Friday, March 30, 2007

"He" was all that was left of my Heart

I found this tonight - a draft that would have been my first blog entry here - now posted with typos - whatever and no further edits - a frozen slice of my life in February....

I am a starved artist.

Living in New York because twenty years ago it seemed like the place to do art because a lot of galleries at first blush liked my work. But once you move to Manhattan you realize the city is a battleground where you compete with every breath with two income yuppies who want your apartment and the next one over and the one above....and you start to work hard to survive and slowly the art is buried as you kill bill and yourself to maintain a tiny studio. Not a real art studio - just an apartment - something smaller than a "junior one bed room" - something that might have a bath tub in the kitchen.

And once that happens "he" is all that is left of your heart. He works, he commutes, he grows older and he gets fatter. He is a good man but no longer good to himself. He is too depressed and he is watching bad TV to escape.

I realize I need to create. As much as I need to breathe. So I accept that I am in a mid life crisis - married, with great kids and living in a mortgaged suburbia with great schools and so little crime.

And, yes, I am looking to find my heart by rediscovering art. Lower case "art" simply because.

My life more than half spent I no longer am guided by the simple tenet I always believed based on the music of my generation. Yes, there is more to life than "all you need is love." I do accept the day to day responsibilities. I love my family and believe if I am happier I will be better father, husband and neighbor. And to do this I will also need to create and to seek solace and inspiration from music.

So this crisis is good since it is making me face choices and reject a long term stupor.

Very little TV. Healthier foods. Exercise. And also to exercise and develop my singular vision - senses and mind open and increasingly aware of what I see, hear, smell, and feel.

And embrace beauty - where I find it, interpret it or create it.

Experience life. A carp and a Diem. Seize life and take risks and enjoy the ride.

How much for a coffee?

Had short discussion with friend and he thinks coffee at Starbucks is incredibly overpriced. I explained the coffee is great and they never rush you. Where else can you nurse a two dollar drink for three hours and not be asked to move on or buy something else.

Try doing that in a dive bar south of Penn Station or the Four Seasons bar on East 57th.

Starbucks customers tend to be well educated and laid back and almost no one is overly worried about being pick pocketed. It is a two dollar oasis, some stores with relatively clean bathrooms. Always a plus, since coffee in must sometime soon be coffee out.

The music is also good and the brown recycled paper napkins are softer than a new born baby's butt.

I know this much, drinking coffee and green tea has helped me lose weight.

My only regret is the Starbucks in Penn Station has long lines and few seats. Also dark. And noisy. Thus, a crappy Starbucks where coffee is overpriced.

Oh, well - on vacation for a couple of weeks so this sorry blog will get bogged down. Will be in the Everglades and Keys and hope to take some nice pics.....

If anyone reads this - add a comment, or whatever. I crave communication.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Close up of portion of trail picture

Painterly, no? Entire photo is in a post below.

Pasted into Paint.

Reworked Photo

Click on Image - too subtle for the small image, above.

Meant to be painted on after blown up.

Magical quality due to photo content. Lovely postures and very open to t he photographer. Appear to be good friends and having a great time, maybe a tag along cute little sister with an clear umbrella.

Slightly different version as a JPG, Bit map hasd more information - need to work with bit maps in Paint!

Painting Update - "Five by Seven Size 9."

Finished a beautiful life pic tonight - acrylic painted over photograph. I am content with it. Still, the size is too small, only 5 by 7.

In my bird paintings on canvas I often use shades, no call them tones anchored in cerulian blue, white and silver for the depiction of sky and water. I will use this palet to tie a lot of painted photos for potential show.

Calling it "Five by Seven Size 9." Paint strokes are shattered enough so they can be interpreted as different numbers depending on "how you connect the dots." It is a 5 by 7 photo.

Need to varnish it to make colors pop out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lunch Walk - Spring Bling and Better Things

Back to Central Park today - long walk about three miles in great weather. Appreciated the north wind which made me feel alive and aware and adventuresome.

