Star Gazing

Thoughts from the "Tinman", West Texas ramblings

Limited Time, 2017

“I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.”

I used to camp on a picnic table at Bean Hollow Beach, long after they would lock the gates, check the bathrooms and say goodnight to whatever needed saying goodnight to….I’d walk around the heavy yellow pipe barricade, with my sleeping bag, a flashlight, a small styrofoam cooler and my journal…I always had plans…didn’t always initiate the plans but had them nevertheless…Often I’d start a small fire under the concrete picnic table that was my bed to warm it up…I’d lie there, drink some beers and watch the star filled sky…watch for anomalies and satellites…strange events, anything that wanted to come forward…it was an experience I often think of today and how it was, simple and easy….a pleasure to be a part of a few times each month….I owned the beach, and everything on it…it was mine for about 8 hours…sometimes I’d count the stars like the minutes…because I could…

Star gazing music:

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

7.1.13…The lasting effects and knowledge of June….2013

First Day of the Month, Last Day of the Month

cause I dont worry

“Cause I Don’t Worry” ©2013, Robert Redus

“I’m not out to convince anybody of anything.”

I’ve not revisited the “First of the Month”…honestly in a few months maybe even….well…over a year…in order for the first of the month to have some value…there must be a connection to the end of the previous month…don’t ask me why…but it just seems a sort of…”foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone”…sort of progression… I have to say in all honesty…I prefer writing about what I learned in the month just finished rather than…what I think I’m going to learn in the month…ahead…seems so cryptic…

well here is the…where I’ve been…in other words the gripping thoughts and the skinny for June 2013…the month that has led me to this morning of writing about…my expectations if you will…for July…

10 Things I learned in June:

  1. There are a lot of people who buy a lot of pretty pointless…stuff…
  2. Bee stings are much different from what I expected…
  3. There is always something that has to happen before that something that really matters happens…
  4. I’m completely and utterly done with thinking that #3 is true and has to occur…
  5. Writing is much more liberating than I remember…
  6. Israeli food is the same as Middle Eastern food..so I understand the conflict even less…
  7. At art shows…people generally ask the same…4 questions…and tell me the same…3 storie… about themselves…
  8. Success for me is finding someone who is equally as excited about selling my stuff as I am excited about making it…
  9. At 56 I don’t need/want excuses…
  10. Sometimes it is just easier to nod than to say anything….maybe utter a couple of “hmm’s” …but remain for the most part…quiet

So there you have it…June in a nutshell!

July is going to have to wait….I have 30 more days to see what transpires…

see you then…

“If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire  to work towards getting it.”

It “Ain’t” always “Small” that makes a town small….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere.”

I’ve discovered I’m enjoying small town living…I’m already waving at people on my evening walk and know Earl from Dave…I even gave directions this afternoon…leaning into the car…saying things like… ” follow the road down there, stay right and turn at your first right…go 7 miles”….and I do it like I really know what I am talking about….but that’s not the reason…

I like the small town feel mostly for…what you want is not always there to get…and that works really well for me…

I needed coat hangers today….after the A and B decision were made….trajectory mattered…

43-400key[1]

now in a city you drive over to the “Dollar Store”…..strap on the hand sanitizer holster while wading through a sea of diapers littering the parking lot…scrape the gum you just stepped in….off your shoe…on the curb….try and read the graffitti…scrawled on the sidewalk…have a little stare down with the small child….seated in the shopping cart…who clearly has an upper respiratory tract infection…and no one in the family is willing to put tissue to nose…wait in line behind someone who is counting out 89 cents in pennies and a few nickles….and then realizes they have a coupon to use…and finally pay for….the 10 for a buck coat hangers and are immediately accosted by the guy standing outside that is either really trying to grow dreads or is really not trying to….but yet he is….who is standing in the parking lot holding a large empty pickle jar….and he really wants to ask a question…or make a statement…or….maybe just talk….

Not here…that’s right…correct…not here….they just don’t have the coat hangers in stock and they won’t for maybe a few weeks….and I take a deep sigh of relief…look around…in a slightly upward direction….as if I’m going to point to the heavens in a “#1” gesture and mouth something sacred….but instead….I shake the clerk’s hand who just told me the coat hanger news and say… “God…I can’t thank you enough…you think it might be 2…maybe three weeks before you get some?” …”Yes sir” he responds….and I think what could be better…

better than this…BP still at 120/40….plaques resting quietly far…far away….

