550. July 19… “A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Friday Night” ©2011 Robert Redus

“I say I’m a million percent. That is better than a hundred percent! ” – Macho Man Randy Savage

this morning I read an article on “Conditioning” and “Calling”…fundamentally what we’ve been taught about who we are -vs- who we really are…and how when presented with the “Y” in our road…how to navigate that “Y”…with the least amount of stress…anxiety and greatest amount of positive forward moving results….

I think as artists we continually stand at these intersections…contemplating direction…what we are…where we are going…the work…what it is doing and where it may be going as well…it is sort of a silent twin…just nods…regardless of the direction….and is going to go…without choice…or regard to the outcome…

much of what we are as artists…is directly related to what shape we were squeezed into…or the molds we were pressed into…or the responses we developed…based on some action at us…towards us…about us…near us…on us…after all… art is nothing more than a self portrait of the artist…we just get better at hiding in the imagery or landscape…or color…or steel…

I’m finding the more work I do the more I have a grip on certain aspects of the painting…while other parts really need to be left to what and how they are going to develop…that’s not to say I really do believe when the lights go out stuff happens…and the painting is altered in the morning…and I’m blaming the Keebler elves…I just know that the work is going to eventually become what I have directed it to be…and some of what happens…I haven’t thought of yet…and might not until a few seconds before it does…

painting has become more of an adventure…and less of a process…that was the most recent… “Y”…in the road that I encountered…one read “Adventure”…the other…“Process”…I opted left…for “adventure”…

my feelings on the “adventure” mode of painting…are much different than the “process” mode…Adventure has rules…just less of them…there is greater risk…yet greater risk dictates greater rewards…which in turn…can change everything…adventure has unknown variables…which certainly challenge the good old boy process thinking…basically doing more of what I don’t know how to do…or am uncertain of doing expands my ability and offers me many more options than those I already know….

As artists we can each certainly identify what we do and the frequency of doing it…defining our rules for producing art can open the possibilities for defying those same rules…in essence by knowing what we do…we can change what we do….

My challenge to you is identify and define your rules for whatever it is you produce…take one day…or maybe one hour and break all of those rules…see what happens…make the process into the adventure of art…you just might find yourself doing something you never thought you would….

countdown for November 18th, 2011 Show, “The Space in Between”

294 paintings of 800….506 remaining

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louise Stevenson

549. July 17… “In art there are only fast or slow developments”….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Natural Born Killers” ©2011 Robert Redus

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” – Unknown

today is starting out to be one that will clearly go down in the books…for me…I am working on a solo show for November of my daily small paintings …and after a few hundred paintings…I’ve found the process of painting small has really accentuated the “Thumbnail” mentality in me…granted the size I am currently painting differs from true thumbnails for many reasons…but the key word here is “Small”…

lately I’ve felt as though I’m cheating on my paintings…the ones sitting in my studio…by exploring other methods of painting…and finding out I’m really enjoying these more than what I’ve done over the last 10 years…so I guess it’s time to talk…see what future we have…if any…I already know the answer…and I don’t want t start the conversation with “it’s not you”…

but I do think the comfort of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing has also…kept me a little safer than I like being…I think it is the nature of artists…to look at anything and see where it fits and if it does how can they translate it to something visual…and incorporate it into the work…

”new” is relative in the same sentence with “art”…as the general consensus is there is nothing new in art…it has already been done…much like the head of copyright department for the government in 1869… suggested the Copyright offices be closed because as far as he knew…everything that was going to be invented had already been invented…

there is something about perfecting the craft…honing it to a point that requires sometimes a lifetime…then there is the evolution of that craft that if left alone worked constantly…religiously without end result thinking will assuredly change direction…and change often…recognizing that happens offers the opportunity to expand and depart from what was to what can be…

I admit this has been somewhat confusing as…I was very content doing what I was doing…knowing fundamentally what to expect and what not to expect…and now…there is something not really new…I’ll call it evolved…

There are three things I can attribute this evolution too…. 1. painting as I have for the past 10 years 2. painting everyday and 3. John Cage….

My painting mentor always told me…put the best painting up on the wall and look at it constantly…that’s the bar….when a painting comes along that is better than the bar…replace it with the better one…make this the process of determination….

I’m putting up the new one…today….

