Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christopher Marvin

I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body and mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination. -William Blake

…I mean does it ever feel like you're being continually indexed, syntaxed, unquoted…some mad indexy universe with mad rules everywhere, that everyone understands except you, rules that change everyday and are transferred instantly, simultaneously to the universe except not to you?

…how when you are young you can see that adults "don't get it"….and as you get a little bit older it is obviously the "old people who don't get it"  because they are "out of touch".

…and as you get olde like an antique you feel, "you realize" there is no "it" to get…there is only kindness and blah blah…? …and at the end there is only the end…and at that moment all your thoughts will disappear and the only way you will be remembered is through some stupid grandson who goes around "quoting" you with mind mass composite hardened turds of thought?...

…probably each of us must write and paint and express only to desperately wish to leave some crumb of ourselves here…but it is impossible…can't be done…

Ah Chris I will miss you…you were my friend for a short time when we both lived in Rustic Canyon and we walked through the woods…you taught me to recognize poison oak…and of course, how to smoke…
And I remember your father the first and only adult to meet me a who demonstrated such curtesy and showed such great respect...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

steadfastly along the nerve

The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one's own intimate sensitivity.  -Anne Truitt

Of course you always gotta worry when using quotes like that that they may seem self serving…but not really because you are only writing this for yourself.  The quotes work for you so use them. done.

And now I find I am trying to make really ugly things.  Something it seems kids are always into I guess or who knows.  It's all challenging.  I mean just to make something…anything…I just get in an ugly mood I suppose.

But I don't know.  Things just turn up.  Boom here's a new site on synaesthesia, the condition I always related to Arthur Rimbaud, and suspected must turn out almost everywhere.

And then then here's one of my Cocteau least that's what I call them.  They just keep popping up…I don't know why.

Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things -Edgar Degas

Thursday, November 21, 2013

speaking to myself

Like earthworms, whose lives are spent making more earth, we human beings also spend ourselves into the physical.  A few of us leave behind objects judged, at least temporarily, worthy of preservation by the culture into which we were born.  The process is, however, the same for us all. Ordered into the physical, in time we leave the physical, and leave behind us what we have made in the physical. -Anne Truitt

So for the most part I am talking to myself.   It's just how it is.  Nobody else really comes here.  Its just me visiting me and that's about it.  So the things I talk about are the things that seem satisfying to me whatever they may be.  Though it is mostly memory -as it pops up actually.   Not some -Now I will Remember...cause that doesn't work at all…And actually, I don't know that I have a good memory.  Like most people, things just come to me.

I wish I could remember more of the things I wrote about my mom and dad that month after she died.   Those things were a terrible loss for me.  Sorry -what I mean is both the theft of those paintings and her death was a terrible loss.  I had inserted original photographs and notes, their signatures, stuff that cannot mean anything to someone else except as the pleasure of causing loss…That itself seems perverse to me.

But those paintings are gone at least for now.  Maybe they will pop up sometime when the thief is caught for some other crime.

I really should probably be getting somewhere what with all these notes.  Some revelation some insight that could send me on trip through the channels of the eternal ethereal world.  And I could come back with a renewed and new outlook.

Yep that would be cool though I doubt that can happen.  I am afraid I am to earth bound and too circumspect in my intellect.  But you can always wish hey?  Take me through the diaphanous membrane of the world and teach me the way to live to express to relate.

The truth is I will be happy if only my paintings can speak honestly.  I prefer their language.  Mine should be obliterated.  In fact that is what I may be trying to do with my painting.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Space Condominium

Space is all one space and thought is all one thought, but I divide my space into spaces into spaces into spaces and my thought into thoughts into thoughts into thoughts -like a large condominium.  Occassionally I think about the one space or about the one thought -but usually I don't.  Usually I think about my condominium. -Andy warhol

My paintings always ask me "Am I pretty?" and I usually respond, "Yes you are pretty, but I wish you were not."  And then my painting responds "But why do you wish me not to be pretty?"  -and I think about it and try to articulate my answer. -I never can quite explain it.  I mean I'm happy my painting is pretty, but then I am afraid that is all it can ever be.  What I really want is for my painting to blow my mind, to express a fraction of eternal emptiness, to touch the vast field of grief that surrounds me and flows through me.

