In love

Melon 2, oil on canvas, 24 x1 8

Todd Kelly, Melon 2, oil on canvas, 24 x 18

I haven’t fallen in love for awhile. Don’t have the time. Probably not the emotional energy either.

But here I’m crushed.

Love at first sight, when I didn’t believe in love at first sight.

It’s a still life, but I didn’t recognize that at first. The surging lines and the color. Still life’s are usually. . . so still and this one has all the right moves. Sexy even. Line meets color. Two distinct elements, separate  then join together in overall composition. Line teases your eye out then the color pulls you back to center. Two to tango.

I may love it more than — my iphone.

Monday Monday

Franz Kline, Mycenae, 1958

Franz Kline, Mycenae, 1958

Oh you Monday. With your redrush urgent,

your orange streak, next-in-line, get-it-done-before-lunch.

I’m yellow drifting in a little late, weekend hung over

deskchair heaped, haven’t checked emails yet.

your high hot list, citadel efficiency

Getting there,

Soon enough.

Staff mtg doesn’t start for another 5 min.

Richter’s Squeegee

I love this old German. The ballsy dedication of one’s life to the Great Squeegee. He creates world renown kick-ass art with it. And he’s 80. Currently he’s the top grossing artist in the world.

The dragging, adding, the taking away again. The adding, the taking away.

Smear on. Redact. Smear on. Redact.

And I find myself mesmerized. Its existential process draws me in. The way this paint pulls me apart and puts me back together. A surreal humptydumpty life.

what’s surface? what lies beneath? occupies the same plane.

What you are when your “title” is taken away. Who you are on your new business card. You, in juicy given youth, who you are as gainsaid,  it peels away. (A forty-year-old anachronism) The email in your inbox – gives you hope, a slightsound of paper handed – takes it away.

Can the senselessness of the giving and taking away – can it be lovely? Can I, by some craft of hand or soul make it so?

Gerhard Richter Painting

Click above link to watch him in action.

Sunday, Sunday

Daphne Confar, George thought today was Sunday, 2012 courtesy William Scott Gallery

Daphne Confar, George thought today was Sunday, 2012 courtesy William Scott Gallery

George thought today was a Sunday.

Sunday’s were his favorite days after all. He waited in the lobby for the church van to come pick him up and deliver him to Sunday School. Free coffee and donuts. The ladies smiled at his jokes.

He could belt out the hymns. A mighty fortress is our God. . . Fractured light from stained glass windows colored his hands holding the hymnal open. He could’ve sung in the choir behind that preacher if he’d put his mind to it. People complimented his strong singing voice.

He enjoyed meet-and-greet too, liked greeting all the visitors.  Sometimes he felt odd when some seemed familiar and knew his name before he introduced himself. That lost little fog would soon lift as they got to talking.

He turned to his right, grinned and shook the hand of the attractive lady just seated. Her eyes took him in, searching, tender. Her soft hand and the smell of rosemary and mint.

“I’m your wife George,” she said.

“But I’m not married.”  George felt he was standing on a ladder missing the last rung. Wobbled in a low-grade panic of  toes reaching for the last step, foot paddling the air, searching.

“I gave you that gold tie for our 40th wedding anniversary. It looks so handsome with your navy blazer.”

He peered out the window, following the light posts down the street. He didn’t see the van. George started to think today was not a Sunday. He rocked the squeaky pink recliner for several minutes longer. The van did not come. An orderly in sneakers turned the corner.

“George, it’s Thursday. You can wait in the lobby every morning but you have to count six days between Sundays. Now let’s go get you changed.”

Run the Experiment

Patricia Qualls, Mystery of the Margins, courtesy of Patricia Qualls

Patricia Qualls, Mystery of the Margins, courtesy of Patricia Qualls

I’ve collected Patricia Qualls art for several years now, and I am in good company. Beyond being an artist whose energy, empathy and clear vision speaks through her canvases, she’s a smart-as-tacks person and arms-wide-open kind of friend. Patricia is hidden gold in Carmel Valley.

California recently tried to outlaw gold mining in these mountains, but you can follow a lovely winding road down to her gallery/studio and uncover it still.

Her favorite phrase is “run the experiment.” She told me this as I held a hair pick slathered with color over a blank piece of canvas (too chicken to pick up a brush). Her twinkle eyes convinced me to paint one day while on a studio visit. We were at the point in the process when the white paper yawned wide and my hand hovered in midair, paint dripping, stuck in a fear struggle between desire to create and ominous-cloud certainty that the outcome would be total crap. I listened to a silent thought croaking, I have the talent of a toad. A warty toad. A talentless warty toad.

She said, “run the experiment.” And the pick finally careened toward the canvas. See, I am the sort of person that demands a beautiful result every time. Like Venus rising from the waves. In my imaginary Pintrest life.  Forget the wild impossibility of this thinking -of catastrophe courting  this high-stakes perfectionism. Venus rising is a myth, an ancient lie.

Forget beauty. Damn expectations.

Run the experiment. Try things out. See what you like. What pulls you forward? Swirl it all around and do it again, and again.

Do thousands of them –  Patrica did.  Play outside the margins of myopic judgement. Run the experiment. Let’s just see what happens. . .


Helen Steele, In Search of Something

Helen Steele, In Search of Something, courtesy American Art Gallery

If you are lucky enough to stroll the storybook streets of Carmel by the Sea, smelling the saltfresh air with the taste of anticipation on your tongue, and just happen to stumble into a dimcozy canvas-crowded gallery – this is what you will find. A bit of treasure poking out from behind the corner.

You were not looking for it, but it was looking for you.

The yearning in this figure strikes me like a lighthouse – silent searching. She sends out energy, a broad light beam, and it spots me. Perhaps feeling what she is feeling. Like there is so much to know, to experience in life. I throw out a net, gather it up, sort through the seashells and bones to make sense of it. To understand what must be understood. To buy ambiguity a second cup of coffee.

An “answer” caught in a cloudswirl of information, shot through with rainbow of emotion. Saffron hope glows in the upper right corner.

I want her to find what she is looking for – to find the right question to ask. Surely it’s inside her, so she reaches inward. Maybe it’s right in front of her eyes and if she extends her hand she will touch it. Feel its weight, round and smooth, and slide it in her pocket – smiling.


Dion Johnson, Moonlight, 2009

Dion Johnson, Moonlight, 2009

Taffy color, stretched and poured, but self-confident somehow. This color knows where it’s going; knows what it’s about. Writes with a Mont Blanc, but kicks around in Toms. Has struck a balance between curve and line, between cool and hot. Can be pulled and persuaded, but also stands its ground.

Dion Johnson, Dart, 2011

Dion Johnson, Dart, 2011

Whoosh. I hear the sound of meetings, calls and deadlines whooshing past. At breakneck speed with a hot orange urgency. Blows my hair back. I adjust my aviators. I don’t mind, I’m on a plane to California. I’ll let this color land where it will. I’m landing in San Jose.