Anniversary: Moon Landing Day

 

Painting the Church interior was an interesting contrast on this date. The national moon landing effort, undertaken with so much bravery into a risky and unknown environment has always seemed like a high water mark for this country. Surrounded by a world today that descends into darkness, willful ignorance and/or the frenzy of busy distraction  – the opportunity to come here and ascend into the peace of focused, beautiful work feels wonderful. What a joy! Putting flowers in the paint water up here on the scaffold is a small journey upward.

The words of Elder (now Saint) Piasios of Mount Athos come to mind:

“It is good to have the intellectual powers that take man to the moon costing billions of dollars in fuel expenses and so on, but it is better to have the spiritual powers that raise man to God, his ultimate destination, with only a bit of fuel, a mere dried piece of bread” — Elder Paisios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to stay awake, I have a Detachable Command Module along for the ride: a “Paris” tea sachet. Can’t do numbers without caffeine anymore – am too old. The ‘interesting facts‘ website has some good offerings on the moon landing. Hope that you had a good Moon Landing Day out there in cyberspace.

Quality Control

work-in-estate-sale

Every artist has some personal measure for a quality control standard to aspire to. Have made references to this standard in describing my work. To be blunt, my goal is to craft something, in some media, that is made well enough to survive through the third garage sale cycle beyond the original buyer. To create something compelling enough to pass into new hands through that first garage sale, and again to pass into new hands through the next one, and the one after that – is an indicator of quality. Most especially so if the person buying the work knows nothing about the artist or the details of the aesthetic involved. Artwork in museums and corporate collections are not immune from this dynamic. Deaccessions in collections happen all the time.

Walking into a gallery of art on display, I search for works that would survive that ‘third garage sale’ test. Most of what we create will end up in a landfill somewhere. Stages of growth and Sturgeon’s Law applies to all artists, and this demands making a lot of work before the mature stuff can bloom. To be sure, that is a long-term goal – but why settle for less from yourself?

What felt odd today, was spotting the first stage of that test playing out with a small blue drawing posted online in someone’s estate sale….

This drawing from 1993, “Max and the Blue Church Men” was created for’Cuentos’ an exhibition put together by Galeria Mesa and Desert Caballeros Western Museum. A writer-in-residence worked with students in two schools to produce personal short stories which were then given to a group of artists for visual interpretation. The story from student Max Hobson contained this sentence: “They don’t notice you if you’re small or if the church is black or blue.”  Bon voyage little Max.

 

The Problem of Moralism, Politics and Art

Thoughtful and on point…

This Is Life!: Revolutions Around the Cruciform Axis

These rough and undisciplined thoughts begin in politics, touch on art, but ultimately, I hope, plead for thoughtful engagement on persuasion to a more beautiful way of living. They have been catalyzed by the dismaying outcomes of the political processes of this election year. But they have been a realization that has been dawning for some time. Though I am going to attempt to be as charitable as I can in their expression, I doubt I can utterly diminish the deep frustration and irritation I feel at the state of the conservative movement and, relatedly, traditional, or small-o orthodox, conservative Christianity.

First, let’s just starkly admit the truth: political conservatives (and their conservative Christian allies) long ago lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the young. We bolster ourselves with this or that poll which shows millennials more opposed to abortion on demand than at any other time…

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I gave my heart to my husband’s cardiologist…

heart

It seemed right and proper to give this beautiful thing to someone who could appreciate its structure. It contains Fulgurites; the little glass tubes left in the ground sometimes by lightning strikes. Have no idea how the new Toon Town Big Government Crap Weasel Obamacare World of Medical Delights will go about destroying our little corner of the woods; am sure that when that when it strikes us, the results won’t be pretty. Am also sure that our Liberal Elitist Insect Overlords will blame the dysfunctional system they’ve created on their favorite whipping boys while successfully escaping any responsibility for degrading yet another aspect of life. The progs have been trying to bury their socialist hook deep under our gills for a very, very long time.

And they don’t believe in catch and release.

detail

Words To Remember

“When gold paint flakes from the arms of sculptures,
When the letter falls out of the book of laws,
Then consciousness is naked as an eye.

When the pages of books fall in fiery scraps
Onto smashed leaves and twisted metal,
The tree of good and evil is stripped bare.

When a wing made of canvas is extinguished
In a potato patch, when steel disintegrates,
Nothing is left but straw huts and cow dung.”

These stanzas are from the poem “The Spirit of History”
by Czeslaw Milosz, published in 2001 in “A Treatise on Poetry”