I didn’t plan to be a gypsy. It was always my intention to put down roots. In each state, in each city, I hoped to find the opportunity that would sustain me. Jobs fizzled with economy, start ups grew too big to be “solo operator”, etc. Always, it seemed, the closed door was followed by a window opening in some other town or state. So, I’d say goodbye to friends and family, and trudge on. I changed habits and things I felt might be contributing to this pattern, and set out with renewed determination to make Kansas City home, once and for all. That was the year of the great flood. I had been recruited by Dale Eldrid, the sculpture department chair at KCAI. Dale died in an accident, trying to rescue art from a flooded warehouse. Shortly thereafter, my home and studio burned to the ground. I began to wonder if I was boxing with God. That was a long time and many thousands of miles ago. So many, in fact, that I now consider myself a full fledged pilgrim. It’s not the destination, but the journey, after all. The wonders I have witnessed! The great people I have met! It all changed me. The journey has been wonderful. But, there remains a little hollow place inside me, where I sometimes long for familiar things and faces. My story is not an epic adventure to me, though some others have said it qualifies. To my mind, epic requires some basis of familiarity, more than a long string of points of departure. To my mind, my story is a serial volume of short stories. Any one of which, taken out of context, wouldn’t be worthy reading. The elements are all linked, contextually. It would be like trying to understand an organism by examining one cell. Or trying to understand the universe by examining one organism. Without the system, it all falls apart.
A sampling of what will be offered!
Original acrylic, encaustic, mixed medium paintings and limited edition Giclee prints on canvas.
Wave and Particle Series
Running Man 4 of 4 in Life Series 36″ x 36″ Acrylic on Canvas
Tsunami Evacuation Zone Walter Russell’s Cathode Wave Function… 4/11
Working on “Bridges” painting. It keeps unfolding. I can’t move forward, because I’m still trying to get the cypher. The bridge represents structure (our perception of it, anyway. Solid, but subject to time and changes. Necessary, but only to the extents that are inherent in the moment. It might also be the “unaffected water level”…
Leaves ->birds -> messages layered between what we know and what we seek to discover. Messages are scaled, some are small, some are larger than we can perceive, extending into spaces we have yet to recognize. Even so, we construct and and deconstruct, anyway… creating and destroying without awareness of the full extent of the impacts.
Waves represent the cycles within a living host. Waves having form as light and particle and sound. Waves we see and feel, waves we only know by assertion. Waves as a fundamental property inherent to all the layers, having both developmental and decimation potentials.
In the course of a day there are many moments. Some will bring a smile or a tear, some will bring questions, others will bring clarity. Every moment brings something potentially beautiful. Even the painful can be beautiful, but I think we often don’t realize it until we see our moments strung together, like pearls. One, with a bluish glow, the next seems golden. There is no set path for someone like me, living moment to moment. Life is as fluid as the sea these pearls come from. HA! It would seem the world really is my oyster!
I’m right in the middle of this project. The premise is, well, complicated. I’m going to try to tell the story. There was this fellow named Walter Russel who, in 1959, came up with this transverse wave theory. Even in his own time the man was generally considered a genius. A modern day Leonardo. I was fascinated to learn this work was not published in his life time. Anyway~ I am working on a piece I call Bridges, that deals with the nature of the cosmos and the relationship between time and space. It involves multi-dimensional space-time. Things that we humans don’t have full sensory access to, but we are (at certain points or intervals) aware of. How do we have awareness of things beyond our senses? Well, mostly through senses humans tend not to acknowledge, yet. But, the point is these things exist in spaces in between what our senses tell us is the extent of the physical world. Ok, this piece is an investigation, not a statement. It asks questions about what we know, what we are willing to admit to knowing, and even what responsibility we hold in our <self> imposed ignorance? So, I begin with a particularly beautiful example of a bridge because it is a solid structure which transverses valleys. It also lends itself well to the wave structures. I am going to layer Russel’s diagram and some metaphors of my own (birds, as messengers) into the abstraction of the structure. On the left of Russel’s diagram I saw a conical shape (indicating centrifugal forces). This shape became the birds, some of which are so large they extend beyond the canvas, while others are so small they become a pattern of leaves (right side of my canvas). Eventually, the bridge will be about as visible as the box forms in the diagram, so mostly lost in transparency. I hope to sublimate it to the wave action. That’s my story, here.
It seems to me that we live in an age where individual effort is perhaps less noteworthy than group accomplishment. The time of great thinkers is giving way to think tanks. Individuals are more and more represented by teams or social-economic conditions than personal ideals, tastes, or practices. Ethics and honorable action are assigned, rather than developed; idealized, rather than practiced. I fear we have seen the last of Einstein and Martin Luther King Jr. Even our Olympic athletes are celebrated more in team achievement than recognized as exceptional individuals, as announcers herald team USA over and over again, or introduce individual athletes first as members of a group. The arts are not exempt, it seems to me. The most advanced creative technologies and efforts are developed and distributed among groups and teams, with assigned roles and tasks.
Although this trend is somewhat disturbing, I am not sure it is entirely a detriment. Two minds are better than one, after all, and great minds think alike, right? Even so, I am reminded by history that every destructive dynasty began with the elimination of individual achievement or ideals. It’s the very basis of all subjugation, is it not? The idea that one is less than the whole, rather than the wholeness of singular dedication, has given rise to brutality of epic proportion. To my humble mind, anything which is destructive to the wholeness of being is the very definition of evil. If we may only be recognized as “part of” something larger than ourselves, we are denied the ability to choose and develop our uniquely beautiful facets. Who or what defines us, if not our individuality?
The advice: Tell your story. Start a PR campaign.
It’s the story of a reluctant gypsy. I arrived at it by process of elimination and sheer determination. It’s a story about impacts, contradictions and conflict. It starts out very violent. Sublime, editorial, or bloody edge? I have all three. I prefer the comfort zone, but I’ve not mastered living there moment to moment. I feel blessed to walk there at times. I feel blessed to walk.
Here we are in our world of hurt. It’s a sad, sad day.
Nobody cares because nobody learned the lessons of his story.
Our prophets are all profiteers.
“Move product~!” They cry. More service, demand.
We only exist to support the state of the Union.
To pay the taxes and mop the floors.
Beauty and honor are luxuries not afforded to the poor.
“Suffer the little children~” She said,
As she dropped the bundle into the can.
Nobody saw and nobody learned the lessons of his story.
Meanwhile, down some filthy alley, we stirred in our sleep.
Two festivals and 2 workshops are planned for 2017. Just getting started in the getting settled process, here in Eugene. I did open a gallery here, way back when, in the Blair District. Studio Arts and Design Exchange also featured a design studio collaborative, with fully equipped studios for ceramics, wood, metal, and clean rooms. People wanted to live there. Gallery in the front, studios in the back, who wouldn’t? Plus, the membership fees were so cheap! Well, there you go… it never had a chance to get started before the water crisis forced us to relocate. Bad timing.
I’m planning to get something going, here, though I don’t have the energy for another S.A.D.E., nor the money for even a shoestring start up. Ha! That has never stopped me before. Community building isn’t for the feint of heart. Fortunately, there are always people who recognize that it is for the community. That is what makes it possible to build arts communities. There is a wealth of talent here. Must identify why the buyers would rather travel to Portland to make the purchase. Also, why isn’t Eugene a destination for Portlanders?