Monday, November 30, 2020

80,000,000! + new work

                            Rain in Arashiyama watermedia on Yupo 40x26 inches, 101.5x66 cm

                                               watermedia on paper 19x14 inches, 48x36 cm

                          Deeper Conversation watermedia on Bristol 13.5x11 inches, 34x28 cm

                                            watermedia on Yupo 40x26 inches, 101.5x66 cm

 After the 2016 election, a friend very upset at the outcome, asked me to sign a petition claiming there had been fraud. I told her I hadn`t read of any credible accounts of trouble and said no. Trump had won,  as sickening as that was. Democracy is full of pain. I`ve suffered plenty since the 1972 re-election of Richard Nixon. His opponent was a war hero and one of the kindest men in politics, George McGovern.  That the current president got 73,000,000 votes still has me reeling a month later. Thank GOD a majority understood this election was an emergency. I used to wonder how the Nazis were elected in Germany. Now I know. That the Republican Party which produced this cruel and ridiculous politician wasn`t wiped out along with him, is a an infinite source of dismay. If Democrats can`t win in a pandemic, with a severe economic recession and a lunatic 'leading' the country, who knows when they will? At least we cleaned out the top, thank you thank you for turning out in record numbers. Youngsters and People of Color especially. You literally saved our democracy. Gratitude as well to the local and state officials who oversaw the tabulations and with a courageous integrity, stood by their totals. Many have had their lives threatened by the president`s mob. We know now, definitively, they are many many followers. I believe politics are where our spiritual beliefs meet real life. 

Our fellow Americans are not enemies.

I read this essay on Covid-19 without knowing its author. It`s beautiful.

 This is from Reddit and it explains exactly what we as country need to do. Everyone should feel safe to speak. No one need agree.


 Over a year ago I bought multiple Daniel Smith watercolor sticks because I got a sample once and loved it. Now I had many! When I went to use them it was like dragging stones across glass. They only worked if they were wet so this required frequent soaking. Not conducive to quick decisions. When I complained about them to Ruth, she said "I prefer Caran d`Ache". Ugh. Over and over I forget to get advice [from a woman ideally] and pay the price. So, for my birthday, I bought the set above and they are terrific. I like them for getting color into places where I would lift a previous layer with a loaded damp brush. Drawing isn`t my thing really, I think better with a brush. But they may be a game changer outdoors.

Mathew Dowling included me in his exploration of creativity as a source of health. Mental Health. If you`ve read me over time you might have an opinion if it`s working. The book is a collection of many different visual artists and their strategies. Creative Sanity was a labor of love with insights for perseverance and joy.

 I`ve been looking at Cai Guo-Qiang. This contemporary artist is like no other, his medium is explosives. He makes poetic fireworks on an epic scale. He draws with gunpowder. He is a conceptual artist fully anchored in humanity. His body of work is enormous, one could explore it for days. If you have Netflix you`re in luck. They have the documentary "Sky Ladder; The Art of Cai Guo-Liang". Get comfortable and go directly to the 13 minute mark and watch his "Ninth Wave" presentation in the harbor of Shanghai. It is a gut punch of transcendent beauty.
Below is a photo from 'Elegy' from the Ninth Wave performance. The whole film is fascinating and made me so grateful minds like his exist. Even in communist China.

Lots more in his oeuvre. This amazed everyone;

                                                        The Art of War by Cai Guo-Qiang 

 Artists of this caliber sure reinforce my self image as a painter rather than Artist. Have brush will travel. Cai lives in a realm I can hardly conceive of.

                                 Lichen Light for Winter acrylic on paper 22x15 inches, 56x38 cm

 I started this after the 2016 election. I had seen this glowing branch over Fanno Creek on a walk that November day. Like the election, it was a disaster and it went on a pile of rejections. Coincidentally, while waiting for a big pool of watercolor to evaporate-dry on a large piece of Yupo, I looked through the stack and fished it out. What could I do to it? I could emphasize the cold and soggy.

 Please be careful. We are so close to the remedy. The first shipment of vaccine arrived in Chicago last night. The hospitals are full and the staffs are grossly overworked. Collapse is entirely possible.
Let`s continue to be quiet, patient, as we wait for our turn to be inoculated. We can live our lives isolated a little longer. Even with the comfort of Christmas to tempt us, hold firm. This will be the only one where we must hide from this virus. In honor of the 265,000 who no longer have that choice.

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