“It’s useless to play lullabies for those who cannot sleep.” – John Cage

545. July 7… “Art”…How much do you really like all that stuff hanging on your walls…anyway??.

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“It all floats” ©2011, Robert Redus

“Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.”  Gustave Flaubert

“always one step closer…and how’d that work…knowing tomorrow was maybe there…and maybe not…it was like being on the Pinta…and wanting feet on the Santa Maria…what did one matter more than the other…dog bites…were his greatest fear…kept him awake on those fall afternoon naps…not really awake…just an eye part open…scanning for the unfamiliar sounds….the dragging noises…or something buzzing…behind a piece of furniture…clickity click…clickity click….those amusement park sounds…that made night to day and day to another place…there by the corners where all the whores stood on the Friday pay days…wanting some of something…and that was enough to make sense…so it worked and it worked all around…all the time… ‘so stop asking the questions like that’… she snapped…. ‘momma’s little helper’ came a lot more ways than the little pills that kept the string tight…or the moaning noises from the room next to mine ….and whoever he was…and the water  dripped…everyday…filled the old metal bucket….clear all the way to the bottom…and that’s where my dream went…there at the bottom…still I could see it…but you’d have to know where to look…the prints were in the mud…the scratch marks on the door…Ellen Magellen…tried to whistled every morning in the backyard…she wasn’t scared…she wore Mary Jane shoes…dreamed of being a stewardess…traced  her finger on every crack of…the sidewalk”…from The Black Eye Project

the first thing I do every morning after brewing French pressed coffee is sit down and read the 5-7 art newsletters  I receive  via email…as I’m reading each…the first question that always surfaces is… “Are these people artists?”….question number two…If they are not artists… “How pertinent is this information they are offering?” and if they are artists, “Why are they not in the studio but rather making a career out of giving people advice about promoting art that they themselves are not doing or at least I think they are not doing (my stuff)?”…and it makes me wonder if you’re helping me with my art career for a mere $20.00 per month…who helps you …or are you just that good…

seems sometimes…people have great ideas…even greater ideas about what “You” could do with “Your” stuff”…than they have for their own stuff…and by occupying their plate with your delectables…the focus and attention on them and their particular journey is less important…I know I’ve been guilty of that…and when I’ve found myself designing another person’s plan or strategy…I have to stop…ask myself what is it I’m doing…why I’m doing this and step back…usually respond…with …”Good Idea”…(that’s when I know I’ve recognized my intrusion)…take myself home address all of the stuff on the calendar…have  lunch regardless of the time of day and a quick “Come to Jesus” meeting…look at my list of things that need to be accomplished and realize I have overwhelmed  myself with my stuff…therefore somebody else’s stuff…becomes like the garnish on the plate of enchiladas….do you really eat it or is it for decoration…

Marketing is difficult enough…let alone marketing art…as art is often seen as a “Luxury”…and in economies such as these…luxury is usually out of the loop…many artists think that just getting exposure is the be all end all…but showing your work to people who don’t buy it is pretty pointless or worse…sitting all day long at an art venue and making $58.00 for the day is not only deflating but humiliating…not to mention you probably said something like this… “I make everything by hand…made from recycled materials,…all acrylic paint on canvas, water based oils…it’s about my dreams…places I’ve traveled…my thoughts on the injustices of humankind…the duality of mankind…sure it’s easy you just”…a few thousand times…that in itself has to be worth more than $58.00…

I don’t know the secrets to marketing…but there are common denominators that success in the art world is built on…they seem to be…mailing lists…repeating the processes that have worked….networking  (make it the right people though…the ones that you can benefit and can benefit you)… Constantly being visible…and visible to the right people…devising a business plan for you art work…and keep doing what you do…all of the time…a good friend of mine who has been painting well over 50 years and has had some wonderful success selling art says …”If you’re not doing it everyday…you’re not really doing it”…I believe him because it has worked…and I realize that re-inventing the wheel rather than emulating the successes of those who are already successful in art makes no sense…

sure…the previous step was defining “WHAT IS SUCCESS IN ART”…and that is as individualized as what is love…we all have to qualify and visualize what success looks like in our individual art world…once there…and all of the magic…karma…excuses… reasons …becauses…I wishes…not fairs…and all of the other things that cloud the vision and make it unreal…have been removed from the equation…there just might be the naked part of the idea… the “art world blueprint”…just sitting there waiting for…”What’s next”….

