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

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“A Day in a Life” 2011

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

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

Acrylic on paper 3 1/2″ x 3″

Acrylic on paper 4″ x 4″

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

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

I think all of these should be art:

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

Acrylic on Paper 4″ x4″

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

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

Acrylic on paper 4″ x 4″

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

Acrylic on paper 3 1/2″ x 3″

Acrylic on paper 4″ x 4″

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

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

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

499. March 1st… “Life is short, the art long.” Hippocrates ………..Really it is….

Art and my thoughts about being an artist

“My Backyard Mexico” ” 2011

“Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.” – Ambrose Bierce

I mean it required a clean white cloth to clean the soul….but somehow something has to get dirty to get something clean…..and it didn’t mater if they wore the clown mask and sang the fun songs…or if it was just a bunch of drunks…beating the shit out the guy dressed like a clown….it was going to be funny to someone somehow”

and so here we sit…

I was sure hoping a famous art gallery owner maybe one who owned a few galleries in New York…L.A. and Miami….was going to get into an automobile accident in front of my house on the…dead end street I live on…and her cell phone wasn’t working…so she’d have to come inside my house to call the police and 911…she’d then see my paintings…and I would be discovered….and everything would be…groovy…

there are obvious realizations that may often remain completely…obstructed and camouflaged  by choice….ease…denial…not wanting to see some level of truth…the “Situation”…and a myriad of other bs…lights that fuse of decision…yet nevertheless…the fuse has been lit…and hopefully…like any good cartoon…it is written on the side of the big round barrel of explosives…”TNT”….and the cartoon explosion will have words in it…”BOOM”….a mass of black smoke….and we get to walk away from it relatively unscathed…but emerge from the fire and smoke covered in soot…a cross shaped banaid on our forehead and our left arm in a sling…of course…smoke coming from our burned yet normally functioning body…and we appear a slight bit bewildered….shortly there after the literal light bulb illuminates above our still smoldering head…and a new and equally…obstructed…explosive plan begins to unfold….but this one’s gonna work….quathi wabbitt….

I came away the other evening…realizing that no matter what I want to paint…there is a natural pulse…a personality I paint from…I firmly believe every painting I have done…am currently working on or will do is nothing more than some version of  a self-portrait and until I somehow change self…if that is my desire…I will continue painting the way I do with a few glitches here and there…even change some things about mind to hand…hand moves brush type thinking…but that happens as it happens to me…and the everyday living stuff…

and do I want to paint like some of the artists I admire…I did…I don’t now…I’ve come to that place that I only want to explore what I’m doing when it comes to paint and building something…and outside of that…there is nothing that important…

a friend of mine made a very big decision about her work…the exploration of her work…and where it was going…her studio space…and overall a reconstruction of the model…it worked out…not exactly as she had thought it was going to…but better…that being said…the results of the actions too will be much better…

it takes a great deal of courage…to tell ourselves the truth about our work…and more often than not we are reluctant by the fragile tenuously balanced ego…there high above us….balancing precariously…between “not even close to stable” and “ready to crash”…worse is knowing and not acknowledging that…the work needs work…

as artists we have chosen a solitary sort of existence when it comes to the process…of making art…what better place to breed this idea of creativity…get together occasionally with those like…us…have a few cocktails…or better micro-brewed beer from Marble brewery…preferablly….”Citra”..and share the mind….the ideas…the stuff that makes it great…..

artists…we are the most fortunate people on the planet…we ARE groovy….

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss

419. September 24th…Does…. “Non-Opposite” ……mean…..the same?…I like… “Non-Undead” ….it clearly means you’re not a Zombie….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“I was born a Non-Conformist” 2010

“There are three side effects of acid: enhanced long-term memory, decreased short-term memory, and I forget the third.” – Timothy Leary

I remember the first bicycle I ever had….it was very small and was made in England….sort of a glossy brick-red with some interesting stickers on it….my brother called it an “English Racer”…just by the name…I felt there was a quality to the bike that had yet to be exploited…and it was my destiny to discover what the abilities of boy and bike were capable of….the bicycle was broken beyond repair in less than 3 weeks….due to a rather…..over zealous desire to push the limits of what could be endured on two wheels…my next bicycle…epitomized….the word “Groovy”….metalic purple…with a white tuck and roll banana seat….high chrome sissy bar….and a new development called a “Drag Brake”….completely designed for the aesthetic…as the functional quality was much like using your heels as brakes for stopping an automobile….but damn did it look good…a handle with a series of pre-designated slots that engage the brakes…to absolutely no avail….. unless the bike was entirely stationary…there was a slight…hint of resistance….

in the summer of 1967…I heard the Rolling Stones…song… “Paint it Black”…that song altered every way I thought about anything….

well today may be one of those days…and as I say that I’m not certain exactly what “One of those days” really means…other than I should probably pay more attention…wear my glasses…..and ignore the distractions as well as the deep conversations….I mean after all it is Friday…and as nebulous as that is…I may be trying to apply that to my thinking….and find some crevasse to begin chipping away at…until there is a large enough space to squeeze myself in to….where it becomes impossible to pull me out….who knows….or maybe it’s just the opposite…and in 12 hours…I’ll be getting married to a woman I met just 6 hours before….that…..and the roller coaster is getting cranked up a few notches….the sun is setting….and I’m holding not 1 but two turkey legs in my hands…and thinking….”Aint life grand“…..

I have always like words with “Non“…preceding them….and I think because…in order to be called a “Non” anything…the person calling you that has to really feel you are the antithesis of the original thing…and I like that….being a “Non“…..anything is like being a  Highlander…wearing a kilt…..and maybe a tie….or even a bow tie…..seems really out of the ordinary unless it’s not…..and those of you who know what I mean…know exactly what I mean…..but really the “Non“…anything has a great deal of power….because it clearly says….you are not “That“…but doesn’t say what you are….so you could be “Non -Religious“…but spiritual…..and it even says what you are not…..but defines what you could very well be….by the process of elimination…..example….”I am a Non-Conformist“….so that says you don’t conform to some things…but you do conform to some things…..

I think it would be interesting to describe who we are by what we are not….that really defines who we are….with no questions…so when I meet someone…I’ll say:

Hi my name is Robert…( that’s the only Non – Non…I’ll be saying) I am  Non-republican….a Non-Minority- originally a Non-Westerner…. with Non-Conformists attitudes and beliefs….I prefer a Non-Humid climate……I am definitely Non-Religious….a Non Fundamentalist and have a Non- Creationist belief…. I feel that living a Non-Spiritual life may very well offer a void….I am clearly Non-bimillennophobic….and when it comes to spontinaity…I’m as Non-Undead as they get…..

I don’t know if this increases or decreases chances of anything…but I’d rather be a  “Non-Anything” than just a “Thing

“I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence.” – Malcolm X

enjoy your Friday…..