March 4, 2018…What’s in a Fortune Anyway…

From the MInd of the Manic, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

 

“My Favorite Bunnies” ©2018

“You are only as strong as the alcohol you drink, the tables you dance on, and the friends that hold you together” 

I had lunch with a friend of mine some months ago in Calistoga California at the only Chinese restaurant in town. In typical, commercial, Chinese restaurant fashion, two cellophane wrapped fortune cookies appeared along with the check.

I will admit, when the fortune cookies arrive, something comes over me, (some of you do this too, just differently, and it is OK). I become over the top superstitious, count to 6, three times…tap my left foot a few times, blink twice, wave my hand over each cookie, hoping to feel the magic and juju I so associate with fortune cookies. I mean for God’s sake, they are, “FORTUNE”, cookies…I make major decisions based on what’s wrapped up in that tiny stale, sometimes spongy treasure chest…part of my superstition is being the last to take the remaining little pillow of fate…at least that way I know destiny has clearly chosen me by the process of elimination and what awaits, I follow like the Boy Scout motto…

I do have an out though if the fortune really sucks, I don’t eat any of the cookie, that way the fortune is null and void…whew!! The most memorable fortune I’ve ever had in my life created this null and void ritual… here goes:

“You will have a very unusual operation”

So with great anticipation, my friend made his choice, cracked it open and read his fortune…it was something about straight lines and life, had no relevance what so ever, so he said…I’ve yet to check with him though…I quivered with anticipation as I cracked open the vault of whatever fortune cookies are made of, and there on a slender piece of paper my fate awaited me…

In all seriousness, it was the most profound fortunes I’ve received, I look at it every day, and see how it works for me…not to mention, I’ve memorized the Chinese word on the back of the fortune, “Busy”,  Mang or Fan, depending of course….

Here’s what I’m listening to as I write this, I hope you enjoy it….

Hope your fortune comes true…

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth’, and so it goes away”

547. July 13…It’s not WHAT you step on it’s HOW you step on it…Some of what I encountered…this morning

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“He who is in love with himself has at least this advantage – he won’t encounter many rivals.” – George C. Lichtenberg

here are some photographs of some of the things I encountered this morning while walking…I wonder where they came from…how they got there…who did it and why we crossed paths….I usually whistle while I’m walking…

I thought a great deal about… “The Rules” ….while putting left in front of right many times this morning and came to find…most are not really worth a great deal…seem to occupy more time than they offer results….keeps my teeth a bit to tight together…so I decided I’m getting rid of these rules…gonna put some new ones in place….ones that smell like freesia and look a little more like Drew Barrymore…

“I asked Dalai Lama the most important question that I think you could ask – if he had ever seen Caddyshack.” – Jesse “The Body” Ventura

546. July 11…we have about 500 million breaths in a lifetime…I’m making sure it’s… “In goes the good air…out goes the bad”…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Another Man’s Poison” ©2011, Robert Redus

“Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.” – Paulo Coelho

There is always a first time…that is what I have forgotten…some days…and is something I have been in the habit of reminding myself of when I look for what could be the first time for something new…even though I have experienced something similar…

I painted 3 small paintings in T or C yesterday after a walk and some picture taking early in the morning…those three paintings were born of sorts… “there”…not any place else and everything around me…all that had influenced me right then…right there…was what made those paintings become what they did…their birth certificates read…”Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 7/10/11…and that was the very first time for those paintings…that can never be different than what it is…

     

Perhaps… “Firsts”…are like the number of breaths in a lifetime…definable…but in a weird way…the average respiratory rate reported in a healthy adult at rest is usually 12 breaths per minute…that’s about 504,576,000 breaths….if you live to 80 years old….thinking of it this way makes the number of possible …“Firsts”…in a lifetime….a huge event…or huge events…depending on the choice of one a or a few hundred thousand… “firsts”…

Everything too…either does…or does not….I guess knowing that…I question the reasoning for the constant desire to experience the same things…when knowing that if it does not…stop…and if it does…continue until it either 1. stops doing  or 2. it still is doing but you don’t want to do it anymore…I’m certain it is consistency and familiarity that has a great deal to do with the repetition of a process…

yet what I’m hearing is just the opposite from those who have lived lives of consistency and are now staring at some obstacle there directly in front of them…that is now preaching a different method for an outcome that just might be that “Answer” they’d been looking for over the entirety of their life…and reflection has been the tool that illustrates the flaw to where they have been…not where they are going…and now the breaths are getting shorter in amount and time is becoming more valuable…the actions are more calculated…and deliberate…and what really matters is doing what really matters…

so I guess what matters is if what each of us is doing is what fills us each day then… halleluiah…but if it only fills it up part ways….it might be time to try something again for the….first time….

