Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Out of fairness, everyone is a winner!
Carla, Bill, Jacques, Mary, Chris, Susan, Matthew, and Helquin, will all receive a drawing of their choice. The Contest is now closed.
The next hurdle for me is to scan all these drawings and to put them someplace for the winners to choose from. (I'm still figuring out our new Canon MP600 which seems to really fry these drawings while on the default setting.) All the other drawings that won't be selected by the winners will be individually tipped-in to the limited edition book Structure of the Inner Ear, which is a collaboration between myself and Shin Yu Pai and is expected to be published this Fall by Slack Buddah Press. Subsequently, I'm trying to figure out how all these drawings can be collected (other then on a website or a flikr page). Would people be interested in an under ten dollar monograph of these 150 drawings? Or how about print-on-demand posters? What if these little ink drawings were reproduced huge? It seems to me that I need to scan these images in a way that allows for the most flexible future output. But that is only one deadline.
It is interesting that the "Why Painting?" question received answers that I hadn't expected.
Duh. . . the answers were to the wrong question. We all seem to agree that the answer to "Why Painting?" is a variation on George Mallory's response "Because it is there" to the "Why climb Everest" question.
Why follow the path of anything?
i can't think of anything else to do
Because you have to.
What do I know?!
Bill Gusky, however, true to his form, elaborates a tad:
It comes out of your physical being for reasons you will likely never know. The assemblage of matter that is you has a need to work into two-dimensional areas and respond to the results with more work. This causes (has caused) your brain to develop in certain ways that create a pleasurable sensation of some sort -- or a nagging sensation that makes you work further -- or something like that -- (me = not a psychologist in any sense) You incline toward liquid media, likely the result of experiences you had with colored liquids many years earlier.
(Have a mentioned that Bill is contributing an essay to the catalog that the Kristi Engle Gallery is producing for my show in November? But wait! That is not all! Chris Ashley and Chris Rywalt will also be graciously considering words for the catalog). I'm so excited, I feel like I'm waiting for the Tooth Fairy. Seriously.
Bill's answer feels spot on, and yet, too personal. Is painting "special" simply because of nuances in my psyche?
To a certain extent, of course. I have some genetic predisposition for painting.
But Bill points out that an individual's ability to flow and make snap judgements with the blink of an eye, are trainable, or enhanceable. Especially if an individual has some hardwiring that appreciates the qualities of Life that painting has to offer.
Being the open-minded individuals that we are, the "because it was there" answer to "why do anything" question allows for expertise, without judgment. We all believe that one discipline (or path) is no better then the rest. But, different from almost anything, Painting has been around for awhile. It is not just me. Painting is cool. Apparently my question got tweaked. I wanted to imply (while asking a question) that since anything is possible (and painting might be a little better "thing" then most), what makes painting so special?
I wanted this question to be rooted more in education and less in psychology. I think this is why Bill's answer is so sweet, he is a teacher.
Chris Jagers is also a teacher.
Chris actually came up with something that might fit into the preface of our forthcoming textblog:
Time. (Painting) is the only still medium that is a container for a changing mind.
"Textblog" = the textbook of the future.
Hey, lets do it!
WikiArt 101, everyone is a contributing editor. Standards could be established!
What makes painting so special?
How would you start Painting 101?
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I am not impressed by the Painting-A-Day Cult. It entirely misses the point. We need to see something that takes nights (plural) to paint. Night is for ethereal paintings, Day is for sparky paintings. It took me three nights to paint this sparky painting:
The painting above started as a response to many things in my life. Too many things for me to ever blog about. It was much easier to dump everything into a painting. That is, only if you consider three nights of precious studio time as a "dump". I could have been getting ready for my upcoming solo show at Kristi Engle Gallery (who, rumour has it, is making a move into a new location) but no, I had to try and make a painting that included: Floral Arrangements (ultimately it became simply an arrangement), a bird (an egg counts. .. right?), Masculine and Feminine brush marks (whatever that means. . . maybe it means use everything that you've got, or maybe "Show-off with Brevity" Remember, the key to Wit is a Holy Grail, etc etc etc
So, why Painting?
I am certain that there are paths that I could have followed that would have been more rewarding when compared to painting. Make no mistake, Painting is a Path. I don't know why it took me so long to acknowledge that (without a sense of doubt or irony). So why painting then? If there are countless ways to be rewarded, why follow the path of Painting? Painting has been dead for a century. Well, technically, Painting had a near death experience over a hundred years ago. That darn camera. It turned Painting into a Zombie. The walking dead are terrifying at first, but you get used to them.
Friday, August 24, 2007
First, the floor was covered with bogus paper, then the canvas (muslin) was stapled to the floor in a perfect rectangle. After two coats of cornstarch, the canvas was ready to be flipped.
