and this shall be the new portrait

These days, or shall I say these years my musings all start off with apologies for not writing as often as I once had. I might mention that the last entry to the musings was 5 months or so ago and that I should be more vigilant. This musing I guess could start off that same way, but what really is happening is just evolution… 

that's all. only a little ole spat of evolution taking place and who am I to fight it? I'd be the dodo bird to fight such a thing - and am i a dodo bird? no i'm not a dodo bird

The truth is, I used to write more musings because I had more time, or maybe I had less activities, or maybe I just had more to say. At one point that pace was pleasing because it kept my mind alert and venting as I could discuss things that sat atop that very mind. And at the same time, it was periodically consistent that it kept readers attention… so yeah, there were plusses to that scenario. But these days, the situation has evolved into something else. Either I'm a busy guy at work, or out of work, or maybe my urge to regargle all my thoughts into type on my website has decreased, whatever the case, it seems we're now in a flow where I might get to a musing once every few months at best. And here we are, abreast one of those quad-monthly entries and I'm realizing… I actually don't have much to say in musing. Sure there's things I need to talk about in the NEWS SECTION but that's not here… it's HERE.

>But of course, the idea for musing was just about rambling, typing free of thought and free in consciousness, so that's what I aim to do. Stop thinking about it and just do it. I'll start this one a little bit of a scene setting for you. It's saturday morning and I just rose from a good ole fashioned 9 hr sleep. I made myself 2 hardboiled eggs and a bowl of steel cut oats with natural peanut butter and syrup and a tea (oh crap! my tea is getting cold and I need to attend to it… hold please… yep… it's now tepid tea). I also have a stuffy nose and when I was reaching for my tea-stash in the cupboard I saw a small remnant of the tea Dutch and Julie brought back from Nepal for me. Then it reminded me that they also brought this great tiny bottle of nose-clearing-strong-scented-oil. So I took my masseuses suggestion of heating up some water in a bowl with that oil and placing a towel over my head, my heat atop that bowl, and breathing deeply… That seems to have cleared my nose for a little bit. So now I'm back in bed, listening to Max Roach and Clifford Brown, I got one cat hiding under the covers and one attacking that very cat from atop the covers…. yep… saturday mornings are great when you can catch one by the horns and give it a great big slow sleepy hug.

But before Saturday mornings, usually comes a good ole friday night. Last night I rode Fiamma's bike over the bridge to see my good buddy Adam Hopkins. I rode Fiamma's bike because mine was stolen a week prior, and even though I'm building a bike at 718 Cyclery, that seems like a process that won't finish for another week… so I scrunch over into a tiny girl bike and tire my legs out over the steepest bridge into Brooklyn to head out to Bushwick. Adam's been living here for a few months now and I realized this is the first weekend night we've actually hung out like regular humans… so it was a real blast. We went to the PRINTS GONE WILD event which is held annually by the CANNONBALL PRESS people. 

I'm usually real excited for this event, but truth be told, this year left me feeling a little different. Now the woodcut world is pretty small, it's not like rock and roll or even your screenwriting mediums where there are tons of young'ns in the mix all trying their hand at this artform, clogging up the world of it. I go into a place like PRINTS GONE WILD and I know pretty much all the arts groups there, I've seen em before and I've enjoyed their craft and been jealous of their setup. Even though the woodcut world is small, I'm still just a lonely life raft on it, I've got no cool group to be a part of like CannonBall or Drive By Press and I don't make neat t shirts and well-cut woodcuts about wolves and crap. I don't have a beard and tattoos…. oh wait… that last part I do have, and that's what snags me I guess. I walk into a place like PRINTS GONE WILD and I see a mirror of my life, but it's a warped mirror. I always claim that all white guys in Brooklyn that are between the age of 23-35 look and act pretty much the same, they can be clumped in together and stereotyped easily and I am pretty much as much a part of that look than anyone. But I walk into PRINTS GONE WILD and I see a distorted mirror, I see people doing a similar art as me, and in some cases I think their actual craft is much better. But then I look at the content, I see the same thing over and over, funny letterpress word play, woodcuts of wolves and animals with half open human eyes, bloody animals or skateboard art and I realize…. even though I'm jealous of these also-bearded-tattooed-peoples worlds I feel pretty great sometimes knowing that even though I'm so close to that world, I'm still on my own life raft, riding a parallel current that will head off to a different place. I make art that has slowly gotten more personal as I've been doing more of it and though it's smaller and maybe less eye catching than those other guys, it's got meaning to me and I like that. So even though I was bummed not to see Sean Star Wars at the PRINTS GONE WILD, or bummed it was smaller… I left  without the feeling of jealousy this year, I left feeling content that my world is not necessarily that world.

Now I want to also talk about tattoos as I've gotten a new one recently and have 2 more in the works. I like tattoos, I see a lot of bad ones and I see a lot of good ones, but I just like the concept of em, and I like em on me. They serve as reminders, things that I can't get out of my daily life even if I tried and I like that a lot. I recently got one that was a drawing by Good Ole Craig Deardorff or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I saw Craig doing some drawings of Seinfeld characters a few months back and asked if he'd do one of DRMLKJR in his style and write "Marty" underneath it. And he did it and it was awesome and here it is:

I liked the idea of calling him Marty. Firstly because it's funny, but also because it takes a grandiose character, one I admire from a historical distance and puts him into friend-dialogue. I'm sure DRMLKJR had some people that called him Marty in his life and they were close friends and I kind of feel that way about the guy. I like him a lot though, I like his way of thinking and the means by which he made those thoughts vocal. I've learnt a lot from what I've listened to him say over and over again in the taped speeches and sermons I have and I thought putting him on the inside of my left arm would be a great reminder to keep his perspective in mind. But you add on top of that the great drawing that Craig did with a funny shaped head and this great handmotion that looks like it's got steam rising from it and you got yourself a pretty great looking tattoo I must say.

