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

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

489. February 9th…Who’d win in a bar fight…John Coltrane…or Sun Tzu…your vote counts…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Gato’s Idea” 2011

“I find in working always the disturbing intrusion of elements not a part of my most interested vision, and the inevitable obliteration and replacement of this vision by the work itself as it proceeds.” – Edward Hopper

I…like many young boys…fell in love with my first grade teacher…Mrs. Womack…a fine beauty as I recall…the picture perfect…”Life” magazine model of 1964…I loved her so much…I asked her if she would wait for me until I got a little bit older…you know maybe 11….or 13…she in turn declined my request…had a conference with my parents…and set me straight on what love was and somewhat how it worked…the age gap and all of the particulars…I was okay with this…a little disenchanted but nevertheless OK….

I’ve noticed lately I’m saying “Hmmm” a great deal more than I ever have…and pausing more when I talk…I don’t think it’s serious…instead I believe I’ve arrived at a place where I think more before I act…and I never really planned on getting here…frankly I never even thought about it…but here I am…maybe Socrates quote…”The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” is making sense…

I am at that point in my life where quality far out weighs quantity…and my batch processing mind…has chosen to look at the petal rather than the entire garden…call it a mortality wake up call…if you will…but what counts is not the amount of it all but the essence of it…the purity…and truth…we will find what we are searching for…so it’s imperative…that is defined clearly…worst job on the planet has to be the royal taster….

John Coltrane’s  recording…”A Love Supreme”…epitomizes life as I see it…called the greatest jazz album of all…Coltrane…recorded this entire album in one session…it is a culmination  of old and new…has  4 very distinctive parts…”Acknowledgment”… “Resolution”… “Pursuance”….and ends with “Psalm”…here is a perfect example of putting it all together when putting it together counts…

when putting it together counts…it is a dynamic of all of the elements being well placed…honed…accurate…and ready…right timing to avoid the bloody nose…therw is no magic…no right place right time…no luck…it’s all about nature…like a scorpion…they are designed to sting….

if you’ve not listened to “A Love Supreme”….do…it just might change a few things…

“The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.”  – Sun Tzu