Finding Cheap Thrills from the Artwork of Robert Crumb to Avi Katz

Finding cheap thrills ain’t easy.

I know — for years I’ve looked and only had limited success.

And I love cheap thrills.

Don’t we all?

Cheap addictive thrills.

We run for them, grab them, and hold them tightly.

I reminisce tightly holding Janis Joplin’s album, “Cheap Thrills” as if it were yesterday.

A vibrant, psychedelic comic book of a cover—painted by underground cartoonist Robert Crumb.

The jacket captures the essence of  hippiedom.

(Hippies being the inventors of cheap thrills—they were poor and liked to experiment by putting things in their mouths.)

On that cover, Crumb drew a picture for every song on the LP. (For the young—long playing):

I Need A Women To Love;

Summer Time;

Take A Piece of My Heart;

Ball & Chain;

Oh Sweet Mary.

Oh, how I picture Janis on the stage belting out those songs.

Today this art lover moves on from Robert Crumb to Avi Katz.

Avi’s watercolors found in the Times of Israel are thrilling and they are cheap. (free)

Every morning, along with my cup of Columbian coffee (another one of pretty cheap thrills), I search the TOI featured blog posts for Avi’s handiwork.

To become an aficionado of Avi’s impressionistic style, here’s what to do:

Study Avi’s painting as if you were a student in an art appreciation class;

Capture every detail Katz incorporates in his watercolors—by scanning the painting inch-by-inch;

Picture Avi’s mastery of dipping his brushes into pigments suspended in a water-based solution and dabbing the brush on paper;

Admire Katz’ selection of colorful pastels: blues, yellows, oranges, red and greens;

Praise Avi’s ability to bleed paint colors on paper—like our college madras shirts did in the Sixties;

Observe Katz’ mastery of details, when he takes the written words of a blog and converts them to art;

Then, when one of Avi’s painting pleases your eyes and touches your heart, print it, and hang it on your bookcase.

As a lover of art, I praise both Robert’s and Avi’s talent, their award-winning style and their artistic genius.

Remembering to thank both of these gentlemen for giving me a whole bunch of cheap thrills.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. ChatGPT says, Mort is known for his works that often explore themes of love, loss, and the human connection. Laitner has published several books , including “A Hebraic Obsession.” His writing style is characterized by its emotional depth and introspection. Laitner’s works have garnered praise for their heartfelt expression and keen insight into the human experience.
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