Sunday, July 28, 2013

#196 "Whose Garden?"

"Whose Garden?" 28.5x22.5 Acrylic on composition board

Saturday, July 27, 2013


"Where Through the Window Once from Fields Rose the Earth" 24x25. Window frame, cardboard, rusted clothes hangers, thread, acrylic.
I want the material reality to come through with the pieces I work on--and not just the paint. I dislike working on prepared canvas unless I can glue tie or nail stuff on. I love old weathered composition board. It's the material, texture, forms, state of deterioration, that initiates the dialog--gives me something out there in the world to respond to, not just the mess in my head. I mean, really... that's why I make art--to get away from the words and shit clogging my brain.

Friday, July 26, 2013


41x35 Acrylic on composition board
Art for perpetual loan: Beyond bondage to the Market. 
I do not sell my art, The prices on the photos are what I would consider fair compensation, were I do so. Because an artist deserves material support, I am open to and encourage, but do not require, contributions, which can be a one time donation, or on-going, to be worked out case by case.
Art should be available to all, not primarily to the moneyed class. I offer very piece I make as a perpetual loan. All I ask, is that you agree in principle, not to sell or exchange for profit what you take.
For now, you can view some of work HERE, (scroll down) or make arrangements for a day-time studio tour of my studio at the Ox. We cannot defeat Capitalism, but we can replace it and make it obsolete.

We can't go on. We must go on.

When a great and sudden crisis explodes in front of us we rush into action, aid those in need, dig through the ruins, or flee to safety. What we face in this country and world is of a different kind--it keeps happening, every day, every minute, ruining lives, endangering our survival on this planet--a slow motion explosion, devastating, inescapable, and yet, for those the blast wave has not yet reached, they go on with their work, propping up the machinery of death, throwing phosphorus on burning children, building prisons, hunting and murdering black and brown boys on the streets of our cities. How do you respond? I mean, emotionally--the way our bodies are made to respond to a great crisis? It is a war... with days on end when nothing seems to happen near at hand, though you watch the trucks loaded with soldiers pass on the roads, hear the planes over head--waiting for time to suddenly speed up and slow down at once, happening faster than you can react, taking forever for the battle to ebb. We wait. We talk. We make plans... lie to ourselves that we believe, really believe we can stop this Machine of Death, of money and blood. It all right, we tell ourselves--we will go on anyway, pretending to believe, as long as we can act, stand up before onslaught, anything but give up, anything but surrender and join the army of zombies. We tell ourselves, like Didi and Gogo. We can't go on. We must go on.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Monocrome Study. Folded fabric (cut up t-shirt) acrylic on mounting board

We change, and do not change...

Andy’s B-Day surprise at the Ox. 21. … thinking, 52 years. What did I do on mine? Went to a bar—my first legal drink. Alone. In Kansas City, 1962. Spent that summer at my parents. Best I can recal, working as an electrician’s assistant… joined the IEBW. Construction. I hitched a ride home—picked up by a Catholic seminary student. Got into a deep discussion. He seemed a bit surprised that I’d read, and was familiar with stuff he knew from his studies. When we got to my parent’s house, I invited him in. He accepted (Mom and Dad were away for much of the summer—I was there to take care of the house). We talked into the early morning... avoiding what had really brought brought us there. That was the summer I hauled rocks in a wagon to build a natural Missouri indigenous garden in my father’s back yard. My translation of the Japanese gardens—I’d fallen in love with them from photos in books. When you’re 21… it’s all about love. There was another ride home… not sure if it was that birthday, or another time that summer. Or when I drove a cab the following summer… seem to remember I was in the driver’s seat. No… don’t think so. Yes, I was driving, but had picked up my passenger—who, through many circumlocutions, and many apologies lest I should misunderstand—that he was interested in sex. When I declined, he was in such obvious discomfort—full of apologies, hoping there would be no problem… I remember reassuring him. It was okay. I had no problem. I apologized to him—that maybe I’d misled him… that I just thought he wanted a ride. Kind of mutually embarrassing—for all the wrong reasons. We talked. He told me how hard it was—that he was desperate for company and shouldn’t have risked hitchhiking. Had only accepted when I stopped because he felt comfortable with me. Comfortable. Okay… nobody used the word ‘gay’ then. The Seminary student, too—though he didn’t say anything openly. I remember feeling it pretty intensely—I was even aroused, but it seemed only to make us talk all the more around the elephant in the room. All this came to mind. 21st birthday. July 21. My 21’st on June 22, 1962. It was different age… even more dangerous than now. At least, one to one. Maybe not for the world. Pieces of my life keep coming back to me… 72… reconnecting with the 11 and 12 year old I thought I’d left behind.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Imagined Landscape. 16x23 Acrylic on plywood with three holes


Imagined Landscape. Monochrome Study. Acrylic on boards, with fragment of weathered compositionn board. 10x26.5x3

You Can't Wait till You're Enlightened...