One time when we went for a walk up the hills around Will Rogers park, I first saw these old old cars deep in the grasses down by the stream.  -I know now they were from the early forties maybe late thirties…but they appeared ancient, full of bullet holes, and the bullet holes made me feel uneasy.

There were some holes that I recognized could only come from a machine gun, like a tommy gun.
I didn't want to look inside them because I felt they'd be full of snakes…but the outsides were so full of beauty, the original color faded and transmogrified to a light green.  I thought and dreamed that me and my friend could tie giant ropes to them and drag them home where I would set them up in my family room or at least in the lot next door.

But then I thought we will only just pull off the bumper.  And with a sort of desultory finality I thought we don't have any giant ropes.  Then I wondered could we even move this car with our twelve year old bodies.  Would my mom let us keep them?  Would Neil want to drag one of them up Sunset Boulevard
and set it up outside his house on Radcliffe Avenue?  I gave up.

And the next year we moved.  We moved into a nightmare where everyone was a wrecked car, everyone had bullets through them, the entire brain population was faded light green, and it all lay there waiting for something, though I knew not what.

I have nothing to say and I'm saying it. -John Cage

From great consciousness vision Harlem 1948, buildings standing in Eternity
I realized entire universe was manifestation of One Mind-
My teacher was William Blake -my life work Poesy
Transmitting that spontaneous awareness to Mankind -Allen Ginsberg

cat eyes

I'm sure I used these in my blog early in the year.  But the last few days I have struggled with them trying to create a folder the way they say I outta…and I have learned to relike them somehow…maybe there is some recognition or some looking at them later on…I really don't know for sure…maybe its just this wrestling with them…I still can't do what I'm trying to...

Each one of us, in his timidity, has a limit beyond which he is outraged.  It is inevitable that he who by concentrated application has extended this limit for himself, shall have aroused the resentment of those who have accepted conventions which accepted by all, require no initiative of application.  And this criticism generally takes the form of meaningless laughter or criticism. -Man Ray

My daughter, when she was about seven years old, asked me what I do at work.  I replied I work at the college and that my job is I teach people to draw -she stared back at me incredulous.  "You mean they forget?"-Howard Ikemoto

I was remembering today a friend I first met when we were all out camping.  He had what seemed to me to be beautiful yet strange eyes, though it was hard to tell because he was squinting always...

Yet when it was night pitch black no stars no moon…in fact sort of scary I thought…he came and woke several of us up and said lets go for a walk…we sorta said uh what? …but we did…and he ran ahead a little and took us out on the perimeter of the mountain which was lined in huge rocks.

I was right behind him I thought though I couldn't see him…and he said jump over here, there is a space between the rocks and there is a copperhead resting here.  And like the young fool I was I trusted him in fact trusted him completely and I jumped.   I was always proud of my jumping abilities...

…And he said great as I landed beside him.  We got the others across and we ran on though we stayed close together as there was a precipitous drop there.  But of course we couldn't see it…but he could.

He said he had cat vision as he called it. And I believed him though I have never met anyone with it again in my life. He took care of us that night and we got back shortly.

That night running along the boulders feeling but not seeing the emptiness was for me one of the most wondrous experiences of my life.  And I never saw him again.

Monday, November 11, 2013

and some more

I had to learn to think, feel and say in an entirely new fashion, in an uneducated way, in my own way, which is the hardest thing in the world.  I had to throw myself into the current knowing I would probably sink. -Henry Miller

And here are a few more 2011 collages.  I never knew I did so many well at at least as many as I did and in a way I'm surprised cause they are always so irritating just because they take first a giant collecting effort even though its mostly trash.  You still gotta go through everything that comes in and feel for some sort of affinity with other stuff you've already got.

