Friday, August 30, 2013


Now they have torn out all the little sidewalks that go from the street to the house.  They are gone as is about half the street.  Gosh you sure kinda hope this is done right.  I know they did this in 2003 but the work and materials were so poor that they're doin it again.

Boards are erected along what used to be curbs.  And red string along that.  The giant wheeled trucks are going at it moving dirt from one place to another.  And I see heads poking out of holes like soldiers peering out of their trenches.

Really it is all a pain. the filth on the shrubs and trees on the windows and doors the sidewalks oozing in the house through to every corner each surface.  It is like tent living at a campsite.  Except without the fun the beautiful sites and excercise.  

It just doesn't seem to bode well.  I wouldn't be surprised to find them all gone one morning everything left as it is.  Filth dirt trash all still here.  It certainly has been an inspiration to the students.  They are leaving more and more trash in my garden.  Candy bar wrappers test results food bags straps and pieces of belts and strange small metal circular gears of some kind  announcements class schedules partial sheets of lined paper covered in script parts of every magazine known to man...

Although oddly it is all in English.  I hear every tongue on earth going down this street.  Urdu, Chinese, Japanese, Arabian,  four or five African languages like Yoruba Lithuanian every day Polish always Spanish French German Swedish Italian.  I feel like such an idiot.  I hold on to the parts of English I remember.  And I always wish I knew something anything.  Oh I've tried but I just can't learn it  nothin about nothin.

So shameful.  Such a flub. A worn out idiot. Well it is a ruckus out there now.  Some fast disintegration.

You know I never really expected anyone to read this blog.  Obviously.  I would try instead to be more intelligent more wise and introspective.  What I hoped for was that everyone would poor over these paintings, maybe ooh and aah or something more perceptive and insightful.  I thought I would be less lonely.  I even thought the guy who stole my paintings would have pity and return them.  After all he already has things with much higher value.  Just keep those and return the paintings.

Friday, August 23, 2013

leprechauns and elves

Well it looked like a giant industrial lemonade stand.  Two thick pieces of 6X8 foot metal joined together by four large metal columns close together on one end.  Covered with dirt.  Along with the entire street every yard.

The weird thing about this corporate lemonade stand was that there is a huge hole dug underneath it only partially covered by the stand itself almost as if it were saying step up get some lemonade and disappear.

And there is no lemonade no one manning the stand...!  

And there are four more of these strange stands  as you look up and down this street.  They are all slightly different each one made differently and some painted some very tall others not.

Could these be mad leprechauns ?  Tricky elves that live on the shore of the lake in the woods ?

One hardly knows.  It was so bizarre and quiet this morning.  It looks somewhat like those old photographs you see of Germany at the end of the war.

The wind blowing through brought gales of dust and dirt.  No cars came down the street.  It was closed.  Everything seemed wrecked. Bombed out.   

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Now this is fun

Now this is fun.  The outside is uncomprehendingly transforming itself to match my paintings.  I like it. Outside in the street there are giant trucks rolling by. And giant dirt lifters.  And concrete saws, and shovels and men in the gang colors of their corporation.  They have painted all their corporate gang symbols on the sidewalks why and even on my grass.  They have dozens and dozens of small flags in the dirt.

And last week they unloaded giant 20 foot long pipes one huge heavy load.   After they broke the street on the other side and finished digging a deep ditch they laid the pipes down there.

A couple of days ago a guy with a tall heavy machine with a big circular saw on it came down the street pushing it.  At the same time it cut through the street on my side and made a deep cut.  And  it spewed out dust and dirt everywhere.

In fact now the dust is everywhere covering every plant every sidewalk all the windows even the inside of the house.  It is all filthy.

And of course I am happy as it seems to me the world out there is doing its best to match my paintings.

They broke the water main last week while they were down in the ditch.  I had to run out and get a couple of gallons of water,  Otherwise we would be in big trouble.

The soil of the gardens is littered with trash.  And more is coming every day.  Especially as we live near the water of one of the great lakes.  And right by a college.  After a weekend the ground swells with the trash and bottles and cans of the college kids.

I begin to feel that the world likes my work and is here to show me an industrial sized work in progress, a giant piece of underground art, a group of artists focused on the thing they wish to make.

And when they get done in a couple of months all that will be left here is the dirt the dust the remnants and tatters of flags, like those left on the battlefield,  the gang symbols spray painted on the sidewalks.
And underneath the street quiet in the ground their blocks-long piece of art will sit there surrounded by the quiet earth.

