Friday, September 5, 2014

domestic

The walls throughout my home serve as storage space.  But it's also a curatorial honor exhibiting to my pajamaed family members, and this honor goes mainly to paintings I like to think of as misunderstood.  Probably I've just never been asked to explain them.  They're easy to overlook or, in the gentle opinion of my old man, not his favorite.


 I sit upstairs before a painting of a woman and her dog.  I have painted this before: owners walking their pets.  I think about what I once read twenty years ago from Gurdjieff and how our consciousness can be compared to our position in a horse-drawn cart.  Who's really doing the driving?

So what to make of a three-legged dog with its tongue hanging out?  And an owner's gaze stolen by what's shiny.  Furthermore, the direction of their path, right to left, moving backward, a regression, disintegrates into what I hope will only be playful.



 Or these which I painted ten years ago out of the back of my subaru wagon.  It seems I was interested in disintegration then as well.  Just part of our bedroom.  Welcome and goodbye.


This is a depiction of the then Rainey Street section of Austin (decorating the bedroom walls of a friend here in town).  A delicate and ghostly crane shaft belies the aggressive boom of development over the next decade on this very rectangle of fecund earth.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

CITY

All caps.  This will be the title of an exhibition of my work at the University of Texas School of Architecture (UTSOA) this October.  Opening date is the 20th and it will be in the Mebane Gallery in Goldsmith Hall thru November 21.  I'm going to talk about my work at 5pm on the 20th, specifically in the company of architecture students, faculty, and alumni, about the values of analog artistry (versus the evils of computer-aided rendering).


Architect as visionary.  Less is more.  Spirituality in the materiality.  High-brow sensationalism of 20th century modernism, brutalism, deconstructivism  etc.  Examining the interplay of light and water, watercolor’s expression/inherent imprecision against the more rigid, angular, systemic character of urbanity. 


Here's a watercolor by Louis Kahn (below). One who epitomized the disciplinarian and visionary, but with a soft side.

  





Thursday, July 10, 2014

used, good

The 70’s birthed me and took me thru age 7.  It was time dressed in plaid overalls hungry for leisure.  I feel it was simply a wonderful time to be born.  For those departing during those years however, exiting a distasteful party perhaps, it might have seemed like our world had unraveled.  


Worlds apart.  Here’s a good article about disparity.


Things I think about while painting something like this:  
Water above and below as in a three-tiered universe. Avoiding (not thinking about) the particulars of what i've chosen to paint now because it will be much more interesting to me later after I've painted it.  I'm just not feeling energized enough today to be a capitalist, though hopefully, with the right opportunity, I will tomorrow.



George Billis Gallery is hosting two summer group shows in his new and bigger location just across the street from where he used to be.  "Industrial Beauty".
July 24 is the opening reception.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

volar plate

If I were someone like Judy Blume this month’s blog entry would instead be called “Summer Break”.  A reference to school emptying into months of unstructured play; also the weight of cast plaster on my right arm.  No baseball, no cartwheels, no catching lightning bugs.  It’d be the summer I spend reading, when I befriend the insightful aged camp custodian whom my fellow campers laugh at.


Thankfully I only broke my finger (jammed and now reconstructed).  Summer too has broken but it is meteorologically late.  So the colors of summer are still early and unfaded.  They arrived atop my daughter’s toy-like zinnias.  There’s the yellow slip n' slide and the blue blow-up pool, colors that escape nature’s range between the pickets of my neighbors’ fence.  And there’s my healthy left hand.


“All summer long” is a group show now thru August 30th at the Davis Gallery in Austin.  I have there a few new acrylic paintings that have summer in mind.  And I just learned a second solo show of my work at Hooks Epstein in Houston will take place this upcoming October. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

gamma

I was in Chicago this past weekend.  Oh how it has evolved over the past 30 years.  And to commemorate all those weekend trips that I took as a child, into the city's center from sub to urb... 


I'll unearth some older work.  The cityscape, which I prefer to simply call a landscape, still holds it for me.  The trickier part is hunting down what stands out... cuz what stands out is what blends in.  Such is my pleasure in acknowledging what doesn't wish to be noticed.


 These as well as newer paintings will be part of a solo show that is scheduled to open October 4th at Edinburgh's Gamma Transport Division.  Should be up for two months thereafter.





Friday, March 28, 2014

untitled

Praise be when one of visual art's supreme motives is satisfied: the pushing of the boundary.  This boundary, drawn differently by all, is hard to describe.  Left unspoken, most know it right away, especially when it's been obliterated.  Sometimes, I believe it's pushed when any choice has been made.  For my context I've pushed the boundary because I've chosen to be a visual artist (can you make a living at that?).  I work on one-of-a-kinds.  What?    

acrylic on canvas
ink/watercolor on paper

What I find getting pushed around is concept (craft is flat out bullied).  But when viewers are challenged conceptually (obscurantism) their purchasing power takes a beating too.  This is where I recognize visual art for its muddled classification of consumerism. Separate from all else, it is as if the art wishes not to be merely bought or sold (agh, how bourgeois) but rather "collected" and applauded for its bravery.  And even the above average consumer (aka 200,000 breadwinner) simply cannot be relied upon to play this game.  

 The art world is a beast unlike any other.  Sigh.


And when an artist or gallery owner wish for their art to maintain its boundary-pushing ability they do things like relocate away from the center, further toward the frontier.  In fact, they should.  I live in Lockhart now, maybe next year I'll be in Seguin. 

Today I learned that my watercolors have reached the third round of The Art of Watercolour's First World Watercolour Comptetition.  Not at all my typical junk mail.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

weeding

I stand while painting in the studio, but I crouch while resting.  In the garden, where glory is given by gardeners and illustrated into Botany, I find respite in dirt from thought, and in the tedium of uprooting weeds from the spilling of ink. 

 

Though, yes, I battle against nature (mostly that of thistles and sticker burrs) I confine the battlefield to my backyard enclosure.  And by putting myself in charge I alone determine what is welcome to grow here and what is not.  


The garden is where I hear and locate (in this order) a pair of woodpeckers.  And as an artist blogger I find this a fitting phenomenon to catalog.  Isn't this what my painting blog is for?  To journal my painting alongside my experiences of bird-watching and gardening?  Woodpeckers are reminders of what's blissful, and they always have been.  They are the purest of distractions along the straight and narrow path.