So anyway, that's installation one of wanting to talk a little about my tattoos. I realize now that I've amassed quite a few and I would like to discuss each one at some point:

1. an anchor on my right bicep (later amended to be filled in and have wings, a cloud and text QUIETLY SLOWLY NOW in a scroll below)

2. a ship named the mighty tiny on my left bicep (later filled in with a swelled belly)

3. an ionic column on my right ribs

4. a plumb line on my left ribs

5. my mom's handwriting on my inside right forearm

6. text from Steinbeck's East of Eden that reads NO ONE WHO IS YOUNG WILL EVER BE OLD

7. a red rose on my right chest

8. a red Armsheim Arm on my right inside elbow

9. A piece of cheese with a crown on it on my inside right bicep

10. A skull and woodcut-tool-crossbones on my left chest

11. of course Marty on my inside left bicep

and soon….:

12. a green speech bubble with a cowboy had on my right knee

13. a cartoon-explosion-head-figure I hope Massimo Pacchione will draw for me

14. portraits of my 2 cats on the tops of my feet I hope David Abbott will draw for me

Seee... I've got lotso tattoos...

So I want to talk about each of these, about how I like to think of them as works in progress and later hopefully add-to / change each one… How each one serves as a reminder of something, and for the most part they all have a serious element to them as well as a humorous element. So those are the things I want to discuss in future musings and will do shortly in an interviewish type thing with Tom Abbott on his new blog: TALES OF THE INK … but as for now, it's getting later in my day (12:50pm) and I've got to write the NEWS, change the front picture on my site, then get up and get some coffee, eat a huarache at the Brooklyn Flea Market and then head off to see my friend Nate play his one-man-band-GULL music tonight  

Until then, here are a few pictures to look at since I've bombarded you with mostly words thus far:

I traded with a great artist Na Kim a woodcut of mine and she gave me two of these prints. I got em now hanging in my apartment in some classy gilded frames to match the gilded ink

simple looking art that's about things that aren't simple at all is some of my favorites. There's so much going on in this Jacob Lawrence piece it is overwhelming a little bit

This guy has reeeally been getting me recently. Fiamma and I went to Paris this past August and did a chronological tour of the art; starting with the Louvre at around 1000AD and moving up to the mid 1800's, then we picked back up at the Musee D'Orsay from 1800's-1900's, and finally the Pompidou brought us up to year 2011 art. It was a great way to do some of the greatest museums in the world. And one of the shining beacons of that trip was seeing some Matisse's in person that I've priorly only seen in books. That guys colors in person are so good. There's also this great interactive site on the MoMA website that is great (to which now I am officially a MoMA member thanks to Dangi Chu)
In the meantime, here are a few highlights from the museums... up first, what I liked lots about the Louvre:

I never knew who Ary Scheffer was before, but I rather liked the work I saw at the Louvre eeeven if it was a little lushly romantic sometimes like a good Mozart Piano concerto

These things are much better in person.  And then you've got yer Prudhon which is out of this world

The Louvre is filled with some great arts and some great highlights of arts sorrounded by masses of people to which you can see HERE in Fiamma's animated gif as well as hopefully in my own pic:

but there are some real quiet moments in the huge halls if you wrap around a wall into a side corridor where you can be alone with some of the greatest old timey art like the beheading painting above.

And this piece in particular was in my top 5 of arts I saw in Paris this summer. It's hard to get a gauge of the beauty of line from this small 550px image, but its amazing lemme tell you.

Ok... moving onto the Musee D'Orsay we saw some other great stuff>

I thought this Felix Vallaton buttox was particularly painted well and juxtaposed nicely with the full-frontal-shocking-painting just across the hall in it's own room by Delacroix MOTHER OF THE EARTH

There was also this nice Vallaton

Then we moved onto the Pompidou which also had lotso great arts,  you can see some of them and other images of this trip on my site HERE
But back to other pics and we'll start with the work of Spanish artist Sonia Pulido, she's real nice and does some real great stuff:

Ad lastly, there's some great places these days to view art if you're bored or need inspiration. WIKIPAINTINGS.ORG is a great encyclopediac approach to browse art in either a linear or non-linear meandering. But the art-viewing world (at least on the internets) was stirred nicely by the GOOGLEARTPROJECT. You can now walk through museums just like street view on google maps. As well as zoom in on particular works even up to the globby bits in Van Goghs.  These views are much closer than you could get even if you were in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum before the guards yelled at you. Right now theyve only got a handful of museums but here's hoping they keep this project up and soon virtual museum travel will run rampant. Here's some examples below:

I even had to scale those down to fit within the confines of my webdesign! But lastly, speaking of eyes and arts, I'm still googley eyeing things around NYC, but I though this person did a pretty great job of googly eyeing and I had to bow - enjoy and have a nice saturday yerselves, I'm off to get a coffee maybe


  • tj - 11.24.11
    oh and also since i wrote this musing - i also got a new tattoo of an anvil on a pillow on the outside of my right forearm... juuuust to keep you updated

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