The water and sludge will flow through the pies in some utterly complex dance,  picking up speed and slowing down, gathering trash and detritus, whizzing round deep into large circular cleaning pools, and somewhere miles away, it will all be dumped into the great recycler,  from which we get our fresh water once more...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August rolls along

This year well it has been busy I think and though August rolls along it doesn't roll with intensity.  Paintings just happen by accident as they will so to speak yet without the intensity of drive of having a locus of attention.

As with anyone's life a month occasionally just gets too many other focus points going and it moves painting back a step.  And its funny as the painting doesn't seem to mind almost as if it is saying Oh I'm sorry. Am I in the way?  Or maybe it says politely one morning, Sir would you care to paint this morning?

Not that I mind sir, yet you seem to be getting hopelessly low on paper.  Now I realize we have no money this month. And I was thinking we could use cardboard what do you think?

Yes I suppose you're right.  No cardboard itself is complicated this month.  

And I even wondered sir if the font is not changing beneath our feet.  It definitely seems larger or something.  It all just seems a bit out of balance.  Would you not agree?

I think though that the painting seems unchanged.  That is a good thing is it not?

Hmmm, probably it would be best for me, that is as the representative
of the paintings themselves, well it might be better for me to keep quiet and let the paintings talk. 

Except of course if you are afraid the paintings have nothing to say.  And that I am being manipulated to speak for the speechless.  And that could lead to embarrassing questions about your own personal commitment. 

-Don't kid yourself and don't try to kid me.  I know who you are and I know what you are.
You are the same hyper critical voice that always speaks inside me.  You have nothing of value to add.  Just go away.  I am tired of you.

Monday, August 5, 2013

the rod was bent

I was just watching this show about the modern guys like Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke but I didn't enjoy it.  Though I think that it's because they don't seem to know how to inject life and purpose into the modern guys...isn't that funny.  We have so much more information about them but we don't know what to do with it.   We don't know how to show the depth of their lives.

And its true of the artists also.  We seem to lack the tint we need to age and polish the image properly.  Now its not always true.  We've done well with John Lennon, Marylin Monroe, Jack Kennedy, and a few others.

But maybe it just takes time.  We did well with Picasso.  And the oceans of stuff coming out on his contemporaries makes me hopeful.

But still I now wonder if we have the heart to do well with people anymore. May be we can't. Just to much real tension for us yes?  But look at the writers of teen fiction.  Fabulous yes?  I have felt Jonathan Stroud to be a great writer.  And even the adult fiction writers like Cormac McCarthy who brings depth and passion to everything he writes.  But hold on a sec.  What I've been talking about are our biographies.  And in particular our filmed biographies.  That is another kettle of fish entirely.

Really one doesn't have to believe anything anymore.  Will we all now drag in our personal biographies?  It seems weak as a literary tool at least in a biography.  But come on, look at Errol Morris, think about that fabulous biography of Brian Eno.  Get a hold on yourself. One lousy movie and you're ready to jump off the deep end?

Don't these seem like curious pictures?  Kind of messy.  Lots of paint and collage, the entire kitchen sink.  I'm not sure what I think of them.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Bending of the Twig

I'm reading Mary Shelley Jules Verne Edgar Allan Poe Fitz-James O'Brien -this anthology of many interesting Science Fiction writers as they now call them. They used to be thought of in the regular literature.  But I like this distinction as it helps identify their work and separate the work of symbolism and imagination.

I think it was Robert Motherwell who traces the modern art movement to Edgar Allan Poe.  Though I would, though it may sound pretentious, trace my work to Mary Shelley.  It is her wild romanticism and unfurled imagination that appeal to me and her narrator's constant and vain attempts to gain the reader's sympathy seem so in keeping with my own work...

And even Fitz James Obrien's certainly over-the-top and mad discoveries echo my feelings clearly.

I often feel like his mad microscopist that I am part of a small world of scientists and discoverers of this new machinery.  And I often think the each of my successive paintings fall closer in the single drop of paint.

The sort of focus this mad spirit of Leeuwennhoek and his gorgeous love of nouns as adjectives which he provides plenty of space for, ah I love it.  It just feels so natural and once obsessed what else can one do, you just follow it.

The man who dies, added Van Tricasse solemnly, without ever having decided upon anything during his life, has very nearly attained to perfection. -Jules Verne

All this reminds me of Eno and his Oblique was certainly then, listening to him and to Phillip Glass that I felt my painting must not have so much work in any single piece, but must be constructed of accidents and must have the ethereal alienated static of withdrawal as their imprimatur.

would I be able to create a non-art as art?  I didn't know.  I still don't to this day.