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In:

Mal-a-days

I suffer 

from equal 
and opposite
afflictions.

I'm impatient
and I procrastinate.

I'm doomed!

Fun note: Did you know that mal means bad in Spanish?

In: ,

Shock and Despair

I remeber that day, 

no matter how much I try to foget.
How could I?
Probably only the actual death of my wife or any of my kids,
will surpass the horror and dread I felt that day.

Few will ever experience 
the solitude that engulfed me,
because few people 
ever get that dreaded phone call. 
The call that brings you 
to the brink of madness
No, no one ever wants 
to get that call, 
but I did. I did,  
and it fell upon my soul
like a hammer on a thumb, 
pain exploding
into every corner of my being.

How could anyone 
ever think I was capable of such evil?
How could people, 
who claimed to know me,
believe that I was a threat?

I frequently revisit 
the treachorous steps 
which led me astray?
Probably 
more often than I should,
more often than any sane person should.
It's true! 
There are some doors
which are better kept closed, 
because behind some doors
lies nothing 
but blackness, 
doubt, 
and self-recrimation.

I guess it depends 
on who you ask. 
While my wife thinks
we all paid 
for ignoring her guidance. 
While me. Well,
I'll know one day, 
if my delusion 
of spiritual guidance 
was real.
It might all come down 
to what I believe.
When no proof is available 
within this corpeal existence,
then it all boils down to my faith, 
right?
So, if it is up to me, 
when I'm gone 
I'll kneel before Jesus.
He'll lean forward,  
stroke my cheek,
and wipe away
the pain I've endured.
He'll tell me 
that he is pleased
with my actions,
and I'll collapse
into his forgiving arms,
finally quieting
these demons;
leaving me 
to fade away 
in peace.

In: , ,

When is abstract art done?

I'm drawn to abstract and modern art. For me, when I discovered these art forms, a little bell went off inside my head. Immediately I knew. Like most people when they see a Dubuffet or a Basquiat, I said, "Hey, I can do that!" And it's true, most people could, it they tried. Of course, there's a mystery to abstract expressionism. What makes one work a masterpiece and another crap? However, in an art form that defies everything, how can you know that your art is achieving its' goals?


Sure there are some questions, that as an artist, can help guide you, such as:
  • Do I simply want my abstract painting to be beautiful?
  • Do I intend this abstract painting to convey something specific to the viewer?
  • Do I want people to extract their own meaning from it?
  • What in the abstract painting is going to do this?
  • How do the elements interact?
  • Do I want to guide the viewer's interpretation with my choice of title?
  • Do I want to write a statement to accompany the painting explaining how I created it, what my thoughts were while I made it, or what I see it conveying?
  • Does it matter to me if they don't "get it?"
I guees it might come down to, how much really goes into creating an abstract paiting? Do I set out with a clear image of what I want to create, or do I stumble along and finally steer myself into a dead-end, and claim the piece complete. 

For me, when I start a new work, I might have a concept, like hey I want to draw a humanlike dude. It might even be a self portrait. First I stare at a blank sheet, and then wait for inspiration. Later as the image develops, I'll react to the image and then select colors and forms to add.

Then, the crucial point arrives, how do I know that I've finished? Let's look at an example and then you'll see what I mean. Here we have an amibigous self portrait, is is done?

To start off, I have to ask myself, "Do I like it?" To that I'd have to say, "Yes. I do." It has good energy, and I like how some of the color combinations and how the colors collide. I can't change the general compisition, so there's not much flexibility available, that is, unless I go ape-shit and paint over sections, which would significantly change the design.

So I like what it looks like so far, however, is it missing anything? When I finished painting, I had the feeling that it needed more energy. Seeing it closer, I'd say it seems pretty high energy already. I guess what I had in mind was a little more chaos. It looks too plain. While I'm tempted to try and add more detail, how will that affect the energy? Or do I add intricate detail completely unrelated to the original image. 

Then it begins. I see infinite possibillties. Now what? Should I change it or leave it be now? I can certainly see now having a print master would allow me to individually explore different themes, all using the same basic image. I guess I could also do that with the computer too, but with my current level of skills, computer based imagery seems too sterile.

The future

Perhaps, what I'm sensing is what Pollack did when he could sense that something was missing. He was looking for a new style. A style completely his own. Maybe that's what I'm missing. If could develop a unique style, then I'd know when something was complete. It's difficult to say, what is missing, but it's probably even more difficult to develop a unique style. It is possible, of that I'm sure. Even after 50 some years of Rock and Roll, artists are still producing fresh and original music. It's what you get with inifinite possibilities, no limits.

Both of these pieces were painted with my kids using Tempura and some heavy paper stock. The first was deliberate, while the painting that follows was done with what was left over. I like to create paintings with the colors left over after the kids are done painting. This piece was done with even more forethought into creating a self portrait.


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Fun with Silhouettes


In:

Definition of Art

Let's just get this out of he way. Art is whatever I can get away with.

In:

Sea Monster

Taken in Cerro Gordo Beach, March 14th, 2009.