Tuesday, December 28, 2010

from the sketchbook:
trees in frozen river

Sunday, December 12, 2010


from the sketchbook

Thursday, December 9, 2010


from the sketchbook...

Sunday, October 31, 2010



from the sketchbook- morning glories in the alley

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"We learned a whole new attitude about what art could be- not expression but investigation."
Jack Goldstein about John Baldessari's teaching

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"What's the average time a person looks at a painting- seven seconds? I want to get them hooked. I have to raise the bar in such a way that they're not going to get it, but they want to get it."
John Baldessari

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"The road less traveled sure got a lot of stones."
Everlast from the Whitey Ford Sings the Blues album

Monday, October 4, 2010

"We, as a species, are always looking for cathedrals made of fire, and part of the thrill of reading a great book is the promise of another yet to come, a book that may move us even more deeply, raise us even higher. One of the consolations of writing books is the seemingly unquenchable conviction that the next book will be better, will be bigger and bolder and more comprehensive and truer to the lives we live. We exist in a condition of hope, we love the beauty and truth that come to us, and we do our best to tamp down our doubts and disappointments."
Michael Cunningham

Friday, October 1, 2010

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
found in the park this morning

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can- in some beautifully bound book. It will seem as if you were making the visions banal- but then you need to do that- then you are freed from the power of them... Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book & turn over the pages & for you it will be your church- your cathedral- the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them- then you will lose your soul- for in that book is your soul."
Carl Jung
from the sketchbook-
'out on a limb in the dark'
8x15"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"It is the first vision that counts. The artist has only to remain true to his dream and it will possess his work in such a manner that it will resemble the work of no other... for no two visions are alike, and those who reach the heights have all toiled up steep mountains by a different route. To each has been revealed a different panorama."
Albert Pinkham Ryder

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Was there ever a more horrible blasphemy than the statement that all the knowledge of God is confined to this or that book? How dare men call God infinite, and yet try to compress Him within the covers of a little book!"
Swami Vivekananda

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"I would hope that my music is smarter, stronger than I am. It should be elastic and sophisticated enough to endure many listenings, many interpretations. It's like scrambling onto the roof from the highest rung of the ladder which lies just beneath the lip of the roof. Every musical thing I do is like jumping onto the roof from that rung. Higher, better than I can be most of the time."
Patricia Barber from her blog

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"How life is strange and changeful, and the crystal is in the steel at the point of fracture, and the toad bears a jewel in its forehead, and the meaning of moments passes like breeze that scarcely ruffles the leaves of willows. "
from All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

found at ferry bar park today
while scavenging for styrofoam
for an installation at school 33 in january
"For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities, men and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the small flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings which one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents that one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was joy for someone else); to childhood illness that so strangely began with a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars-and it is not enough if one may think all of this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them."
from 'The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge' by Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Hercules was slain by a magic shirt he had donned in all innocence, its poisoned fabric immediately fusing with his own skin, burning on his body like boiling oil. He could not cast it off again except at the price of his very life.
Groaning, roaring, and finally mad with the pain, this invincible man tore his own skin and flesh from his bones along with the shirt, laid bare his bleeding sinews, his shoulder blades, the red cage of his ribs, and inside it, lungs burning out, his heart. He fell. And the light from that day gathered in seven ponds, into which the wretched man's blood and sweat dissolved, seven mirrors that bore the image of the sky,- clouds, shadows, emptiness. Then it was night. But the light of the seven ponds remained and rose up, stars among the stars of the firmament."
from " The Last World" by Christoph Ransmayr

from the sketchbook,
reflections in lavalette canal

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Each forest outline, each pond, the course of each river had glided itself through the hands of Arachne the weaver, the deaf mute, for whom, so Echo said, her loom was a window trellised with threads, looking into a garishly bright and soundless world...

