Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Professional Jealousy

 The other morning, in the slipstream between dreaming and waking, I found my mind was playing Van Morrison's "Professional Jealousy" over and over.  I tend to pay attention to what ever my subconscious offers up at this time of the day.  Sometimes it results in a good painting, other times, a waste of paint.   I work in a building with over 100 artists (should they ever show up at the same time, which, thankfully, is not likely).  Some of them are very successful, even in this lame economy.  Others, not so.  I try (some days more successfully than others), to embrace other artists' good fortune.  One of the successful artists is a good friend.    I can't be jealous because her success defies logic. It's almost unnatural.   She has friends who can't bear to hear of her latest sales, so she doesn't tell them.  Another friend tells me to never let on if you're doing well because people will hate you for it.  This is not a problem I ever expect to experience.  I try to remember what Diane Tesler once told me when I was bitter.  She said it meant that people were buying art and that was something which should make us all happy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Believing is Seeing"

This is a photo of a Teslertown (Kewanna), Indiana storefront.  I wanted to paint it as it has nearly everything I like in subject: peeling paint, odd shapes and most of all, major quirkiness. But the longer I tried to translate it onto canvas, the more I lost my nerve. You see, the cars are not a reflection in the window.  They are actually inside the building.  This raises all sorts of questions, like how did they get in through that  door.  Or, better, why are they in there? 
Which is a roundabout way of getting to the point of this blog.  A book review in Sunday's Washington Post featured Errol Morris' book "Believing is Seeing".  The book is based on his blog in the New York Times.  Quoting the review: "Facts matter in the way that photographs matter: They tell us something but never reveal the whole story.  Photographs edit reality: they conceal even as the reveal....A photograph 'brings time forward, but also compresses it, collapses it into one moment.'  It is a moment that is found in the image but lost to the present.  'Eternally trapped in the present, we are doomed to perpetually walk 'in front' of the past."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Seriously, Malawi?

I have been at this blog for a year.  I am not sure how one quantifies a successful blog.  It hasn't sold any paintings or brought in any  revenue, but I do enjoy flexing the writing muscle.  I was a writer for 20 years. When I discovered pastels, I abandoned the written word.  So after ten years of painting, I enjoy writing again.  I made the mistake of looking at my Stats page today.  From it I learned that Google has made liberal use of my images.  People from the Ukraine and Lativia seem very interested. Google's tag line, 'some copyright may attach' is patently useless.  My Traffic map shows that I am big in Malawi.  I have been to Africa, but confess I had to look Malawi up on a map.  I haven't painted any African landscapes.  Close as I came was this piece, Origins, from 2008.  I can't remember if I gave it away or painted over it.  But here's to you, Malawi....