I’m finding in my “art world  blueprint”…the most important part of all of this is “Truth”…and telling myself the truth about….what it is I’m doing…why I’m doing it…are things realistic…what  must be done to get to _______….how much of that doing am I really doing or wanting to be doing…what must be changed…reviewed…redefined… remade…and is working smart outweighing …working hard…

The giant myth to art is…just produce the art the rest will take care of itself…what I’ve been reading is…40% of your time is producing the work….60% is getting it seen and marketing…those numbers change as visibility increases…develop a good mailing list…find any way to be prolific…as my mentor says… become an…“Athletic painter”…and just keep doing it…

While I was in art school…one instructor came in with statistics…as we all know is there any truth in statistics…yes…there is…if you want there to be…and no there is not…if you don’t want there to be…his statistics said… (in a really nice French accent) …5 out of 100 people who pursue professional careers will  succeed…and of those 5…1 will be a successful artists…the remaining 4 will be in the support fields of art…whether it’s true or not…who knows…

so my solution…I get 100 people together every couple of months….95 people get T-shirts that read… “I am not the artist”….4 people get T-Shirts that read… “I am not the artist either but I Support the Artist”…and you guessed it…I wear the T-shirt that reads… “I am the artist”…it’s the visualization that helps….you know….the repetition as well…. “I am the Artist”… “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”….. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”…. “I am the Artist”….

 “What I’d really like to do is something extraordinary. Something big. Something mega. Something copious. Something capacious. Something cajunga!” Wayne


544. July 5th…Just because you can think it….doesn’t mean you know anything about it…and other Non-Objective Painting thoughts

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Seeing Back” ©2011 Robert Redus

“What do you do with what you’re given, and how do you transform it into something worthwhile?” – Donald Fagen

the transformation…like the cracks in the sidewalk…I remember walking those early morning streets…the sun would just peek up over the top of the liquor store across the street…high up where the pigeons would dance …back and forth…up and down…or just sit calm…depending on the time of year…and they’d be cleaning the street with straw brooms…pushing all the nighttime world…back where they thought it came from…the outdoor chairs were empty…all of the conversations quieted…it smelled like everything you never wanted to know about…sort of little black and white photographs with bent corners…and pencil writing on the back…dated …names…places they called home for a few years…or maybe they became the woodwork…the clacking noise close to the wall…when the roaches would scurry underfoot…and the street lights haloed with swarms…while the night was so thick…it was called the “lush life”…pink skin sort of thick…kind of dreamers was how the men by their taxis seemed…maybe sordid…maybe saints…rimmed gold teeth…funny little hats…”I’ll be your best friend…I sure will”…he held a dollar bill up high in the air…the broom tucked under his arm…”mira mira”….I puked on the sidewalk”….from The Black Eye Project

I’ve always loved watching water swirl down a drain; it seems to me there is a dialogue there that to this day I’ve not been able to get entirely. Yet I still work at it every time I see it happen

Painting is an interesting journey, much like water swirling down a drain, there is a conversation that if left unnoticed or addressed becomes just another day at the easel. I paint every day and like to look at each day as what it isn’t compared to what I might think it is. Each day is different and by no means a continuation of the previous day’s events while painting. There may be similarities and more often than not there are major ones, but each event has a life-time of it’s own and sort of dies a slow death right before my eyes. Once the piece is done, the conversation ends maybe to be addressed later or never again.

Sure there has to be some connective quality to painting, but for me it’s not the finished product; it’s more or almost all of the process of getting to the finished product. I feel the process of painting is the connective device that allows the painting to exist. Otherwise it’s just all practice strokes, or ideas that have a beginning and a rather hazy end.

The one thing I’ve truly found out about painting is the importance of a plan. Now the plan can be very vague and nebulous, but for me something has to be there in front of me to make the process begin. I don’t literally mean a drawing or a photograph there to my left that I can look at but the idea has to have a greater presence that not. I paint non-objective work; the dictionary defines Non Objective as:

1. Not representing objects known in physical nature; nonrepresentational:  2. Emotional; based on inner experience rather than fact.

