Sunday, July 28, 2013

changed guitar strings today

I changed my son's guitar strings today.  And they sound a bunch better too.

They came back from camping.  New kind of butter up there.  I'm almost out of paper.

I'm gonna put the nickel strings on the electric.  They'll sound like my dad's old strings.

And I changed the light bulbs in the basement finally.  And found some decent no. 2's at Target.  They use rubber and cedar...!

Got some new cards.  The old ones went camping.

You can't take my youngest to the movies without milk duds...

We also got some double A's so he can keep making movies with his camera...

And last, not least we went to that store and bought all sorts of "strange" candy for him to try.  That was a bunch of fun...!

I know now that there is no one thing that is true.   It is all true.  -Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

awake an' a'workin'

So -often really- when I'm workin' on something I will go on workin' on it the whole day.  We all do that don't we? An sometimes the next day sometimes for weeks at a time... 

In a way its just a simple idea at least in one concept.  But of course the devil is in the details.

And those details can get very complex and very difficult to sort out, if in fact they actually get sorted out.

I love it when they do.  Then things just happen and it's like floating on the grass, dreaming and staring at the clouds.

Then sometimes it feels like I'm in a castle somewhere with all these bottles around me mixing up dangerous potions and testing them on some sort of responsive paper.  Can the creation be complete? 

Have I mixed the right formula?  Will the application respond today?  ...will it have the energy and movement I wish for it?

Will someone look at it and say -by god he's done it...! it has a life of its own, it can talk back to me.

It is actually flowing on the paper...! It has its movement.  The pieces of paper floating in it like trash in a stream...

I always reach for those things...I usually  have a particular base I wish to use.  So that I don't have to think about it.

In art one idea is as good as another. --Willem de Kooning

And no one knows I don't think exactly where this will ever end up.  Not with a single picture nor with a hundred of them.  I've read about as much as I can from different artists, at least the ones I admire,  and it seems they all say about the same thing.  And they couldn't be more different from each other.

I don't know how to organize thoughts.  I don't know how to have thoughts. --Jasper Johns

They are all simply people just like you and me though many of them are breath-takingly more insightful and more articulate than we could ever hope to be.  And some ain't.

  John Cage said that fear in life is the fear of change.  If I may add to that: nothing can avoid changing.  It's the only thing you can count on.  Because life doen't have any other possibility, everyone can be measured by his adaptability to change. -- Robert Rauschenberg

Sunday, July 21, 2013

see? black sort of

well...not this first one...its not black at all. The title is after all, black sort of...

this second one it is blackish kind of...kinda brownish with white...

Here we go...I mean this one is black in a way...and gray too...

Well now the reason these are here is because I made them and so here they are...I don't publish everything I make cause I make too much...that must be true for everybody I would think...ain't it?...well I don't really know exactly...I don't know many artists...the best ones I know around here don't make anything but they are still really least I think so.

It always seems like they must make a Josh Smith...of course now you can't see much of his work at all not anymore...he has a gallery now and that is usually the end of least for most artists......take down the website please we will show them at the gallery...the best of them...and then slobs like me can't go and see the miracle of their is so sad.   Josh used to have a website that went on for miles and miles...endless pages of oceans of website I ever saw...

You know I think it would be so fun to go to the Josh Smith museum...if there was one of course...and the Robert Rauschenberg and for god's sake the Motherwell  and the Rothko.   Why don't we have those?...and to be honest I want one too...small...kind of shabby looking...with boards all over the place and carboard...and egg cartons while we can still get them...and a book room in there...and a music room...for jamming...well aren't I an egotist, hey?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

messy messy

really I gotta get caught up...I like this first one...I think it makes me happy for some seems interesting to me what with its contrasts and strong image...or so it appears when I see it.

Now what you see is different of that I am sure...your favorites...if indeed you may be said to have any...why they are all different...different know all that stuff.

And of course I'm not sure I think about that stuff....composition takes care of itself ...and colors, I don't know  I just want Indian Yellow...I'm out of it right now.

Yet it might be that certain colors demand certain that is difficult for me...actually I don't like it with other colors...and I don't really like most of the blues...I like ocean blue that's pretty...though I never see it in the lake ever...that lake goes from brown to cement.

Now don't think I don't use blue...I do...just not right now.  I'll get to it soon.

And speaking of blue...what's happened to black?...well I have it in every one of these pieces above...of course that second one it's got smoke in it too...

Now this last one is my just has one color...well sort of...if I were a real know dead that is...and always thinking about something, uhh serious...why I'd be happy to be Mark Rothko...though I suppose one can't do that anyway.  You can't say when I'm dead I'll be Mark Rothko...there's no room there....maybe I could just sit in the corner and that won't work either.

