Month: March 2016

I Must Leave The Figure Drawing Class. I’d Rather Be Naive

Round Trip Stuckism


“My Figure Drawing Teacher Is From Spain” 2016. Acrylic on wood panel, 20 x 16″

I am surprised I made it these past two months. A man approaching a half-century of life does not need a new trick if he is productive and often pleasantly satisfied with his limitations. I draw better, more confidently than five years ago. The class has taught me proportion, lengths and widths of the human form. That’s good enough for me. I color better than five years ago—trial and much error, with persistence and practice… I have never sat before a canvas not painting for more than two minutes. I think I would suffocate if I did! That is a kind of success I have achieved—painting meditation. Actually, the original intent of auditing this university class has been satisfied. That is, I humbled myself before a better drawer, hoping he unveil some secrets to a lifelong study…

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Time To Go Dark Like William Blake


“While My Dog and Me Were Sailing the Seven Seas, Adults Worldwide Were Stockpiling Nuclear Weapons of Annihilation” 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11″

William Blake to his wife:

“What do we do, Kate, when the visions forsake us?”

“We kneel down and pray, Mr. Blake.”

Then the two might stare into the fire and draw pictures of what each saw in it. Maybe Kate would see a flower in a vase, and Blake would sketch a reaper. Some tea and bread, call of a night bird, the chamber pot and then bed.

It is time to live the life of a mute prophet who expresses himself nightly by ringing the house bell. I married well. I am fortunate. I do not need another president, a television, or a cereal box. I need to live more like William Blake with access to 21st century plumbing. There will always be demons to leap from the flames. There will always be hell is other people. I need a feel from the following verse by Van Morrison in “Alan Watts Blues”:

Well I’ve got to get out of the rat-race now
I’m tired of the ways of mice and men
And the empires all turning into rust again.
Out of everything nothing remains the same
That’s why I’m cloud hidden
Cloud hidden
Whereabouts unknown

Then Kate and I will pray.


When I Was Deep In Poverty You Taught Me How To Give

Round Trip Stuckism

GRkoj5Vvkrs Alena, the gift and Lena in Moscow

Milestone. I just passed it, and I am waving my hand. Good bye avarice! There is no mirror living of your neighbor to be admired. Adios oneupmanship! I am not nearly as accomplished as the worst painter. I am going to free up my archive of its output—and I shall do this while out walking the village, going door-to-door with my empty begging bowl. Put paints in it and you shall have a painting. Add stretched canvas and a desire to know me, then clear up a wall for my work. Basically, if you’ll have me, the painting is yours.

Two arrivals yesterday of paintings so close yet separated by thousands of miles. It was like I was split in two. At three in the afternoon I was not ready for the joy-energy to hit me like it did. Like a mortal head-on collision with a Zeus thunderbolt. I am still…

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