Echo alone would have been capable of understanding her explanation and of translating for the Roman how her tapestry was of value to the deaf-mute woman only as long as it was still growing, stretched on the frame of her loom's beams and shafts. Once completed, whatever landed in this moldy room would be pulled out again only when a smelter or a farmer wanted to decorate his sooty walls with a beautiful landscape gave her a sheep in trade, whereupon Arachne would simply cut the ropes binding its legs and let it run wild on the stony terraces of the cliffs."
from "the Last World" by Christoph Ransmayr

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Time isn't made of anything. It is an abstraction. Just a meaning that we impose upon motion."
from The Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

prayers
24x16"
now in the collection of Teresa Indjein

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?"
— Laozi from the Tao Te Ching

flashing fishes
now in the collection of Amy, North Carolina
22x16"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."
Leo Tolstoy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."
Harriet Tubman

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"...a certain fundamental opacity of human being, which likes to show the truth by allowing it to be seen hiding."
Anne Carson

Monday, July 19, 2010

"I do not want to die, even if Hans and Karl should die. I do not want to go until I have faithfully made the most of my talent and cultivated the seed that was placed in me until the last twig has grown.... since I am to be the cultivator, I want to serve it faithfully. Since recognizing that, I am almost serene and much firmer in spirit. It is not only that I am permitted to finish my work - I am obliged to finish it. This seems to be the meaning of all the gabble about culture. Culture arises only when the individual fulfills his cycle of obligations. If everyone recognizes and fulfills his cycle of obligations, genuineness emerges. The culture of a whole nation can in the final analysis be built upon nothing else but this."
from the Diary and Letters of Kaethe Kollwitz

Friday, July 16, 2010

deep blue
16x22"
in the collection of Jonathan Palevsky, Baltimore

from an article in The New York Times about the sex abuse cases of Bishop Vangheluwe and Roman Polanski:

"....If this is in part a morality tale — permissiveness corrodes virtue, illicit urges undermine restraint — is morality itself a relative concept?

That question seemed likely to be asked more searchingly this week after the Vatican issued new rules about the handling of priestly abuse, listing pedophilia in a catalog of other supposed grave crimes including “the attempted ordination of women.”

“What I did, supporting the ordination of women, they saw as a serious crime,” said the Rev. Roy Bourgeois, an American priest excommunicated less than two months after he participated in a ceremony ordaining women. “But priests who were abusing children, they did not see as a crime. What does that say?”...."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Sometimes I think creativity is a matter of seeing, or stumbling over, unobvious similarities between things- like composing a fresh metaphor, but on a more complex scale."
David Mitchell

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"It was as if with time he had transposed everything he was capable of saying and writing to the realm of his poetry, to rhythmical language or perfected prose, and in the process had turned mute in the world of everyday speech, of dialect, of screams and fragmented sentences and phrases."
from The Last World by Christoph Ransmayr

Thursday, June 17, 2010

from the sketchbook-
N.E. corner of Patterson Park Ave. & Madison St.
"She looked up at me, and the whole world disappeared. Like there was just us, like there would always be just us, and we didn't need magic for that. It was sort of happy and sad, all at the same time. I couldn't be around her without feeling things, without feeling everything."
from Beautiful Creatures Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


harbor blossoms
now in the collection of Jim & Alley Tierney
22x16"
"...he failed to say the words that normal, heartsick people want to hear: life is not a cosmic accident, not evidence of a punishing al powerful god. Instead he ground his teeth against his desire to tell them the truth: god is helpless. We are at the mercy of our own radical freedom, and all god can do is take into god’s self the grief, the violence, the sublime acts of kindness, the good sex. God comes to us from the future, and has only one gift: the lure. We are lured toward truth, beauty and goodness...the lure is pulling at our hearts like some lucid joy inside every actual occasion and all we have to do is ... say yes."
from The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

from the sketchbook- fireflies in the park

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"When love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. Love, soar."
Victor Hugo
positive thinking (1402 N. Milton St.)
22x16"
now in the collection of Dave and Rebecca Pille