So the question arises, how does one develop a plan for something that doesn’t really exist? Perhaps the answer is translation. Translation means: “change or conversion to another form, appearance.” So taking say an idea and translating that into a feeling that in-turn can be shown perhaps as a color or combination of colors, throw In a few directions and objects/shapes that represent what that idea may look like in your mind. Add some marks that accentuate the important parts of the idea, maybe different colors. Try an emotional approach like getting angry or sad or happy and get the physical equivalent of that to appear as paint on canvas. Maybe take off all of your clothes, cover yourself with paint and roll around on the canvas, for personal effect of course. Then see what you have for that day. End the paintings life for that day and continue this process for a few days a week for a few weeks and see what happens. Three things may very well emerge. 1. The entire canvas is brown, 2. There is a painting with a bunch of great possibilities, or 3. What you feel or think is much harder to express than you thought it would be.

Often No-Objective paintings are confused with “Abstract” paintings. “Abstraction” is taking an object as a source and manipulating it into something that no longer appears to be that object but is referenced to that original object and source. It is nothing uncommon to hear even gallery owners make reference to anything that is not landscape or figurative as “Abstract”, sort of like any tissue is “Kleenex”, or any Soda Pop is “Coke

My brother is mathematician, he knows a great deal about the math behind water swirling down a drain. The connection between the math and the art describing the water and the drain and the swirling is really not that different, is my guess. Translating those combinations of math, water, drain, swirling, and paint, just might make a really interesting painting project. I can say, I always laugh a little bit when I see water go down the drain, because as a child I would picture myself on a small canoe made from a piece of Wrigley’s spearmint gum navigating my way down the swirl….so I guess it really would be an “Abstract” painting….at least it feels that way….

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” – Oscar Wilde

July 3…What’s your color IQ?…(try the test)….and….what’s been waiting for you all of your life?

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Hail to the Small Angry King” ©2011, Robert Redus

“Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.” – Francis Bacon

it just floated there…a bit lost…maybe more unaware of the things just around the corner…but still waiting for another…then another…and all of it was setting the table right…you know…fork on the left…plate…knife and spoon…napkin folded neatly….because you never knew if the door would open easily…or would crack the plaster walls…with a hard knock…and he’d stand there on the high dive…board…arm resting across his stomach…finger in his mouth…in his blue bathing suit with the red stripes…thinking…maybe of the day he died…or how the cold water would feel on his milky skin…turn around…walk back down the ladder…his bottom lip quivered…and it all was wrapped up in crystal clear plastic wrap…I could eat the bologna…on the white bread with the potato chips tucked carefully under the bright green lettuce…but I couldn’t spell…”business”…I tried it….B…U…S..Z…Y…N…I…S…would put the green olives in my belly button…tried to talk like my father…it was all smoke filled then…a window air conditioner…a few packs of Luckies…and we were reliving…the good life…man was it the goodlife”…from the Black Eye Project

I don’t want to sound even remotely close to Donald Rumsfeld…but there are those known knows…and yes…those unknown…unknowns…that’s about as far as I’m willing to go…and I guess what Donald so eloquently attempted to say was…we do know some stuff and there is other stuff we know exists…yet know absolutely nothing about…and again…that’s as far as I can go with that statement…and I think because a few times what we know…what we’ve tried and what has worked…is what we continue to use as the method of doing it all over again…and hopefully getting the same or close to the same results…

sure I’m certain the scientific method…with the required empirical data…measurability and of course the specific principles of reasoning…take any emotional component and fundamentally puke it up and wash it away with a giant “harrumph”…well…that’s what its designed to do…but install a bit of personality…emotion and “I am who I am”…sort of thinking…it becomes simple to realize that  my method…your method…our collective method…though hosed up in many regards…tends to be the method of choice…even if it means bringing a knife to a gun fight…more than once…

and I think it’s really easy to plod along doing the exact same thing the exact same way…sort of like eating at a cafeteria where the menu never changes…and while the plodding expertise increases…the efficiency of the plod becomes much less effective…and eventually the boots are so thick with mud it’s easier to stand still than try and move the weight…any direction…

producing art is exactly like this…I have done fundamentally the exact same thing for a number of years with the changing variable being color…so my initial exploration of the medium…at one point was global…but like an old married couple…now…my style of painting and I sit in separate lazy boy recliners…wear the same night gowns to bed and can finish each other’s sentences long before we’ve even opened our mouths…to speak…we probably even look alike…

and sure consistency is what some think the lifeblood and success of a great artist….has to be…so it’s easy walking through the gallery and picking out who did what by the small little fingerprints of style left by each artist… and I suppose if galleries are the goal…then consistency is the key…while if moving forward and pushing the…”artistic limits…if you will are the desire…then the complete opposite has to be the focal point….or at least some part of the complete opposite…has to be the place to visit regularly…

