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Archives for December, 2007

campus tastes

Sculptures on the campus of Michigan State University cater to different tastes.

I am taking lessons in Throwing Off My Chains. andromeda.jpg(Andromeda by Anthony Frudakis)

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Live on the internet: tonight!


Live Webcast
Tonight, Thursday December 13
8:00 – 10:00pm Pacific Time

(9pm Mountain/10pm Central/11pm Eastern)

I’ve been invited by my friend, recording artist Diane Arkenstone, to join her on Thursday, December 13 for an evening of musical performance at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood. Diane Arkenstone & Friends will include several performers, including Diane, myself, Scot Byrd, Matt James and Jane George. The show runs from 8-10 pm Pacific Standard Time. I’ll be performing a 1/2 hour solo set of original songs early in the lineup. It promises to be a very enjoyable evening with an eclectic mix of music.

You can watch it live on the internet here at this link.

Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood California is a live acoustic music, singer songwriter listening room and pioneering multi-camera webcast recording studio.

Hope you can tune in!


Note: This is an old photo. I haven’t changed much, but unfortunately I no longer have the Mickey Mouse guitar.

Essence of cottonwood — not

One of the most annoying things to read in a statement or press release is the claim that so-and-so has captured the essence of such-and-such. Even someone “attempting to capture the essence” of their subject makes me look around for the nearest edge. I am saved only by the certain knowledge that some people are so intimidated by words that they’ll settle for meaningless clichés just to be done with it.


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Holiday Greetings

Happy Holidays folks.


Decorating the house for the holidays has always been a challenge. This year I used an idea from the linkage theme that I have described in earlier posts. You see a scissor jack configuration with offset center joints, the entirety of which can be pulled into a circle such as this. Some strings of lights and It was complete.

So much for the dry explanation. I do want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the vibes and stimulation that you have provided over this last year and I look forward to more in the year ahead.

An Artist’s Residency: Winter in Montana

Jer and I are now at the Montana Artists’ Refuge, Basin, Montana, in the southwest part of the state. I am painting, he is writing and editing, and we are both experiencing the dislocation and joy of a new adventure.

While the residency has all kinds of ins-and-outs, basically I came here to paint. And painting is what I’ve been doing.

Basin lies in a geographical bowl, surrounded by pine-covered mountains. It’s a mining town — still has a functioning gold mine — and seems to have had its moments of prosperity, most of which were in the past.


Basin Street, Basin, Montana. The main drag.

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Art and ageing – an observation

I was fascinated by the research of an ophthalmologist that focused on visual infirmities plaguing artists in their later years and the effects of the infirmity on their art in Tuesday’s New York Times science section.

“On the fifth floor of the Museum of Modern Art, a three-canvas set of Monet’s water lilies spreads across a gallery wall in dazzling homage to the artist at the height of his brilliance. Off to one side is a painting of the Japanese bridge at Giverny from the early ’20s, when Monet’s cataracts were at their worst. It is a disturbing mix of dark reds and browns, much darker than the water lilies, yet just as compelling, perhaps, in its brooding intensity.”

“What has long been known about Monet’s later years is that he suffered from cataracts and that his eyesight worsened so much that he painted from memory. He acknowledged to an interviewer that he was “trusting solely to the labels on the tubes of paint and to the force of habit.”

Degas suffered macular degeneration, Renoir had rheumatoid arthritis, Mary Cassatt had cataracts and seizures attended to van Gogh. In almost all of these cases, the infirmities that attacked these famous artists happened after their places were assured in history as great artists.

This has led me to speculate that once an artist gains recognition, it does not really matter what that artist develops, we just look for and want confirmation of the fact that it was indeed painted by the person – be it illegible scrawls, colors incoherently massing into one other to form a dirty mess or just plain lack of attention to details (details that were earlier captured to meticulous effect) – it does not matter. We overlook incompetence (brought on by the onset of disease, drug overdose or otherwise) and reward the artist for what s(he) were once famous for…

Claude Monet, ‘Waterlily Pond’, 1899; Oil on canvas

Note: His vision problems did not start until 1912

Claude Monet, ‘The Japanese Bridge’, 1918; Oil on canvas

Different styles for different personalities within?

Recently I came to realize that depending on the meaning of a painting, a new style of painting arises… I have discovered that my love for painting the perfect beauty and fantasy since childhood was always an escape to reality that has helped me throughout the years.

However, when I attempt to express my fears another rather darker and psychological style arises as if, another personality or pseudonym takes over.

This painting is called ‘The Verdict’’ and is about my feelings of academic anxiety and often discrimination.

The Verdict, oil on canvas

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