Monday, April 13, 2015

more than a hundred

My nearest ocean is the gulf shore, a beach as salty and sandy as any.  We run to this edge.  We dive into it and dry off.  It is the boundary that outlines our continent that you can feel with your toes.     

Then we went to the mountains that pull you down on skis.  Automotive pleasure, mastering speedy movement without effort.  No walking, no time for slow thinking.

Abundance to my daughter means more than a hundred.  Seashells, snowflakes, stars, as well as cheerios.  I too am awed by scale, naturally the ocean and the rockies, but also by the marriott and fog.

I make more than a hundred decisions with small brushes to create an illusion of atmosphere and grandeur.  I have updated my website by placing selected pieces, both old and new, in a new order to see it in a new light.  Look around.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

no map

Paint is paint.  Oil, watercolor, ink, all the same when applied, push with pressure against sober reality.  Appropriateness, characterized by buildings and order, surrounds us like a skin.  And like any skin it is altered by ongoing turbulence from within and without. 

The environment becomes an arena.  Though I capture yay-big aspects of it with my camera, the process of painting is larger (for many of us, not just me) and functions like a dark room.  Painting is a "developing", but in a sense I find truer to the word.

My children draw everyday.  The subjects, lions and unicorns and maybe a few other four-legged creatures, are crafted over and over and over.  I adore these efforts.  I occasionally suggest they draw more lightly and loosely, but they press hard convinced their erasers will help.  The process wears and in the end cannot be hidden.  This struggle stains the paper and takes on a beauty all its own.

This repetition is familiar.  For me it is both the subject and the process, the endless city built only to be explored with the joy of no map.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Vivaldi in Lion Country.  A delightful combination of spirit and place.  Like the Mariahilferstrasse with the black gumbo of central Texas.

I buy oil paint in tubes from an art supply store.  Brushes, canvas, solvents, all over the counter.  I don't scavenge for found materials.  I don't re-purpose.  I don't reinvent.  

I derive and push.  A block, a boredom, manners and conventions, their surfaces.  
An experience, not cataclysmic, but love.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

sitting and staring

Stepping back, closing an eye, holding up a mirror, a thumb.

I've been painting in the dark to allow chance to select a color from my palette. 

I remember someone in Budapest twenty years ago.  At the Goethe Institute cafe a woman entered and sat smiling.  A stranger, I still managed to ask her why she was smiling.  She described how she was visiting Budapest because it was her favorite city.  (Her other favorite was Reykjavik.)  A city can be a pleasure, a taste like that of an ice cream cone.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

a certain shyness concealed

The liquor pours and drunkenness begins.  I yearn for this fluid state when boundaries are diminished, when words are spoken more freely.  The state of our inner lives that is normally concealed is brought out into the open.  


Portraiture is upon me, the ultimate facade that I aim to explore more of in 2015.  

This is the last week to view a holiday group show at the Davis Gallery in Austin.  Go visit it offline now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I don't strive daily to not be a scientist.  I like John Ruskin and I too learn thru drawing.  Just not so much in the manner of a naturalist's isolated observance of a dandelion's petals.  

 Take Pannonian houses.  Structurally unremarkable.  Formally, they incarnate the kindergartner's crayola idea of "home", chimney smoke and all.     

Perhaps it is their agonizing simplicity that draws me to them.  They are shapes reduced to an economic minimum and washed by time.

I painted these and a few others during the month of October near our house in Hungary.  It is a region where Slovenia, Austria, and Hungary overlap, and which guidebooks unfailingly seem to ignore.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


In the attic of my split-level childhood home a note is scribbled on a roof beam.  Words addressing the future tenant in graphite as fresh as the day they were written:  Please remember us, we who built your home.    

This past weekend I gave a talk in Houston about my work.  My seat was occupied by an older gentleman whom I respectfully didn't want to move, so I stood.  Though I prefer to sit and chat, I stood and explained.  "However possible" is the point I wish to make.  My work happens however possible.    

 Buildings are shaped.  They can feel to have come about as naturally as the environment itself.  I am drawn to nonspecific architecture arranged and built by anonymous authors.  They can be post-war, set-back, added-on; but we are always their inheritors. 

Hooks Epstein Gallery in Houston will be showing my work for one more week.  My exhibition entitled "Mass and Void" has been pleasantly reviewed in the Houston Press.