We have these new fangled staple pullers that make life much easier. The canvas is flipped and re-stapled, perfectly square. The big oval of the frame is painted in black so as to block the light.
Glazes and washes applied by four individuals are burnishing this drop into its honey saturated shape.
We have been talking about:
music collections and taste
politics, religion, and Saturday's eighth annual SPAM Parade and SPAM-O-RAMA
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I thought you might like some of these images of antique Chinese
pottery shards. Some are quite painterly and deconstructive. Mostly
from shipwrecks off the Indonesian coast. Some from Maoist destruction
of all that was decorative, elitist, and useless. My favorite is the
pants running to nowhere.
I kinda preferred
Green Dances with Purple
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
. . . Shunning the use of a single, fixed perspective, opting instead to create multiple viewpoints within the picture. This encouraged the eye to move around the composition, exploring individual highlights, similar to a traveler passing through a country scene. The Chinese described this approach to landscape with the term "woyou", which means "wandering while lying down." - David G. Wilkens
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
There are lots of things I don't understand -- say, the latest debates over whether neutrinos have mass or the way that Fermat's last theorem was (apparently) proven recently. But from 50 years in this game, I have learned two things: (1) I can ask friends who work in these areas to explain it to me at a level that I can understand, and they can do so, without particular difficulty; (2) if I'm interested, I can proceed to learn more so that I will come to understand it. Now Derrida, Lacan, Lyotard, Kristeva, etc. --- even Foucault, whom I knew and liked, and who was somewhat different from the rest --- write things that I also don't understand, but (1) and (2) don't hold: no one who says they do understand can explain it to me and I haven't a clue as to how to proceed to overcome my failures. That leaves one of two possibilities: (a) some new advance in intellectual life has been made, perhaps some sudden genetic mutation, which has created a form of "theory" that is beyond quantum theory, topology, etc., in depth and profundity; or (b) ... I won't spell it out.
– Noam Chomsky
Which brings me to point two–Chomsky is primarily a political figure, and really a pragmatist at heart. The core of his argument is not so much that po-mo writing is high-falutin’ nonsense, but rather that it ultimately serves no practical purpose. Here is where I would strongly disagree. The people that Chomsky attacks and their followers are re-evaluating the canon and the very notion of received wisdom. Chomsky attacks them for “misreading the classics”–but just what are the classics, and whose value systems created the notion that the classics were indeed “classic”? If Derrida & co. appear to “misread,” it is because they seek to recover the marginalized knowledge that has been buried under a sediment of givens as “truth.” Yes, the post-modern movement might have elitist tendencies, and yes, the subjects and themes of their work might not have much to do on the surface with the plight of a refugee (cf. MoMo in Jordan in 1948)…but the goal is actually in line with Chomsky’s goal–to make people question the powers that structure their lives.
I suggest checking out the whole post to understand this in context. However, I don't think that Pearson fully comprehends this issue, and given the clearly ambiguous nature of post-modern "philosophy", is not surprising.
But it all boils down to this: The nature of deconstruction (and by extension, post-modernism) is to de-construct, not make anyone question anything. Post-modernism because that would imply a hierarchy: i.e. questioning is better than not questioning. Thus, the only goal is to have no goal, the only order to have no order, the only logic to have no logic. It is a circuitous, self defeating, paradoxical thought process which begins nowhere and ends nowhere, like the serpent Ouroboros who eats his own tail.
Deconstruction is a process of thought and not a philosophical conclusion.
Posted by RichardTScott at 5:11 AM
While the glue dries, have a glass of wine
Now position the following next to the former and glue as well:
Anekantavada is a basic principle of Jainism developed by Mahavira (599-527 BC) positing that reality is perceived differently from different points of view, and that no single point of view is completely true. Jain doctrine states that only Kevalis, those who have infinite knowledge, can know the true answer, and that all others would only know a part of the answer. Anekantavada is related to the Western philosophical doctrine of Subjectivism. 'Ekanta' is one-sidedness. Anekantavada is literally the doctrine of non-onesidedness; it is often translated as "non-absolutism". Anekantvada encourages its adherents to consider others views or beliefs. They should not reject a view simply because it uses a different perspective. They should consider the fact there may be truth in others' views too. Many proponents of Anekantvada apply the principle to religion and philosophy themselves, reminding adherents that any religion or philosophy, even Jainism, that clings too dogmatically to its own tenets is committing an error based on its limited point of view. In this application, Anekantvada resembles the Western principles of cultural and moral relativism.
Read a book while the glue dries
This is a good one.
and then smirk at my tattoo
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Here are their blogs and their last known activity:
Art Powerlines, 5/18/2007
Nonprophet Art, 6/21/2007
Speaking of Ashes, 5/5/2007
Springs and Wells, 4/13/2007
High Low and in Between, he still blogs, righteously, but barely
The challenge with the moon will be the application of the blacklight-reactive paint. The postcard house drop is 32 feet by 28 feet. The image inside the frame will be translucent.
