• Aesthetics
  • We Are What We See

    Gordon Waters is an artist, teacher and good friend who now lives in Sydney. I’m a big fan of his work (you can see more of it here) and of the way he thinks about seeing and looking. When he shared this recent essay with me, I thought it would be an inspiring guest post. […]

  • Poetry
  • A Certain Body Heat

    He Lit a Fire with Icicles For W.G. Sebald, 1944-2001 This was the work of St. Sebolt, one of his miracles: he lit a fire with icicles. He struck them like a steel to flint, did St. Sebolt. It makes sense only at a certain body heat. How cold he had to get to learn […]

  • Spiritual
  • In Praise of Everyday Living

    Partially frozen fountain at Ojo Caliente, New Mexico I am in a bit of a detached and quiet place these days, a state of mind that is drawing me to Zen concepts, Zen words. One of my daily rituals when I arrive at the studio is to flip open Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Tao […]

  • Spiritual
  • The Complex Whole

    Monastery in Ladakh, 2008 Terrance Keenan’s book, St. Nadie in Winter: Zen Encounters with Loneliness, has been my companion while traveling for the last few days. An enigmatic mix of Zen wisdom—part personal memoir, poetry and recovery confessional—Keenan has offered me a rich variation on that unique conversation that can happen with a book. Early […]

  • Personal
  • The Small Ones

    Larter 3, a new painting from a series that may be inspired by the astral zone (but you can never be too sure) Outside History These are outsiders, always. These stars— these iron inklings of an Irish January, whose light happened thousands of years before our pain did; they are, they have always been outside […]

  • Books
  • Feeling the Dream

    Mandala, a symbol of enduring mystery (Rubin Museum of Art) A few months ago New Directions came out with a reissue of Jorge Luis Borges’ Seven Nights. Based on a lecture series Borges delivered in Buenos Aires in 1977, the book is full of the themes that will feel familiar to anyone who has read […]

  • Art Making
  • The Oleaginous Zone

    Bless Jerry Saltz for keeping the cultural landscape lively. His Facebook page and passionate following are legendary and talked about everywhere (and sometimes with a derision that smells to me like rank envy.) His blend of the personal with a genuine advocacy for art and artists is unique in the high visibility cultural critic realm. […]

  • Wisdom
  • Something to Say

    Green glass in my studio window Continuing on a theme of Fitzgerald… To have something to say is a question of sleepless nights and worry and endless ratiocination of subject – of endless trying to dig out the essential truth, the essential justice. As a first premise you have to develop a conscience and if […]

  • Creativity
  • Fitzgerald and Creativity

    F. Scott Fitzgerald I have never been keen on the idea of a creativity elite. Since 1959 when C. P. Snow wrote his legendary essay “Two Cultures” about the breakdown in communication between the sciences (“the white coats”) and the humanities, other us/them dichotomies have emerged. Creativity is one of those, highlighted in recent books […]