Can’t beet that

Gregory Blackstock,  Automobile Classics, 2011 Garde Rail Gallery Austin, TX

Gregory Blackstock, Automobile Classics, 2011 Garde Rail Gallery Austin, TX

Got a fav up there? Which car did you lose your virginity in the back seat of? (Or wish you did) These come to us courtesy of outsider artist Gregory Blackstock whose title for 25 1/2 years was “dishwasher.” (my title most of the time too) I can’t draw as well, but we both share a love for lists. His meticulous hand draws and colors lists with a verve that engages the white-hot desire of collecting.

Remember those childhood collections? Lined up rows of matchbox cars, funny shaped rocks or sandy shells bouncing around in my pocket. Sacred-sleeved baseball cards revealed only to best friends or that cute neighbor girl. My sister’s candy cigarette stash. Ah the devotion.

We have adult-sized shoe boxes now. Collections give us a crystalline goal. The luxury of being utterly unique. No one else has a matryoshka doll gathering like mine. Or a stack of LP’s quite as eclectic. I set loose my inner Lewis and Clark to find worthy additions, nose to the ground. When I score one, I hold a dream fulfilled right in my hot little hands. Can’t beat that.

Speaking of beets. Here’s a sweet bevy. Love their invigorating roundness. Bulbous planets of vibrating color, crowded together, yet precise-perfect. Stubby-hair heads look like gap-toothed grins. A taxonomic chart with soul– not so taxing.

I like the name of the first beet. Early Wonder. And that’s what Blackstock does for us doesn’t he? Encourages us wriggle our fingers down deep, past the adult-worried flotsam, to discover again our early wonder. And draw it out, silver shining.

Gregory Blackstock, The Beets. Garde Rail Gallery  Austin, TX

Gregory Blackstock, The Beets. Garde Rail Gallery Austin, TX

Currently on display at STAG on South Congress. Austin, TX

Hanky panky

Still Life Ingredients 1976 by Patrick Caulfield

Still Life Ingredients 1976 by Patrick Caulfield, Tate Britain, England

Is it true? Sex starts in the kitchen? The men in my family are hardworking at the sink, and “dishwasher” was my partner’s first real job description. Suds and sponge. Then hanky-panky.

Since when has a scallion looked so sexy? How provocative the ladle. The redripe tomatoes in the corner set a beat, ready to groove.  A ravishing coral honeysuckle vase deserves a smooch or two.

Don’t miss the interplay of masculine and feminine here. Heavy black lines, stolid and strong, delineate the forms. Maybe taking themselves a bit too seriously.  Light blue leaves overlace the scene, frilling out the feminine qualities. Playful titillating.

It fact, I don’t think any cooking is happening tonight. Skip the kitchen and head for the bed. Dishes can wait.