Wednesday, June 20, 2018

intransitive

I'm corrected much of the time.  It is an open door that feels wedged open.  My daughter is keenly aware of this, like an invitation, and she corrects me whenever she can.  


"You are not done", she says.  "A turkey is done.  Rather, you are finished."


My son and daughter draw at a small desk while I paint at my wall.  They hunker over their notebooks and fight over the electric eraser while I scrape my palette knives.  I grunt a lot and constantly remind them both that I am ok.  I'm racing not to be finished but to express something hurried.  I take long pauses.  Then I race again.  My kids enjoy this display and must have some opinion, I'm sure.


To offset my intransitive nature, I am contracting the construction of a new house that I've designed over the course of the last year or more.  Walls are going up right now.  I will post photos at the bottom of each blog post.  

  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

provocateur

I was seated in the corner of the Spellerberg Projects observing the rare instance when an educator explains me.  A woman was reacting to my work on this day together with her friend, as visitors to an art gallery often do, and she muttered something about impulse and expression and creativity.  I was entertained.  Honoria Starbuck, artist and teacher and new friend, stood within earshot and countered in the manner of a credentialed educator that while yes there is a certain amount of spontaneity in each of my works, there is also a balanced level of logic.  


The road is a fantasy.  Straight and unnatural.  Safe and predictable.  It is a construct that becomes symbolic when painted .  


Michael Pollan, author of a new book about the use of psychedelics, spoke so lucidly with Terry Gross about the virtue of openness that is so common to people with experience of hallucinogenics.  It either comes easily, or if it does not, one must abide by openness.  Or fight.  Or do mushrooms, I guess.  Being described as logical was a new one for me.  Mind you, this was from a painter of zen chickens who might avoid logic like a ship avoids the storm, or a vehicle avoids turns.


Monday, April 30, 2018

pollen

The pecan trees are always the last to leaf.  They then rally and make their presence known by shedding enormous quantities of pollen from their heavy, dangling tassels.  The ground outside is dusted with a color I love to see but tire of breathing.


I use a roller and palette knives and a steel blade to apply and remove paint on panels.  I work quickly, stop for stretches of time, and jump back in.  Friends of mine gasp when I describe the noises I mutter, the cursing through frustration.  Friends assume I whistle or experience sensations of peace.  But I worry the walls of my studio cannot contain my amplitude and that my neighbors might wonder.  When you try to paint the intricacies of a branch with the rounded edge of a butter knife you feel primitive, and yell you must.


I can identify types of trees more so as I get older.  Which ones are invasive or brittle, which are known for their virility or decorative gifts.  Funny how trees used to all be the same when I was younger.  But I reside in this town and look to the subtleties of seasons for my source of inspiration, for my variable, for my travel.  I find myself looking differently at people, for people who reside here as completely as I want to.











Wednesday, April 4, 2018

peach street

The sunlight breaks through the fog after dropping Lucian off at school.  I coast around this neighborhood that reminds me of my grandparents' house when I was a kid.  Monaldi Drive: saying the name aloud conjures for me the humdrum of their neighborhood and the slowness of their backyard garden.  


 I make sure that no one is behind me to rage at my drifting.  I keep my camera open to shoot the baseball field, its emptiness, or the street with its canopies of live oaks that fade with each receding address. 


  I turn onto Peach street.  I say its name, Peach Street, sweetness.  Its road crumbles at the edges, no curb or sidewalk.  Any other time of year and this street might appear rough with its houses that are neglected. 


 But there is one new house at the bend.  I’ve walked to it with my family and dog, to caste our opinions about its creation.  We walk to its backyard that looks out onto a currently dry floodplain.  The kids see how far they can throw rocks and ask if they can climb down the ravine.  This Peach street that must appear dismal to so many is the envy of my children who wish we could live here.


Andi and I announce 5 minutes and manage to depart in 4.  We walk back across the school practice field with old fashioned goal posts.  My eyes scan the park edges for a Killdeer that Lucian and I spotted a week earlier.  Not knowing much about birds, we agree that it feels out of place, resembling instead those birds we see along the coast 150 miles south.


Other encounters while walking or driving.


Currently on display at Spellerberg Projects in downtown Lockhart.


Pink buttercups on Easter Sunday.


Milk and honey.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

bloomington

Dad claimed he lost his wallet during the movie.  I told him I'd go back to the theater to search with my sister.  It was the rare kind of opportunity to spend quality time with her where because no certain joy was expected we were able to relax.  


The last time I'd visited my grandfather's columbarium was as a kid.  But because I was so young, I was unsure if the visit was a memory or a dream.  It was a white structure that stood like a monument in a stately capital.  It was quintessentially dreamlike.


I crouched with a flashlight to look more closely under the movie seats.  In the beam of my flashlight Dad's wallet stood out against the syrupy skittled floor.  Dad would rest that night, assured his credit and identity were safe.  This was indeed a victory.  


On the way back from the theater we drove by a cemetery with the neoclassical structure on its hilltop.  We pointed to it in disbelief, though we didn't stop.  The winter air was too strong.  We chose to meander the rest of the way through the town, avoiding the fastest route.  We slowed to gaze at the old homes that remind us of something.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

gigout

The organ, I think, creates the ceremony.  I feel more gothic in the pipes than in the stained glass.


 Eugene Gigout composed Grand chœur dialogué (wikipedia: 1881).  I'd never had to choose music for a wedding procession.  But it was my immediate selection to announce my bride in 2005.  


 Until this week I hadn't listened to it for several years.  Memories that my whole body knows.  This recording is not for easy listening, and it's just the sort of thing I enjoy working with.


 I pull the background into the foreground.  This spectacle, often when we travel, overwhelms us if we allow it.  And we take pictures of things we normally do not.  We see the landscape of faraway places more easily.  Understandably.  

Friday, January 26, 2018

forest

I bought a used set of flat files from an office furniture warehouse in 2004.  The horizontal drawers appear organized from the outside, strong and stacked like frank lloyd wright's roman bricks.  A label holder is centered on each drawer face, but I don't find that necessary yet.  I know that four or five drawers contain piles of watercolors from years past, some as old as the late 1990's.


The Spellerberg Project Space on Main Street has three white walls now peppered with tacked watercolors of mine that I pulled from these files.  On the backs of some of these are hand-written words in pencil: "St.Wolfgang field trip", or "painted in alcohol, Evansville, Ind."  Not much of a note taker, I value the few words I mustered then.  They guide me to that crouched painting position I held twenty years ago, cigarettes, loose change thrown at me, watercolor dried by direct sunlight.


Forest green.  It's a representation of green that is averaged from the various leaves of a deciduous forest.  It usually has more grey in it than I at first prefer.  But my eyes adjust, and then I'm calmed.  Like being absorbed into the surroundings, or seeing the cluster of chaos as something unified and singular.


I'm going to hang out at this small gallery space during the next few weekends.  Come in and say hello if you walk by.  Or yell down the street, email me, and I'll be there in two minutes flat.