So that's the problem as you can see...I can only be me.  And even if none of these paintings has an iota of merit as they call it I think...they are all I got.  These images somehow keep calling filters and all...

peace had its chance

I really ought to learn to put these paintings up without having to say anything.  It would be so much easier...then you could come, look at them...then move on without me having to think of anything...what's to say...I can't explain...explicate...analyze...and let's face never have a word to say...I don't really get many comments anyway.

now I'm not saying you're required to make comments....not at all...these little fellows stand proud...they say -good are you....then they snuggle up in a box with glassine between them and sleep...

they hold conversations and tell stories...good conversation used to be required...this fellow above was talking about his construction.  You know I didn't realize it at the time I came together but I am quite about pencils don't cha know?....not just that photograph...but the pencil box...and the chapter on addition...and even the light bulbs...and the get real know pencil work, especially addition, why that was the "real stuff" when my creator was young.

though I admit it didn't seem to impress him...though maybe it did after all...he just didn't like it I guess...I can remember...long ago...he always wished to make a large chart on some piece of "chart paper" a graph...with lines and arrows and tons of pencil would look you know like he knew something...but before he could get to it why they stopped making that cool graph paper...very sad.

I was just you know if they still make that large blue architect paper?  It would be fun to make a large Robert Rauschenberg like he you remember it...he lay on the paper in the sun and made a profile of was very beautiful.

Friday, July 19, 2013

have you gotta match?

There is a wonderful passage in Hans Christian Anderson where a Danish guy is attempting to marry a beautiful Turkish princess -and to do so he must tell a story to her mother and that is both funny and entertaining and also moral and uplifting...

A match on the hearth begins the story by saying we matches here used to belong to a huge and important family.  In fact we were part of the trunk of that magnificent tree.

And in those days many times we were the only tree that could stay green all during the winter.

There were many parts to the tree, many different branches and even smaller related trees in the immediate vicinity.

Now the five of us that are left are here to light the hearth each night and we are proud to have this service for who does not wish for a warm fire on these cold nights...though I of course resent lighting the fire for an heretoclite who with his ugly spirit has stolen the rest of the matches, -and now hides them in his storage unit thinking to somehow sell them later -and quite frankly I would be happy to see him caught, put on trial, convicted, and put in jail for ten years...and indeed this may yet happen.

Monday, July 15, 2013

now what was I thinking

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story -Irish saying

Now the truth is about half the time I put up a new painting I secretly cringe.  I want it to be better somehow.  And I'll stare at it and try to figure it out -which I never can.  And that's how I can keep putting up new ones.  They are all just what they seem to be I guess.

And I don't know what that is.  And that's how I keep painting.  And painting almost always makes me happy.

You know the odd thing in my ocean of memories is that I usually can only remember a few incidents at a time, like one or two,  but at the risk of sounding maudlin, I know that there are people who have made an indelible impression on me who touch my very soul and those people I cannot always remember.  Even the geography is lost.  And yet I keep trying to recall.

And I think that in some way I am making paintings that will help me to recall those moments of change when someone I've seen or talked to has given me something that cannot be lost.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

crawling through to the past

If you know how to look, our body becomes a time capsule that, when opened, tells of critical moments in the history of our planet and of a distant past in oceans, streams and forests.  Changes in the ancient atmosphere are reflected in the molecules that allow our cells to make bodies.  The environment of ancient streams shaped the basic anatomy of our limbs.  Our color vision and sense of smell has been molded by life in ancient forests and plains.  -Neil Shubin

For all the knowledge he compiled, Pliny concluded that -among all things, this alone is certain:  that nothing is certain, and that there is nothing more proud or more wretched than man.

My wife and I were driving home the other day.  I was driving through a green light at an intersection when a woman on foot suddenly appeared.  She was running. fast running. and she stomped down her foot about a foot from the car.  I looked at her. She looked at me.  There was anger in her face.

I said to my wife -this girl wishes to get hurt.  Why is she testing herself against the car?  This is the same girl I saw the other day standing in the middle of the street in the middle of the intersection on a four lane street looking at me as I came up on a green light.  She put her hands out with her arms and fingers spread in a classic gesture and gave me the whadda gonna do run me over?

Then she turned away and walked directly in front of cars coming the other way.  Breaks squealed horns honked.  I had, thank god, just stopped in the middle of the intersection.  Cars honked at me people screamed at each other. But no one got hurt.  My wife said she is not testing herself against the car.  She is testing herself against you.  

But I know her now.  Now I will keep my eyes open for her.  She will not get to test me again.

Friday, July 12, 2013


As an albatross is both burden and good luck and seems to easily represent one or the other so do my paintings to me.  They all seem to have a sort of neotenicity that quality of being frozen in the teenage development stage and unable to grow out of it...they sometimes irritate me though I do love them.

ahh why can't they grow to represent something that all great art does  -the truth that comes from completely and honestly representing the artist himself and showing his vision in its strictest form.

When I think of this vision I think of complete accident no explanation no form recognizable no materials which act as a skeuomorph to an earlier form no effort except -simple anxiety self consciousness embarrassment those terrible qualities of adolescence that have no traction 

Perhaps, contrary to Plato's allegory of the cave, we sometimes only see the real once we have seen its shadow in art.  -Casper Henderson

The true measure of a mountain's greatness is not its height but whether it is charming enough to attract dragons  -Chinese poem

Ah ! well-a-day !  What evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.  -S
amuel Coleridge