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.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I love what you love

I've painted the theme of football before and plan to again.  But when I read "Friday Night Lights" this past summer I felt the weight of this book as an anchor to living in the state of Texas.  For The Arkansas Art Center's 46th Collectors Show and Sale I created these two watercolors as my three cheers for the home team.  

We returned last week from Hungary.  My intention was to post a couple watercolors from the Hof (the farmhouse there).  However, because I failed to pack my materials I must wait until they arrive in the mail.  Probably next week.  Thank you, J├ínos, for sending them home.

Friday, September 5, 2014


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


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.