Of note walking north was attractive slim blond woman in designer shawl and sling backs who was clinging to a skinny unattractive junior executive as we all walked up Fifth. She kept kissing him, whispering in his ear and tugging at his sleeve. Very public display of affection. Funny, they ran into Harry Winston Jewelers where I think she is going to get a hell of bling.

Someone who is really being spoiled - nothing like I would ever be able to do for anyone, ever. Probably. Never.

Success versus accomplishments. Money versus worth and intent. Significance, whatever. They seemed to be walking on air, maybe a elated shallow cushion of gross materialism.

During the long walk I discussed life issues with a colleague. Things of note are that blond women are over appreciated, that high heels can limit a woman's mobility and that a woman's mobility is under appreciated. I equate mobility with grace. Grace is a critical component of true beauty.

In essence, we decided to focus on aesthetics that need to be deciphered and revealed. To appreciate the understated beauty of young Spring's budding foliage versus glorifying with the lemmings the mass appeal of fall's bright crimson leaves.

It's a beautiful day. I once had a cute little button that said that.

I miss the Sixties. I miss a lot. I do not know what I have.

CD Liner Note Self Improvement and Other Thoughts While Commuting Without Nature

Some people read self help books, I just rely on CD case liners. This morning I was bringing in a couple of jazz CDs to duplicate for use by my wife in the van. My home CD burner sucks these days and soon I will get a new computer.

Liner wisdom - one gleaned lyrics and the other a quote in the liner notes.

Take Love Easy

Take love easy, easy easy
Never let your feelings show
Make it breezy, breezy breezy
Easy come and easy go

Never smile too brightly brightly
When your heart is riding high
Let your heart break, oh so slightly
When your baby says goodbye

That well known flame is mighty hot
As all of us have learned
So handle it with velvet gloves
And you won't get your fingers burned

Take love easy, easy
On the free and easy plan
And if you can't take it easy
Take it easy as you can

Take love easy, easy
Never let your feelings show
Make it breezy, breezy, easy
Easy, easy come and easy go

Never smile too brightly brightly
When your heart is riding high
Let your heart break, oh so slightly
When your baby says goodbye

That well known flame is mighty hot
As all of us have learned
So handle it, handle it with velvet gloves
And you won't get your fingers burned

Take love easy, easy easy
On the free and easy plan
And if you can't take it easy
Take it easy as you can

Take it easy
Take it easy
Take it easy, take it easy, take it easy, take it easy

Thank, Ella. I had needed this advice since I reached puberty. I wished I had done this and also bought Microsoft stock early on.

The other pearl concerns two jazz musicians Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker about to play Carnegie Hall in 1974. Each did their own set and the two were to complete the concert together. It was along awaited reunion and it was also Carnegie Hall.

"Chet is inclined to worry more than Gerry. After Baker's set with his quintet, he confided to Mulligan backstage:

"I didn't feel comfortable."

"You're not supposed to feel comfortable," Mulligan grinned."

Have to remember that. Very important. Thanks, Gerry. And, Chet, I too worry. More worry than hurry, here.

Another random lucid thought from my commute was gleaned from a newspaper review about a PBS show about baby boomers which might air tonight. I am one - a 50's baby - not at the back cusp of the generation, but far enough on line that I followed rather than led from the nineteen sixties until today. For example, I bought my house after prices went up significantly.

The review observation concerned how boomers are now beginning to comprehend the difference between "success" and "significance" as it applies to their lives. This is something to think about. To focus on what is significant.

My last comment today concerns the first thought that crossed my mind as I walked towards the train station. Lately I have been listening for birds and today I heard on my block the invasive roar of a gasoline grass blower - the type of blower that is used by lawn services to somehow make grass clippings disappear from this polluted earth (or at least disappear from their client's manicured property).

