Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Post Holiday Post Haste

Whirlwind holidays, possessing the likeness of a hurricane's path of chaos, calm and chaos are gone and we survived another round of pausing to take a breath, exhale and inhale for the next Gregorian Calendar year.

Ok now hold it.

...hoooold it!

And release....

Twenty-fifteen promises to be a clutch-grinding, whistle-whining acceleration into next-level production with expanded hours at Studiobregon, my Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets working studio/showroom meets Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. New pieces of art, new resolve, new mission, new website, new shows and good news.

Hang on just a little longer.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Suffering as the Primer to Grace?

I was perusing through a piece on suffering in the Huffington Post recently. It was truly enlightening, to be sure.

I have always felt that the suffering I experienced was simply my way of paying my "dues" as an artist and human being.  I have always been patient and simply "knew" that deep within, I was the artist, lover, mentor, father figure, friend, companion, writer and man I always hoped to be - and that though I wasn't there yet, I felt every lesson - every failure and success - was part and parcel to my inevitable higher self.

In the past, while some might perceive any injustices I experienced as Cause for War, I always had a sense that I needed to reserve my armor for when I was most vulnerable inside. In other words, "pick my battles".

To be strong is not to put up your armor, but to let your insides show. Let others see the honest truth within. If you live that way - with nothing to hide - there is a certain strength in not relying on cold steel armor to protect you, but to allow suffering and reason and clarity defend any slings and arrows from those whose currency relies upon such armament, fall pointlessly to the ground.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dirt under my nails.

If the mantra that "If you want something done right, do it yourself" has any room for accuracy, it's that one's version of right may not be that of another's.

After looking for someone to handle some PR for me - and to be a part of my next mission - I've come to re-embrace what I've always known was a truism: That if you are tired of placing fate in someone else's hands, you have to face that your hands will need to get dirty.

So here's what I've been getting dirty with: my new website/blog building, expired & new domain name handling, owners-of-a-domain-name-which-I-covet hunting, all the fucking "re-branding" article hunting, local art community art-making, social media plugging, client handling, web-hosting, intern-hunting, email databasing, time managing, work/play/home-balancing, ADHD researching, tutoring, project strategizing, chauffeuring, drawing, cutting, painting, burning, sensible-eating, bleating, cleating and loving.

Not in that order, but on orders.

I will be so relieved when I can drive this mothership around. For now, I'm practicing the rituals of blogging on one patient soul.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Playing Ketchup v. 1.0

Okay, I had to peruse back through 2011's posts to recall where I left off.
(Not that it was hundreds of posts ago or anything)


Back in 2011, right after showing The American Beast collaboration at Kirk Hopper Fine Art in Deep Ellum, I was going to talk about production insights behind it's creation.  I won't bore you with the production side, after all. It was hot. We welded. I cut & designed the swirls. We delivered and talked about it.  Packed up and moved on.

Instead, I'll touch more on the "chemistry" aspects of collaborations, and how two elements can have the power to both create and destroy with factors seemingly not being taught in universities.

Long before I moved to Dallas on New Years Day in 1988 to give the art world a shot, I embraced a strong ethical imperative instilled in me by my father. As a professional artist since the early 1990s, I learned a good deal of things from conversations with nationally-known, and real-world, road-tested Artists with a capital A.  I strongly believe that professional ethics and human decency can fill in the gaps when chemistry associated with first-time collaborations can go in any direction.

Aspiring artists who live where they sell work should start their professional careers with the highest of professional intentions and ethical clarity, remembering good old humanity, if nothing else.

It's been said repeatedly by professors and gallerists, that MFA Grad students really need stronger coursework on professional ethics & collaborations before they should graduate and face a relatively unknown world to them. Without a proper understanding on how collaborations work, artists might forget themselves out of fear, sheer insecurity and self-delusions. Hunger, too, can alter one's sense of decency during a sudden feasting.

Some Universities don't teach the decency part. To some, it's already there - inherently.  Love them all! As some learn first-hand, being decent can also get you burned by hunger and greed. some might even leverage faux piety to get away with it publicly.  Those who can't play well with others should just stay in their own yard until their issues are worked out - if ever.

