Sunday, February 23, 2014

Taking Risks

Sometimes, in olden days when ships were powered by sails and breeze, it happened that during a journey, the wind stopped. The ship and its crew could then only drift at sea, forced to wait for a current of air.

My artistic work life requires a steady breeze of inspiration, but occasionally the wind unexpectedly stops, and then I am in doldrums. I am not sure if every artist feels this. The common advise for artists to become successful is to find your style, and stay on that path without deviation. I think my career has been unusual in that I get restless for change, and do not like repeating myself and so go off on tangents frequently. Sometimes it is a dead end . . . but by taking risks, discoveries are made.

I have volumes of old work that is experimental, and most is in storage . . . awaiting further inspiration, or simply to be painted over and begun anew. This artwork of the woman stepping forward with a flowing gown is something from years ago, and just such an experiment. It has been in storage, and I will work more on it sometime. The circle around her head could be a halo, or the full moon.
It appears a shadow shaped like a bird is crossing over her. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What A Long Strange Trip Its Been

Faithfully writing a weekly blog has brought My Fairytale Life to the number 400. That is four hundred posts; over 1000 photographs, encompassing global travel, musings on life and death, art, philosophy, and occasional random rambles into the unknown.

As the Grateful Dead sang, "What a long strange trip its been."

Monday, February 10, 2014

Oscar Wilde

Death and love seem to walk on either hand as I go through life: they are the only things I think of, their wings shadow me. -Oscar Wilde  (Irish, 16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900)

A couple of weeks ago I began reading, Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellmann. It is over 600 pages in small type, and a thorough and exhaustive look at this famous, complicated being. Over the years I have read elegant, cunning, and electric witticisms by Wilde—enough to make me interested in learning more about him. This biography took almost twenty years to write, and because of his comprehensive detective work, it seems that Ellman knows everything about the public and private figure of Wilde. There are so many biographical facts introduced, and all of Wilde's friendships, both academic, professional and personal, that I find the flow is slow and at times tedious reading, but very accurate. Because of Wilde's indomitable persona, it takes hold and won't let go.

Oscar Wilde's personality hinged upon pleasure and art. He was brilliant in language and could make a great impression upon people simply by his speaking. He thrived upon challenging the status quo, and in the end, this was his downfall. Wilde was homosexual, even though married with two children. His male lover, a younger man both handsome and quixotic, lured him into the dark paths of homo-erotic life, and in the end, Wilde was convicted in London of sodomy and sentenced to two brutally harsh years in jail. He lost everything—family, wealth, and health. The ordeal utterly devastated him and he died soon after his release. I have not yet read to the finish of the book. At this point, I have come to the section where, at the top of his fame and fortune, he has been in court, and is now facing his prison punishment. The downward spiral is violent.

“My ambitions do not stop with the composing of poems. I want to make of my life itself a work of art.”

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Fun Intensity

Winter cold makes life contract—or so it seems. The sun shines for fewer hours of the day, plants go dormant and energy is spent in conservation rather than gleeful expenditure. And so it goes with my art business. The Steven Boone Gallery art sales lapse, as the Santa Fe art market declines to its nadir in January and February. 

It is a good time to take risks creatively. Why not let the modus operandi be that of surprise and exploration? 

I always come back to experimentation as a basis for my art. I am easily restless and never self-satisfied for long. This week, I pulled some large abstract monotypes out of storage and began painting on them. They were made years ago, during another period of exploration, and have been out of sight ever since. I allow my eyes to wander over the surface and like a Rorschach test, let imagination come forth to suggest a narrative. 

I love having archives to draw upon. This blog is an archive of my life for many years . . . and I have been drawing from it to write a memoir. Thirty thousand photos are in my files, and only last night I took delight reworking a photo from a session with two models in my studio that took place several years ago. The pair were young friends, a white woman and black man, roomates who had an easy ambience between them, and who were quite comfortable being naked and interacting joyfully for a few hours with me, as I took hundreds of pictures.
The studio was draped in black cloth, and at one point, the woman, who has marvelous milky-white skin, held a long black cloth that she used to duel with her friend, who had a good physique and cocoa complexion, and battled with a flowing white cloth. The action was wonderful and my camera captured the fun intensity.