Sunday, May 29, 2011

work is good

(passion series painting, in progress. 24x48")
Indeed. Work is good. Takes my mind off things, helps me focus on something other than me. The ID.

I am continuing my series of paintings begun last year at this time: the "passion" series.
People occasionally ask what the meaning of the passion series is about.


I thought it was obvious, but what do I know..

Passion: (noun) 1. Strong and barely controllable emotion. 2. State or outburst of such emotion. (from

1. a powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred or anger. (the

So much about making art is the act of making art. Not waiting for inspiration, reading books, grand life experiences.
In my opinion, so much about making art is the act of showing up in the studio and getting to work. Chuck Close said it best:
"Inspiration is for amateurs. Art is about showing up and getting to work."

Passion drives making art.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


"order from chaos" kate salenfriend
The word inspiration or the notion of being inspired, here in my happy valley, if not the universe of art, tends to be a word of romance.

At one time or another, we have all learned the back ground of a particular work of art: When he lived in Spain and ....
during the golden age of Paris... in his home in the French Quarter...

Of course I would be foolish to say that art in general is inspired by the romance of our lives. So much of art comes from tragedy and loss, insanity, destitute(ness?), lost love, seeking.

When I participate in art shows I am always struck by how many collectors are very interested in the "story" behind the art.

At the beginning of my art career, I scoffed at this notion that there was a story or an experience that "informed" the art itself, but over the years, I've thought through this idea and have come to the conclusion that yes, I do paint from inspiration. Sometimes from joy, sometimes loss and sadness.

But that is exactly what might be a difficult pill to swallow.

If a collector is considering a painting, does it matter that the story or inspiration behind it is one of happiness or sadness?

Does a cloud of doom somehow follow that art with the collector into their home, only to remind them of this story every time they look at the art, or does the collector base his or her feelings about the art on their appreciation alone?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

focus and inappropriateness

(random image: "dancer" inspired by Degas. painting by me, photo by me)

So much happening in this wee land of Napa and my art business. Because I don't have an art subject to write about this evening and this is as a matter of fact, "my" blog, which is to say, a diary or journal, it is rather tempting to carry on as if you, fair reader are my "friend" or confidant. Just you and I and a cup of tea.

Skooch in closer and I'll fill you in on all the things happening in my, uh, personal life...

Or not.

I have, just behind this screen, another window opened wherein I am commencing online traffic school.
(I bow my head in shame)
I've been a successful and safe driver for over thirty years and I have always been quick to brag my chops. Not one ticket! None, never, nada.
Till two weeks ago: four way stop, on the way to pick up Q from school. Distracted, spaced out, lazy.
Rolled. Through. Stop.

The officer that pulled me over must have been seriously considering upping the ante when I couldn't stop giggling as I felt like this was a bonding moment between he and I: really, first ticket and all.

But alas, here I am, on the first leg of a alleged several hour course.
What can I not get out of my head in order to avoid writing inappropriate content in my blog?

I short song or ditty that I've known for many years, inappropriate from any angle.

(I dare say, I am unawares even of it's title)

Gee, aint it grand,
To have a girl so big and fat
That when you hug her,
You don't know where you're at.

Just take some chalk in your hand:
Hug a while,
Chalk a while,
see where you began.

Then one day,
As I was huggin and a chalkin'
And 'a askin her to be my bride,

Comes along a man
With some chalk in his hand,
Chalkin' up the other side.
Over the mountain.
Chalkin' up the other side.

My apologies to fat girls, chalk, brides and song writers everywhere.

As an artist, I should know better than to perpetuate such nonsense and I should be ashamed at least for having such a tune
still stuck like dried oatmeal spilled on cement pavement to my brain.

But there it is.

Art business is great, business is happening, art is being made.
No fresh posts tonight (unless you count this one)
Am hoping that by finally writing out that song I can once and for all purge it from my brain....?

If you see me at the studio, ask and I'll be happy to fill you in on the melody.

Well sing it together and it can be yours too.