There was this reference to ... what amounted to a bit of junk psychology, something about ... too much wine, can't even remember, like faking it syndrome. It really hit home... how much of my anxiety--physical anxiety, which is chronic and constant, comes from defying that. I want to make art... but to call myself an artist in my mind.. I feel like a fake. But I do it anyway. It took me FORTY YEARS to get to that point, and there's always blowback. Everything I do that means anything to me. Why I don't trust the New Age Feel Good shit... some things.. most things, are way more fucking imporant than feeling good! Especially when those ideas are assimilated from a culture that wants you to be good and obdient slaves. Do the right thing! Even when you wake up in a sweat, wondering what you've done, you'll STILL feel better than if you'd given in. There is no good life without risk... grave, grave risk. You're not going to be able to act if you wait till you're not afraid, like some mythical Buddah living in a cloud above it all. It's gonna hurt. But oh boy... that hurt is the ultimate reward if you got it right.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Every Garden is a Revolution Waiting to Happen

When some signifcant percentage of our food comes from gardens... individual, community, collectives, and we're not near 100% dependent of farms, we'll be way closer to a real revolutioin. Every garden is a seed, real and metaphorical, to a new world. Too few take the revolutionary potential of the garden seriously. It's real. It's not just fucking WORDS. We can talk and talk and talk... but plant a garden, nurture it, pull weeds in the heat of July--watch it! Observe! Learn from it! Spend time together talking about THAT--how to to expand them, how to use the garden to challenge the status quo in so many ways, in every community. And it's not just about growing consumable crops... that's farming. Think about invasives. On making a place for native species. On the whole idea of terroir! Local, indiginous... when you start thinking...really thinking, about GARDENS--the whole idea of the garden, which is never just an IDEA... I think there is nothing more revolutionary.
Garden in vacant lot back of the Ox.

Friday, July 12, 2013

#188 Imagined Landscape 28x40, acrylic, torn pieces of newsprint on PVC foamboard.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

#184 and 187

Acrylic on layered cardboard, with weathered wood, produce net. 24x23
10x8, acrylic and ink on canvas

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Page from my journal

Page 4741 from my journal, Vol 37-B, 9 years ago, after being hit by car.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence from the chains of our founders

Independence from the chains of our founders The language and ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the preemble of the Constitution belied the reality of their makers. Language always betrays... the ideas of unalienable rights, of the equality of all (ahem) men, slipped free of the contraining definitions of those who wrote and signed them, stand in judgement of their failure to live up to them, and give to generations after a rallying cry to oppose our oppressors in the very name of our purported 'Fathers.'


I've kept journals more than half a century. Have been transcirbing them... I really can't tell you why. Not a bad read when I'm not into some enfatuation.. blech... have come to the day I was hit by a car... thown through the windshield... 7 surguries. A new appreciation of PTS... I do well at disremmbering, at converting experience to ... other terms. But I haven't been able to type these accounts up... what I wrote in the days and months after... trying to grip the pen between my 2nd and 3rd fingers cause I had no controll of thumb and index finger. I blank out how awful those those months were... and then here they are.. written down. Not unlike the pages I wrote when I was floridly manic... who wrote this shit? How do I come to terms with this? I walk down the street--stuff comes back to me, pops into consciousness... from childhood to yesterday--stupid shit I did and said, and I hear myself cursing myself. You fucking asshole! You stupid picece of shit!... and i don't know who I'm talking to. And then... in a kind of weak defense... I remember good stuff I've done. That I like where this strange course of life has taken me... we're all like that, aren't we? All the shameful terrible stuff we did and thought... and ...I don't know. We try to learn. To do better. There are no saints.