Slick’s an artist in any genre
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A show of paintings by retired rock ‘n’ roller Grace Slick opens at the Fingerhut Gallery in Sausalito on Thursday, but she readily admits that she hasn’t spent her lifetime preparing for a career at the easel. “I’ve been painting for about five years now.  I had done some sketching fro album inserts. When I was little, I used to draw angels, and my parents would make them into Christmas cards. And I took art for half a semester in college.”

On the other hand, creativity is creativity. “As long as I’m doing something in the arts, I don’t care what it is.” In painting, “you’re the one who has the final say, so its’ not an interactive thing. You can do exactly what you want to do. The negative part is that there’s no input.”

Most of Slick’s portraits are of fellow rock ‘n’ rollers, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the like. “I have an agent, and he says they sell.”

Slick seems to be a practical kind of artist, willing to take advice from someone monitoring the commercial end. “He will suggest overpainting,” she said of her agent. “Today, we can take the original, photograph it, put that onto another canvas, and it’s exactly like the original, but it doesn’t have chunks of paint on it. Then I play around with it, maybe changing it a lot, because I didn’t like the first version.”

  Jim Morrison by Grace Slick

Last summer, for example, Slick overpainted a flag in the background of a previous portrait of Joplin. Then last week, she overpainted the second version, smearing ashes on the flag. She coughs slightly and punctuates her conversation with pauses for inhalation.

The ashes were from her own cigarettes. “At the moment, I don’t do any other fun drugs, so that’s my killer of choice.” She smokes Winstons “because they don’t have any chemicals in them.”

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