Oh there’s graffiti here…even crime…and maybe even a few people who had misdemeanor arrests in the 1970’s…

but the pace is like living  in a really small house…where 5 books takes up a wall…and more is always more…while less fills the place like helium….I discovered today…coat hangers are really cool…..when they were wire I had a lot of fun with them…and they were even cooler….

but today….I’ll mark my calendar for three weeks from today…and write…. “Pick Up Coat hangers at Hardware”……by then I might really need something else…..who knows

“All that a city will ever allow you is an angle on it,  an oblique, indirect sample of what it contains, or what passes through it; a  point of view.”

588. January 22, 2012…Visibility… a few miles…maybe a few feet…

Writings from the "Cuff'

"When I Thought I was Lou Reed" ©2012, Robert Redus

“Everyone smiles with that invisible gun to their head.” – Chuck Palahniuk

I’ve not been reading that much lately…really not at all to speak of and I think it is because my magic carpet has been temporarily grounded…in for a few minor repairs…and small adjustments…and very soon..I will again be airborne….

the obvious is often not there in the lens…not because it is not…really there…it’s just not visible…you know sort of returning to dot…i’s and cross t’s…as what really is important is the penmanship…the grammatical construction and the punctuation…rather than the true gristle and meat of the sentence…paragraph…words…it becomes filling a void…only because a void is there…and because it’s a void…it clearly needs filling…

I knew a kid that had a scar across his left eyebrow from his brother’s inaccurate golf club swing…or rather….he was standing to close to the recoil…but either way it was a clear path of eybrowless…rippled patch…bisecting his eyebrow…it was brilliant…a real ice breaker and conversation piece…something he would have for a lifetime…I always talked to the white hairless patch of skin…which I’m sure most everybody did…there were a few dots from the stitches themselves…a raised rather larvae looking scar…with small little rib like discolored skin going across that…I’m certain under a magnifying glass it was a completely other world down there…the impact of the wood…fattened his brow a bit so it appeared his eye was considerably smaller than the other eye…many years later it looked like the golf swing event had happened just a few days before…I never could figure out why years later it looked just as bad as the day the stitches were removed…he seemed to have held on to the scar…was all I could think…

I awakened the other morning to these words… “wash your face“…where they came from…what they meant or what I was supposed to do with them was a mystery to me…at first I thought someone was in my room…talking to me…I then thought maybe it was divine intervention…a message from the afterworld…..or perhaps the cat coughing up a hair ball…I’ve washed my face  a few times since then…nothing miraculous occurred each time…then I got it….

I lived in a small beach community in Northern California…the entry to my house was a  glass sliding door covered by a wooden carport….each morning I would fill a large bowl with water…set it on the porch rail…I’d walk past the entrance to the carport look to my left and there was the Pacific ocean a few hundred yards away….straight in front of me was a long abandoned military installation…just the concrete foundations remained…they were over grown with a myriad of colored flowers…I’d pick a few flowers and return to the carport….where I would set the flowers down…and wash my face in the cold water from the bowl…I’d then float the flowers in the water…sit for a few moments and take every bit of it in….it always worked….

as a child….I always wanted stitches….

“Hold me in your arms, lava lamp! Let me seek magma comfort and peace in the warmth of your kryptonite embrace.” – Isabel Yosito

562. August 19…Your Art Goals…do you have any?….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

"It's That Way" ©Robert Redus, 2011

“When we kill our desires we stink like any corpse.” – Harold Norse

The Tao says, “ Whatever you look for you’ll find”, and I know that to be true based on spending my energy and time focused on what it is I want and have wanted to find. I also know, “What ever I’m not looking for I won’t find”…

Simplifies the whole issue of searching or not. Yesterday, I saw 12 Westfalia VW vans, and I didn’t see a single thing…I wasn’t looking for.

When it comes to looking for anything, there has to be a reason for the looking in the first place. At the bottom of all of this are really just a few finds and answers we’d all like. Often though we are clouded over with far too many desires and loose ends and want more than we could do anything with even if we had them all.

As artists it is very easy to want, and want a great deal without a viable way of getting what we want.  Reminder, art is a business and along with a business plan, goals need to be installed, assessed, reviewed,  edited and accomplished. Creating goals is the easiest part, following them and completing them are the most difficult. It takes a few minor steps to put it together then the work is in creating the habit of working on the goal.

Goals/Plans must be well defined, have measurable results, must be over the bar but attainable,  realistic, and a timeline to accomplish them. This applies to short, mid range and long-term goals.

Here are some of my plans….