I’ve often wondered if classical musicians only listen to classical music…or if secretly they put the headphones on…and clean the house to Miles Davis…or Mahavishnu Orchestra…I’m sure they do…or maybe they listen to 1970’s one hit wonders…but what matters is they listen to what they want…play what they play and somehow it blends together to work…painting is no different…

The other day while out painting…I broke the rules…I broke my own rules…initially in the first nano seconds of rule breaking…I felt as if I was cheating or going to have to explain something…since I made the rules…breaking them was difficult…because again…”method”…has made my rules real and workable…or as worakable as I have convinced myself they are…the more the rules became transparent…the less the method had any value…and quickly I realized…I had over these years painted….myself into a corner…(no pun intended)…and that entire moment was like I had nothing to remember…and nothing to forget…and no matter what happened…everything was…A…Okay…this point of departure was a major leap into the abyss…something that once done…was never possible to change…I have experienced very few of these…and know when this has happened in the past…big things are on their way…

How I got here has always been a mystery to me…not the physical…”Here I am”…but that place…sort of the esoteric port of entry…where I ended up doing what I do…I do believe with every once of my being…what I’ve done…and what I’ve not done…have been the instruments that have landed me right here…right now…doing what I do…fundamentally I have been preparing myself for this moment in time…my entire life…unaware…see there are those unknown knowns…again…all of the events…that happened and the events that didn’t…the left turns…the moves…the pleasures and pains…all of the darkness and light…that was the mixture…

it is much like standing at a doorway looking out over a vast landscape…pointing a finger to…”there”…everything that has happened was required to be at this exact place….and “there” has always existed…as “there”….now it’s time to move a little closer…perhaps the last 10,000 miles…

here is a great way of seeing what you really know…comment your results to me and gender….Try this color test 
my results…Male 8

 “Namely, we have no right to believe a thing true because everybody says so unless there are good grounds for believing that some one person at least has the means of knowing what is true, and is speaking the truth so far as he knows it.” – William Kingdon Clifford

July 3rd…Last weeks Paintings…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

Some of my paintings from  June 27- July 1….

I have a show of about 700 of these small paintings on paper

“The Space In Between” Paintings influenced by the landscape

Ralph Greene Gallery, Opening Reception November 18,  6-9 pm, Closing December 16, 2011, 6-9 pm.

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          


538. June 16…You too can afford real art…from real live people!!!!…no kidding….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Message on My Shadow” 2011

“Does any art have a practical value? People love to talk about how expensive a painting is. That’s the only way we can talk about paintings in this century.” – John Gaure

“They all said “Wow”…sort of in unison….but it sure could have been something other than excitement…maybe the fear of less is what lit the fuse closer to the explosive…than the hearing could bear…”it was courage”…I’d said…I mean really is it a blink…maybe or some choke hold that starts to make the room a little bit smaller…the light makes that…”beep” noise…just before it’s gone…and everything gets real quiet…still…sort of cotton”… The Black Eye Project

I went to art school…jumped through all of the necessary hoops…got a beautiful piece of ecru colored paper that says…Bachelor of Fine Arts…Art Studio…and the part I really do like is along with that I received “all of the rights and privileges appertaining to that degree”…I’ve wondered what exactly the rights and privileges might be…perhaps a savings while renting a car…a 10% discount on top of the AARP and AAA discount…that Just so you know….I’m not getting yet…after some thought I found the rights and privileges…are the parts of the endeavor that make being an artist something of an honor for me…a privilege to be part of an incredible lineage…of people who basically are just like me…and I like them…no matter when they were or what they did…

all of this made me begin thinking about advice…and how often advice is easily served…but rarely followed…by those doing the serving…I have really begun to notice what people do…not what they say…and if what they are doing is really right up there with slinkies….Chinese finger traps…holographs…binary numbers and a well made chicken fruit tajin…I believe in them…but if what they are doing is tapioca…sitting in the sun for a few days…I have to wonder how valuable the input is…