For the next several months, I'm working on a new collaboration with a well-known Dallas sculptor and Indian Cowboy, Dan Brook, who is an amazing talent of wise and wary travels who walks the walk of high moral ground. No heaviness, no drama. Not an unethical bone in his body, but a strong proponent of artist's rights.


I can't go into depth about the project yet, but from a local perspective, it has a relatively high profile impact quotient. It's a project that is actually dear to me and from behind the scenes, a seminal project in the timeline of my projects for the coming months and years, weaving into a flow of what will be a rigorous and adventure-filled river.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Freaking Birthday to Me.

I'm turning 50 tomorrow.

Seriously, I'm happy about that milestone. Especially considering my high school years, taking on too much and enjoying the hell out of absorbing all things music, fast cars, windsurfing, Van Halen and a lot of playing "Chicken" and doing donuts in the drainage ditch by my school in my 1975 Monte Carlo driving along side my buddies, Fred (co-pilot & second from left), Tommy (Yellow '78 Nova in the middle) and Jeff (Firebird, far right).  I'm second from the right. Horrible pic. But it was more or less salvaged from a scan of a negative I found recently.

Those were heady times. Pretty idyllic, actually. Even bucolic. Not long after there was John Travolta of the T-birds fame racing in the ditches in the movie Greasewe all found ourselves testing our limits. And today, I face turning 50 with joy that I have packed in so many amazing experiences and I'm setting course for an even more intense concentration of experiences in the next half-hunny.

Terribly excited about what's to come. I still owe you an explanation of where I've been the last few years. Stay 'tooned. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Revertere in aliquid ex nihilo


"Return to something, from nothing."

Not that it matters to anyone other than my inner voices and - oh, maybe that one "follower" - but I am feeling the need to blog again. I've bled, sweated and tore through quite an adventurous and challenging three years since last posted something here. Not that I'll bore you with all the gory details.

After all, one cannot experience success without having traversed the fields of failure.

Suffice to say, you will be hearing from me. Blogging is not something I aspire to do, but blog I must.

Anyway, we have a lot to catch up on and I hope you find something worthwhile. You might even begin to feel a palpable frequency of excitation in the timbre of my prose in the coming missives. Fortunately, for the writer in me, there is no adequate emoticon that cuts to this chase.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Productive Daze

Yes, we all know those days when you - or outside powers - miraculously make things happen in spite of yourself. Or perhaps serendipitous and harmonious moments make the day seem to pass effortlessly. Today was one of those days. But I'll get to that later when the veil can be lifted on what came about.

Continuing on with the theme of collaboration and the making of "The American Beast", I should mention that every artist should experience at least once a collaboration. And if you find someone with whom you gel and you can look at your finished work together and recognize that neither of you could have created just such a work of art without the other, then you can call yourselves fortunate.

Working with someone other than yourself is a matter of chemistry, forthrightness, clarity, shared vision and perhaps the special art of allowing yourself to speak up and knowing when to acquiesce.

When Michael and I began working on the piece we knew there was going to be a short time-frame so there wasn't a lot of time to plan a strategy and come up with CAD files or even develop a maquette (note: I did however make handy use of a 7-11 coffee cup folded in such a way to show how we could lower the piece down from the skyward rafters down to the terra firma. Oh Thank Heaven™.)

No, we just had to start. And so where we left off last, there was now structure - a wire frame ready to be "skinned".

We were ready to determine how the surface material would go in place. Either by plane (Taking a stained glass approach of one polygon at a time) or by "skinning" it - much like one would stretch fabric over an airplane wing. In the end, we did both - reserving one face of the piece to the polygonal approach and the other as a skinning.
Both had beautiful characteristics and personalities. One took longer to execute while the other was relatively easy and faster. We decided to bifurcate the piece wherein one side was going to be the skinned side and the other, the pieced side.

It is on this "pieced" side that much of the textural beauty can be seen after you assimilate the side (skinned) that exudes the light.

There were visions of Jasper Johns' "4th The News" painting I kept seeing in the textural work which somehow made it into our "Art Talk" at the gallery a few weeks after the piece was unveiled.

Next time I will write about the final moments leading up to the installation and unveiling of "The American Beast".