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

542. June 27…Bill has the answers…he really does…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The Last Song” ©2011 Robert Redus

“Babies have big heads and big eyes, and tiny little bodies with tiny little arms and legs. So did the aliens at Roswell! I rest my case.” – William Shatner

“If you have it flaunt…it”…but don’t deep down inside at the core of our being…we hate “It” when “It’s” flaunted…and generally dislike the one doing the flaunting….maybe it’s because they have and we don’t or they can and we can’t….or maybe it’s they have and we do too…they can…and we decide not to…and I think in most cases it is the latter…which shows some sign of grace…acquired over some length of time…

I was a bouncer at the Hard Rock Café in Honolulu….”bouncer” has some connection to the movie Road House…sounds aggressive…stinks of beer…3:AM…and bar flies….being a family restaurant not to mention the busiest Hard Rock on the planet…the management preferred to call us “Security”…there is an air about the word “Security”…I quickly envision suits…ear pieces…calling clients…”The Package”…door opening…black limos and everything that says a 2011…fall release movie…starring Colin Farrell…well not true…my job was to stop what might happened if it did…check identification and generally keep the peace…it was simple…rarely exciting and the perfect place for me to be and be single…

Often I was confronted by people who forgot to bring identification for the bar…and could or could not get in…depending on how they tried to convince me was the determining factor for “No” or “Yes” if they got …“No”…they began “Flaunting”…asking me if I knew who they were…how much money they made…did I know that these shoes…cost more money than I made as a “Stupid Doorman”…in 2 months…and the final plea was always…”c’mon we’re on vacation”…I generally responded with “No”…”No”…“No”…” Really…why in the world should I believe you of all people are on vacation?”…when “No” was as clear as the rhinoplasty nose…check and jowl augmentation and spray on tan on their face…they either did one of 2 things…threatened my job…or…became nice…it was never about premeditated squirming for me…it was really about those first few seconds of them convincing me as to why they needed to get in the restaurant…. because nice people…are not going to be taking off their clothes…getting rowdy…and starting trouble….there was a holistic plan…beneficial…and effective…

I began thinking of having plans…as I’ve never been a real planner…and I think because of an extraordinarily short attention span…my plans generally have a few minute life span…great for spontaneity…but long trips are a little unnerving…if timetables are important to you…I like to think of myself as mobile…but really I am more anchored than I profess…there are all of these conversations I have with Traffic and Elvis…about plans…our plans in particular…we…or really I do all of the discussing…they basically listen or at least have convinced by their looks they are listening…I discuss art plans with them…

art plans are difficult…because the planning part of the brain doesn’t work while the creating part is in the “On” position…there is always a disconnect that occurs…

the more I’ve been involved in producing art…the more I’m getting that it’s always about “The Work”…yet it is also always about “What’s going to happen with the work right now”…I’m not a paint to paint sort of guy…I prefer…the capitalist mentality about producing art and how:

paintings=dollars…which=some part of the happiness pie which in turn=time

there have been 2 events outside of my world that have indirectly affected me to a point that I have come to some few very definitive conclusions…conclusions I am going to do something about:

1.    Art is just art…make it affordable…

2.   Life is shorter than we all think

3.   Anything can happen

4.   If it feels right…it probably is

5.   A well thought out plan is well worth the time thinking

6.   “Hike your own Hike”

7.   Everything I do today has got to be alright

8.   No Regrets

9.   Do something worthwhile everyday

10. Make it effortless…

so in essence…show it off if you’ve got it….cause it won’t last forever…make it cheap…easy to deal with….and something you can handle on a daily basis….and as Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke says:

“You listen to me, cowboy. I’ve got you out from underneath my fingernails and you’re gonna stay out”

