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Monday, April 26, 2010

We have now

This is a year when my kids have left home, I'm working at my painting alot and finding I have some time to spend on organization, reflections, and planning.  I hope this is showing in my work as I contemplate the direction I'm taking in each painting with more control and purpose, revisiting old compositions and reinterpreting them in a new way.

In my attempt to make a little sense of all the loose papers, photographs, and mementos that I've stashed in every nook and cranny I labeled 4 for me only, one for each son (2) and one for their posterity that might interest them both.    I'm thinking that if I move or god forbid die (I'm not delusional)  the boxes are labeled for each child to take for their own memory store.

As I sorted and categorized I came across a book of dreams that I meticulously recorded during a very very hard time in my life and the thought of anyone, especially my children, ever reading them made me sick.  I scanned through it and decided it was over, been there, done that.........and tossed it..............BUT I did save a few paragraphs.  Out of the reams of writing there were a few statements that still held water, a few other lines that were poetic enough to describe my depths of feeling without being too particular and then, this simple description of a dream I had one night of my most beloved childhood home on Moores Mill Rd. in Atlanta, Georgia, a place that my mind often visits. 

 The street of my favorite childhood appeared in my dreams but the beautiful facades were found to be supported in back by mere scaffolding and rusty fire escapes.  The expansive backyards which supplied dimension and privacy were subdivided with new foundations and the beginnings of new homes.

I think the message I take from this picture is that I am  always new...that today is the most important day of my life and that makes me smile.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I was standing in line at the grocery store checkout behind  a father and his young son.  The boy pulled on the father's jacket and looked  up into his eyes and said "Can I get a new coloring book?"   In that brief second I was overcome with the memory of being that age and the excitement of choosing a new, never used coloring book.  As I walked from the checkout line I was 50 years in the past and could smell a freshly opened coloring book and its companion, the new box of crayolas standing in tiers in their cadmium yellow deep box.....I loved  the names of each color and had great  guarded respect for the beautiful points.  I remember  laying on the floor with the cousins sharing the coloring book, and negotiating on which page to start so that the colorer on the right got what she wanted and the colorer on the left was pretty happy too.    I recall  being acutely aware of each individual colorer's "style" and wished for a "style" of my own.  I have chased Style all my life.
Everyone worries about style.....but now that I've lived a while I would say that style is something best not thought about.  I might even go so far as to say it's useless to think about your own style.  It will surface and be distinct  after you've traveled your distance.   Style is not something you learn but is something that is inside and exists all the time.  Worrying about it is senseless.  Style is more about being released than about being formed or developed.  Whether you're getting your lessons from the old masters, your jr. high school art teacher, or Jackson Pollock, the messages are still being filtered through your mind and hand and manifested by you.
After you  have learned from all your teachers and copied and edited and invented, imagined, and executed hundreds of works of will be there,  and yes it was there all the time.