Short-term plan: Present to 6-months 
  1. Continue painting until November 6th for my upcoming show on November 18th
  2. Continue work on the Art Benefit Auction for November 5
  3. Keep promoting my work locally and nationally

Mid-Range plan: 6 months – December 2012

  1. Work on the Outdoor Studio/Westfalia project through May of 2012
  2. Begin developing California Show for November  2012
  3. Increase promotions in California

Long-Term plan 2- 5 years

  1. 1200-1500 sq foot permanent studio space
  2. Increase panting scale to 9-12 feet
  3. More representation

Everything is negotiable and can be changed, altered, revamped and redesigned, based on progress. The term, “It’s all about the work” really does apply…I’d be interested in your artistic endeavors and plans…please keep me posted.

 “We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us” – John Steinbeck

522. “Support the Arts…or your fired” Campaign……..

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“2 Views” 2011

“It’s a beautiful evening and it’s great to stay here and I want to dedicate a super-sexy song to you.” Mark Sandman’s last words

She told me I was dreaming…my only response was because I wanted to…never had and thought it would be a great idea…they were moving north..so he could sail…I was staying fixed until the oysters…became more real…and when I squinted my eyes and opened them it was there….not here…I knew that was going to take some time…some changes…and a more realistic way of checking things off…bundled tighter…but they were sending samples….

seemed the insurmountable was finally over… I guess…I guess really I’d just clapped my hands kind of pushed it all away with a cover all that announced I wasn’t really interested any longer…and maybe it meant my fuse was shorter and faster…or that those times I was overly concerned could now take a well deserved rest…

I read a letter today about rejection and how as an artist we should get used to it…develop thick skin…all of the clichés that go along with being in a profession that in many cases is not taken very seriously…I’ve discovered if you’re not an artists…there is not a great deal of room in life for art and all of the overhead swirling stuff that is part of art…

I once fired my dentist because he didn’t support my business…he never attended my art openings or purchased my work…even after he said he liked it a great deal…yet he sent me a reminder every 6 months about my upcoming dental cleaning and…all of  the future work that would be required in my mouth…and approximately how many thousands of dollars  it  was going to be…as he’d said…(he had a kid in school and needed to keep working)…really what he was saying was…”You need to make sure and make your appointments…get all of the work I’ve recommended…because I need you Robert to help pay for junior to attend the high-priced school back east…that I write the check for

and after my last postcard was mailed to the dental clinic…my show had closed without an appearance by my DDS…at my next appointment I asked him …why he thought it was acceptable for me to support his business while he felt no need to support mine…he had no answer…except “I couldn’t tell you“…that was enough for me…when we were done…I shook his hand and said politely “I’m firing you as my dentist, because if you won’t support me in my endeavors…I can’t support you in yours”….I’ve never heard from him again…I guess he really didn’t like my work after all....

I think artists need to take what they do very seriously…align themselves with those who on the serious scale…take what they do equally as serious…as well…and endeavor to persevere ( Abe lincoln said that to the “Civilized Tribes”)….

Paul Gauguin traded paintings for boat passage…one of Cezanne’s many still life with apples sold for $7,000 in 1949…”Who the &%$# is Jackson Pollack”…finds a women truck driver who purchases a Suspected Pollack at a thrift store in California for $5.00…gives it to her friend who doesn’t like it because it won’t fit in her trailer…it is confirmed to be an original Pollack and last estimate of it’s worth is 22 million dollars…hmmm…

that’s the beauty of being an artist…I don’t really know if I get a gold watch…a pension or any of things…that everybody else does…who knows I may be molding Alpo into the shape of a turkey in 20 years and calling it Thanksgiving…and all of my artist friends are just fine with it…and always make sure to invite me to every potluck…

really though the ability to produce art that makes people think…uplifts them…makes them question…sedates them…occupies them…angers them…stimulates them or does anything that they don’t normally experience is a wonderful thing to have happen and be a part of…

so my new approach is firing everyone that does not support me as I support them…I realize it narrows the playing field significantly…limits who I will work with and who will work with me…but it’s the whole support issue…be there or be square…

this leads me to Art show support…I’m guilty of this I know…most all of my friends are artist and invite me to openings…that often I don’t attend because of some reasonable reason at the time…which in hindsight is never very reasonable…so I’m thinking of a way to make openings without making all of them…this is my idea…it’s sort of like what I did on Facebook…if we can call each other…and really go out and have lunch without it being weird…then each of us can attend the others respective art opening…and who knows the whole lunch thing just might be the catalyst to great friendship….a future of art openings…and a list of dentists mechanics…doctors…plumbers…lawyers…cooks and miracle workers…who are willing support the business….of art….sounds like a winning situation all the way around….I’d say….

“Don’t fight a battle if you don’t gain anything by winning.” – Erwin Rommel