Chapter 2 - How I Met Julian Ritter

Julian Ritter
I was a successful Contractor, with a love for art, having dabbled a bit myself in oil painting as a child.  I was privileged to meet Julian in Summerland California, in 1983*. Some would say he was crass, and uneducated, that he was rude, and a drunk. All those things may be true. And I Loved him.


Julian was the richest man I ever knew. Every day of his life he was blessed to do what he was passionate about. It was the essence of his soul to make art and to create Beauty. He imbued Spirit into his work. For the most part he did it on his own terms, some would argue to the chagrin of family, friends, and others at times. And yet, Julian succumbed to the financial realities and his fame. Painting Clowns and Nudes long after he wanted. He told me of the spiritual masterpieces he dreamed of, and also told me he was a "whoore~", for painting nudes for customers. That was after I had given him a sizable check, in deposit for a commission. And he laughed when he told me that, knowing all too well it was still his bread and butter.  


Julian didn't profess God, but he saw Spirit in life, in the life of everything. He told me about the Spirits in the Galilee. He told me about Spirits in all animals. Once, as I was about to step on a spider in his dining room, he shushed me, and told me to scoop the spider up and take him outside. Telling me all things had Spirit, and to never never kill Spirit. 

I was privileged to watch him paint and I was intimidated by him. Only because he was so amazing in my eyes. To watch him bring a painting to life by glazing over it with a rumpled up paper bag, and some color. To watch as he'd explain how to "turn" the figure using a cool compliment in the skin tones. To see the twinkle in his eyes, as his eyes gazed over a woman's body. When he painted a commission of my wife Yvonne, I had the audacity to ask him to fix the fingers on her hand. He had obviously (to me) not taken the time to render it, and paint it.  He told me, ` I don't make money painting hands. They pay me to paint tits and ass.'  Then he begrudgingly fixed it.


I learned later, that my request would have normally been cause for Julian to throw someone out of his studio. I think Julian liked me because I truly appreciated the Genius of his work. To this day I remember vividly, sitting in the studio watching him paint. Listening to Mozart, and watching the smoke waft upward from his pipe, and making sure his glass of Brandy was always full.  Julian liked his little Goodies, and I always took him a bottle of good Brandy. A "Goodie".





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