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"The first year it sank in how far over my head I was. The next two years were '79 and '80, and I was really unhappy. I thought I was in a cave and I couldn't get out. It was just too big a thing.
The funny thing is that you get to a certain point and you can't quit. Because I always worried: if you quit, you'll quit again. The only way out was to go forward, to learn your way and write your way out of it."
John McPhee from a Paris Review interview

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations."
Anais Nin

Monday, May 17, 2010

"There are others so continually in the agitation of gross and merely sensual pleasures, or so occupied in the low drudgery of avarice, or so heated in the chase of honours and distinction, that their minds, which had been used continually in the storms of these violent and tempestuous passions, can hardly be put in motion by the delicate and refined play of the imagination."
from On the Sublime and Beautiful by Edmund Burke

Friday, May 14, 2010

"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
Albert Camus

urban layers
24x16"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

from the sketchbook: 1402 North Milton Ave.
another profusion of fake flowers on a stoop.
there is usually a theme- her's seems to be lilac.
must be somebody's grandmother...
from the sketchbook: 4/21, dandelions
giving me their much-needed yellow howl
in a derelict side yard on the way to the studio

Monday, May 3, 2010


Haruki Murakami's acceptance speech for the 2009 Jerusalem Prize:

I have come to Jerusalem today as a novelist, which is to say as a professional spinner of lies.

Of course, novelists are not the only ones who tell lies. Politicians do it, too, as we all know. Diplomats and military men tell their own kinds of lies on occasion, as do used car salesmen, butchers and builders. The lies of novelists differ from others, however, in that no one criticizes the novelist as immoral for telling them. Indeed, the bigger and better his lies and the more ingeniously he creates them, the more he is likely to be praised by the public and the critics. Why should that be?

My answer would be this: Namely, that by telling skillful lies - which is to say, by making up fictions that appear to be true - the novelist can bring a truth out to a new location and shine a new light on it. In most cases, it is virtually impossible to grasp a truth in its original form and depict it accurately. This is why we try to grab its tail by luring the truth from its hiding place, transferring it to a fictional location, and replacing it with a fictional form. In order to accomplish this, however, we first have to clarify where the truth lies within us. This is an important qualification for making up good lies.
Today, however, I have no intention of lying. I will try to be as honest as I can. There are a few days in the year when I do not engage in telling lies, and today happens to be one of them.

So let me tell you the truth. A fair number of people advised me not to come here to accept the Jerusalem Prize. Some even warned me they would instigate a boycott of my books if I came.

The reason for this, of course, was the fierce battle that was raging in Gaza. The UN reported that more than a thousand people had lost their lives in the blockaded Gaza City, many of them unarmed citizens - children and old people.

Any number of times after receiving notice of the award, I asked myself whether traveling to Israel at a time like this and accepting a literary prize was the proper thing to do, whether this would create the impression that I supported one side in the conflict, that I endorsed the policies of a nation that chose to unleash its overwhelming military power. This is an impression, of course, that I would not wish to give. I do not approve of any war, and I do not support any nation. Neither, of course, do I wish to see my books subjected to a boycott.

Finally, however, after careful consideration, I made up my mind to come here. One reason for my decision was that all too many people advised me not to do it. Perhaps, like many other novelists, I tend to do the exact opposite of what I am told. If people are telling me - and especially if they are warning me - "don't go there," "don't do that," I tend to want to "go there" and "do that." It's in my nature, you might say, as a novelist. Novelists are a special breed. They cannot genuinely trust anything they have not seen with their own eyes or touched with their own hands.

And that is why I am here. I chose to come here rather than stay away. I chose to see for myself rather than not to see. I chose to speak to you rather than to say nothing.

This is not to say that I am here to deliver a political message. To make judgments about right and wrong is one of the novelist's most important duties, of course.

It is left to each writer, however, to decide upon the form in which he or she will convey those judgments to others. I myself prefer to transform them into stories - stories that tend toward the surreal. Which is why I do not intend to stand before you today delivering a direct political message.

Please do, however, allow me to deliver one very personal message. It is something that I always keep in mind while I am writing fiction. I have never gone so far as to write it on a piece of paper and paste it to the wall: Rather, it is carved into the wall of my mind, and it goes something like this:

"Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg."

Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will decide. If there were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?

What is the meaning of this metaphor? In some cases, it is all too simple and clear. Bombers and tanks and rockets and white phosphorus shells are that high, solid wall. The eggs are the unarmed civilians who are crushed and burned and shot by them. This is one meaning of the metaphor.

This is not all, though. It carries a deeper meaning. Think of it this way. Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: It is The System. The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and then it begins to kill us and cause us to kill others - coldly, efficiently, systematically.

I have only one reason to write novels, and that is to bring the dignity of the individual soul to the surface and shine a light upon it. The purpose of a story is to sound an alarm, to keep a light trained on The System in order to prevent it from tangling our souls in its web and demeaning them. I fully believe it is the novelist's job to keep trying to clarify the uniqueness of each individual soul by writing stories - stories of life and death, stories of love, stories that make people cry and quake with fear and shake with laughter. This is why we go on, day after day, concocting fictions with utter seriousness.

My father died last year at the age of 90. He was a retired teacher and a part-time Buddhist priest. When he was in graduate school, he was drafted into the army and sent to fight in China. As a child born after the war, I used to see him every morning before breakfast offering up long, deeply-felt prayers at the Buddhist altar in our house. One time I asked him why he did this, and he told me he was praying for the people who had died in the war.

He was praying for all the people who died, he said, both ally and enemy alike. Staring at his back as he knelt at the altar, I seemed to feel the shadow of death hovering around him.

My father died, and with him he took his memories, memories that I can never know. But the presence of death that lurked about him remains in my own memory. It is one of the few things I carry on from him, and one of the most important.

I have only one thing I hope to convey to you today. We are all human beings, individuals transcending nationality and race and religion, fragile eggs faced with a solid wall called The System. To all appearances, we have no hope of winning. The wall is too high, too strong - and too cold. If we have any hope of victory at all, it will have to come from our believing in the utter uniqueness and irreplaceability of our own and others' souls and from the warmth we gain by joining souls together.

Take a moment to think about this. Each of us possesses a tangible, living soul. The System has no such thing. We must not allow The System to exploit us. We must not allow The System to take on a life of its own. The System did not make us: We made The System.

That is all I have to say to you.

I am grateful to have been awarded the Jerusalem Prize. I am grateful that my books are being read by people in many parts of the world. And I am glad to have had the opportunity to speak to you here today.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Decalogue of the Artist

1. You shall love beauty, which is the shadow of God over the Universe

2. There is no godless art. Although you love not the Creator, you shall bear witness to Him creating His likeness.

3. You shall create beauty not to excite the senses but to give sustenance to the soul.

4. You shall never use beauty as a pretext to luxury and vanity but as a spiritual devotion.

5. You shall not seek beauty at carnival or fair or offer your work there, for beauty is virginal and is not to be found at carnival or fair.

6. Beauty shall rise form your heart in song, and yo shall be the first to be purified.

7. The beauty you create shall be known as compassion and shall console the hearts of men.

8. You shall bring forth your work as a mother brings forth her child: out of the blood of your heart.

9. Beauty shall not be an opiate that puts you to sleep but a strong wine that fires you to action, for if you fail to be a true man or a true woman, you will fail to be an artist.

10. Each act of creation shall leave you humble, for it is never as great as your dream and always inferior to that most marvelous dream of God which is Nature.

- Gabriela Mistral

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"I wish I were a poet. I've never confessed that to anyone, and I'm confessing it to you, because you've given me reason to feel that I can trust you. I've spent my life observing the universe, mostly in my mind's eye. It's been a tremendously rewarding life, a wonderful life. I've been able to explore the origins of time and space with some of the great living thinkers. But I wish I were a poet.
Albert Einstein, a hero of mine, once wrote, 'Our situation is the following. We are standing in front of a closed box which we cannot open.'
I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the vast majority of the universe is composed of dark matter. The fragile balance depends on things we'll never be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Life itself depends on them. What's real? What isn't real? Maybe those aren't the right questions to be asking. What does life depend on?
I wish I had made things for life to depend on."

