Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday, Monday (my real 200th post - if you exclude drafts)

Today on Broadway near 43rd Street there was a professional high end film crew set up - apparently Eddie Murphy was going to film there. Two very large cameras and lights. Not three guys from Eastern Europe making a bad NYC documentary. Up the same block there was a 40 gallon plastic tub filled with Poland Spring water bottles, sitting on ice. Finding this unattended tub very odd, I looked down the side street and there was a catering truck unloading twenty feet away.

My first paranoid thought was "tainted water - bio terrorism," and then I saw truck and thought, "the dumb caterers will lose their water." Then I saw woman dressed for work walking with a friend and she grabbed a bottle and opened it and started drinking it, walking slowly uptown. Did she think she was in marathon race and getting free liquids?

Apparently she is not a paranoid like me and became much better hydrated that minute. Glad to be paranoid, and thirsty.

Here in NYC the motto on subway system is "if you see something, say something." It is not "if you see a water bottle, drink something...."

At home finished all prints to paint. Started on 9 by 12 canvas a simple landscape wit much sky. Need to figure out how to proceed. Progress, goals, focus have shifted.

Tonight on PBS - "The Power of Art." Watch. Drink. Experience.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Less is More

I finished last 11 by 14 print this AM - painting highlights on photographic print - pigment complements manipulated photo and does not overtake it.

This has been the process on last three prints - the first by miracle. And now I am out of prints (there is a poor quality print somewhere made at 1 hour photo shop - cannot locate it, too disorganized, I am) ....not sure where to go from here.

All of them are quality.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My 200th Post

Completed another painting last night - 8 by 10 and this on has the least amount of paint ever - the pic was prepared in Microsoft Paint very well and now only has highlights and additions. Very subtle, yet elegant.

Less is more. Happy - no, the word is "content." Only have one 11 by 16 left - most work has been good. Then I am done with printed images of former model. Will need to close the Rubicon, then.

Everyone I have shown work to has liked it. Very good response.

Oh, well....

Today walking to office and near Rockefeller Center saw fit tall blond woman on bicycle with braided hair. Wearing short clingy light blue and white sun dress and no helmet. The dress flowed as she sped by on her bike. She looked like a trim strong goddess on the way to a Swiss Alps beach (a non sequitor, understood). Simply lovely sight, yet suicidal.

You have to be insane to bicycle in midtown during rush hour.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Social Security Moment

This morning on Seventh Avenue as I walked up from Penn I noticed a short blond woman drop something - it was her unsigned social security card. She was walking quickly and I picked it up and tried to call and catch her. You never know with mid town traffic - red light - crazy taxis - and you would lose her forever as you waited. Her luck she stopped to make a call from corner phone booth.

Who still uses public phones? Cell phones have made them obsolete just as emails and text messaging has wiped out the use of faxes. CDs wiped out vinyl albums, and then iPod and iTunes wiped out Tower Records, my haven.

So I walked up to her - she had an eastern European name (cannot recall anything else) and held the card out to her - she gave me a two second look of appreciation as she took the card and I turned away my good deed for the day accomplished. Not a deep moment.

She was more pert than smart, I wish her continued luck. Her card indicated she needed a work visa (green card?) - losing that social security card would have set her back considerably.

Do not expect any karma, instant or otherwise.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


It is ironic when the best light in my house for painting is the light over the kitchen range. So that is where I look at my paintings, before and after.

Right now on stove is small blue heron on canvas board that I am trying to "bring to life" (it is looking better), the shadows 11 by 14 that is valid, an 8 by 10 that for first time ever is a balance between photo and paint! A little gem and in executing it I have made a boring color quite glorious.

Good news - a little more night vision.

A VERY NICE LITTLE MIRACLE. And created without emotional commitment - painting has feelings, but grounded in artistic sensibility. It all happened like in a minor trance. Whole new way...zombie cool.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Sidewalk Cracks

Years ago I photographed sidewalks and staircases a lot - back in San Francisco, primarily.

Swan Lake

My eleven year old son took this picture - very nice composition.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jeannie's Diary (lyrics of the day and first tune in my most recent play list)

Artist: Eels
Album: Daisies Of The Galaxy
Title: Jeannie's Diary

How does our world spin
Without me and her nest
Could there really be
Such happiness

Oh, she's got a dark side too
Even murderous
But i love that
Just like here

I don't have a change at writing the book
I just wanna be a page
In jeannie's diary
One single page
In jeannie's diary

Yes i am intense
Maybe quite obsessed
Everything she does is curious

Oh, she's going to let me in
I just know its so
Then again, who do i kid

I don't have a prayer at writing the book
I just wanna be a page
In jeannie's diary
One single page
In jeannie's diary

She could have anything she wants
So why not me
She could have anything she dreams
Oh, to be one single page
One single page
One single page in jeannies dairy

Text Messaging Suicide

Yesterday morn I walked uptown from Penn Station. My hobby is to people watch - really woman watch more than anything else. Always looking for the next model....probably lost my current favorite.

Circa West 40th street there was an attractive bleach blond with dark roots text messaging into her phone. She stood across the street from me facing a red light when I spotted her. Suddenly without looking up she took two steps into street. Cars were zipping by. I decided she was insane. A few seconds later pedestrians to the left and right of her walked into street and she followed them without ever looking up. Still typing, distracted, as if her life was a text message video game.