One was blowing loudly this AM, my first of 2007, and it heralded the long french kiss that will be summer. So I thought - these blowers are noisy but magical - I need one that can go into my mind and clear all the hubris. A miracle whirlwind that leaves my mind neat and clear and free of a few little obsessions. Something to help me toss out all cut mental clippings. I can stand the noise. Once a week all summer, if necessary. Twice a week if it rains a lot. Rain or tears, I guess.

I do need some changes, no? Who does not? Only in the burbs could this blower thought have come to me. Never, ever while I was living near Gramercy Park looking down at the occasional crack vile on the sidewalk.

Just to throw in a non sequitor, in tennis one always has to change a losing game. One should never change a winning game. If I ever record a CD, I will put that advice in my liner notes. Have to figure out the score and determine what I should do. How t start a rally.

In life sometimes I think it is 40-Love and I am receiving serve and I am down five games and two sets. Maybe it is significant that I am playing. More important than the score?

Oh, well. Oh, hell. Take care.

Always. Everyday.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another lake picture

Taken on that warm December day when I was alone with my thoughts and creating and perfecting my first love song play list on my iPod. Making play lists - reggae, dream girls, new wave, and love songs - along with a trying to start to create art has been a four month obsession.

I was on holiday. My last vacation.

Tonight I am working on a painting - have not been manipulating with images on the computer this week.

In less than a week I will be away in Miami, the Keys and the Everglades. My next vacation.

Spring Has Sprung - A Walk In the Park

Walked to Central Park today - up 5th Avenue through the thick swirling soup of tourists, shoppers and office workers. Walked around the pond right inside the park near the Plaza Hotel and Sherry Netherland Hotel pictured in the picture, below. Diana Ross lives in that building.

Perfect weather - low seventies and no humidity. Daffodils and crocuses were out and lovely. No one should die on a day as beautiful as this one.

Birded without binoculars in the park. Bird of the day was the white throated sparrow. Saw a number including one in perfect dominant plumage with the white stripes on its head painted bright white. Heard many singing in the trees and hills. All will be gone by mid May moving north past most of Canada. Right now a couple of them are also in my backyard.

For me the birds more than anything else make the long New York winter bearable. I am a Northern California boy. Ice is meant to be part of term "ice cream" or clinking around in a stiff drink.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Natalie Imbruglia and a better Apple

Eight or so years ago when I moved into my current home we got cable, finally, and Natalie was huge on VHS1 with song "Torn." True blue eye three minute song candy and a catchy tune.

I have been taking CDs out of library and this morning I tried - tried - to listen to a more recent Natalie CD, "White Lilies Island," and it left me so uninspired despite slick production and top notch session musicians. I moved from Natalie's CD to one from Avril (who can spell her last name?) which was a bit better, but will still be deleted form my iTunes. Finally I settled on an old stand by, Fiona Apple, and her bootleg version of "Extraordinary Machine." This was a CD leaked on the Internet to force Sony to release it. Fans petitioned and Fiona re did most songs and it was finally released more than a year ago.

Oh, Fiona, I must listen to all your CDs again - including all the bootleg concerts I took off Internet and bought off eBay. I laughed in delight on the train as I listened to to the start of your song below as your lyrics perfectly melded with the tune, the instrumentation and subtle tone of your intelligent voice.

"Extraordinary Machine"

I certainly haven't been shopping for any new shoes, and
I certainly haven't been spreading myself around
I still only travel by foot and by foot, it's a slow climb
But I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time

I noticed that my opponent is always on the go, and
Won't go slow so's not to focus and I notice
He'll hitch a ride with any guide as long as they go fast from whence he came
But he's no good at being uncomfortable so he can't stop staying exactly the same

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

I seem to you to seek a new disaster every day
You deem me due to clean my view and be at peace and lay
I mean to prove I mean to move in my own way and say
I've been getting along for long before you came into the play

I am the baby of the family
It happens so everybody cares
And wears the sheeps' clothes while they chaperone
Curious you're looking down your nose at me while you appease
Courteous to try and help but let me set your mind at ease

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

Do I so worry you
You need to hurry to my side, it's very kind
But it's to no avail
I don't want the bail
I promise you everything will be just fine

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

I guess I will just collect Natalie CD covers because she is so conventionally pretty and poses so well in a bed. No, honestly I do not think I will ever buy one. Nor will I take another out of the library. All the king's horses and all the king's men cannot make Natalie into a creative force.