Jonathan Safran Foer

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down."
Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"I used to think when I was younger and writing that each idea had a certain shape and when I started to study Greek and I found the word morphe it was for me just the right word for that, unlike the word shape in English which falls a bit short, morphe in Greek means the the sort of plastic contours that an idea has inside all your senses when you grasp it the first moment and it always seemed to me that a work should play out that same contour in its form. So I can’t start writing something down until I get a sense of that, that morphe. And then it unfolds, I wouldn’t say naturally, but it unfolds gropingly by keeping only to the contours of that form whatever it is."
Anne Carson
meadow
24x16"

Monday, April 19, 2010

unfurling
22x16"
now in the collection of Sandi Gerstung

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"To get born, your body makes a pact with death, and from that moment

all it tries to do is cheat"

from Louise Gluck's "A Slip of Paper"

Friday, April 9, 2010

"When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing. No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money. Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Today it is not quite the same. It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption. Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss. But I do know, that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow. We must all hope we find them."
Mark Rothko
exuberant nostalgia
22x16"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

across the park
22x16"
collection of Sunny & Chris, Cleveland OH

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Societies in decline have no use for visionaries."
Anais Nin
rocky shore jewels
22x16"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
David Foster Wallace


bay oases
22X16"

Monday, April 5, 2010

flora eterna, 2402 calvert street

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
night alley river
22x16"
now in the collection of Teresa Indjein

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Do one thing everyday that scares you."
Eleanor Roosevelt
snowy park lanterns
22x16"

Friday, April 2, 2010

"And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind."
Pablo Neruda
winter cosmos tree
22x16"
collection of Summer & Matt Gonter
"Most governments release a ton of data on economic trends but not enough on trust and other social conditions. In short, modern societies have developed vast institutions oriented around the things that are easy to count, not around the things that matter most. They have an affinity for material concerns and a primordial fear of moral and social ones."
David Brooks, NYT 3/29/2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

“These new collectors never knew the Sculls,” Ms. Goldman said. “They tell the story of a couple who simply collected with their gut.”
from New York Times article about an exhibit of the Scull's collection at the Acquavella Gallery in NY

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"A while ago, I was at a restaurant with my mother, and she fancied the waiter's hands. She said to me, ''I worry that I will never be touched again, except by the undertaker.'' I kept thinking about that, how, as you get older, age and time become more and more interesting. The idea for ''The Mother'' involves sex of a scandalous nature, and I realized that would be a good starting point. But it was the undressing of her dignity that moved me."
Hanif Kureishi, film maker

Monday, March 8, 2010

'Kite', 22x16"
now in the collection of
Amy McGrath, Raleigh, NC

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Otherwise, all I remember of the denizens of the Nocturama is that several of them had strikingly large eyes, and the fixed inquiring gaze found in certain painters and philosophers who seek to penetrate the darkness which surrounds us purely by means of looking and thinking."
from Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald


the sea grinds everything back to pebbles

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?'

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of the universe; your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so other people won't feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of all that's within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.

And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others"

Nelson Mandela


'Blizzard Bush'
22x16"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"It's true that the moral luck dramatized by modern art involves an uncomfortable element of ethical exhibitionism. We gawk and stare as the painters slice off their ears and down the booze and act like clowns. But we rely on them to make up for our timidity, on their courage to dignify our caution. We are spectators in the casino, placing bets; that's the nature of the collaboration that brings us together, and we can sometimes convince ourselves that having looked is the same as having made, and that the stakes are the same for the ironic spectator and the would-be saint. But they're not. We all make our wagers, and the cumulative lottery builds museums and lecture halls and revisionist biographies. But the artist does more.
He bets his life."
Adam Gopnik in January 24, 2010 New Yorker

Monday, February 15, 2010


"The gods are strange. It is not our vices only they make instruments to scourge us. They bring us to ruin through what in us is good, gentle, humane, loving."
Oscar Wilde


"Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure."
Rumi

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"What’s missing is art that seems made by one person out of intense personal necessity, often by hand....

