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”

558. August 7…Selling Art…Doesn’t Require Perfect Vision…at least not always….

Art and my thoughts about being an artist, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

Art…Representing Manmade Stuff” ©2011 Robert Redus

“While all deception requires secrecy, all secrecy is not meant to deceive.” – Sissela Bok

I found while taking some photographs yesterday…while waiting for the art supply store to open…so I could purchase some gel medium for a friend who was teaching an encaustic class…that… “Composition”… is one of the integral elements of producing art…(not selling it)…

Composition is defined as: “the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole.”…boy are they not kidding…

it is essential to produce art yet it really can’t be qualified…to be a fighter pilot…you have to have perfect vision…but you don’t have to have perfect vision to fly a plane…so composition is as relative as the question of our existence and…why…

We rely on “Art critics” to dispel any question of composition and the success of a piece of work…granted they like most everyone else are in this for themselves first…then…the rest…matters…fundamentally if a critic aligns themselves with higher priced more recognized art…they too become higher priced and more recognized…and it’s not what they say…it’s the artwork they are saying it about that…matters…

The flip side is…selling art work…has nothing to do with composition…it has to do with selling…it could be vacuums…doughnuts…tractors…air conditioners….or wombats….and what matters is the ability of the sales person to sell the product… a highly recognized gallery in the part of the world I’m from that sells expensive art …their top sales person…readily admits they know nothing about art…and for years sold construction equipment…and was very successful at it…so what then does the art matter…it’s sort of …. “What’s it going to take to get this painting above the couch in your living room” …mentality…that counts…not composition…

I’m really beginning to see this for exactly what it is…and for a long time I will admit I was troubled by it all…and why…I don’t know…it is the way it works…I know nothing about the origin of most everything I buy… and I have to say I don’t really want to know about much of it…I just want what it is I want…and I’d like the story to be an OK story that goes along with it…something I can live with…and that’s really about it…

So selling art and making art…they like anything else are mind sets…if you’re great at making art and terrible at selling it…own it…and find somebody who does what you can’t…and if your art work always leaves you with questions…that nauseating feeling in your stomach….but you could open up a booth selling Ice Cubes in the arctic circle and making $750,000. a year…doing it….it’s all about the calling….and that thing about composition…well who really cares….

Artists are different thinkers …not thinkers like sales people think…artists want the story the immortality of it all to be part of it in the end…the sales people…well they want numbers…$$$ and that’s really it…less attachment…more vacations….

 “Our intention is to affirm this life, not to bring order out of chaos, nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply to wake up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and desires out of its way and lets it act of it’s own accord.” – John Cage

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.

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          


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

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