536. June 14…“Popularity is the crown of laurel which the world puts on bad art.”…thanks Oscar…

“A Day in a Life” 2011

“The ideas dictate everything, you have to be true to that or you’re dead.” – David Lynch

Yesterday…like most Mondays…I went outdoors to paint with Ralph…but before all of that…I took my friend to the airport…dropped her off…I always wear clothes on Monday that have more paint on them than the clothes for Tuesday through Sunday…most of my clothes…have paint on them…while I was leaving early this morning….painted shorts…hat and my favorite t-shirt with the “He is able who thinks he is able” across the front…..I realized…how blessed I am…to be an artist…

Acrylic on paper 3 1/2″ x 3″

Acrylic on paper 4″ x 4″

there are many trade-offs for this life….just like there are for any life a person chooses…but I know clearly that I never wonder these days what it would be like to be a ____________(fill in the blank)…sure I think about what it would be like to be a cowboy or maybe…a television evangelist…or a lounge singer…but not much outside of that…

the Smithsonian announced today…that some video games are “Art”….I wonder how much money was spent and who decided who was going to decide what video games were now art…and how did the person saying it keep a straight face…I’m hoping he or she said it with sort of news caster voice…as if it just might have come in scalding hot on the AP wire…my guess was…a few weeks ago…some person in charge…said…”I think we should make video games art”…another guy said…”are you having trouble at home?”…”yeah, if I don’t get video games as art…things are going to get ugly…real fast”…they then played the best 3 out of five rock paper scissors…paper covers…rock…scissors cuts paper…and again paper covers rock…end of conversation and video games are now art…I’m sure it’s done like that…

I think all of these should be art:

3 x 5 cards…crumpled up aluminum foil…toilet paper rolls…spent light bulbs…decks of cards missing a few cards…certain body fluids that are not white or red…lids from tin cans…cigar wrappers…flattened out straw papers…two sided tape made into circles…paper clips linked together…any thing you can do with a pencil in less than 3 seconds…that stuff in the corner of someone’s lips…dryer lint…the plastic pull thing from half and half…the little pop up thermometer from a butterball turkey…triangle shaped things…black photo corners…anything that smells like lemons…and receipts over $18.00…from Target…

Acrylic on Paper 4″ x4″

while painting…an Asian woman came up and asked me if she could take pictures…I wasn’t sure if she meant in general or of me and my work…I had to think about my answer carefully…as not to seem to eager…bossy or reluctant to accommodate her…and saying…”No”…could very well have meant no to something I really didn’t have the power to say no to…so I said yes…

one thing I’m finding out…the more I paint outdoors…the ability to find an end is getting easier…I now know right when something is done…and no longer have a lengthy debate over the whole finished or not thing…the conversation is pretty quick…

Acrylic on paper 4″ x 4″

this painting every day is really producing some wonderful stuff…not necessarily the finished product, sure that’s a benefit on the small side…rather the more I’m painting…the more I’m finding out about my work….and realizing there is a constant dialogue that might be an echo…or somebody that sounds like me talking back…I’m having to really un-learn some habits…yet while unlearning…I’m learning a new process that with some time is going to translate into much larger work….a few of the small paintings are going to move into the 6 foot realm…and hopefully that echo…doesn’t increase in volume…painting everyday has also brought different people into my…who…paint everyday as well…they have this “in the game” air about them…and have clearly defined what is important to them…

Acrylic on paper 3 1/2″ x 3″

Acrylic on paper 4″ x 4″

and as painters…I think we tend to stand on the cliff edge…choose to learn how to balance when the winds arise…teeter left in a strong right sided breeze…and never really worry much about that long step to the north of us…that is the unknown of being an artist…and much as I don’t care for it…these days I accept only that there is a small amount of uncertainty in being an artist…just like there is being a circus juggler….or neurosurgeon…otherwise the endeavor of painting becomes a passion without a really lust for something deeper and greater within it…something that it can do…that can transform me in many other ways than dexterity…

I once owned a 1974 Fiat 850 Spider convertible…at every hard left turn…the horn bleated until it decided to stop…when I drove with the top down…my head was about 6 inches taller than the windshield…it was like riding a motorcycle without the agility…yet still the bugs…while when the top was down I was hunched in the seat…after a summer I tired of the constant different driving styles based on the top positioning…yet I drove it like an ill fitting pair of shoes but they look great…after that summer I could no longer do it….

“Popularity is the crown of laurel which the world puts on bad art. Whatever is popular is wrong.” – Oscar Wilde

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