It Kinda looks like . . .

I have noticed, when exhibiting an abstract, people will often look at it and say “It kinda looks like a . . . ”  Maybe people look for the representation in abstract because the human brain tends to look for patterns or identifiable elements.  Or maybe because my abstracts are not full on abstract expressionism but rather notions of objects or circumstances in the material world.

This particular piece generates a lot of speculation from viewers.  Many people see it as a city, some see it as a sailboat at night.  I see it as an interpretation of a verse from the poem Sea Fever by John Masefield:

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky,
And all I ask in a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

City lights or ghostly ship, the piece is about mystery, something only mildly  recognizable in the night.  Something you can’t quite grasp, but you can’t let go of it either.

Something not quite real, in the real world.  I call it City Ship.  (mixed media on cradled wood panel, 30″x 30″)

City Flowers

I’m starting a new series of multi-media work.  A  multitude of small paintings adhered to a cradled wood panel.  The piece portray the sense and scenes of the city peppered with images of flowers.  I was in Chicago, in that part of the Loop, where the sun never penetrated the city concrete.  I turned a corner and there, on the steps of a dilapidated, boarded up building, was a flowers stall.  The flowers, some blooming, some already past their prime, wallowed in oversized buckets.  For a minute it all seemed so perfect.

The piece is composed of several small paintings on unstreteched canvas, mounted on chip board, arranged together into one 30″ x 24″ piece.

Ya gotta have Sunflowers

Ever since Van Gogh picked up a brush and transformed paint and canvas into the living and dying of the wild ones, every artist sooner or later does a take on sunflowers.  My sunflowers are not an imitation of Van Gogh, nor are they an attempt to capture the mystery or passion of the subject.  They are fairly tame flowers in a fairly tame composition.  They are like me.

But they would look good in someone’s kitchen!

Flowers

A new take on the traditional still life.  The work is painted on unstretched canvas, then mounted onto a cradled wood panel.  A modern presentation of a very old subject.

Can Flapping a sign in Denver cause a tornado in Washington D. C.?

Sometimes, when I hear about environmental regulations being rolled back, or Trump appointing more billionaires to Administrative posts, I wonder, is all our protesting and activism accomplishing anything? They are sooooo powerful and the damage is sooooo acute.
But then I remember science. And began to feel empowered again.

You see science, which is based in facts and empirical evidence—as well as a strong desire to keep things real—has shown us that the world is not what it seems. And it is not within anyone’s control. Systems are integrated and many, many variables can alter the outcome. Even something as small as a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can create tiny air currents which ultimately cause a tornado in Texas.

Sounds far fetched? Well there is evidence to back up the idea. Although the mathematics can become trying, here is just one example of the butterfly effect:

In the sixties there was a meteorologist at MIT by the name of Edward Lorenz. Lorenz was doing a computer simulation of the weather. He fed a certain set of conditions into the computer. The computer was to run out what the weather would look like months down the road. He then did a second simulation but this time, instead of drawing out the figures to six decimal points, he rounded off the figures at three decimal points. Everything else was the same. But after two months of simulated weather prediction, the two programs were showing wildly different weather! Lorenz realized that the only difference between the programs occurred the forth decimal place but over time, the difference increased exponentially. (FYI: Lorenz become one of the founder of Chaos Theory) This story is taken from a lecture by Steven Strogatz, Phd., Professor of Applied Mathematics, Cornell University.

The point is, everything you do matters: every sign you carry; every postcard, email, or letter you send; and every phone call you make. It may be your call that tips a politician into a more progressive way of thinking. We don’t know which “little” thing is going to make the difference, but we do know that the wind is blowing in a new direction.

Are you a truth teller?

I have an idea how we can combat climate change dis-information.

Climate Change Deniers have tried to block information from the public and with the current administration they have had some success.  They have put muzzles on government agencies that investigate conduct detrimental to the environment.   Unfortunately for us, we don’t need to rely on studies and future projections any more because we can see the effects of climate change  around us.  Chicago had NO SNOW for all of January  and February of 2017.  Denver, CO had 80 degree days in November of 2016.  There are a lot of other examples out there.  I bet there are some in your home town.

The truth is climate change is happening all around us, right here, right now.  And people in power will not even speak of it.

Well, we will.

We will not let them sit in their ivory towers and close their eyes and ears to the truth. If no one on their staffs will tell them, then WE will have to tell them.

Here is what you can do:

Send  postcards to your MoC and State government telling them about the climate change you are seeing in your town.

Send postcards to the executives at oil and chemical companies and tell them about the climate change happening in your community, State or region.

Send postcards quoting scientific reports. Be sure to name the report and the scientist you are quoting.  We as truth tellers have a responsibility to make sure everything we say is verifiable.

If you really want to make a statement, get a copy of your favorite scientific report and send it the Denier, signature required.

Yes, this will require a lot of paper and that in itself is not good for the environment. But the cost is negligible when you think about what is at stake.

Alternatively, you can email or call (and recite the report them on the phone), the point is that the truth be told.

My mother always use to say “the truth will out!” So dig up your fact and figures and get the truth out.

BTW, it is always good to let the local press know what you are doing.

Graphic

This is the graphic I designed to put on my protest sign.  Some of the posters people have made for the marches are wonderfully clever and creative.  I, as a visual artist, believe that one picture can be worth a thousand words and since I don’t have room on my protest sign for a thousand words, I’m going this route.  The graphic is a variation on Lady Liberty’s torch. The fingers of Ms. Liberty are representative of the diverse people who make up this country. I chose to place the word “Indivisible”  along side the torch because the fingers are indivisible from the hand, which is indivisible from the body, which is indivisible from the heart of this nation.

If you like the image, feel free to download it and put it on your own protest sign, or on a t-shirt, bumper sticker, banner, or whatever.  Like the Statue of Liberty, it belongs to all of us.

note:  If you don’t have the time or inclination to make  your own t-shirt, etc. the design will be available  on cafepress.com/pebbles98.

 

 

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