Get thee to Ani Difranco. She is a amazing.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Crickets Chirping in Our Dining Room

About a month ago we found a baby garter snake in our basement. I had seen a few outside in summers and fall but this one was running around in January. Rather than throw it outside we decided to make it a pet,

Tank, heater, mat, limbs, and two water pools (a hundred dollars) later the snake sits in our house and it does not eat. White worms we tried to feed it hatched into moths, the baby guppies and huge earthworms died. But the crickets, they are the toughest. They eat anything dead and thrive on celery and carrots. They have grown and now they are chirping. I love the soft sound, but I seem to be the only one.

It is August in my house right now or at least sounds like it. The only thing missing is balmy breeze through an open window. And blueberries - no fresh blueberries tonight, either.

The snake is about as thick as a pencil and maybe 10 inches long. It lets the crickets sit on him. It is brown like the one in this picture.

My family worries more about the snake than about me. We will release it in late April unless it starts to eat.

I seldom crop pictures - prefer full frame

Strange claim from someone who scalpels and spray paints photographs.

These nets keep golfballs from going on a nature preserve. Preserve is an EPA site - capped landfill. A very very very small mountain towering over the south shore of Long Island.

Here is the full image - gull flying behind the nets.

I like the simplicity of the top image. The smallest one. It becomes more of a mystery.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Looking Out

OK, this pic is a cliche, I know. See it before I delete it in shame.

Looking Down

Same walk at the lakes. At the water's edge. Cloud cover made for stronger reflections without shadows. again.

Last December When It Was Warm and Memorable

Between Christmas and New Year's I took a week off. One very warm day I went for a walk to our nearby lake. Took the iPod and my little camera. Shot some pics until camera ran out of batteries and never even looked at what I snapped, until today, more than two months later when I shot the crocuses outside.

I birded that day without binoculars - just with eyes. It was a great duck day. I saw belted kingfisher, red tailed hawk, ring necked ducks (very rare), northern shoveler, ruddy ducks, hooded mergansers, American coot, mallard, black duck, gadwal. The ring necked ducks and December belted kingfisher were memorable. I also saw a hermit thrush.

The two pics below are from a trail.

A very tame hermit thrush, relative of the American robin. Note the red tail.

The sky had low overcast and the light was flat and diffuse. Colors muted, no shadows.

Postscript: Monday mid day - on my home computer these two images here are understaed and perfect. At work on this monitor they are dark messes. I brightened up and left both, using original images in evening.

Note to file - the future - "Green Peace"


May be good to be out of focus - breaks rules of photography and end image is more painterly without jarring reality of photograph.

Large photo files hard to work in Paint - Corel was better. And I do not know Corel, yet.

Flipped image to break normal perspective before editing.

See prior post for the unaltered photograph.


Accidental Picture - Random . Sidewalk Measured. Moments.

Can a pre-school floor accidentally snapped by my wife be minimalist art?

Photo below is in the vein that I photographed 20 years ago - but them with manual 35mm film camera with better focus, better lenses:

I despise auto focus. Only thing worse is those carry on bags with wheels that are pulled by grown men on subway platforms. Who looks down. Trip hazard.

Focus yourself and carry your small bags, I say.

Frontyard Crocuses

Shot with my only camera now - a pocket size Nikon. Very frustrating little camera.