The third drop we have in the works is an attic scene that is also 25 feet by 28 feet. It is fairly strait forward, except for the six panes of glass in deep space will also be translucent for dramatic lighting effects.
So, that is how I spent my evening. Electro-pouncing until 9PM. I guess I should start calling it my "evening job." I had retinal spark shadows floating in my vision for about an hour into my studio time.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Why did only a day after I posted a painting by Acrimboldo, did somebody from out of the blue, show me a collection of shorts by Svankmajer?
Jan Svankmajer Dimensions of Dialogue, Part 2
"The short Dimensions of Dialogue (1982), which shows Arcimboldo-like heads gradually reducing each other to bland copies ("exhaustive discussion"); a clay man and woman who dissolve into one another sexually, then quarrel and reduce themselves to a frenzied, boiling pulp ("passionate discourse"); and two elderly clay heads who extrude various objects on their tongues (toothbrush and toothpaste; shoe and shoelaces, etc.) and use them in every possible combination, sane or otherwise ("factual conversation"). His films have been called "as emotionally haunting as Kafka's stories." - Wikipedia Words
Why did it happen that the same day that I posted about Acrimboldo (Thursday), Chris Jagers posted his Why is Video Art Boring? post. Why? Did you make it through the Dimensions of Dialogue, parts 1 and 2 above? I watched the whole thing and more through the digital multi- media projector that we are using at Jefferson Scenic. I normally don't have time for big dark Czech surrealism. Even the funny stuff feels creepy. It was refreshing when the small gathering at the scene shop decided to move on to the All Zat Shop Vac video.
Joe, the shop vac wielder is a carpenter at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and was sitting next to me on the floor as we watched this video which was made by a local outfit called Illustrated Sandwich. I smiled. Still trying to either shake the Svankmajer/Acrimboldo connection, or to make something of it. Faces made of diverse inanimate objects seem to be in my face lately. I've made a conscious decision to try and not put eyes in my ink drawings. But when they show up, I often keep them.
The peak of Mount Abstraction is surrounded by a halo of mist. Free from the representational qualities of art and existing as pure Idea, the summit of Mount Abstraction floats like an island in the sky. It is the place where supreme simplicity has not yet divided.
When a drop of ink touches the paper, we begin our descent of Mount Abstraction. Initially, the mist will lap at the shores of the “pure” idea. Sometimes, the mist will gather in a slow vignette. At other locations, the “purity” rips into the mist as if fired from a gun. The whirlpools and the dust-devils begin to contort-and-blossom on the shore. The strange collides with the familiar and creates cognitive dissonance. This is all because of a drop of ink.
I have approached the foothills of Mount Abstraction from many different trail-heads. Just as often, I have initiated my exploration from the summit and worked my way down the infinite paths that lead into The Mist.
My life’s work seems to exist on the shore, or the brink, of the mist where spontaneous and calculated marks combine. It is a place where pleasure and insight begin to fuse. It is an intoxicating dynamic that continues to re-define the upper limits of imagination. It is a place where puerile culture breathes the same air as 17th century Dutch signifiers, and quixotic romance does a dance with goofy sincerity.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Speaking of children. . .
The summer vacation juggle of Duel-Income-One-Kid (DIOK's as we are more popularly known as), has really chopped away at my spare time. I have become a distracted and lazy parent while I scramble for all the "work" hours that I can get. At least I had my wits about me when my daughter was who she is:
In the pic below, I am photographing a projection of a rendering, onto a pounce. There is a five foot band of brown paper taped to the wall. The wall has been permanently gridded out on a two foot interval.
Don't be fooled by my shadow, each white line represents one foot. The rendering is being projected through a fancy-pants device that will make our initial charcoal drawing more precise. These darn computers can keystone, tweak, and adapt a projection in a way that ten years ago would have taken me twice as much time.
We will be pouncing (piercing a line of tiny holes through) the brown paper with The Electro Pounce. Then we will lay the brown paper pounce across the starched and sized muslin and rub charcoal through the holes.
More on that when we get to it.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
I will mow the lawn. There will be the usual beer, food and music, but feel free to add to the sum in any or all categories. It starts when you arrive, and hopefully keeps going long after you leave, so if you have other events, remember, we'll still be here. Other notifications may follow, but please pass this invitation onto your fellow country or city mice.
We're all friends, with some obvious exceptions.
Hope to see you.....
ps. Please forward, especially to anyone who might be interested in playing old timey, folk, bluegrass, snodgrass, or anything acoustic in the back yard.
I think we have the rock people covered.