Saturday, June 15, 2019


 I`ve been thinking about this for days, it`s our 50 year anniversary! Collectively, we began to demand our full humanity be recognized. I was 15 and can`t truthfully say I remember the event, I suspect it wasn`t national news. But by the time I graduated high school, I was acutely aware of what it meant for me. On a bus returning from Disneyland on grad night, I came out to myself. I felt terror and relief simultaneously. It was a couple more years before I let those I love know but I understood, a life of integrity was the only one I wanted to live.
No life is simple and everybody struggles. Yet having a massive prejudice to push against gave my life some early purpose. I`ve never assumed bigotry and spoke of my reality openly. Without negative reaction for the most part. I`m certain the love of my parents was the foundation for that confidence. I would meet many others not so lucky.
True pride was still in the future, I was doing what I could with my circumstance. Being an artist who worked in restaurants was an easier passage than most. I have been comfortable on the margins with little expectation for money. My personal 'pride' came with my husband John. It took many years and a lot of therapy before he was possible. And he stayed. When I became grateful for my sexuality, that was the attitude that mattered.
Despite the ridicule and bias, it`s good to be gay.

                                                              2014 post-wedding party

                                                                oil on canvas 12x9

                                                 Winter Meadow oil on panel 20x20

 A couple of recent paintings I can live with. There have been several others I can`t. I never get used to this dilemma; I yearn for that great painting that paints itself, but they`re very rare. My process involves lots of experimentation trying to find something workable within my intention. It can be so frustrating. Yet if it were easy, I`d make it complicated. Boredom is less acceptable than stress by far. The unrest I feel in my recent sessions must be a message, but what? I keep going back and forth between mediums, trying out new substrates, different scales and nothing is taking root yet in a sustainable joy. I get good paintings here and there but it`s a groove I`m after. The sense of mission.

The whining of artists who are living the dream, it`s the worst!

 You are looking at the next president of the United States. The one on the right, the other is his husband. I`m serious. This is how; Barack Obama`s presidency was made possible by the sheer incompetence of George W Bush, with his debacle of the war in Iraq. The country, in enough numbers, overcame an embedded racism and elected someone smart, charismatic and black. Eight years later, a complete charlatan barely wins because of the despair in parts of the country that never recovered from the Great Recession. What have we got to lose? The economy improves though the chaos, deceit and corruption of the President`s administration turns off so many, the country chooses a brilliant small town mayor for his replacement. Who happens to be very young and gay. It could happen! If Pete Buttigieg is humbly articulate and a visionary, he could capture the imagination of the country. If the president attacked his sexuality, I don`t think people would stand for it. I`m very curious to see the first debates. If he can win over people of color, and if his intelligence doesn`t become a liability, hard to relate to, I think the man above might have what it takes. After all, anyone can be president.

                                                                    by Doron Langberg

 The young Israeli artist, Doron Langberg, is gay and using his social circle as the subject of his work. His technique is sensual and painterly with vivid color. Bonnard is a direct influence both for his bold color and the domesticity he portrayed so lovingly. The work is intimate and often erotic. In an interview he explains how his generation came of age when HIV was treatable and it does not dominate the queer culture like it did. Yet he wants the work to read as unequivocally gay. Interesting.

                                                                   by Doron Langberg

                                                                     by Doron Langberg

                                                               by Doron Langberg

 I find his work to be utterly beautiful.

 Yo painters, listen up! I want to debunk a belief that is giving you false comfort. If you let your paint dry on a brush, you cannot bring it back to life with Murphy`s Oil Soap. This does NOT work! Mind your brushes when you quit for the day.

 My cats. Lyndon asleep, Carter on his waterbed. I`m just a piece of furniture to him.

                                                             Waterfall oil on panel 6x6

work for sale in my studio


Libby Fife said...

Alright, I like that last piece, Waterfall, a lot. I like the above pieces too but lately I am gravitating to the more indistinct images.

Things have changed so much in my lifetime with the way that we talk about homosexuality and everything surrounding that. I am glad for it but know that we have a long way to go. An openly gay president who is also competent and smart? That sounds like a win to me. (Though it pisses me off greatly that we had an intelligent and competent woman at the ready and couldn't manage to elect her.)

As for me? I am just the scooper-of-cat-boxes, the cleaner-of-barf, and the filler-of-bowls.

Happy Cat Father's Day to both you and John!
Thanks for the post,

Becki_H said...

Great post. Thank you.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your latest works, Randall. I wonder who will come out on top of all the candidates - so many to choose from and so many are the same old/same old which we do not need. Let’s hope for a fresh face of some kind who has plans to bring us together, teach us to care about things again, and keeps the rhetoric and hate down. It is so green here, you’d think you were in Washington or Oregon - so much rain. The flowers love it, the pollen is flying, the trees are happy, we are water-logged but not complaining because our summer has not truly begun until we have days of heat and humidity. Take care!!

E.M. Corsa said...

The Waterfall painting - surely you see the beauty in that?

So just last night I was listening to someone much smarter than myself give a talk. He said to picture yourself going up to a stranger and looking in his eyes. He has experienced happiness, sadness, illness, hurt and love, everything life offers, just like you. That makes all of us the same.
I don't think "we'll" ever all accept each other's likes and dislikes. But as for me, I only care if someone is good at heart. And dare I say, I feel love for you!

Donna Thibodeau said...

I could live with those first two paintings too! I love the ethereal quality. Don’t lose that unique quality of yours.

Mayor Pete reminds me of Obama's articulate speech. He can get an idea across. Lately, I've enjoyed Elizabeth Warren too. She’s another smart one. I know so many young people with a degree who are crippled by student debt. It affects their credit score and their ability to buy a house or car. That needs to be addressed by a candidate. I'm looking forward to the debates.

More voters voted for Clinton than Trump. People wanted her competence.

Sharon Leahy said...

Ah, Randall, thank you for sharing so deeply. I'm so happy to know you had a lovingly supported childhood. I had to smile at Disneyland bringing you to solidify your inner knowing. And so happy to know you are married ... blessings, blessings!

Lavina said...

Thank you for yet another thoughtful post. You are always generous with praise for other artists, and a role model for me. I also admire your thoughtful political views, and have shared a couple quotes on facebook.

I just wanted to ask if you have soaked your brushes (in Murphy's) that were hardened with acrylic or oil paint? I soak mine overnight in full strength Murphy's "original" Oil Soap, wash them, then soak another night or two, if needed, and that has been working for me. The brush won't come out like new. Then again, I'm hard on my brushes (most of them cheap), so they tend to get split ends or lose point or edge after a while.

Anonymous said...

hi, i like your pictures. now i read about you are gay. good to see, there are places where people like you can live happy. i wish, this could be everywhere.