My computer is in our sunroom which has ten windows and I face south at my monitor looking out at a dogwood a foot outside. A second after publishing the last blog, a male cardinal perched four feet from me, raised its head and sang a long "whit, whit, whit". I watched it and heard it in delight. A second later it flew away.

Perfect timing, like a script. Unscripted. A mini dream, but for real. Honestly.

Worth Waiting For

I cannot wait for Spring - to see a field of daffodils, to smell the lilacs and gaze at unfurling peonies. To walk in warmth of morning light and hear the songs of migrant birds.

The best things are worth waiting for and sadly sometimes are most appreciated because they move on. The daffodils fade then disappear, the lilacs flowers drop and the bushes become monotone and the birds go north, or west, to fulfil their lives.

If all stayed, if none faded, they would be dismissed like we filter out pigeons and (even sadder) the homeless. One must experience most intensely, must covet and anticipate most, that one cannot truly harness. Whether it be animal, vegetable and never mineral.

The best things are worth waiting for and need to be appreciated fully while still in our midst. One should not be saddened because their wonder is ephemeral, one must exalt this brief half life that is a shared sacred experience. A blessing, if I am allowed to use a cliche.

I seldom have walked away from a magnificent bird. Something rare or beautiful due to light, surrounding or my mood. The most wondrous creatures move on to fulfil their lives and we, I and you are left me better for the brief meeting.

Ten minutes can be paradise. Twenty minutes must be treasured and remembered.

I miss Central Park. I used to bird there winter, spring and fall and know the area around the Ramble as if it were my back yard.

Recently a friend showed me a black and white photograph. It was of a couple who got married in the park and with almost no background visible I recognized it as the Shakespeare Garden. A magical spot in spring and in summer. I birded the area often and a wonderful place to marry if you are brave enough to face the uncertainty of weather. You have to respect anyone who does - who will gamble and trust fate on the most important day of their lives. Guts and luck. A wonderful combination. A magical location. Kudos.

I have had good luck in Shakespeare Garden. Walked through with good friends and saw great birds there. Most sighting are part of my subconscious, but I remember gazing there at a yellow breasted chat. The chat is the largest North American warbler and relatively rare in this far north. That bird worked a small ornamental cherry for over an hour looking for insects among the small pink flowers and light green budding leaves. The day, mid day, was magnificent. I remember we left the bird there. We had hoped it would fly away since it was so hard to leave something so special.

I think we left it. That almost never happens. It has not happened with a chat again. Have not even seen another.

I know perfection when I see it. I know that my time near wonder is limited. Every second I watched that chat was treasured. There are quiet kind moments out there that are even more memorable. A chat, the air, a moment.

I am so thankful for each minute. Before true rare wonders take flight. They always do, mostly.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jeff Wall, Exhibit at MoMA

Pulled the extract below off the Tate Gallery website. The photo (large transparency) shown here is magnificent, but I immediately determined it had to be staged. Every leaf and flying paper and the hat were part of a perfect composition. Nothing like that happens so perfectly when one snaps.

The decisive moment redefined. Or differently pre-envisioned.

Excellent show - worth seeing.

"In the early 1990s, Wall began to use computers in the construction of his photographs. He commented: 'I've been able to experiment with a new range of subjects or types of picture that weren't really possible for me before... I have always considered my work to be a mimesis of the effects of cinema and of painting (at least traditional painting), and so the fictional, formal and poetic part of it has always been very important.' While his use of digital montage is obvious in his more implausible scenarios, Wall also regularly applies the process to his realistic pictures."

"This work is one of Wall's earliest digital montages. It refers directly to a woodblock print by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. Wall transposes the nineteenth-century Japanese scene to a contemporary cranberry farm near Vancouver. Amateur actors play the odd assortment of rural and city characters, surprised by the forces of nature. It required over 100 photographs, taken over the course of more than a year, to achieve a seamless montage that gives the illusion of capturing a real moment in time."

Click here.

