Posts Tagged ‘Andy Warhol’

Andy Warhol’s Factory & Neil Young Unplugged

September 24, 2015

imageThere are times like now when I have to laugh at the juxtaposition of ideas wafting through my consciousness while doing mindless tasks like printing, matting, shrinkwrapping and processing for an art festival to begin in less than twenty-four hours. Andy Warhol named his studio “The Factory” because he ran it like a production line, with his silkscreen images lined up across the floor and a number of hired workers assisting him in pulling them. Tonight I put an old VHS tape of “Neil Young Unplugged” into a small portable TV that has been a good companion in my man cave throughout recent years. Listening to him pound on his acoustic guitar while I snapped tape, lined edges, and matted prints, I felt a kinship between the two artists and myself. The only difference is that I am alone in the studio tonight, but quite content. I’m satisfied with the quiet solitude and space as I work, not needing the Pop musician or Pop artist’s adoring audiences. And I don’t feel lonely. I’m loving the sense of camaraderie that I feel as I listen to Neil, think about Andy’s legacy, and feel gratitude that tomorrow I get to enter the festival arena for three days, sit in my booth, and enjoy whatever conversations may transpire with patrons as they drift through the festival atmosphere. I’m starting to tire, and paused to rest and blog before making one final run at production before calling it a night. Tomorrow, early, I will load the Jeep, drive to the festival site, and begin setting up for a 4:00 opening.

Fort Worth's Scat Lounge

Fort Worth’s Scat Lounge

Browsing through some of my old portfolios this afternoon, I was shocked to pull out this unfinished watercolor that I abandoned long ago and completely forgot. I decided to go ahead and photograph it as is and make an 8 x 10″ print from it, along with some greeting cards. In addition to over twenty new images from the Laguna Madre I painted and drew this summer, I will add this to the “debut” section of my booth.

Still Life Watercolor

Still Life Watercolor

This one I also pulled from the portfolio with surprise. I wonder if getting old means that you forget things you once spent a great deal of time on and then put away for awhile. I also made a print and a selection of greeting cards from this.

Handley Neighborhood Caboose

Handley Neighborhood Caboose

Another surprise from the portfolio was this Union Pacific caboose I painted near a power plant in the old historic Handley Neighborhood in east Fort Worth, near Arlington where I live.

Lexington, Texas pumps

Lexington, Texas pumps

And finally, this pair of abandoned gas pumps in Lexington, Texas. This is the second time I painted these, but put them away in my portfolio and forgot about them. I’m pleased to be able to share some new work in this weekend’s venue.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Lingering in the Shadow

April 13, 2015
Raw Photo of a Watercolor Sketch Attempted Months Ago

Raw Photo of a Watercolor Sketch Attempted Many Months Ago

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

T. S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”

WIth an art festival approaching this coming weekend, I came home from school today in a burst of energy and began cranking out reproductions of my recent watercolors, in images 5 x 7″, 8 x 10″ and custom greeting cards. This task ate up a number of hours of the late afternoon and early evening. Finally, I slumped in a rocking chair with coffee, deciding it was time to stop for awhile. An image suddenly flashed into my mind’s eye, and before I thought better, I was out of the chair and back at the computer, photoshopping, cropping, and playing around with one watercolor that I had forgotten completely over the past several months. Below are two cropped, photoshopped compositions of this painting:

Back in the rocking chair, I sipped my coffee and stared at these two images alongside my original, and like Andy Warhol, found myself fascinated in the abstract possibilities of the shadows and negative areas, not just the subject matter. I don’t know how much time elided as I sat, sipping and thinking, pondering these possibilies, But I was truly “drawn in” by these compositions. Since adolescence, I have looked at Andrew Wyeth watercolors, popularly called “vignettes”, and loved the way he allowed his colors to bleed off into a white wasteland beyond the focused subject matter. As for myself, I have often been too timid to leave my work this way, fearing that it would be judged “unfinished.” But I am changing my mind tonight. I’ve determined that I will eventually have this piece custom framed, leaving the unfinished boundary. After all, I’m not entering it into a competition. I’m not subjecting it to another judge’s opinion. And I really have no interest in selling the piece. I have not been “attached” to any single painting of mine for over a decade, but this one is definitely clinging to me tonight. And I am beginning to feel stirred by the idea of creative authenticity. After all these decades of practicing my craft, I feel that I could be drawing nearer to finding my own voice.