Some people trust others insanely. A car in motion tends to remain in motion unless otherwise acted upon. Physics. Momentum.

Text Messaging Suicide.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Been painting (and not been working on the railroad)

Large problematic 11 by 14 was cut (cropped) into two pics. God bless the straight edge and the Xacto knife. Determined this on rail road car going home Friday evening. Minor epiphany - most important since if I follow it not all pics will be same size or even standard sizes.

For most part in the past I worked full frame - pure and conceptual regarding artitic preconception of final image at exposure. I am breaking more rules, many more, since started collage manipulations....less rigid. More opportunistic.

Art should be opportunistic but not rote. Liberating. Enabling.

Worked and completed another 8 by 10 and close to finishing another 8 by 10 and another 11 by 14. Very productive number of evenings. Using palette knife more and blending colors. Determining ways - more efficiently - to create graceful arcs, etc. Many etc's.

Friday, June 8, 2007


Listening on iPod to Neko Case and this woman has the most amazing voice. Singing voice, because when Neko speaks between songs she is more childlike without emotion or depth. But when she sings there is a fountainhead of inspiration and energy and vision and possibly Divine guidance. You cannot hear her and not feel her sincerity and respect for the songs. Rare talent far beyond being an entertainer. An Artist - with capital "A." Will be very big.

"Live in Austin" has her in top country form with complimentary tasty yet understated country twanging band. Amazon has, or had, it on sale in case you need a Case.

She also sings with The New Pornographers and some of their songs have grown on me. I put them down in this blog when first listened to CD. Mistake. I make many.
Some days you have to feel like a kid the morning you are going back to Disneyland.

This AM I await a train and am starting a glorious Friday. Warm and a wee humid with all the promise of capri pants and summer fashion. Other than Christmas Day and winter birds, I take a June day anytime over winter.

So, tonight I intend to paint. Continue with current 8 by 10, going lightly. Maybe I will throw more paint at overworked 11 by 16 and then maybe cut it up for use for collage scraps. There must come a point where you throw in the towel with bad work as well as with "black hole like sucking" aquaintances.

Adding physical collages to computerized collages is intriguing.....

Yesterday I walked through the south end of central Park and there were foreigners there with stands to do charcoal or pastel portraits. Some examples looked good. poor artists - creating momentoes for tourists - either of kids and of women the buyer is tring to impress. I am saddened to see artists doing this - more so than other street performers since these portrait makers just sit there waiting for a client. A musician plays while waiting, hoping someoned drops something in the hat. Music is so much more social than are the fine arts.

No jamming while I create. In fact, I do not like to talk or interact while I paint. Not lonely, but alone.

Makes sense? Ahh, it is a glorious Friday.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Update Re Work in Progress

Started on 8 by 10 print - light touch. Very heavy touch on my third 11 by 14 - the one that was problematic. Too busy and black and white portions destroyed by colors.

Do not think it can be saved. May cut up and use to make collage of a collage print.

Need permanent day in Manhattan. Will be out tonight. If I work it will be very late and portfolio case will stay at office tonight.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Paintings. iPods, thinking (or the lack thereof)

One painting just came together last night - methodically then magically. Turning tricks into miracles.

Another painting is laborious - could have been done but lacked "magic." Cannot have inferior work. Problem is the focus is in black and white and rest in now color and the color blows away the monochrome portions....Also two equal images on same plane.

So that one sucks, a wee bit and will either be pulled out or destroyed, not given away.

On way to work today walking up Seventh Ave my iPod stopped. Now fixed, reset. But at the time the first thing I noticed was how much energy music gives me. Then the next thing I noticed fifteen minutes later is that suddenly I was thinking. Thinking thoughts about the day, life, relationships, whatever.

So iPod is kind on an earful of drugs. Always felt isolated but it is also isolating even from one self. Like me always wanting to read a book, watch TV and have the stereo on. Cannot think - like a sedative. I crave not thinking too much. Escaping. Art. gardening. Birding. Looking.

OK, enough for today. Keep painting. Keep loooking. Maybe think some more.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lipstick art, or not

Worked and completed second 11 by 14 image. Have not varnished either that is "done" - taking it slow since these are for my portfolio to show to NY galleries. Extra pressure, pressure for the first time actually.

Could have started another one, but did not want to tempt acrylic fate.

Did not fall to the seduction of my metallic oil pastels - such immediate gratification, then so ephemeral (easily disturbed or ruined by touch - like harder lipstick).

I will start third image soon - old habit tells me to work on an 8 by 10, but needs to be larger.

Wish I owned camera good enough to photograph finished paintings. Someday. Too many other commitments.

This is the unpainted image.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Yogurt, cause effect and weekend

Think had bad yogurt - felt awful starting Wednesday evening, out on Thursday and Friday.

Painted and finished one 11 by 14 this weekend - second half done (reworked ) - not sure if I can pull it out. Slow dance with myself.

First painting is kind of psychedelic - I love those sixties posters.

Second one is not great - not bad. Issue is split composition - hard to work with two equal images on same plane - it is a fine composition unaltered and that might be problem. Hard to create movement with two static elements - might need to sacrifice or weaken one....

Computer alteration is part of the process but it is seductive and always tempted to make it stunning.

What is sometimes amazing is how it has to get worse before better. But you never know. Like working on the bomb squad.

All I know is that I am happiest when successfully creating, alive and aware ... .... .... ... extra ellipses for effect.