the first art show I ever did…I was experiencing stage fright in a small way…I had the typical artist doubt…that none of my paintings would sell and if by some remote chance they did…the buyer was only doing it…naturally because they knew somehow…I needed the money…that I ate a great deal of Ramen noodles and bologna….and stuff that came in boxes that took 11 seconds in a microwave to heat…that show I sold 3 paintings…made about $700.00…and they knew they were paying my rent for a month…and maybe I could go to Furr’s cafeteria with this new found wealth…or buy a big bag of heroin…some gin…and girly magazines…because as artists we do things like that while we listen to Miles Davis and John Coltrane…have an old refrigerator…and nothing but a box in it…

nevertheless….I was wrong…my notion of worthiness to price relationship did stay around for awhile until I realized that…art only has value if it has value…now how simple is that…sort of like food tastes good if it tastes good…exactly!!!…how a value gets attached to a painting is still a mystery to me…it is economics…based on variables…like stocks…but without all of the tight shirts and insider trading….most artists do have a rather unreal sense of value when it comes to their work…and I think it’s because they are unsure of what to do next….

Art is a mystery in itself…there is a dialogue that requires an education just to ask directions to the bathroom…there’s the whole “Understanding it” thing…that if you don’t get it…or at least act like you get it…you’re going to be run out of the gallery on a rail dripping with tar and feathers…there is also a great deal of head nodding and sighing…that’s on the buyer’s end…while on the artist’s side…big prices mean good art…small prices mean bad art…it’s simple…there are no 4 dollar paintings….but there are 8 million dollar ones…the proof….

I think art should be affordable and affordable to everyone so we can eliminate mainly those horrible $25.00 posters of Vincent’s Starry Night that people spend an additional 80 dollars framing at Hobby Lobby and think there is some future value in it….I’d rather sell my work than keep it….because if you are prolific…it doesn’t take long to fill a house with mounds of art work…flat files of drawings and paintings…notebooks of “New” ideas and walls covered with work…

I just opened an online store to show my work but mainly to sell it….I paint 5-8 paintings a day on paper…let’s do the math…30 days at 6.5 paintings per day = 195 small paintings on paper….and they are affordable…under 20 dollars for an original painting…WOW!!!!…(I know you’re saying outloud…if not thinking “I should buy a few of those paintings…keep Robert from eating any more Ramen and bologna)….so check it out: Ten Thousand Paintings a Daily Adventure in Painting

I can’t say I have the new finger cuffs in a future project…or a slinky that will put the old one to shame…or some alternative to binary numbers….but since I paint…I thought it would be a good idea to see if the talk fit the walk….

so far…so good….left in front of right…ahhhh….

“I believe that global warming is a myth. And so, therefore, I have no conscience problems at all and I’m going to buy a Suburban next time.” – Jerry Falwell

515. April 19th…Painting with new shoes…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Intersections” 2011

“All deception in the course of life is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words into things.” – Robert Southey

how it digresses…first a simple conversation…about the things that sound like they matter…a short move to another corner…talks now have more truth..or at least  some feeling of truth…still wanting her to hold the box…when she doesn’t want to hold it…but can’t say that..because somehow and for some reason she…still believes…that what shouldn’t be…still smells like a spring morning…cool…heavy with fragrance…even though it’s me…not wanting my hands away from the feeling…

at first it was hesitant…more the initial tug of a small fish on the transparent line…was it real…or did I just imagine it all…and if I closed my eyes tight enough to see the gray lines and curves of the darkness…would it be real or could I have made it that way…and what lie spilled from the China cup edge of your cup…with it’s fine line fracture…only darkened over time…

I began again thinking of what it takes…I know that’s a broad statement…and what it takes to do what??? is really the question….we sat on the sandy beach of the Rio Grande…painted a bit…talked a bit as well about what it takes for each of us to find that golden ring…we call something other than…”The Golden Ring”….it’s the time of life…everything should be where it is and why it’s not matters less than putting it all into that place…I suppose if we each bypassed where we are to get to where we wanted to be…there would be a loss…greater than the success of arrival…