Another Partial Watercolor Sketch from Months Ago, and Forgotten

Another Partial Watercolor Sketch from Months Ago, and Forgotten

I decided I needed to get out of the house and do at least a two-mile exercise walk in the park. This habit of the past couple of weeks will hopefully provide a boost of energy that I’ve felt sagging in recent months. The longer I walked, the more my mind spun with ideas gleaned over the years from Paul Tillich, Robert Motherwell, Richard Diebenkorn, Andrew Wyeth and one of my high school art teachers, notably that compositional strength is frequently discovered in the boundaries, rather than the heart of the subject. No doubt, I have plenty of matters to ponder as I venture closer to the art festival, but these things definitely have my attention.

The borderline is the truly propitious place for acquiring knowledge.

Paul Tillich, Religiöse Verwirklichung (Religious Realization)

I did manage to return to a watercolor I began over the weekend, experimenting with some foreground texturing and figuring a way to transition from the painting itself to the surrounding white ground. My studio lacks decent photography lighting at night, so this is the best I can muster:

I close with this note from Irwin Edman that has lodged into my consciousness throughout this fertile evening:

An artist learns by repeated trial and error, by an almost moral instinct, to avoid the merely or the confusingly decorative . . . to say what he has to say with the most direct and economical means, to be true to his objects, to his materials, to his technique, and hence, by a correlated miracle, to himself.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Returning to Watercolor after a Hiatus

July 27, 2013
Still Life Set Up in the Studio

Still Life Set Up in the Studio

Large Watercolor in Progress

Large Watercolor in Progress

I don’t play with Crazy Horse all the time.  You can’t wear it out.  You know, it’s like you can’t constantly be doing everything.  You have to give it a rest.  It’s like planting stuff.  You’ve got to let the field rest for a year.

Neil Young “American Masters” PBS

I did not intend to get away from watercoloring.  Several things entered my life the past couple of weeks.  Summer school got busier (my class has grown by one-third this second semester, accompanied by a chronic absenteeism that wasn’t happening the first term).  I also picked up my guitar again and played in a live gig that required some rehearsals.  Then an unforseen series of events led to my standing in my waders, waist-deep in Windmill Lake at the LBJ Grasslands, flyfishing for largemouth bass.  It had been too long since I last enjoyed that avocation, and I was very grateful for the experience.  I also have become friends with a remarkable guitarist, Reid Rogers (http://reidrocks.com) who has me doing things with an electric guitar that I have never before accomplished.  Reading has also chewed into my lifestyle.  I took off three days to read Dan Brown’s Inferno, which then led me to Dante’s Divine Comedy.  I’m also reading The Andy Warhol Diaries.  And my mornings still begin with the Journals of Henry David Thoreau over a cup of coffee.

Texas temperatures are dreadful in the summer, so my garage Man Cave has been abandoned till probably October.  I brought my favorite vintage Coca-Cola sign into the house from the Cave, and set it up on an easel next to my northern light windows.  Behind it I positioned this gate that was a Father’s Day gift from a lovely friend.  The previous owner of the vintage sign sent me a photograph of it fronting an evergreen tree, so I am looking at that image on a computer and trying to paint it into the backdrop.

This watercolor is on a full sheet (22 x 28″) of 300-lb. D’Arches cold-press paper.  I usually don’t quake over a $20 sheet of paper, but since I hadn’t painted this large in over six months, and hadn’t painted at all since my last 8 x 10″ over a week ago, I felt somewhat timid as I approached this one early this morning.  Lacking the technical tools, I used a frying pan to draw the circle of the sign.  I had to re-draw the gate several times, fitting the sign to its dimensions in a satisfactory way to suit the composition.  Next came the odious task of all that masquing–so many bent, twisted wires, steel framework and scrollwork on the top.

Though I have been at this since 7:15 this morning (it’s 8:21 p.m. as I write this), I have never worked on it for more than forty-five minutes a session.  As I wrote earlier, I’m a little gun-shy since I hadn’t painted on this large of a scale for awhile.  I kept backing off from it and re-checking the proportions of the composition.  Like the carpenter who cuts once, measures twice, I kept erasing and redrawing the Coca-Cola bottle on the sign.  Since high school, I have found the drawing of bottles extremely difficult.  I constantly measured and put this bottle on a grid, to make sure the proportions lined up, and kept double-checking the symmetry of the opposing sides.  But I enjoyed every moment, truly.  During my breaks, I continued to read from Dante, Thoreau and Warhol.  And of course, I’m always scribbling in my own journal.