Everywhere you go you see things and think about them like is this it?  Will this be the right true and correct thing?  And you take them home and put all of it in separate piles giant piles of trash and even after that you begin resorting the piles and grouping the sketch of the collage.

Either before or after or before and after you lay out eight or twelve sheets of white paper which you have prepared already and you delicately sneak up on it and gently lay a scrap of paper on there…the beginning of a new collage and you slowly start speeding up adding different pieces some maybe ideas that are posted for you on the scraps or some sort of interesting space will appear, some odd shape and it builds and builds and then like a giant pile of trash it falls apart completely, and you start building it again with just a few pieces and a completely new shape appears.

And you fall into a dream like reading a geography book on Peru to the old lady who bakes the cookies down the street and she becomes younger while you do this out-loud reading and you get constantly older -you're thinking about that story while your checking scraps of paper turning them over to look at the back-sides, it just goes on and on, then maybe if you're lucky at the end you will have four or maybe five or six of them and then comes the gluing process in which they change again.  Always, maybe just a little but probably much more...

At he end…the end which takes days of this sort of whatever it is, you will end up with a few that you like and a couple you don't like, or they don't like you.

Keep braiding one's wavelengths back into oneself.  That way they gain more external power and surround us with a huge affective and protective zone.  Don't talk about this. Never talk about our secret methods.  If we talk about them they stop working.  -Jean Cocteau

I think of Henry Miller out in the back yard swimming with his paintings letting much of the earlier paint come off.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2011 is almost done

I've been working on these for awhile and I'm almost though not quite done.  I admire how some few artists can make photographs of their work so quickly -and post them online…that day…it simply impresses me with its conviction.

Each piece is only and always an expression for which I am but an instrument but each piece is also undeniably me.  It's so odd that bit...

Even only two years out these seem like something done in another lifetime ages ago and the scraps of paper and candy wrappers all appear to no longer be available no longer manufactured...

and that's probably true…I hadn't ever thought about it before but they are never made at the same time again…they are all rolled under that horrible giant machine  called time ground up destroyed utterly and completely and ultimately used as manure for the next thing.

And this goes on ever and evermore so that we realize that nothing in its moment has any significance that only memory in its fluidity and liquidity can even put a period to any event any object, only memory can call to order the monstrous confusion that is living.

…and then you die and your thoughts do not go with you.  You simply get ground under with all else.  I remember driving by the airport in St Louis and watching the giant machines humorously and with a sort of planned inevitability rip out the dead from the ground, the old wooden coffins torn to shreds, pieces of putrescence and all sense of peace and respect forgotten for a few weeks while we made room for the new expanded airport.

I suspect that the only way to be remembered -if that is what I'm trying to say  -is by some kindnesses that you force yourself to do.  Naw, that is just a dream.

But I remember an act of kindness Degas did when Gauguin  returned to Paris to create his ultimate failure, his massive show of his new work from Tahiti.  None of it sold, not a single piece…except that Degas had hired a man to anynomously go in and buy eleven pieces from the show.

…And that act always sits next to me. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

ugly art

Following the Cocteau quote -Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time.  Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time. -I try to produce ugly things.  I have been trying for years.

But I must admit I think that for the most part I produce bland things -not the same at all I know. I doubt my painting of my old church even looks like one anything...

Making things truly ugly is hard as hell.  I sometimes feel it just can't be done.  Not by me at least.  And these attempts at a Japanese art don't work at all...

Maybe its cause I am so often trying to create a sort of primitive winsome kind of thing both amateur and knowing at the same time…well that probably won't work…you simply cannot have all three goals reside in one piece I guess.

And even these goals are always mixed in with some heavy additive of painful memory.  Don't get me wrong I had a lovely childhood…the problem was that I was almost always sad I just was…and remembering it is just as bad -or good- depending on what I'm after I guess.  

But this kind of writing might make you think I feel like a failure but I don't well not usually not exactly.  This all reminds me of another Jean Cocteau quote -An Artist can no more speak of his art than a plant can discuss horticulture.