Sunday, November 23, 2008


The cold is biting down on NYC and snorting through its bitter teeth. Even the traffic sounds have a brittle edge to them. Inside I have the space heater roaring away--one tries not to think about Con Ed. I'm working on a new painting and listening to music. The opposites come together and balance me happily in the middle. There is enough food in the kitchen, enough paint to make many more paintings than just this one, books that I haven't read yet, and a list of painting ideas on the wall that is only half finished. I love to make new lists where I keep the ones not attempted and add as many as my mind can concoct--its a sheer abundance of possibilities: Ali Baba's cave in code.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


...much younger, in the back corridors of a circus before I ventured in to the ring myself.

Michael Walker

I have known Michael Walker from our days as hippies growing up in New Jersey. He has always been an artist, from painter to glass maker and back to painter. In the last several years he has been working on a series of water images. I find them beautiful, evocative and plain in the way effective pictures usually are.
This is what he says about them:

the technique got thick and i start with acrylic paste mixed with acrylic colors...smush a thick layer on with a spackle is sort of like being a plasterer on a wall. i slash lines in it and pull up toothy areas with a rough roller. it goes fast, the stuff sags a little as it dries. accidents occur- they are a main part of painting.
i am staying with, in water...what is under the surface, what pokes up through it.
something happens...paint is a fluid medium, i have an image in my mind that flickers between what is or could be hand arcs back and forth over the developer pulling something out of the emulsion on photographic paper.
it day the smoothing, crisping pixels begin with oil.
when a painting is "done" something always remains of what i saw into it while painting. but the "seeing" is most present before.

Sea Composition


River Grass

Kies Beach

Jupiter Island

Buzzard's Bay, Cape Cod

Cedar Creek Grass

Island Beach

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wolff child

Be it karma, nature or luck, the absorbed creature that I was is still the one I embody now. There I am at some single digit age peering down through the water at the pebble jewels, the bright, little construct floating beside me. It could be one of my paintings.
Well, actually, I think it may become one of my paintings...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lar Lubovitch

Last night I went to City Center to see the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. There were three pieces: Jangle, Men's Stories and Dvorak Serenade. The first was a happy melange of emotional fluidity. It sounds simple but such expressive joy is rare. The incredible technical abilities of the dancers never let you hesitate at thought, and the choreography was a perfect song that you'd heard when you were young and never forgot.
Men's Stories was about guyness. The dumb masses of men became bodies of articulate muscle. Their hearts melted down, ran into their nervous systems and there flesh became liquid semaphores. We, the audience, were always with them, posturing, laughing, fighting, rutting, and singing the love of leap, slink and roll.
Dvorak Serenade seemed to be made from the alphabet of nature-the wind through the tall grass, the movement of leaves, the eddies of water-embodied in a group of young humans. They danced back and forth across the stark stage pulling the imagery of summer and young love with them.
Afterwards I was full of the fizz of beautiful acts.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

autumn overcast

The greyed jewels whispered to me as the bus took me up and downstate. Once on foot the soft, rained air hovered between colors and licked the streets. I found an old sketchbook in the studio with drawings of my son from 4 weeks to 9 months. I discovered some books to take back with me: The Romance of the Horse, a book on Uccello, the Miea Calliographiae Monumenta, and several really good blank sketchbooks from the days when I was more flush.
I raid my past to fatten the present.

Saturday, November 1, 2008