Once the masquing dried, I mixed a cool highlight for the leaves of the evergreen and began by spritzing the paper with a spray bottle and floating the light bluish-green pigments all over the gate.  Once it was dry, I used the Fine Line Resist Pen to draw the highlighted leaves.  Once that dried, I mixed a concoction of Winsor Green, Winsor Violet, Alizarin Crimson, Transparent Yellow, WInsor Blue (Green Shade) and Permanent Rose to make as-near-a-black as I could for the shadows in the tree.  I applied this liberally over all the tree, then sprinkled salt in it and used the spray bottle to break it up.  After all that dried (plenty of time to read today!) I came back and removed all the masquing, applied Transparent Yellow to some of the highlighed leaves, then rendered some of the twisted wire and metal gate framework.  I also did a tiny bit of work on the Coca-Cola bottle cap, and some staining of the damaged sign.

The light outside has gone away for the night, so I’m finished for now.  But I cannot wait to wake up to this again tomorrow.  Today has been splendid, with painting, reading, journaling, and guitar playing marking the time, all of it exquisite.  I actually feel that my breathing has slowed down somewhat.  And school doesn’t resume until Monday!

Thanks always for reading.  It’s nice to be back in this mode again.

Musing About Andy Warhol’s Factory

April 28, 2013
Finishing the Cafe Still LIfe

Finishing the Cafe Still LIfe

Cafe Still Life

Cafe Still Life

I think Kerry Cash is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, luthiers in all of north Texas.  I have taken guitars to him a number of times for him to work on, and noticed that he would easily have more than fifty guitars arranged around the shop, with work tickets, waiting their turn.  My father, a retired auto mechanic, said that was how you could always tell a good and trustworthy independent mechanic with his own shop–if you saw his entire lot filled with vehicles waiting their turn.  People were willing to wait, knowing the mechanic was excellent and honest.

What always surprised me about Kerry, is that he would take my guitar, tell me he had 50-75 guitars in the shop already, and it could be a couple of weeks before I would hear from him.  Yet, I would always get his phone call in two-to-four days.  One day I asked him how he did this, and his response was that, when the guitars stacked deeply as to 50-75, he would dedicate a particular day to “cleaning up” by moving to the top of the list all the “small jobs” that didn’t take long to complete.  By day’s end, he was delighted to have more than twenty guitars leaving the shop.

That is how I feel about the watercolors that have been stacking up the past week-and-a-half.  I’m ready to start cleaning some of them out.  Hence my blue pail and my cafe still-lifes.  On this cafe piece, I’ve been working all over on the table cloth, pushing it more around the perimeter of the composition, extending the pattern in all directions.  I’ve also tweaked the shadows and definitions on the spectacles case.  I think I am very near finishing it as well, and will lay it aside for now.

I have titled this blog entry “Musing About Andy Warhol’s Factory,” because I have loved for over ten years every story I could read about Warhol’s Factory before his 1968 tragedy.  I was always amazed at his output, his energy, and the way he kept so many art projects going at the same time, and kept cranking them out, as though on an assembly line.  Ever since I have set up this garage studio, this Man Cave, I have laughed at it being my Factory, without the parties, the company, the drugs, the rock music, all the craziness with which Warhol kept himself surrounded during those wild years.  My Factory is quiet, especially at night, and even now during this Sunday. And I’m glad to be finishing up some work.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

One Final Day in the Man Cave Before Returning to School

March 17, 2013
Man Cave Rearranged for Festival Business

Man Cave Rearranged for Festival Business

No man will ever unfold the capacities of his own intellect who does not at least checker his life with solitude.