Waterfall, Tulips and a Wonder

I went back to my midtown waterfall - it is warmer so more people present. The owners placed pale yellow tulips in containers in the space. These tulips look unnatural and clash (poorly) with the minimalist serenity- daffodils would have been better choice - they would have echoed the quiet sense of nature of this small concrete oasis. Particularly in March, when there are no tulips in March in Manhattan except those pulled out of a pot.

I am a gardener - I plant many spring bulbs but prefer those that naturalize and seed and replenish - certain crocus, daffodils, species tulips - plants that are tough yet elegant. Understated.

Regular tulips are short lived and some types are almost trite. I have many Lilac Wonder tulips, shown below, in my garden. More beautiful than pretty. They hug the ground. Then they disappear. Then they come back, good as new.

Good as that which is old and true.

Tulipa species 'Lilac Wonder'

Back to the MoMA

Spent an hour or so on Paintings floor that covered Rousseau, Van Gogh, Picasso, Chagall, et al up through and past Paul Klee. Huge Monet triptych water lilies. Some rooms felt solemn - the works large and majestic. The Klee work, including small pictures on paper, were radiant.

The entire small room is dedicated to Klee from the Museum's collection. Other canvases of other artists may be grander there, but the body of work in that room was the most memorable moment of the visit.

The floor I visited had work that revolutionized painting - stood it on its end and redefined aesthetics. Perfect way to enjoy a lunch break.

No real work done today - art work, I mean. Need to find place to print large - 11 by 14 minimum. Need to experiment with small painting and use of acrylics. Particularly where I make the pigments more glossy with additive.....if it works and sticks, need to purchase metallic colors. Ha ha.

I will need large examples to convince myself as well as the preferred subject I need to prove the work is valid. Overcome doubt, some history, the whole ball of wax.

Speaking of wax, I need to also experiment with melted paraffin and maybe glue gun. Jasper John, forgive me.

Last week I saw the Jeff Wall exhibit at MoMa - need to discuss this. Important to do so and maybe include examples. His sophisticated use of computers to build photographs is central - I am a barbarian regarding photo edit tools and resources when I manipulate. This may be good - a good thing.

Past midnight. Back to sleep. Back to working on art, soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Painting Hours Into Spring

Worked on another image - version of the first web image I painted and then manipulated for painting - I worked today with the manipulation. Used oil pastels again and was able to incorporate the oils with sections of the photographs. Used metallic pastels so the end result is kind of bright - not sure if the word brilliant is appropriate since it implies brilliance on my part.

I like how it is going - a good start to spring. Here is the image, before being manipulated.

More snow melted - warmth and energy is in the air.

Black, Melting White

On train today was a woman all in black - black coat, dark sunglasses, black hose and shoes, black skirt, black phone, black leather gloves and black handbag. The only place she rejected the use of black was her hair which she had frosted blond with dark roots showing. OK, she also had on a very pretty cool blouse - thin stripes that were multi colored, but in the distance suggested a pale gray. Barney's tasteful. Finally she placed her black phone is a small bag that was also black, although with a nurturing deep red lining. Better dressed and nicer accessories than moi.

It is so safe to dress in all black. Also easy, like my putting on khaki pants.

Outside the snow is quickly melting - there is a cheek kiss feeling of spring and I crave it. White to clear, running into the gutters or evaporating.

Attached is the latest update to recent picture, making better use of the background dark image. Also needed more visual impact in lower right for when painted over. Envisioned this based on oil pastel exercise last night.

Paintings and Napkins

Worked on photograph manipulated with MS Paint and now printed to glossy photo paper and submitted to my array of soft oil pastels - French ones, mostly, that glide on like toxic lipstick.

Oil pastel grease is under my nails - I work with my hands and the image is very promising - only 5 by 7 inches, though. Too small....but I pulled it out.

Noticed today how soft Starbucks paper napkins are - incredibly soft. Very opulent, honestly. This has to do with nothing. But I noticed.