541. June 25…”Come as you are…Leave as who you’ve always wanted to be”

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Wonder” ©2011, Robert Redus

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” – Gail Sheehy

“it was the first time…but my insides said I’d done this many more times than today….sure I was going to end up drinking grape flavored drink mix out of pot…with a small white plastic spoon..and that’s when the road would begin to wind its way to where I was going to sit…for a long time…I still think of those days…when the heat would suck every bit of breath from my lungs…the creosote bushes would stink up the air bright green…and every now and again…the devil would stir the earth a few miles away…kind of a warning in a way…taught me to get a bit closer to the things that hissed evil….maybe like putting a finger on a fast spinning tire…mumbly peg…or those boiling asphalt roads at sunset…alive…waiting…deep bites…it sometimes blows west in the mornings…bringing the scent of the river to my door…a mildew fragrance…like them old books in the box…in the closet…and I guess it was killing time in a way…spending something on something else…that neither one had that value like those TV sets there at the parking lot carnival…where the guys with the whiskers and missing front teeth…called us up there acted like they knew us…wanted to make us a deal…”you boys like that push push?”…5 dollars each…he’d hold open the canvas drape…she sat on a cot covered with blankets…picking at something under her fingernail…”how bout dope…good  Jamaican tops”…it was almost like ringing a door bell and running… but running really slow…or getting a peek at her breast and acting like I didn’t see anything….turn my head left…right…look a little at the floor…raise my eyebrows…as if I was going to say something…just puff my cheeks…instead”….from the Black Eye Project

we played with the Magic 8 Ball last night…at a birthday party…a gift that sure opened it all up…I had a Magic 8 Ball…I kept it in a blue metal safe…really it was a box with a red plastic dial that made it look like a safe…but as far as security…there was none…the stuff I needed to hide..cigarettes…love letters….the  playing cards with the naked women on them…the one’s I took from my father’s sock drawer….they’re  buried in a jar in the backyard of the house I grew up in…

when I asked a question to the Magic 8 Ball…it was a real question that the answer was generally very pivotal to my future…the answer…was one I believed…and believed with every ounce of my being….needless to say…”Ask again later“…was a torturous answer as I felt as I was standing on the precipice…and my life depended greatly on knowing the answer to “if Connie really liked me“…in the event that she did…my plan was a forward progression…or at least as forward as an overly shy…fat kid…could progress….if say the answer was “Definitely No“…she was off of the radar immediately…as the word “Magic” in the Magic 8 Ball…clearly defined that there were powers out there that were far more capable of answering the question in my life than…I was…now on the flip side….when the answer aligned with my desire…my life was illuminated….I was on the path so to speak…everything was…where I wanted it to be…often I would ask the same question again…maybe due to insecurity or uncertainty…and if the answer was different…things would become confusing…

there is something about having a great amount of security…just as there is with having none…I think having a lot of security is like sleeping under a bunch of blankets on a really cold winter night…while having none is like riding in the back of an old pick up truck driving fast down a long dirt road…with nowhere to go in mind….just where you are…right then…and I guess they both are good for what they are and good for what they’re…not…

Robert Genn…an artist who writes about being an artist defined what it takes to keep the grip on the life in art he used descriptions and attributes to define this grip…they are:

curious…philosophical…passionate…energetic…obsessive-compulsive…self-motivated, entrepreneurial…loner, non-joiner, outsider .. hard worker…patient…exhibitionistic…egoistic…individualistic, resistant to prior programming

I went to bed last night thinking about these…and how each of these traits are also the same traits that make living well…like a great barbeque…I guess everyone can say they are all of these to some degree…and they are admirable traits….so in essence everyone is also an artist….to some degree…just as everyone is a doctor or a high wire acrobat…or Las Vegas Show Girl….to some degree…this led me to the idea of what would you rather be…I guess than who you are…right now…it reminded me of the movie…”The Parking Lot Movie“…where on the wooden parking gate is the phrase….”Come as you are…Leave as who you’ve always wanted to be“…and I like that….

We have a lot of opportunity awaiting us….and I think the whole…”Come as you are…Leave as who you’ve always wanted to be” thing really if you think about it…takes great deal of the guess-work out of the equation…sure I realize that the Magic 8 Ball…entrails and tea leaves are the definitive method of getting it…not to mention the “On-line oracles“….In the poll…the choice…”Other“…that’s the one I’d like to know about …so comment and tell me what “other” is for you…and even if it’s Wombat Handler….the same attributes apply

I’ll consult the Magic 8 Ball to see if you’re not just…pulling my leg…though….