De Quincey

Tomorrow I return to school with a glad heart and a serene mind.  This week of Spring Break has felt like two, and I am boundlessly grateful for all it brought.  I only departed the homestead for one all-day excursion, which was a beautiful one, and most of the rest has been spent in my Cave.  I do love this garage as a space for painting, working on my art business, reading, writing in my journal, listening to music, and just feeling life circulate through my Being.  I have been surrounded by my art work as I set up a mock booth in the center of the garage.  There is a tremendous art festival coming up next weekend here in Arlington, Texas: Art on the Greene, in the beautiful park between the two stadiums.  (http://www.artonthegreene.com/)  Getting ready for it has modulated further my modular Man Cave, and now the large easel paintings form the wall that turns my drafting tables into a cubicle for reading and writing, as well as matting and packaging my paintings and prints for next week’s show.  I could say that this is Andy Warhol’s Factory, but no one else is here, aside from a cat and pair of small dogs, and I don’t envision Andy Warhol reading books and writing about his interior thoughts.

I have started reading The Cantos of Ezra Pound.  I have tried before, and failed to understand, but am getting great help now from Margaret Dickie’s monograph On the Modernist Long Poem, and am reading Dante’s Divine Comedy alongside him.  Some important ideas are coming to light, and I could be blogging them in the days ahead.  The week has been a venerable literary smorgasbord, to say the least: Hemingway, Joyce, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, e. e. cummings and now Ezra Pound.  They have been great “cave companions”.

I have over a dozen new greeting cards coming out with my watercolor reproductions on the front and texts on the back (blank inside).  I’m busy composing the texts now, so I have to close this blog and get back to work.

Thanks for reading.

A Day More Proustian than Warholish

March 9, 2013
Acrylic on Canvas in Martin High School Library

Acrylic on Canvas in Martin High School Library

My Spring Break should have started yesterday at the end of school, but I believe it actually began tonight at 7:03.  That was when Something Happened (I love that title from the Joseph Heller novel, and loved the novel–it should be read by every man over 40).  Now I feel a real Break, a real potential for cleansing, for enlightenment, and am glad to have enough “juice” in me to stay up awhile tonight and try to record some meaningful thoughts.

Among the plethora of books I’m trying to read at the same time (such a bad habit), there is included the Andy Warhol Diaries.  Geez, the man can be so vacuous!  It’s been reported that he suffered dyslexia, and therefore didn’t write.  The Diaries  are actually transcribed from daily phone calls he made to Pat Hackett.

So, with feeble humor, I begin this blog in Andy Warhol Diaries fashion, and promise to do it only once:

Woke up at 8:25 this morning without the alarm.  Showered, dressed, drove to Kroger and bought basic groceries ($45.30, 4 miles).  Cooked breakfast in the kitchen.  Spent three-and-a-half hours cleaning a study that I had abandoned over a year ago (second bedroom in the house) and gathering information to file my taxes.  Watched on TV the St. Louis Blues beat the San Jose Sharks in overtime 4-3 and was glad.  Got a voice mail at 7:03.  Filled up my gas tank ($58.92) and returned some belongings to a friend ( 83 miles).  Drove home through a hellacious rainstorm.

Great stuff huh?  Imagine someone buying a book with 807 pages of that.  I just did, and I’m reading it.  To be fair, I am gleaning the occasional Pop Art history from his daily musings, but wow, I have to plow through so much vacuous verbiage to mine those facts.

And now, the actual day:

Following breakfast I settled into my comfortable living room reading chair and continued my reading of Proust (Swann’s Way).  I could not get past this story:

[Legrandin] came up to us with outstretched hand: “Do you know, master booklover,” he asked me, “this line of Paul Desjardins?

            Now are the woods all black, but still the sky is blue.

Isn’t that a fine rendering of a moment like this?  Perhaps you have never read Paul Desjardins.  Read him, my boy, read him; in these days he is converted, they tell me, into a preaching friar, but he used to have the most charming watercolour touch—

Now are the woods all black, but still the sky is blue.

May you always see a blue sky overhead, my young friend; and then, even when the time comes, as it has come for me now, when the woods are all black, when night is fast falling, you will be able to console yourself, as I do, by looking up at the sky.”  He took a cigarette from his pocket and stood for a long time with his eyes fixed on the horizons.  “Good-bye, friends!” he suddenly exclaimed, and left us.

I could not stop laughing.  To put it in context, the author thought he had been snubbed the day before outside church by Legrandin.  Now, while walking, he runs into the man again, and out comes all this verbiage over one line of a poem that is supposed to be profound, and then just as quickly, the man walks away.  No conversation.  No exchange.  Just a quick moment to pontificate, and then move on.  I laugh as I recall the many, many times this has happened in my past and present.  Not just that kind of treatment from someone putting on superior airs, but that kind of insipid advice to look to blue skies when the woods turn dark.

