...I've been bullied into re-entering the antiquated world of actual oil painting. I would have thought, bullying being the hot topic of the moment, that my story would have reached sympathetic ears down at the Bullying Support Group, but no, there seems to be some kind of arbitrary and grossly unfair age limit placed on this phenomenon. But now's not the time to ascend to the bully pulpit; this is about oil painting and the fact that I have not touched brush to canvas since back in the misty days when we had to grind our own pigments, and I don't mean that as a metaphor for you-know-what, although it coincided with certain discoveries in that field. After toiling for an entire semester on a single self-portrait, during which time I came to loathe my subject, I scrubbed my brushes with a turpentine-soaked rag, and once again I'm not speaking metaphorically, and hung up my palette knife. For good, I thought. But no. Here comes Doug Clarke, grabbing me by the scruff of the neck and tossing me into Jerry's Artarama, and what it cost me to ransom myself out of there is too horrific to speak of. Suffice it to say that if I had spent a similar amount on Puffy Cheetos, I would never have to buy another Cheeto again. So now I'm supposed to set up my easel next to Bernard & Co. and practice the art of bygone days. You know those insufferable twits who gather together to play "early music" on instruments with names like crumhorn and psaltery and who sound like a barbershop quartet of AFLAC ducks? Well, that's how I'm going to feel when I get the nerve to carry this crap to drawing group.