Friday, October 27, 2017

thoracic

My daughter is musical.  She sings and hums and adopts new words that she's only heard and never seen.  She dazzles me.


Yesterday my son said, "sometimes, when people are talking to me, I just really look at them and I can see their personality." 


 I more closely resemble my son.  I too listen more to a person's mood as their spoken words pass to either side of me.  I often catch myself mirroring another's crossed arms or hands in pockets.


The wind outside is cool.  It is time for garden work, for the transplanting that cannot be done during the other three quarters of the year.


It is also a school break.  My son is requesting I throw the baseball with him.  We stand apart and mimic each others motion.  I hold back in correcting him too often and he's shown improvements with his form.  Nature's way.


I paint them quickly.


Again.



Monday, October 2, 2017

boundaries

I remember moving around a party in a mountain cabin above Boulder, Colorado, the first of many new home-bases in my young twenties away from the midwest.  Each guest that I met seemed eager for their chance to share a core aspect of themselves that was guiding them through their unique cycle of life.  One fellow described to me his discipline of drinking several glasses of water upon waking up each morning.  By doing this, he'd ground himself in his body after an astral slumber.  At such a party I remember being careful and, in this community in particular, to not seem unspiritual.  I asked few questions and went along with the rules of others.  One such practical rule was that I fill a basin with only an inch of water.  I would use this water for cleaning the hummus off of the dishes.


Restraint.  Thrift.  Moderation too.  Cool, even critical in some circles.  In my circle too mostly.  


A champion physical trainer warned me recently against recreational sports for exercise:  The game takes over, hiding the harm to your body from over-doing it.  
But I love games, watching games, the focus or distraction of games.  There is also an experience of inviting a new member to the game.  Explaining the unique rules of how we play the game.  And making that newcomer's experience such that they want to join in more.


Watercolor is a conversation with my primal urge to lay bare.  Things take place here sort of like an arena.  Game of constant and variable.  Lay out boundaries first.





Wednesday, September 6, 2017

new walls


In addition to showing new watercolors in Austin this month, we are surrounded by our new place, home and studio.  We moved in during the hurricane winds, had to.  I'm open with a courtesy call for an appointment.



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

tinted

There were a few parts missing from the order, so I had to drive into north Austin with orders to return promptly.  This allowed me no time for experiencing any of the fun of the vibrant metropolis.  There was no time for doing lunch with friends.  No time for Peter Pan mini golf.  I was able only to veer off of the highway, and to slowly circle a round-about beside my wife's office.  By doing this I could wave toward the second level corner office.  My kids were inside that office today with their mommy, and they waved back, reportedly.  I couldn't see them through the office building's tinted glass.  They saw me.  They told me over the phone.  


Summer's end approaches.  As a nonTejano I scan the horizon for this season change every year.  The light changes always, but this one change I detected last week.  It is autumn.  And though it's still months away from fully landing, I know it's coming and I feel hope once again.


My strategies for entertaining the kids with an unforgettable summer have run out.  By strategies I mean that I mostly expect them to entertain themselves.  But this has devolved into tv binging, or as in today's case, adventuring with mommy to mommy's office.  Today they were able to see my white van circle below, to see me smiling and waving.  I told them they looked like they were having a blast.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

my dawn


It's that time of day when I've completed all phonecalls, balanced all emails, jogged around my town, changed out of sweaty clothes and into work rags.  I've also eaten my early lunch or late breakfast, often to satisfy hunger but also to stave it off for the next few hours.  It's a summer day and the sun has already been so strong in the texas sky for hours, yet it's my dawn.  What I do now feels like a procrastination before i head out to the stuffy, wooden barn-studio for the afternoon.  Because it's been a long weekend with the kids I might tidy up some sneaky skittles wrappers or relocate several pairs of shoes.  


Painting is not work, not in the sense that it depletes me, but I like to treat it like work, hang my hat on it, cook on it.  As a youngster I held numerous jobs that required a repetitive physical exertion.  In fact, the earliest job I took that did not require my brawn was as a clerk, and those hours I spent standing, in idle daydreams, felt criminal by comparison.  I was filling space, and I found such amusement in how comfortable it was to be left alone, in peace, for wages.


I've not much complicated my definition of work over these years.  I still value contemplative work, both physical/manual as well thought/craft.  Productivity, and the time and space it fills, feels similarly criminal, like a reward unto itself.  Make something.  


The next hours are my time for concentration.  It's my time to give up worry and knowledge.  My kids are taken care of (I just received a text of them eating lunch with extra ketchup), so my world is as stable as I can make it.  I'm off.




Monday, June 12, 2017

deuteronomy

The journey to and through New York city was full of whispers.  I felt deep in thought while I steered a group of 12 from here to there.  I unplugged while I looked both ways at each intersection and held the hands of my children.  


The installation of my work at George Billis is perfect.  He has two rooms.  The first room is visible.  The second room has to be found.  My work is in the second room.  
(The above is in July's "American Art Collector" magazine.)


I tried to convince my daughter that the broadway "cats" might be enjoyed just as well in another american city...that since we had so many options why not see something, anything else?  


But thanks to the sure footedness of my daughter it remains the highlight of my trip.   Old Deuteronomy comforted me, reminded me in-between his lines of the journey's purpose: to wait in line for discounted tkts, to visit the oracle at the met, and to say wow to the empire state building.


To have my sister there in attendance was the best.


And to visit my father's upper east side childhood memories, to meet Alec Purves, a fantastic watercolor artist.  More importantly, a friend my dad hasn't seen in 50 years.  A great trip.





Monday, May 15, 2017

custom

Build to suit.  What suits is difficult to say.  Just give me the regular.


I've heard the term "custom" uttered around the job site.  Something about having no attic space to run junk.  


Custom-er.  Custom-ary.


American Art Collector called me to ask a few questions for a review in their upcoming June issue.  George Billis is often featured by this handsome magazine.  The interviewer is twenty five years old, I learned (by asking her).  


Said goodbye to the old falcon couple weeks ago.  Took such good care of us.