But the line that actually made me record this was: “in these days he is converted, they tell me, into a preaching friar, but he used to have the most charming watercolour touch.”  Ahhhh.  I spent most of the day digesting that.  I guess I’m going to adjust my goals to include some line about trying to learn to write (and blog?) with a “watercolor touch.”

Not long after Proust “tagged” me, I suddenly, while texting a dear friend, was pointed to a new direction in watercolor that had been in the back of my mind for a few days.  And after these texts settled, I suddenly “saw” what I want to do next.  But alas, it is 10:53 now, I am still in the mood to read and write in my journal, and it’s raining cats and dogs outside and the Man Cave is smelling kind of moldy.  I also don’t enjoy the garage lights too much after dark, preferring instead to let the natural light flood in through the garage door windows (or even open the door completely, weather permitting).

So instead, I post this 3 x 4′ acrylic canvas I painted as part of a series of “book covers” for the Martin High School library (where I teach full time).  And tonight, I choose to sit up late and read some more of the Nick Adams series from Ernest Hemingway, most particularly the two-part “Big Two-Hearted River.”  That has been one of my favorite short stories since high school, and though I will not be able to journey to Colorado this Spring Break to fly fish for trout, I know I will again some day.  Meanwhile I enjoy it vicariously by reading Nick’s story.

My plan is to begin this new series of watercolors tomorrow, and begin posting them as they emerge.  Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the Hemingway canvas.

Thanks for reading.

Are there Meanings behind the Images?

January 3, 2013
Still Life with Ammo Crate

Still Life with Ammo Crate

The everyday things we live with are so beautiful and no one realizes it.

Andy Warhol

Temperatures reached 30 degrees this morning, with a real feel considerably lower.  The Man Cave was freezing, and I got so close to the space heater that I wondered if my sweater would catch fire.  Still I enjoyed rendering in watercolor the ammunition crate at the bottom of this composition.  My few attempts at painting wooden structures in watercolor have not reached my level of satisfaction, but this one is coming along better, it seems.  I’m focusing on the oil stains and grime that have soiled the surface over the years–the box actually smells as if it once contained oil cans. I also found it a pleasurable experience, lettering upside down.  The letters actually became abstract objects for drawing, and I hope they’ll come out looking O.K.  I could have turned the picture upside down, but chose not to.   I now realize that the crate needs to be re-aligned–something I did not notice with the initial line drawing, but can see all-too-well now that there is pigment blocking in the cubic shape.  I’ll fix that after I warm up and return to the freezing studio.

Recently I’ve been trying to discern the distinctions between Andy Warhol’s Pop images and Andrew Wyeth’s still lifes from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and Cushing, Maine.  My own sentiments have sought connections between those two artists and the Imagist writers that include Joyce, Eliot, Pound, Hemingway and Williams.  Of course, I am looking at those magnificent works over against my own attempts with painting and writing about subjects charged with memories from my past.  I like to browse antique stores and museums so that I can remember things that were important to me growing up.  And now, more recently in still life painting, I am doing the same.

With delight, I finally finished Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast last night.  Now I am back into the biography I started of him a few weeks ago, written by Carlos Baker.  I enjoy reading about Hemingway’s disciplined focus on writing during the morning hours.  It inspires me to set an alarm (as I did at 7 this morning) and enter the studio as soon as possible to focus on the painting enterprise.  Hemingway was satisfied if he completed a good paragraph after a morning’s work.  So also I feel satisfied if I painted only one good object after the morning has passed.  School begins next week, and I really must find some kind of a schedule that will allow me to continue making art on a consistent basis.

This morning I was notified by WordPress.com that they have selected my January 1 post, “Peeling Back the Layers” to post on their homepage under “Freshly Pressed.”  That announcement knocked the wind out of me, as I have admired the blog posts on “Freshly Pressed” over the past year, and wondered how those bloggers were fortunate enough to be posted prominently that way.  I never dreamed that such fortune could come my way, and I am still breathless with gratitude.  Thank you, WordPress!

And thanks to all of you who read me.