The manipulated picture, before. Sans pastels.

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Snapshots, Then Infatuation" - and another passing of a baton

Inspired and wired. Unable to stop. A passion. A smile. Bright eyes.

Modified the aqua blues on the image on top. This picture - this composition - is meant to be further worked on once printed with oil pastels.

Listened this weekend to more Ani DiFranco and also to a "Best of" from Peter Townshend, formerly of The Who. Period of his CD basically covers my much of my storied adulthood and it is no that good a compillation. Pete - I am sorry. You burned out after making so much good muasic while you were young. It is no longer your generation, just as it is not mine. Wonder if it age or wealth? Or just rock music

How much good rock is put out by people who are now filty rich, living in estates? Bowie, Stones, McCartney?

For a while I did not pay as much attention to younger recording artists. Sort of like my dad liked Sinatra and disliked the Beatles....but, I am trying to be open minded.

Annie DiFranco has been cranking out more memorable songs on one CD than Pete lately has in a decade, maybe two.....She is pretty amazing. If I were a woman - something I really am not on the path towards, thank you - she might be a hellof a role model. Voice, sensibilities and guitar. Also very considerate and warm to her audience. Worth seeing live. A real artist.

The baton is passed. She would probably also appreciate it if you passed the hat. She is too good to be filthy rich.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday afternoon

Helping my son with school project and I found this painting - they used to know how to title 'em and it pretty much covers my life:

Paolo Veronese (c. 1528 - 1588)
The Choice Between Virtue and Vice, c.1580
oil on canvas
86 1/4 in. x 66 3/4 in. (219.08 cm x 169.55 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest.
Accession number: 1912.1.129

Afterwards, I went looking for images of Paris, France on Yahoo for the project and when searching for "paris" I found more images of Paris Hilton than of the city.

Sorry Sunday search. Paris is not pretty or beautiful - she is unnecessarily famous. I understand she has huge feet, maybe half the size of her ego.

Please shoot me if I start modifying her images here......ha ha.

I miss perfection.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

"Moi4" and Moi_me

Added little stars...

In honor of the first blogger to comment on my petty scribblings Your words were most kind. One pic is not enought to really work with...key to it all is to a large part inspiration, for this moi, despite the cliche of it all.


"Back, Among Friends"

Preliminary composition - a decent starting point. I am now working in bit map format and only converting to jpg to post here - jpg loses much information and more paint options available as a bit map - like block filing after saving. Prints will also have much greater detail.

Image combines free form painting with photo sampling.

What I am doing here on the computer is a bit like "sampling" - copying, pasting, scratching.

Friday, March 16, 2007

"My googled gobled earth" and ani defranco

For some odd reason - coincidence or karma - on Googled Earth the only piece of real property I own, our home, is under purple smudge in the satellite photograph - a smudge that starts a couple of houses west from ours. My house is not defined. Something like out of Ghostbusters.

I think Ani Difranco can create special effects just with her voice and guitar. For years I have heard of her and recently done eBay and picked up used copies of multiple of her CDs. Some amazing pearls and very fresh, open, aware - refreshingly original.

What would life be without my iPod on the train?

Today going to work I was listening to an Ani live CD as I used my metrocard to enter the E train station at Penn Station. Suddenly there was an alarm in perfect sync to the song in my head. The alarm sounded so real I imagined this was genius arrangement until I pulled off a headphone and it was an alarm when someone opened the handicap gate without permission....funny.

Coincidental and magical. Serendipity at its microscopic best. But Ani is a talent, and a voice - no luck there.

"Triboro Bridge"

Brighter and bolder than I usually work. I wanted it to feel like an August day when you sense the city's sweat and mostly hear air conditioners and flips flops. This bridge allows you to escape in or beyond, depending on what you crave.

Bridges connect and if it weren't for the damn tolls they would be little pieces of paradise.