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.” -Wizard of Oz

540. New Recovery Jewelry ©…and all the stuff that makes getting better…so much better….

New Jewelry, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Some Tight Times Ahead” ©2011, Robert Redus

“Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” – Patti Smith

a loosening or unfastening,”…I read it a few times…over…then once more for the very…last time…I was done reminding myself of it any longer…I guess it just needed to be unfolded…snap hard in the wind….let go…released from storage…in a sense…but they were my browns…and lavenders…dog eared pages…pressed leaves in the books I’d never read…probably never was…maybe I’d not made the time to…or summoned up the desire enough…to call it anything than what it really was….just good theater…he’d said…bravo…bravo….clapped hands like wooden blocks in an empty room…everything battened down…cause the big waves were sure to come…as they had the many times before…maybe the moon had a little something to do with it…or sure it was global warming…that’s what it was…or maybe god was just pissed…and there was going to be more on Thursday…than the rest of the days…I guess I didn’t know…and I no longer cared…the streets were those slaughterhouse reds…and the screams had long escaped….fell apart like mist from the garden sprayers…bug drops…bug juice…smeared…dried..on the windshield…but could still see through it…if you moved your head a little….but those were the “Solutions”…the effervesint…realities of living well below the bubbles…….hmm the bubbles…they tickled her nose…when they  popped…made her look deeper into the glass….they’d said…”it was another world in there”…I bought one of those dancing hula girls…for the dashboard of the truck”….from….The Black Eye Project

I used to recover a great deal…after weekend long weekends….and not necessarily always after debauchery…late nights and scantily clad women…working around a brass pole attached to the ceiling…whose names were China…and Cheyenne…sometimes the recovery has been silent….a quiet time to try to figure out why certain things worked and others didn’t…and rather than embrace the working mechanisms of living…somehow…wanting to stay there made time sort of something that felt like a hybrid of…Son of Flubber…slow motion…those dreams where people are chasing me and I’m wearing the oversized concrete shoes…or I’m crawling…and there is a test anxiety dream just waiting outside the door…that seconds before the large talon wielding beast grabs me…will make it’s entry into my world….hallelujah!!

Recovery is a long process…one that if dealt with well consume most of what you used to be and sort of squeezes you through the garden hose…to emerge…shinier…than before…yet hyper aware of the stuff that screams …”Run Away…Run Away”…and sleeping with the light on…becomes less normal…while all of those voices…sort of…take a back seat and let you drive…at least most of the time….except when they’re hungry or misguided

and what ever we recover from…there was a significant trade…maybe you traded many years…perhaps decades ago…while the equability may take place say when your 50 or…60…or a hundred…but again if done well…equity balances the books in some weird way…that will inevitably make sense…

sure we can all say…they did _________to me…and I’m pissed…or can only eat lunch meat on Fridays with a Fanta orange drink…with one of those straws that bend….and in a room that is painted a sea green color…because of it….but…your still at least able to eat lunch meat….or stare out of the window 60 times a day rather than the standard 7,114 times  a day as you did for the last 17 years…while you were eating cereal out of the box….with your lucky rabbits foot tied around your neck and the magic house slippers that you wore that ensured planetary alignment and safety from…swarms of locust…plagues…boils…and round things that your were not really sure exactly what they are…that all worked too…in another weird way…

I think recovery is a lot like love…sometimes when you least expect it…it begins to happen…once it happens…if you choose to do nothing about it…basically nothing further is going to happen…but if you decide to take a few steps towards it…forget about what you think you know…the stuff you’re hooked into and maybe just start thinking about solutions…and what feeling good looks like…smells like…taste like…sounds like…it might work…of course with friends… a lot of talking…some pretty late nights…journals…new age music…documentary films…exotic foods from the Asian market…small containers of stuff you still think is magic…and necklaces….that’s right necklaces like this one….

  
This is me at 3 years old…it really is…My friend Mars and I came up with the idea of making necklaces for people who are on the path of getting better… or working on it…or anything around it…I’ve found by wearing this…I have really become very powerful…might sound a bit scizophernic…but we’re having a great time and when I take my walks in the evening…we both walk…have conversations and work out the stuff…we need to over these oh…48 some years….on the back is the statement… “Don’t ever mess with the kid”…we have called these “Recovery Necklaces”…and if you’d like to order one for yourself or someone else, please go to….Recovery Necklaces

Thanks and as the guy for Motel 6 says…”we’ll keep the light on”

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.” – Mohammad Ali

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