[500 words on] Street Art

It started as a trip to meet a Self Publishing group at Austin Java…

I had a decided that I wanted to spend my dotage being a hack… I was not in the quest to become a “published author”; I did that- properly published by a traditional publisher, got paid, and everything- and that doesn’t interest me anymore. I don’t want to expand the breadth of knowledge and I want to create a work that has literary merit whatsoever…

I want to write the fun stuff- pulps, shoot em-ups, monster stories…and make a few bucks.

So I joined the Indie Writers/Self Publishing Community Meetup so I can find writers like myself that want to write because it’s fun, because they have crazy stories to tell and want to make a few bucks and are not at all worried about being called a ‘hack’. I was sitting at the table with them and I saw her.


She peeked over the guy clacky clacking on his laptop with her bright birds and found object / refrigerator art looks…. and I knew she needed to be on my wall.

I took the shot above, texted the Artist, Mike “Truth” Johnston, and agreed to meet for lunch…. over a burger and salad, he told me about the kids in his class as a Art Teacher as the inspiration for her and invited me to watch him and his brother paint.

And that’s how I ended up at Castle Hill.

Castle Hill is not a hill, persay… it’s more like an insanely huge flight of unfinished cement stairs filled with dirt and inclines on the outside of the structure that requires climbing gear or a total disregard for safety and the condition of your clothing. It takes up a city block on 11th and Baylor and is open to anyone who was the paint and the time.

This place is the very essence of art in the moment, a monument of the breath of life art adds to the inanimate object. You can hear Castle Hill’s inhales and exhales as she takes in the smell of paint, feel the ripples as she giggles as cold paint is applied, and with each completed piece, she stands a bit taller. After a while, she decides that she wants another look (doesn’t every girl?) and welcomes the next set of artists
and the next
and the next until she is a constantly changing, constantly moving beauty. If you are smart, you will snap a pic of the pieces of her couture that speak to you, lest she changes her mind while you are away. And I did…and the world stood still.
My mind wasn’t on what I was going to do next, or on what was hurting, or even the next pic. It was on that work, at that time. It was on her breaths and her jolts when met with the cold paint.
It was peace when I needed it.
I am so glad I met her.