Monday, January 31, 2011

Lo-Limb, an exhibition

Tomorrow night opens my show at Biola University's Art Gallery. The works in the show are selections done during and since my fall, 2009 sabbatical residency in Barcelona, Spain.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jorge Lusi Borges

oil on linen, Callis

Inferno, I, 32

From the twilight of day till the twilight of evening, a leopard, in the last years of the thirteenth century, would see some wooden planks, some vertical iron bars, men and women who changed, a wall and perhaps a stone gutter filled with dry leaves. He did not know, could not know, that he longed for love and cruelty and the hot pleasure of tearing things to pieces and the wind carrying the scent of a deer, but something suffocated and rebelled within him and God spoke to him in a dream: "You live and will die in this prison so that a man I know of may see you a certain number of times and not forget you and place your figure and symbol in a poem which has its precise place in the scheme of the universe. You suffer captivity, but you will have given a word to the poem." God, in the dream, illumined the animal's brutishness and the animal understood these reasons and accepted his destiny, but, when he awoke, there was in him only an obscure resignation, a valorous ignorance, for the machinery of the world is much too complex for the simplicity of a beast.

Years later, Dante was dying in Ravenna, as unjustified and as lonely as any other man. In a dream, God declared to him the secret purpose of his life and work; Dante, in wonderment, knew at last who and what he was and blessed the bitterness of his life. Tradition relates that, upon waking, he felt that he had received and lost an infinite thing, something he would not be able to recuperate or even glimpse, for the machinery of the world is much too complex for the simplicity of men.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Lo-Limb were the words that had been scribed on a small simple bright yellow signboard hung in front of my family home. A single tree stood on the front edge of our property between the house and the sidewalk. A large, gesturing branch swung out across the public walkway just at adult head height. It was the only thing that encroached on that walkway for as far as your eye could see but my father was sure that people would miss it and strike their head on the limb so he made a small wooden sign, approx. 3”x9”, painted it cautionary yellow and in black marker wrote the words: Lo-Limb. This was then hung off the tree branch. Even with the warning sign it was not unusual to see some distracted walker bump off that fleshy arm as they moved along completely self-absorbed and unaware. My father was a practical man he thought if he simply pointed those things out people would surly take notice. Perhaps I am more like my father then I ever realized. As we skirt across the surface of our lives what are the things that reach down from the sky to remind us of the gifts of the present moments.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A few new things

Some things that are happening in the studio. Two bodies of work, both small scale (approx. 12") oil on linen. One set of works are non-serial based works full of color and movement. The other set is serial based and much quieter. Don't want to talk about them much, just show you some work.

David Wilcox at the Coach House

At last nights performance I decided that you probably need to be over 40 to really appreciate the music of David Wilcox. Partially (but of least importance) because there is no real innovation, no provocative vocalization or challenging discordant use of instrumentation. He doesn't scream, wail, or whine. He doesn't bring to the stage an existential angst or wafted disengagement (all things I truly enjoy mind you.) He is simply and unapologetically a storyteller and song crafter. He is a troubadour. I don't think I have seen a performer more present on stage. During the whole performance he seldom stopped smiling and it was a smile of sheer delight (I know, for some of you that alone would be enough to discourage you from seeing him but I found it contagious.) But not to be confused, the smile was not because his subject matter was light or simple, generally is was not, but because he seems to love his art and loves those willing to listen. As a musician he is profoundly talented and demanding but his craft serves his story telling and the two are seamlessly meshed. The reason i say you need to be over 40 is because his songs speak to a life that has been dragged around for a while. The kind of life that has enough experience that one can begin to look back on it for possible insights. The thing that I find most endearing about his writing is that he believes we are capable of such insights. And because he does believe that he is willing to be extremely honest and vulnerable in his performances. If you ever get a chance to see him live I recommend you take it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

new life

Stepped out of the studio this morning and I had a new arrival, a monarch butterfly. A few facts about my new studio mate. did you know that the monarch butterflies that live in North America migrate? They are the only insect to migrate up to 2,500 miles to get out of the cold weather and hibernate. But not all monarch butterflies migrate; only the fourth generation of monarchs can migrate each year because the first three generations die after about six weeks from escaping their cocoons.
They go through four generations each year. The first three generations hatch from their cocoon state and live for up to six weeks, but the fourth generation continues to migrate to a warmer climate, hibernate, and then start a new first generation in the spring time.
Female monarchs have several hundred eggs to lay during their short life in the spring time. Monarch butterfly larvae eat milkweed and they need them to live. Milkweed plants are been cleared for roadway and development and the monarch population is decreasing because of this.
All right boys and girls that our nature lesson for the day - now get back to work!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A friend of mine recently said that my paintings were very vaudevillian, what say of nature?

Mary Oliver

White Heron Rises Over Blackwater
Mary Oliver

I wonder what it is that I will accomplish today
If anything can be called that marvelous word.

It won't be
My kind of work, which is only putting words on a page,
The pencil
Haltingly calling up
The light of the world,
Yet nothing appearing on paper half as bright
As the mockingbird's verbal hilarity
In the still unleafed shrub in the churchyard-
Or the white heron rising over the swamp and the darkness,
His yellow eyes and broad wings wearing
The light of the world in the light of the world-
Ah yes, I see him.
He is exactly the poem I wanted to write.