the other night I took out all of my work…stacked it in piles on the living room and dining room floors…I draped paintings over the couch…the chairs…covered every inch of the two rooms a few inches high with nothing but work…my first question sprung..quickly…”WHY?”…I sat…tried to answer the question in the least amount of words with the most amount of explosion…sure I could say all the crap about I have too…in my dna…it’s life..all of the other loose excuses for calling myself an “artists”…but not really come to a hard conclusion as to why I have chosen this…and what makes me continue to choose this…the world would not miss my work…a few friends might ask me…”what are you doing”….and if I’m going to be waking up every morning at six to be to work by 8…the answer is clearly…”NO”

just name a few abstract expressionist…let’s start with the obvious Jackson Pollack…Willem de Kooning…Franz Kline…Mark Rothko…Robert Motherwell…Ad Reinhardt…Hans Hoffman…Barnett Newman…Joan Mitchell…Sam Francis…and the list can populate for a few more before we just run out of people who made it in the art world…perhaps they were in the right place at the right time…knew the “right”….people or the “right people who knew the right people”…like Peggy G…. Clement G…maybe lived in the “right” place…drank at the “right” bars…bought dope from the “right” people….etc…but for every one we can name…there has to be thousands…who lived in places like Ds Moines…maybe named Ted…or Xavier from…Tupelo Mississippi…so for the ones who did…there are the thousands that floated the movement…painted without knowing the “Right” anything…

and I guess I’m floating around that world these…days..not questioning the “why”…enough to alter it in any way…more working on the “How” and “What”…it takes to feel the escalator move a bit faster…still going in the direction I am…that one that feels like the “right” one…at least for now…and I know the distractions that pull me away…give me room to question…stare up “there”…looking for the answers…are just that…distraction…

after looking at all of the work up to this point…sifting through the piles…I am doing exactly what I need to be doing as well as what I want to be doing…sort of a garage sale without the sale…seeing what is for exactly what it is…and clearly knowing that this trek is the trek for now…new shoes and all….

“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.” – U.S. Grant

512. April 12th… It’s all in…. “The Work”

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Walking…” 2011

“I can’t imagine anything more worthwhile than doing what I most love. And they pay me for it. – Edgar Winter

So it all happened…some rematch I suppose…perhaps more a touch of fate with a little gin…and lemon… a bit of foreign corrspondence…some hoop jumping…very little explanation….as there was really no need for it…. and all was intact… became still again…somewhere between the agitation cycle…and the spin…but the calm smelled like the skin of a freshly peeled grapefruit…and I just knew it was going to last for a very…very long time…

our conversation drifted to a topic though nebulous…one of great concern..or  one that….should be…”The Work”…my statement “I’ve done all of the work up to this point” …and for the most part it is true…the arduous task of voluntarily skinning myself alive…redefining…the evils…the goods…the I wills and I won’ts…all of those places where the water keeps it moist much longer than anywhere else…yet it does…

and so some few decades fast forward…and I’m beginning to understand the concept of…”The Work”….”My Work”…what it takes….at least for now…what it feels like…at least for now…knowing that the initial expectation is generally always not even remotely close to what may appear…and what I thought was true is often not true at all…and knowing clearly the more emphasis I place on ridding myself of some unwanted facet of me…the more that facet attracts the light…Imagine that…

the word “Selfless”…is defined as…”having little or no concern for oneself“… while Selfish is…”devoted to or caring only for oneself“…both opposing…and neither really close to a medium…where it can be said… “I am selflessly selfish“….or …” I am selfishly selfless“…I’ve pondered the in between word…you know the one that sits dead center…that is exactly half of selfish and half of selfless…that same one that begins with “self”….as each of these extremes is and seems undesirable as a constant…selfish all the time…score ZERO….selfless all the time…still score ZERO…but people may like you better…so what…I think selfish creates the void…selfless fills the void….or maybe it’s the other way around…but the middle ground is where my appeal lies…as too much of anything…you know….

the task of “The Work”…though requires a selfish nature..as introspection dictates self…dive deep into self…swim in that pool for a little longer than a couple of hours on Saturday…to think a selfless exploration of self…almost sounds like a vacation without going anywhere…and that old work may just appear as a quicky in the afternoon when the kids aren’t home…that ain’t happening…

