Sunday, February 23, 2014

Doubt

How often does doubt come for a visit?
Doubt came in today and has not yet left. Ok, ok, so we are talking about a matter of an hour or so. Maybe it's just the contrast: I've been riding pretty high lately on some of my recent (so-called) successes in the printmaking area. I conjured up some older images of my work on Google today and it gave me pause-what was I thinking?
And, worse than that, where am I going? I've no great plans to head off in a new direction (at least with my sculpture)…
This makes me wonder all the more if success is definable as those with the greatest degree of self-assuredness and bravado, aka the biggest cojones. Today, EVERYONE's work looks better than mine: deeper, smarter, cooler, etc.
Is this necessity-a "dues-paying" required by all artists? Like living in a garret and starving (of course, I've done both!). Or is this why everyone else's' work is crap-or so we jealous folks see it-to bolster our own crummy work?
I'll try and pass this off as a mood and not such a good one at that.

It's a good thing-I'm going for a hike- no art working for me today.

Friday, February 14, 2014

monoprint workshop

This class I've taken at the SF Community College is eating up all my spare time. For the money, I can't think of a greater bargain: a weekly 5 hour class with 3 days of open studio available-that totals about 20 hours of working time…
I'm pulling about 5-10 prints a week (wasting print paper, which ain't cheap, just like I always threatened I'd do!).
Exhausted from thinking in such a different mode-my studio is presently gathering lots of dust. If anyone from back home should ask me if the move out here has changed my work, now I can give them a hearty "Yup!", as I'm still thrilled with the new painting and even that excitement has been superseded by this class in mono print…
I do have to take some snaps of the above mentioned-I'm so far behind in taking shots of my work…if I ever needed help in the studio, that's the one place I'd ask for it.
Seeing a new therapist for my back/sciatic issues and so far so good. Still in pain (I expect no instant cure-all here), but I like the tack she is taking: that i should get to know and read my own damn body and start intuiting cures/care, etc. Meanwhile, it's business as usual in Santa Fe-they really do have the most interesting forms of medicine and curative arts out here...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ozmandias Calling


I wonder about living in a foreign country -the idea behind the film "The Passenger" has always intrigued me-where one needs no excuses, simply disappearing from one place (down the rabbit hole) and reappear as a completely different soul in another.
The thought occurred to me when I was in Egypt-but in a romanticized version: ala Paul Bowles in Morocco. It's so easy to dream. The truth of the matter would be a bit harder, as I know I could change myself to a degree and leave a lot behind, but the artist would still be with me as would my love. In short, I'll need to do this in the next lifetime. Shucks.
But traveling back (in memory) is not the worst thing. In some mountain-top town in Sumatra, listening to the Muezzin's call, I can still see the gigantic moth flitting around the aura of one of the few street-lamps. Looking up and walking was a true challenge as the cobblestones were so irregular and there was always the threat of knocking over a charcoal burner and inspiring the wrath of one of the locals. One of my other favorite memories was coming down some gangplank or other to a Thai island (Phi-phi?) and slipping and falling into the water-how or why this was memorable I can't say. But somehow it's filed with the good stuff.

Adventure.
Wouldn't it be great to momentarily put on another life like a change of clothing?






Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rocks

When I was a kid, I delighted in turning over big rocks-I'm sure this was to the dismay of all the little critters living under them-just to see what I could see. It was always a surprise and this kept me amused for most of my childhood.
Driving along this morning, I realized that I still have fun doing that. The rocks have become the avenues I explore in my work. And the amount and kind of rocks available are only limited by my imagination and ambition.
It's an apt metaphor, implying no need for a huge intellect or any advanced training. Just the will to do it-and as I've stated so many times before, it's something I'm bound to do: a blessing and a curse (although here yours truly is playing down the negative).
Also this morning, I thought that my recent activity with paint and "canvas" might just click this time: that I might just be on to a new way to act and think about the two dimensional that has escaped me most of my life. This would be a real gift. I've been chasing the concept of painting forever-and not once have I felt that I "connected" with the act.
What's different? I don't know-and since I'm going to be thinking in two dimensions for  some time now (This past week, I signed up for a Monoprint class at the local community college), I won't "look a gift horse in the mouth".
I made this elephant….

Saturday, December 28, 2013

dolores

Spanish for pain.
There's been a lot of it since the last time I wrote.
It could be the climate here, perhaps the fact that i might have pushed myself too hard. I dunno.
A pinched nerve? Sciatica? Arthritis?
I have a left hand that now has a real hard time zipping up zippers. Carving wood has turned into a contest of sorts, with the wood usually winning.
My legs ache a lot and getting up some nights and mornings has been murderous, the pain shooting up the back down the leg and then doing another relay. Several times it has almost brought me to the floor. Thank goodness for this old pencil post bed-something I can hold onto wincing and trying not to cry out for fear of waking Laura…
This all came on me sometime in September /October. The hand problem had been building and I was aware of it, but all of sudden, the pain seemed to get a green light and it just blossomed (or would a more appropriate word be exploded?). But the back/leg thing seemed to come on strong while I was still working at the Horse Shelter-I thought it was the mucking that did me in. After all, my math skills tell me that between Sarah and myself, there was about 3000 pounds of manure being shoveled, lifted and dumped every day. Sure, I only worked two days-but I s'pose it brought on something else.
After all, in NJ I lifted some pretty serious weight daily at my last job…
I go to see a physical therapist in a few days, but I've little faith that they will help at all. Almost every day, the little cracks I've develop in my good hand (winter, dryness, age?) hinder me even further. The right hand is almost as useless as the left. I take little comfort that this lasts only through the winter months.
Well, I just wanted to cry on somebody's shoulder.
Here's a story and a quote I heard today from The Writer's Almanac:

Writer and comedian Sam Levenson grew up in a Jewish section of Brooklyn and later said, "It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.'"

Ok…
Here's a sculpture I'm (almost) finished with (yet untitled) that serves as an homage to writer Bruno Schultz and his drawings of Undula.