It’s a Saturday night in North Hollywood, and I’m about to take a painting class. It’s not just a regular painting class, though. Everyone involved will be at least a little bit stoned. There’s a big sign on the storefront with a cartoon joint and the words “Puff Pass & Paint.” I have a pre-roll in my purse, ready and raring to go.
Upon entering the studio, I’m welcomed by instructor Austa Martin, whose clothes are endearingly completely covered with paint. Beautiful paintings created by Austa and the other instructors lined the walls of the studio, even the bathroom. Along the tables, easels are set up with canvases, paint palettes, water cups, brushes, and of course, ashtrays. There are also a few completed reference paintings, each one a little different: a version of a cityscape sunset scene. This is the painting we’re going to be creating tonight.
As we wait for more class-goers to roll in, I chat with Austa about how she started teaching these…
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