"Starlet Bright, Sacred Time"

Past midnight and inspired. Awake, aware - all senses humming like spark plugs in a bright blue Corvette Stingray.

And finally, at peace - accepting that 30 percent of my free will has been forfeited.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

No one ever said that Mona Lisa was pretty....

....the consensus is she is beautiful. Present tense and, thus, for ever.

Mysterious. Graceful. Eternal. Alive and communicative. Sensual and forgiving. Mother, daughter and wife. We all see what is best about ourselves in her.

Pretty does not equate to beauty. There is a difference - you can skip a stone off something pretty - there is not depth, just veneer and almost everyone recognizes it at first blush. Simple, like Diet Coke without even a wedge of lemon.

Art is not about pretty things- sometimes it is about revealing that which is truly beautiful - to expose a depth and clarity. Art cannot glorify the obvious. We have advertising to do that.

Art exults the universal. It resonates our humanity and not just our lust. Look at the placement of her hands - you sense her warmth and her fears. Trusting and tentative like an alternating current.

All of us have a bit of Mona Lisa's allure on our skin or deeper - it is part of what helps define us as human and ultimately helps mark each of us as unique. Beauty is a wonder and we all own a share. Some just hold a greater stake, although not all comprehend how they are blessed. They cannot see or they cannot feel. Or it is too close to them, like a shadow at their backs.

And some are cursed by needing to mine and glorify it. It is hard to do - am I an artist or a bull shit artist?

I see drop dead beauty at most once day - it might be a feminine gesture. or a paint scattered on wall or the wing beat and flight of a songbird. I can see something pretty on TV or in a glamor magazine anytime or sometimes walking down Fifth Avenue to meet investment banker hubby.

I long to work with beauty (to isolate it and nurture it). I do not seek to create images that sell bras or perfume or overpriced handbags.

I have been working with Internet images of a woman I do not know. I am not sure but I suspect she has a very good self image since she is a dancer and an actor. It is a hard life so I suspect she is strong. Determined.

From what I have discovered on a computer screen, she is one of the most beautiful women on this earth. I can see her image as photographed through a variety of lenses and she is stunning. This earth and all its moons cannot diminish her. Yes, she leaves me transfixed and I hope someday she allows me to demonstrate it.

I want to make her the focus of a show. To work with her images, Internet and otherwise, and hopefully create images that I myself photographed and then manipulated and then painted.

I desire to make her a visual goddess and to find in her some of what is pure and true and uplifting in all of us. To mine the depth I see in her eyes and the conviction I see past her lips. To echo the songs and kind thoughts of her heart.

More later. There is a plan. There must be magic. I know there is beauty. I am not sure if I have any talent in me.

Doubt creeps in, always, like a hungry fat house cat. Sometimes it growls, sometimes it purrs. And my heart sometimes is the little gray mouse that it toys with. A kitten learns from its mother how to kill. Thus far doubt has never extinguished my creativity. But it held it down in its paw for too many years.

Below is an image - permission not granted to publish and downloaded off her website. A view of a star. I see here inspiration, enough so to cause the global warming of my visual lobe.

I am falling and falling with no place to fall. And a curse becomes a blessing for a while. And for weeks I have worked with images I have found of her via the web. And some are very valid. I feel revived. How can you thank someone you do not know?

I do feel revived. Stirred not shaken like a Bond martini. At times in slow motion, like I experienced once in a miraculous car crash that I survived without a mark.

There must be magic. There must be luck. There must be....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"Coffeetime" and Moby

Been listening to Moby - CD is called "18" and it is sad yet peaceful. Techno Gospel and with more faith than I have mustered in a while. I wish I could pray. Lucky are those who believe. I believe in truth and in beauty.

Sadly, "Beleive" is a words I need spell check for. See what I mean....

Latest doodle -

Greeting Card Romance (a mid life middle class male in an email age)

Playing with blue background. Sliced, pasted, erased, sprayed, slashed - sort of like my insides, lately.