Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I find myself drawn to the letter form, like mathematics and straight (er) form are breaking their way into my life. I could say this is by hook or crook, but i know I have a part in welcoming them in. How long will they stay? Dunno.
I've always loved books, but not necessarily the kind created by the artist. When younger, i did some work with some old Thompson catalogs and a whole box of remaindered (and, I assume, forgotten) novels I picked up at the Salvation army store. These followed what i was doing at the time, taking a number of pages and cutting them into an imaginary topographic contour map. Then adding/subtracting successive layers…but , anyway, I love the printed page far more than the altered one.
I wonder if this will change, seeing as how, with the purchase of a LOT of letterpress equipment, my work will most definitely be influenced.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Who the f%*k ever came up with this word?
Humans who use this as a descriptive for anything and everything that they are too lazy to otherwise describe should be forced to be (re?) educated in the use of the English language…
and , yes, I'm becoming a grumpy old man AND a bitter old artist…but, please let this buzz-word cease to exist and become supplanted by yet another inane bit of slang.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Is it me or the area we now inhabit or maybe the times we live in?
Now that cities and towns and even lil' villages are more homogenized, that is, infected with the same American box stores and rubber stamp "restaurants", it seems that the art I see becomes more mediocre by the day.
I wonder if this is one reason that the art market is doing so poorly: more and more, everything looks the same. After experiencing the shock value art that was prominent thirty five/forty years ago and then the pink hair and punks that followed it, I found real drama (meaningful content optional). Of course this was preceded by works that needed large warehouses in order to be seen…. and earlier yet, Andy's (et al) sarcastic contribution of Pop imagery-what went wrong? Where have we gone? Or , more to the point, not gone?
Like the cliche that history is doomed to repeat itself, it seems to me little was learned. Or maybe the LCD factor has a stronger hold: "art should be about making nice pictures, about making us laugh….and about happier times (even if we we never experienced this brand of nostalgia).
The majority of what I see out there are artists who have long ago stopped challenging themselves and joined the ranks of the Sunday painter, copying themselves (or others) ad nausea.
Born a pessimist, I expect few miracles from an art community that purports to be on the beam of the contemporary ("Western" painters excepted). But when I look for a pulse and feel nothing, I think it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


So, with age comes knowledge-or more knowledge, so it's said. This thought occurred to me as I cracked open "Anna Karenina" for the second time in my life. Remembering far back when I tried the book in my twenties, it now seems far clearer, far more interesting than what I remember.
What brought me to the book (for the second time) was reading the list of books a favored author of mine stated as being quite influential. Using the list, I knocked off Eliot's "Middlemarch" (loved that huge thought-filled tome), Stegner's "Angle of Repose", Dicken's "Bleak House" earlier in the year. I'd read "War and Peace" centuries ago (almost in a beer-bet, just to see if I could do it) and got very little out of it-and very little of it remains with me.
Anyhow, we get to a certain point in our lives and things just seem to be clearer, our understanding growing exponentially. This is true for me with my artworking as well. I'm facile, truly capable of "feeling" whether a work has merit ( not trying to be pretentious here, but feel as if my intuition and taste is genuinely sharp) and able to plunge more deeply into the work. Finally, I "understand" painting ( I'll leave anyone who is reading this to gauge just what that means on their own) -a claim which I could never make some years back.
So here's my question: are other people born with better understanding of these things so that they do not need to claw their way up the long ladder of understanding? I'm old at this point, yet here I am with vast new chapters opening up for me. It took me so long to get to this "learned" place-so is the point of life (uh-oh, time for all those not ready for this headiness to back off) to achieve this pinnacle and then croak? Seems damn unfair that now (I said this a moment ago) all these new pathways are opening up for me. Sure, I've heard that the journey is the thing, but after all these years I'm just knocking at the door and, painfully, I know of the huge possibilities beyond, yet I'm starting to stumble from exhaustion -a "life well-lived".
So is the point to just climb up (or not) from whatever intellectual level we are born with? Acknowledging that I'm standing on tall shoulders, isn't there some sort of boatman/Charon we can pay off so we can more quickly get to the meat of the matter and use our life's energy to go beyond the "mere mortals" span and be able to plunge into the riches behind the doors?

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Having four dogs here (two are "borrowed") is the best thing I've ever  known, even tho' these guys get underfoot (not easily moveable at 60, 65, 85 and 90 pounds) and having something to eat always means having to contend with begging (course, I trained them well in this regard). Having them in the shop as companions is also terrific, even though their commentary on my work is usually nil-or at least not at all audible. We will lose Zeke soon, as his owner will return after a two month absence. Rojo has not been around too much lately, either. But i chalk that up to the boiling temperature we've experienced lately.
Thought we might be taking in another dog while we stayed in Taos, finding this black female silky-haired job playing dodge-ems with the cars and trucks on highway 68. Took her home, overnighted her  (a night spent trying to sleep in my van to avoid her barking all night long) and found her owner the next day.