mike fitts was always 'that talented guy' as long as I can remember. when I first met him he was working at a local magazine as the creative type. then his paintings started to pop up in town. paintings that made you stop in your tracks because they were just so real. from across the room you'd think, did he tape that coffee cup to that canvas? oh and wait, what is that canvas? wait, it's metal! and it just continued over the years: the paintings got bigger, more amazing, and, um, more expensive that I now ask myself, why didn't I buy one way back when?
mike's work is about those simple, mundane items that we see every day. items that we take for granted until we see one of his reclaimed, scrap metal canvases with precise and intricate detailing of that spoon we used to stir our coffee this morning that has been in the cluttered drawer for how many years? oh right, that spoon! I love that spoon! why don't I think about spoon more often? he leaves out all other information about the context or environment and forces us to meditate on that to-go coffee cup. it's a great exercise in mindfulness. I'm not sure that's mike's point but it works for me. the scrap metal background only reinforces that this item is something you might easily cast out of your life. mike has a way of seeing things that I appreciate and need to be reminded of.
so it was a no brainer to ask mike to paint on a pool bag. actually it was just a little selfish. I was even brash enough to suggest what I would like to see on the side of a pool tote. note, he didn't paint what I had suggested, but I'm still hoping for next year.
in the meantime, let me present 'popsicles'. you want one, don't you?