“I’m an Artist.” Really?

Posted by on May 26, 2020 in blog | No Comments
“I’m an Artist.” Really?

I’ve always had a problem telling anybody that I’m an “artist.” Probably because I have a rather high regard for art. So announcing that “I am an artist” strikes me as pretentious or arrogant. Being an “artist” is more honorific than declamatory. And so whenever I hear someone lay claim to the title for themselves […]

Painting begins with Seeing

Posted by on May 11, 2020 in blog | No Comments
Painting begins with Seeing

The poet W. S. Merwin says that “poetry begins with hearing.” What does he mean? I’m not at all sure, but he went on the say that you can’t write poetry if you don’t first listen to what surrounds you in the natural & human world. He seems to be saying that poetry enters our […]

more on the Zen of Seeing

Posted by on May 5, 2020 in blog | No Comments
more on the Zen of Seeing

Its epistemology…. HEY WAIT! Don’t let that big philosophical word stop you from reading on. Remember, this is “Zen,” so basically it’s really pretty simple. But just to add to your vocabulary so you can impress someone at your next gallery opening, “epistemology” is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion. It’s the […]

from my Notebook…

Posted by on Apr 27, 2020 in blog | No Comments
from my Notebook…

Did you know that the composer, John Cage, interpreted Kakuan’s “Ox Herding Pictures”? He did so in several series, paintings he did on brown paper towels — the kind you used to find in public restrooms? Cage left them behind after he finished his work at the Mountain Lake Workshop in 1988. The director, Ray […]

Simplicity Is Not So Simple

Posted by on Apr 4, 2020 in blog | One Comment
Simplicity Is Not So Simple

Why? Because it’s a lens through which we can see the complex. By contrast, the simplistic is a shallow cliche that empties the ordinary of its mystery and fills it with banality. Mr. Justice Holmes said, “the only simplicity for which I would give a straw is that which is on the other side of […]

Illustration? or Painting?

Posted by on Mar 29, 2020 in blog | No Comments
Illustration? or Painting?

After reading my previous blog on Ox Herding, my insightful friend Charles said, “I’ve been thinking a lot about your series and wondering how they will be seen…. Are they painting? or illustration?” I replied, “Yes.” …a smart ass reply to a serious, double-edged question. The first edgy question is, “can they be seen?” By […]

Ox Herding

Posted by on Mar 25, 2020 in blog | 2 Comments
Ox Herding

I have been working on a series of images for several months now based on another series of ten pictures drawn by a Chinese monk in the 12th century. That series is commonly known as “The Ox Herder Parable” or “The Ten Ox Herding Pictures” of Kakuan Shien or simply as “10 Bulls.”  Although Kakuan’s […]

What’s wrong with Cezanne?

Posted by on Mar 11, 2020 in blog | No Comments
What’s wrong with Cezanne?

Sure, he was an obsessive, troubled, loner who died without the joy of knowing that he almost single-handedly altered the course of modern painting. C’est la guerre. But that’s not what I mean. My good friend, Charles–historian, artist, teacher–recently sent me an observation by Cezanne that he thought might have some resonance with my Zen […]

Goodness, Truth, and . . .

Posted by on Feb 3, 2020 in blog | 2 Comments

What’s happened to “beauty”? Why is it so hard to talk about seriously? It’s not hard to use the term casually, to refer to a sunset or the touching play of a child as “beautiful.” We might even use the term in exclamatory approbation, speaking of an event or an accomplishment as being “beautiful!” All […]

Why Not Show?

Posted by on Jan 22, 2020 in blog | No Comments
Why Not Show?

Whenever the question is raised, “Is it Art if it has no public?” inevitably Emily Dickinson is invoked along with the query, “why did she not publish her poems?” She is known to have said that “publication is the auction of the mind.” Sounds like an answer to me, but in point of fact, there […]