making art wait.
But in the last few years, my teaching situation changed, and it was difficult to find work as an adjunct teacher. I also continued to almost make it in the job market for tenure track positions. So i decided to make a change in my life–to build my art career–because I needed the money, a new source of income, and my art had waited long enough.
If you’re talking to someone on the Internet, skyping them and getting to know them, seeing if they’d be cool to date, and you live far across the continent from each other, let me suggest that rather than have one of you fly all the way to the other’s house, that you meet in Seattle instead.
Seattle is a great and easy city to explore–and is neutral territory for both of you. You have the freedom to explore, or not, the city around you. And there’s no pressure to meet friends or relatives on a first date. And everything is new to both of you (or relatively—one of you may have actually visited Seattle). We gave ourselves five days. And this was a good time-frame.
This might work for any couple! Yukoners are always looking for a nice short trip. Maybe you’re already a couple and you want to get out and see a new city. This plan for a Seattle trip will work for you.
1. In Seattle’s favour, they created the CityPass (many large cities offer this) consisting of six fun-filled things you can do at your leisure over nine days for one price ($74). They include the Seattle Aquarium, the Space Needle, the EMP museum (science fiction and rock/roll), the Pacific Science Center (with IMAX), a harbour cruise, and a choice between the zoo or the museum of Flight. No tickets up front–so no pressure on when you have to go. You can do them in any order, at any time in nine days. Don’t feel like walking through the zoo? Go to the IMAX. Too foggy for the Needle? Go to the sci-fi/pop culture museum. (Was a great exhibit on the black leather jacket in pop culture–as well as Captain Kirk’s command chair.)
2. Get a hotel next to the majority of these. Let me suggest the Best Western Executive Inn Plus, next door to the Seattle Center. The Seattle Center has three of those six places in the CityPass–plus a lot more. You’d be a block away from The Pacific Science Center, the Needle and the EMP.