Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 I'm Waking

I loved riding my bike when I was a kid about 11 and 12 in Southern California.   I sometimes would ride into the night up above the high school.  And it was there or somewhere around there that I first saw a guy on a motorcycle get hit by a car.  He seemed to be scrambling to get up I thought at the time his arms and legs moving back and forth and there was a lot a whole lot of blood on the street.  But then he stopped -he stopped moving entirely just laid there and an ambulance showed up.  So I kept riding and it was real dark when I got home.

It didn't seem gory to me, but for some reason it did seem sad, all the colors were dark and getting darker.

The second time was on Sunset Boulevard near the elementary school and me and my friend had stopped for the light.  We were just ready to get going again and I was thinking it was a pretty afternoon and a motorcycle pulled into the intersection.  A small car was passing us and hit it and spun it around and there on the street in front of me was a guy in a helmet, a green helmet and beautiful yellow leather jacket with his legs around the motorcycle.  I sat there and looked at the illimitable silence and stillness of his pose while cars passed.  I thought he is dead, how do I know that?, there is no blood,  I wonder, what should I do? I was woken as I heard the loud siren coming behind me.

I never talked about those guys to anybody, what could I say?


Sunday, December 30, 2012

thinking and painting

I don't find that thinking and painting mix well they don't for me.  I spent years figuring out how to stop thinking.  Of course I thought I should be thinking a little, sort of keep my eye on the ball or something, but then I realized that any and all thinking is bad. So I spent years figuring out how to stop thinking, how to get rid of criticism, how to just go in blank and paint. 

That was more difficult than I thought it should be.  In fact even when I achieved it, well afterward my reasonable voice the stupid overseer of the operation would always come in with idiotic dumb stupid comments.  -and the thing is, that stuff can fry your brain, demotivate you, ruin your thread, and in fact that fool can get you to move out years without painting.  You would be sitting there thinking hey I used to paint well I don't anymore you know kids and taxes and bills and work they just get in the way blah blah blah.  And if you go back to that guy he will say, I just thought that one painting was lousy, you asked and so I told you so.  You stopped painting on your own... 

Thinking is the worst thing in painting it seems to me.  I don't really think one needs inspiration either, you just need to not think, just clear your mind if you need to and paint. Now getting there took me a lot of effort, and thousands of mantras, thousands and thousands.  I would do them and then when I was exhausted run in and paint.

Sometimes, occasionally, I could get there without doing them, I'd just get up in the morning and paint. You can't do dumb things like watch tv or go on youtube or any of that stuff, you just gotta paint.  But when you start this mad routine, you can't open any mail or pay bills or talk to anybody or even take any phone calls, you can't care about a broken faucet or anything.  Just nothing. 

All you can or should do is paint.  For me these paintings are like little children and I love everyone of them ...and more importantly they have their own lives and I should just let them grow.  If I want to hate one, well I'll just make a new one and hate it I guess though of course that is not possible.  Just paint a new one.

Om eim sarah swat yei swaha.


Friday, December 28, 2012


I often start painting by the idea that I will copy some famous artist, say Motherwell, but I will do it even better. That last about two seconds, because I will start thinking, no let’s do Hiroshige, no Kenneth Patchen, no Miller, how about Tobey?

Meanwhile, back at the farm so to speak, I’ve already got paint on canvas.

And then the annoying, cloying little voice comes in saying

Copy me.

Ok, who are you?

No one.

What do you mean no one?

Giggle giggle.

Sickening. That of course is my demented childish subconscious, trying to be cute! Christ, talk like an adult for once. You are the oldest part of me. Standing there with his head bowed and hands folded. Do you think I can paint with this stupid conversation going on?

Don’t know.

Well I can’t.

Don’t care.

Ok, well how am I supposed to copy you, you dumb jerk? What have you done that I’m supposed to copy?


Oh, you are sooo deep.

Butt head.

This is insane. I am doing a Frankenthaler, I mean a Picasso.

Picabia, Pirandello. Petrarch, Penis face.

Those are not even painters, except Picabia, well I don’t think they painted. I need to look them up when I get done here…

my name

I always have to practice writing my name on sheets of paper before I sign anything, because if I don’t I won’t spell it right, or I’ll barge ahead and use a name that isn’t mine.

And in fact I never use my first name, because I simply cannot spell it correctly. Of course I do know how to spell it …but when I go to spell it, it just comes out wrong.

And when somebody asks my name, I am embarrassed, and I have to think, What is the name my parents have always used for me, what is that word?

In fact, when I meet people, I often feel the first name is false, it seems like a disguise, a sort of Halloween name they have put on to fool me, or a false identity. Not always though. Some of the names are right, I know they are, that is the person, that is their name, just like that.

So if you or some friend of yours knows my first name, please tell me.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Painter

This was one of the paintings in my show at Sweetwater's in Ann Arbor, Michigan.