Thursday, January 31, 2008

End of January

I have something like 115 pages of sketchbook material on my website for the month of January, 2008. Now is probably a fitting time to reiterate (or proclaim) my goal of 10,000 pages of sketchbook drawings on my website. I haven't given myself any deadline (other than dead) for this- but I'd like to see it happen before 2016, the year I hit 65. (8 years from now)

So the month closes- and it has been both productive and a month of setbacks, personally, spiritually and professionally. Disappointment is difficult to cope with, however, I remind myself that very little outside of satisfaction with this moment really matters.
I am in the midst of publishing a small book (50 pages) of some these sketches. This should be available about the middle of February, either from me, or Lulu or Blurb (not sure yet.) I expect it will cost about $15.00- but an announcement with links will be up as soon as it is available.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Can't Cheat an Honest Man

Sunday comes around and I look forward to the newspaper. It is an endless source of ideas. lately, I have stopped reading it and just concentrate on looking at the pictures and drawing from them.

Now, I try not to copy the photographs directly- but use them a source of a visual ideas- Sometimes I will cop the whole thing directly and rationalize it as a sort of "note-taking," however, my overriding motivation is to use this activity as a source of inventory for the future. It's a sort of harvesting.
The page below, is an exception- the images were copied- the cow and the figure have been turned around- transcribed- but, for the most part, there is little invention, here.
The face in the helmet and chinstrap, at the upper right, is from an obituary: Sgt Kyle Dayton- killed in Iraq. I want to say that we lost a special human-being, judging by his unusual obituary photo, then I realize that we have lost thousands of special people.

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Let's take care of each other, shall we?

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Concept-reciprocal or percept- we see to decide? Most don't understand the latency of exploitation that occurs when these two words are disconnected- a swimmer blind- a sidewalk dancer happily whistling beneath a falling piano- unaware, except for the growing shadow on the pavement beneath him. Ignorance is bliss.

My deepest apologies to all who are offended by these pages- I give you permission to walk away in disdain. When I say I am finished with these lessons, I by no means am saying that I am finished with learning, it is that I think I am beyond teaching- for better or ill. This possibly makes me a fool.

The greatest gift of age, for me now, is the idea that I can distinguish between what is useful and what is not.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Glass Jaw

Do you hear voices? Then you are possessed.
opportunity arises like a wave- the outcome never certain- but when it goes by, uncaught- it always seems like a great tragedy of wasted promise- yet this is probably a foolish conclusion.

The more I read and think about religion and spirituality- the more ridiculous it becomes to me. Perhaps this is a form of retardation? I don't know-
It seems if one can sensibly describe an outcome, he or she is a prophet. If the description of future events is, perhaps, a non-sequitur or even a joke- can godhead be far behind?
I will write a story describing a fatal love triangle between Superman, Salome and John the Baptist.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


There are no voids, only homogeneously equal distributions of boredom and ennui. Before open spaces can be recognized matter takes place. What seems now angry is really only velocity. Nothing is truly personal.
Stillness is most certainly full, but without growth or tension- massive consumption is partly responsible for this. In this regard the shopping mall is equal to the sunflower sutra.
Equality of quality is the frustration of insecurity. The voice in the void that calls out and waits for a response, but there is none, and the self is righteously frightened by this. We are compelled to fill our mouths with rocks and give lectures to the ocean.

Andy Warhol died for our sins.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

i put this moment here....

I push into the current and let it take me out to the day. A little later,..lunch with Vic- this precious moment.

The traffic coming back is stoppped- it takes a long time to get anywhere, anymore. I put on Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" and start to dream.

I recall a woman I dated right after my divorce. When I met her I was struck by how nice she smelled. She smelled like Niagra Spray Starch and Obsession. She had kids. She bought me a ridiculous sweater. I felt like I had to wear it. It was the beginning of the end. I fucked that one up.
The lesson: "In Frustration I Hear Singing." (-Hendrix)

Monday, January 14, 2008

9.8M per second

According to Dewey, there can be no aesthetic experience without the presence of a thing or a performance. And yet, he goes on to describe the place of mathematics- which is to give form to the invisible- and speculates that this invisible form may be, someday-"de-complicated" enough to be experienced as poetry.
Leibniz and Newton desired to describe gravity and explain the mystical agreements that take place unexpectedly-
"The Dead only know one thing- that it is better to be alive."
-Private Joker- "Full Metal Jacket"

Go out side. Find a rock. Throw it. Describe the medieval poetry of the time it takes falling bodies to light. A vector is a path invisible but one, nonetheless, described.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blindness At the Wall

Cleverness is deceptive. Too much confidence traps us in its own sticky inertia. Art that doesn't leave home is illustration- not to say that this is a bad thing- very clever illustrators are more effective at transformation than stymied illustrators.

Mountains beyond mountains. Drawing leaves its own birthright and becomes the servant of painting- are there such easy divisions anymore?
I really love doodling- if I could get paid for this- it would be my dream job- I think of my studio practice in this way. When I retire, I shall doodle- seriously.

Monday, January 7, 2008

There Is No Perfect Beauty that Hath Not Some Strangeness in Its Proportion

I’ve always liked this sentiment. Along with “The beautiful is always strange,…” or, “We are in love with what disappears,….”

The Beautiful is often an accident. Certainly, in people, it is an accident of genetics and destiny. Beautiful is contextual and transitory. What is beautiful today will vanish tomorrow, be ravaged by the elements –(although, the elements, time in particular, have a great leveling effect on the nature of appearance- all things are beautiful in time.) The physics of this nature are, therefore, reciprocal?

I am not trying to get anywhere- except to this next moment- perhaps with a sense of satisfaction and some small degree of worthiness. I often wake in the middle of the night and feel grateful for the gift of my life- even as unsubstantial in the face of destiny as it might be. This is beautiful.

I don’t know where I’m going, although madness may be an optional destination. Merle Haggard tells a story about Bob Wills, who said “I never sweat songs out,…” This is the creative tactic I want for myself. John Dewey said, “Rigid predetermination of the end product, whether by artist or beholder leads to the turning out of a mechanical or academic product… “ so, an addition to my personal manifesto might read something like:

Make it quickly
Don’t allow it to take up too much room
Forget about chasing beauty

Of course this will, no doubt, incur the scorn and wrath of the purists, the academics and the artista fascists who may point out, and probably correctly, that these sentiments are merely rationalizations and justifications for excusing the lack of intensity, industry and talent. To some degree, they are correct.

I realize the inherent fascism of this statement, as well.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Spectator Levitates

Dead eyes. Crazy Hollywood eyes. Wandering eyes. The ayes have it. Scientists have recently discovered that matter is disappearing. Researchers have found that one in every one hundred thousand colonoscopies result in explosion, caused by a spark from the instrument.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


A new year arrives and with it- more questions, fewer answers.
I was reading Richard Rodriguez' essay "the God of the Desert" in Harper's, while I was away. In it he says,
"There are people in every age who come early or late to a sense of the futility of the world. ,.....the approach of eternity is implacable."
A conversation with a colleague about the nature of form and its resulting influence on reality yields new material for thought- even curiosity is a form of desire- even the impulse to know what lies beyond the boundaries is full of value judgement- the calculation of hope being the least of it.
A sense of humor is the most reliable weapon in defense against despair.