Caught Somewhere Between Pop and Imagism

December 1, 2012
Watercolor of antique Lucky Strike cigarette tin on antique table

Watercolor of antique Lucky Strike cigarette tin on antique table

Saturday night finds me relaxing outside the Barnes & Noble Store at University Park in Fort Worth, one of my favorite places to chill.  I am posting the finished watercolor that I signed this afternoon, having returned from the Tyler Museum of Art to admire the Wyeth exhibit.  I was inspired to finish some of my dangling watercolors, so I first wrapped this one up, deciding only to scuff up and scumble the left-hand side of the table top, which I thought was lacking in woodgrain texture.  I’ll never forget working on this composition.  The cigarette tin I painted earlier this summer, inspired by Andy Warhol’s Pop images.  I was afraid to paint a prosaic image such as this tin which I purchased many years ago in an antique store.  But I finally decided to give it a try, and enjoyed immensely the sensation of focusing on the damaged paint and rust on the tin, and most particularly the peeling adhesive stamp on the lower left corner.  I experimented with watercolor, colored pencil, watercolor pencil, graphite and salt texturing, finding all these techniques to be plenty of fun.  My recent doorknob paintings have given me the courage to attempt this table top as well.  I still have so much to learn when it comes to rendering wood surfaces.  I’m looking forward to more experiments here.

Thanks for reading.

Drybrush Beginning on my Third Vintage Doorknob with Musings of William Carlos Williams

November 7, 2012

Beginning of Third Vintage Doorknob Watercolor

With daylight saving time providing much longer nights, I found myself desiring to withdraw to the man cave this evening and begin my third watercolor attempt of a porcelain doorknob from my collection.  About ten years ago, I began collecting old doors to hinge together and use as temporary walls for displaying my watercolors in art festival booths.  Because the doorknobs and lock plates interfered with folding the doors together and transporting them, I removed them all, stored them in my classroom locking cabinet and forgot about them until recently.  Now I’ve gone on this still life watercolor binge, inspired by a recent visit to the Wyeth exhibit at the Tyler Museum of Art.

For several decades, I have pored over images of Andrew Wyeth drybrush renderings of dilapidated doors and knobs, and have stared at real ones as well.  In a Proustian sense, they take me back to my grandmother’s ramshackle house that featured abused doors and porcelain knobs with skeleton key locks.  I always found them more fascinating throughout my childhood than the doors of our suburban home–brass knobs with all the doors featuring the same wooden stain.

As I worked in the studio this evening, I continually replayed the Voices and Visions VHS tape of William Carlos Williams, a family doctor who drove around his small New Jersey town in the 1930’s, taking in images all day, recording them on prescription pads and converting them to poems every evening, late.  Imagism emerged in his works, along with those of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.  “Say it again–no ideas but in things.”  Several months ago, I made a couple stabs at painting still life objects in a prosaic, commercial fashion, much as Andy Warhol did with his Campbell Soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles.  I have pulled them out recently, wondering if I should put the images on an old wooden table, or in front of one of my ten vintage doors resting in the man cave.  I’m fascinated with these images of late, staring at them, watercoloring and sketching them, reading William Carlos Williams poems and continually looking at Andrew Wyeth and Andy Warhol paintings of prosaic objects.  I am not sure where this is going to lead, but I must say I am gleaning much satisfaction, personally, from these experiments.

Thanks for reading.

A Retreat into The Factory

September 23, 2012

The Recollections 54 Factory

Today has demanded a different kind of “energy” from me.  Whereas I have spent several days in retreat in my studio, finishing some original watercolors, today I have worked in a different room on a different task–framing, printing, matting, sleeving, signing and packing inventory for my upcoming festival in St. Louis (Taste of St. Louis).

The tasks haven’t kept me from planning my next series of paintings (“My Town 63050”) or reading Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, or even Steven Watson’s Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties.  I have enjoyed some quiet reading, writing, planning and reflection.  But today was spent, for the most part, bent over tables and workbenches doing the busy tasks demanded from mass production.  Even though Andy Warhol is usually my muse during such endeavors where I often listen to DVD documentaries covering his “Factory” production lifestyle, today I have enjoyed art films such as the motion picture Pollock, along with DVD documentaries featuring Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell.  Though alone, I have felt the companionship of great solitary artists from the past, creative heroes who still inspire me to push on and find new paths.

Pictured here is a stack of prints ready for packing, along with a few originals.  The festival is only a few days away, and over 600 miles.  I’m starting to feel the excitement of this new adventure.

Thanks for reading.