.... Museum curators need to think less about an artist’s career, its breakthroughs and its place in the big picture and more in terms of an artist’s life’s work pursued over time with increasing concentration and singularity.

They have a responsibility to their public and to history to be more ecumenical, to do things that seem to come from left field. They owe it to the public to present a balanced menu that involves painting as well as video and photography and sculpture. They need to think outside the hive-mind, both distancing themselves from their personal feelings to consider what’s being wrongly omitted and tapping into their own subjectivity to show us what they really love.

These things should be understood by now: The present is diverse beyond knowing, history is never completely on anyone’s side, and what we ignore today will be excavated later and held against us the way we hold previous oversights against past generations."

Roberta Smith in today's New York Times

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"The fisherman know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore."
Vincent van Gogh


found at the water's edge in baltimore today

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Evil is the refusal to see one's self in others."
Richard Powers

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Only reason can convince us of those three fundamental truths without a recognition of which there can be no effective liberty: that what we believe is not necessarily true; that what we like is not necessarily good; and that all questions are open."
Clive Bell

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."
C.S. Lewis

Saturday, January 30, 2010

sleeping beauties: early cartographic term for uncharted territories

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lullaby, 22x16x5"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"They play with visual percepts- the fleeting formations in the brain that summarize vision on the verge of consciousness...
You know it's an object, but your eyes, assaulted by fractured reflections of the room, don't agree. Your percept stutters with incessant double takes. Is this pleasant? It is if you surrender to it, accepting with fascination, the humiliating faultiness of human perception. Seeing that you don't see and knowing that you don't know, you are flooded with an awareness of reality beyond your conscious grasp. Actually, any successful art may bring about something like that."
Peter Schjeldahl about the Light and Space artists in L.A. from the late sixties

Friday, January 22, 2010

"I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed. And then? I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed. And what next? I get laid, I take a short holiday, but very soon after I fall upon those same thorns with gratification in pain, or suffering in joy - who knows what the mixture is! What good, what lasting good is there in me? Is there nothing else between birth and death but what I can get out of this perversity - only a favorable balance of disorderly emotions? No freedom? Only impulses? And what about all the good I have in my heart - does it mean anything? Is it simply a joke? A false hope that makes a man feel the illusion of worth? And so he goes on with his struggles. But this good is no phony. I know it isn't. I swear it."
from Herzog by Saul Bellow

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Deep in each man is the knowledge that something knows of his existence. Something knows, and cannot be fled nor hid from."
from The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"I look back now and think, How lucky
not to know what you are doing."
William Kentridge about his early films
from an interview with Calvin Tomkins
in the 1/18/10 The New Yorker

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

keeping the faith, 22x16"
"The long-planned-for rituals of departure were forgotten in the confusion, but strangely, this great outburst of activity became itself a kind of worship, not so much intended to achieve an end... but rather as an expression of awe, of the kind that might great a divine revelation: for when a moment arrives that is so much feared and so much long awaited, it perforates the veil of everyday expectation in such a way as to reveal the prodigious darkness of the unknown."
from Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"The essence of Warhol's genius was to eliminate the one aspect of a thing without which that thing would, to conventional ways of thinking, cease to be itself, and then to see what happened."
Louis Menand about Andy Warhol in the Jan, 11, 2010 New Yorker

Saturday, January 9, 2010

“We might think of the culture as possessing a ‘symptom repertoire’ — a range of physical symptoms available to the unconscious mind for the physical expression of psychological conflict.”
from Paralysis: The Rise and Fall of a ‘Hysterical’ Symptom by Edward Shorter

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Art begins when a (hu)man, with a purpose of communicating to other people a feeling he once experienced, calls it up again within himself and expresses it by certain external signs."
Leo Tolstoy

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Fallen, 20x16"
now in the collection of
Barbara & Jimmy Walton, Georgia
"Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there."
Henry Miller