“The Work”..is a constant it just might be those few years that the emphasis is solely upon finding that current that works best…I believe it takes years to undo…redo…remake…reinstall…rebuild…trash it and put it back to a working place…where the discoveries far outweigh the knowns which are often deceptive habits that started the entire process to begin with…and maybe the process has a crown of thorns or maybe it’s a rope noose…a pot of boiling water…or the things that draw your knees to your chest…play the sickening movies all over again…the black ones we thought never really happened…faint of heart need not apply….

and once some place has been found…call it a stall…yet it never ceases…just rolls into a slow motion pattern with the heart rate of a hummingbird…still on the forefront…yet a repreve from all of the late nights…bundles of journals…hours of meditation…buckets of tears…bags of lighters that lit the few hundred candles that allowed a little more light to seep in…sleeplessness…hot baths…every detoxification diet on the planet…a few thousand dollars on massage and colonics…parboiled foods…Tai Chi…and the myriad of things that loosened the plaque from the inside of the soul….

the rest then comes easy…the price…paid in full…at least until the next time…not before some truth has emerged that shed enough light ahead of the path that lights it enough to move forward..perhaps whistle a little better…not care about certain things…and let those who used all the whips they had simply…fade away…disappear…we emerge clean…smooth…a clean heart to begin all over…

and maybe this time what was won’t  ever be…what is makes what will be even better…it’s nothing but green lights ahead…and driving with the headlights off on those full moon nights….

“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.” – James Joyce

508. March 26th…Raise your hand if the first letter in Ertist is… “A”

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“It’s Only Half over” 2011

“People who have given us their complete confidence believe that they have a right to ours. The inference is false, a gift confers no rights.” Friedrich Nietzsche

whether you believe in evolution or not…is unimportant…as evolution means any process of formation or growth…not necessarily gills to lungs…wings to arms and the dreaded…monkeys to man….conversation…and I know there are those who just hear the word evolution and the pulpit crowds with conversation…and what is the antichrist of the evolutionary followers emerges…but to try and use the only other accepted possibility …”Creationism”…in my blog this morning seemed as unlikely a possibility as those who think we came from chimpanzees… and I agree… (truly it was Proconsul africanus)…but nevertheless…applying evolution to the art world verses applying creationism to the art world…is a pants or no pants argument….

the face of the art world has changed dramatically…most likely a change that will never revisit return as historically art always seems to do…and a change that not only effects art…but everyone within the blast zone…galleries…collectors…and most importantly artists themselves…

can you name the last couple of art movements…Minimalism…Pop Art…..what’s happened since then…a host of attempts that have barely left visible scratches on the inside of the coffin lid…

art movements were at one time like waves on the ocean…another following another one which in turn followed another one…often these movements were in contrast to the previous movement…finding that by disavowing the previous movement the current new movement was more of what was happening…exactly where the pulse was….

so why is it there is no art movement…these days…no pulse…no collective that is driving the art world…the reason…in my opinion is very much just like poor breeding…lack of skill…a fantastic sense of self…saturated with kalopsia…a fundamental belief that mediocrity is excellence…oh and of course many like minded “artists” that perpetuate the cardboard conversation ….and finally art has been dumbed down to a point that habitus is veil thin and seems the outcome is  irreversible…art pursuits no longer require expertise…longevity… experience…study…or really anything that other traditional pursuits do….what matters most is desire…and the ability to claim title….nothing more…

all of these elements are the result of what it once was…altered by a process of formation and growth..(evolution)…realize…formation/growth can also define a cancer….tumor…disease…etc…the art world…much as we’d all like to see it void of disease…is not….

galleries are dying on the vine these days…call it revolt in a silent sense…blame the economy…but the why is unimportant…it is the what can be done that matters…and so a few galleries close their doors….that’s part of the evolutionary process…what to do next….many gallery owners are changing their mode of operation…altering what they do and how they do it…adapting to the current conditions…in hopes better will return…just with a different face…

artists…have a greater ability now than any other time in history…sure…first it was explaining the ether on cave walls….then painting for the church….finally secular art took hold…and from that moment forward the pattern has been the same….not anymore….artists now have more possibilities…greater ability to show their work…and take charge of where it goes and what it does…who sees it…who doesn’t….etc…more artists are working in small collectives…have galleries within their studios that represent just their work…show their work in spaces that are transitory…and mobile….work with other artists who have the same ideas….not the traditional ideas….

maybe the new art movement might never take place….and was never designed to…and just maybe we’re past all of that….

“It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” – Winston Churchill