When done is not – pART Project update

#25 – Tuesday September 6th

When done is not, the revised revision makes its debut. Before sending the new canvasses  to the gallery, I’m finalizing titles, playing with the words accompanying the paintings, and signing off. Seal of approval and the figurative boot out the door. However, every now and again, even after the flourish of signing and dating a painting, something catches my eye . . . a slightly out-of-place line, a discord where I once saw perfect harmony . . . and I can’t resist. Now I wish I could say, every adjusted outcome has been a total success, blue ribbon and all that, but . . . no. And as I walk out of the studio toward the sink to wash my hands of the remnants, I mumble . . . “it could have been  a nice painting”. After, I’ll strip the pigment laden fabric from this frame, toss it aside, and as I stretch new virgin canvas across the structure, a small smile crosses my lips . . . ” That was interesting, lets have another go”. I don’t mind when a painting heads south, for even after 30 plus years of throwing paint around, it lets me know I’m not as smart or clever as I think I am, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but here the rule rather than the exception, when done is not and the revised revision shines.

The SRAM pART project for World Bicycle Relief is full on. The participating artists are an impressive group, and I’m excited to be counted in their number. The SRAM pART Project website has profiles of all the artists, including links to their websites, and photos of all the  pART project sculptures will be up on the site by the middle of September. All the pART sculptures will be auctioned off to support World Bicycle Relief. I’ll post the how & when as soon as I know the particulars.

What’s in play this week? I’m having a thing for resonance . . . Maya Beiser and her cello. Doesn’t hurt she does a lovely cover of Kashmir, and her playing makes my toes tingle . . .

Thanks for reading


Limbo This and the Time Machine

Charles Kurre, Novum Organum (fan chair) 1985#22 – Tuesday August 16th

Having spent the last month working on my contribution to the SRAM pART Project, I’ve been thinking more about sculpture than usual, and while wandering around Arizona Art Supply, gathering bit and pieces for new canvasses, I stopped to peruse the magazine rack. Leafing through a copy of Art In America, I discovered an exhibition announcement for the artist Rebecca Horn. I first became aware of her work in 1984, a group of kinetic sculptures, exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. It was an amazing show, made more poignant by the fact, at the time, I was working on a group of viewer activated kinetic pieces, and while the intent behind my work was substantially different, seeing her sculpture certainly influenced my own explorations of motion. (A collection of my viewer activated sculptures was exhibited at Columbia College, Chicago in 1987. Illustrated is a detail of Novum Organum # 19 (Fan Chair), circa 1985) . I can’t say I’ve followed her work since, but stumbling across this announcement was the inspiration to reacquaint myself with her oeuvre. This is a video Rebecca Horn’s kinetic sculpture “Schmetterlingsschaukel” (Butterfly Swing), and a selection of her recent works to be shown at the Sean Kelly Gallery, NYC in September.

Music is an integral component of my world, and something is always swirling around the studio. I’ve eclectic tastes, and readily admit I’m attracted to the fast and loud with a killer hook . . . but there is a place for the quietly joyous melodic and that’s what’s been in the air this week . . . the band . . . DOS . . . the CD . . . Dos y Dos. Two electric bass guitars, Mike Watt and Kira Roessler. He bassist of the Minutemen, she the bassist of Black Flag, both seminal bands from the early days of punk, but what they do together isn’t very punk rather what David Krasnow called in his review on Studio 360, “delicate meditations in counterpoint from an instrument not known for its delicacy”. I find it mesmerizing . . . check it out HERE.

Two of the new canvasses dancing about in the wonderful netherworld of the last mark. I always try to have several pieces in play, traveling back and forth between . . . it’s the interplay, suggested avenues of exploration, a line drawn, and borrowed, a shape appropriated, and the necessity of time just looking . . . and others in the wings, awaiting their first mark. . .

Thanks for reading.


The Labyrinthine Journey

#20 – Tuesday August 2nd

Time is almost up. In just seven short days, my contribution to the SRAM pArt Project must be boxed up and sent on its way, so I’m bolting things down, and finalizing all the little details, and it’s the details that are an exercise in maddeningly entertaining fun. Maddeningly because the mechanics of turning what’s in my imagination into a three-dimensional reality is a labyrinthine journey, and fun and entertaining for the same exact reason. My favorite fastener resource is Artie’s Ace, a locally owned hardware store, where I can still find (and buy) just one 3-48 nut & bolt then rummage through tray after tray of spacers, bearings and washers to find the one perfect fitting joining the  “what if” to “this is how”. Besides my excursions in search of connective bits and pieces, whenever I can use an actual bike part I do, both by tapping into my own personal library of bike flotsam jetsam, (including disassembling a wheel to harvest the spokes), and from my LBS, in this case Sunday Cycles, for red anodized spoke nipples. (I’ll take any excuse to visit a bike shop).

I’m always working on multiple pieces, canvasses and/or objects, all in some state of becoming. I find a wonderful synergy in the bouncing back and forth. It’s a mechanism for solving problems, illuminating mysteries, and generally lending a helping hand over the stumbles and bumps inherent in my creative process . . . plus it offers the opportunity of time. Time not only to look but to actually see. I’ve two canvasses in progress concurrently with my pART piece (images of both have appeared in several prior posts). And yes, one has been turned right side up. Another quandary happily resolved (at least for now).

Thanks for reading.