Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Grouse is a bird

Here we are, a few centuries later
still fighting "the good fight"
I cleaned the fridge today-was this a creative act?
It could be similar, causing me to ask "what good did this bring?"
"was it really necessary?" "Was value involved?"
Results (almost) the same as making all this damn artwork.
Self-gratification? Here's a big difference: the refrigerator took up the same amount of space
before AND after. Not so with this useless crap called art-is it just me who thinks of the stuff that way?
Or is it even more useless to others...why did he make this shit?
Comparisons to the religious pop into my i just one more sister in workduds
calling on God, with a more non-sensical plea...
Capital "F" stands for faith, make no doubt about it....but the word "faltering" comes along, trying to oust it- poking fun at the word in all its ramifications.
How do you get away with  spending valuable time and money on things,-no, on pipe dreams-with no discernible commercial return or integrity?

Saturday, February 25, 2017


It's a mystery.
Neither Laura or I know what it is.
Knowing it will not change things, but still…
After a mammography and two (count 'em) MRIs,
we know nothing except fear.

Driving home today after an early trip.
Sun bright in my eyes and, with relief,
crying to myself in the car- to the children's tune
of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

Pain for what might be.
Pain for what may not be.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Is this what's called failure?

Wiser (?) voices in my head tell me to stop making stuff-after all, who needs it? Who wants it?
I look around me and see what I deem to be lesser work flying out of studios, galleries, shops.
Is my work really that bad or is it that my opinion/taste is badly skewed?

A hound on a very long bad trail

Granted, I can't sell ten dollar bills for five bucks, but my salesmanship should be an irrelevant point. After all, shouldn't the work stand up for itself? Maybe not-for one thing, there's so much out there clamoring for one's attention. Or maybe I'm just so damn naive-to continue the analogy, that dog don't hunt…
A foolish thing to make work that's useless, yet to keep on with it. OK, admittedly, I think I'm doing good stuff. And besides, I do enjoy the act of working.

You'll know when I croak-watch for the huge bonfire.

Friday, September 9, 2016

A quandary along the road: more older, more confuser

I'm working on seven sculptural pieces right now.
All but one, they are all fairly well along in terms of completion.
But in working towards completion, I now question each one to the point of deadlock-
Does the piece have relevancy? Does it use too many "cliches"(conventional and/or personal)?
Am i repeating myself? Is this work too remote from "my" style (voiding consistency, therefore  credibility)? Shouldn't "good "work take longer to create?
Is this a spin with insecurity or a valid questioning?
Beginning the pieces, there were none of these doubts-I wouldn't have taken them so far along.
Working with them for so long, I'm now blind to seeing them objectively.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

What old looks like

Several days away from the age mentioned in a song (First hearing this song while still a teenager, I clearly remember thinking the idea as so remote it couldn't even be a possibility), I am turning 64.
I've given up time to get to this place-and maybe some brain cells that help memory and some musculature that now causes me to recover not so quickly. Did I mention hair? Everything else seems to be still here.
I've gotten somewhat wiser, as the old adage promised (and more confused, according to another, more sarcastic adage).
I mourn the loss of many people and things, but I've always been sentimental. I've still never skied, can't swim very well, can't ride a bike hardly at all (poof! went the biker image) and cannot speak Spanish well (But I sure have tried!)
I have few close friends, but many good acquaintances. Like Superman,  I can see through artifice and, like Bill Skrips has always been, am a skeptic at every turn.
I managed to get my ass out of the locale I call my hometown-for better or worse. Spent many years in a big city and now can say I've lived in several rural locations. As any who know me know, I make art (again, for better or worse). Yes, I do other things, but this is what I got put here (or crawled out from under a rock) to do.
Yesterday, courtesy of NPR, I heard a young man interviewed who stated that whenever he left his comfort zone, things got a) interesting b) challenging  c) more rewarding than staying in his comfort zone. I had to take this with a grain of salt-not that I disagree, but it seemed almost flippant the way he spat it out-or maybe it's easy for him. Or maybe it is either the resiliency or ignorance of the young. The comfort zone is something I've struggled with a lot.
I will only say that (in my opinion) a comfort zone is where you feel  secure in your methods and products. Or you happen to be selling work hand over fist-you may not understand why or how you got there, but why rock the proverbial boat?
But this could also be a euphemism for a rut.
If this is why you started making art, fine. Stop there-read no further.
In full disclosure, if I were famous and selling work like hotcakes, my view here might go unquestioned and therefore I might not even be writing this.
But it's good and healthy to question your path/discipline/technique/subject, the life you chose to follow, especially when at it a long time. Much like car tires and water filters, check for wear (and rotate).
A comment I heard the other day was that we (artists) leave our critics and criticism behind when we finish art school. This leaves only you as the do-it-all critic for your work, unless you are a lucky sonofabitch. By this I mean you have someone you trust AND who is honest AND who is objective to offer you real observation on what someone from the "outside" sees (or finds lacking) in your work. I'm not talking about a sycophant or a groupie that loves you no matter what. A stone-cold critic is what is wanted. Too bad we can't hire talent for this, to get criticism from those who do not know/care about us, but are involved enough in the art world to proffer real insight.
Back to the young man and his comment.
It is hard to tear myself away from what I consider a good and pleasing and natural direction, to immerse myself in a strange and unknown medium. But I find painting (relatively "foreign" to me) to be the easier choice as it offers escape from my sculpture and a way out of my "comfort" zone.
But what is the result here? After getting my hands (literally) wet, can I honestly say that painting is the ticket, the way to new and earth-shattering experience?
Of course not. But the rawness/newness, the challenge, the not-being-able to work with eyes shut IS the reward. A ticket out of that comfort zone. To try and quantify the results here is akin to rating any new experience you have had in life…much like Wonder-Bread, all new experience helps to "build bodies in twelve different ways!"