• Wisdom
  • Confounding Permanence

    Discovering the selfless nature doesn’t have a monumental “Eureka!” quality. It is more like being continually perplexed, the way we feel when we’re looking for the car keys we’re so sure are in our pocket, or when the supermarket’s being renovated and what we need has moved to a different aisle each time we go […]

  • Wisdom
  • Wimanian Wisdom, Part 2

    Whether Utah (like this image) or Wiman’s West Texas, the desert can be a crucible for poets and pietists This is a continuation of the theme from my previous post…Here are a few more passages from Ambition and Survival, Becoming a Poet by Christian Wiman. His insights into creating—poetry and painting share so many aspects […]

  • Books
  • Wimanian Wisdom

    Christian Wiman I wasn’t familiar with the poet Christian Wiman before watching his interview with Bill Moyers. But his tone in that conversation—the comfort with the “don’t know” mind, a willingness to drop into the interior landscape in spite of many prevailing cultural trends that favor distance and detachment, a fearlessness in facing up to […]

  • Aboriginal art
  • Ancestral Modern

    Walu, 2008, Tommy Mitchell On display at the Seattle Art Museum: an extraordinary (as in EXTRAORDINARY) exhibit of contempoary aboriginal art. Mostly paintings, the show has been assembled from the collection of a Seattle couple, Robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi. Some of my favorite aboriginal painters are well represented— Emily Kam Kngwarray, Wimmitji Tjapangarti, Doreen […]

  • Wisdom
  • Simplifying and Quieting the Mind

    Capturing some of the layered installation by Spencer Finch at the RISD Museum These two quotes have been helpful to me over the last few weeks. I leave them here for you while I head to Seattle for a week. Perhaps they will open something up in your view of things as well. *** Simplifying […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Honing in on Johns, Smee Style

    The Dutch Wives, by Jasper Johns (on view at Harvard’s Sackler Museum) Sebastian Smee. How did Boston get so lucky? Having him at the Globe has made all the difference for me. No wonder my friends down under are still bemoaning his loss (Smee wrote for The Australian in Sydney before relocating here.) His recent […]

  • Art Making
  • Scully Nuggets

    Two from Sean Scully: The power of a painting has to come from the inside out, not the outside in. It’s not just an image; it’s an image with a body, and that body has to contain its spirit. A painting, really, is made by its reason for being there. What’s behind it decides everything. […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Developed Intuition

    The Twins, Castor and Pollux, by Dorothea Rockburne I think the reason I paint, or that I do whatever I do, is to deal with (I don’t think of it as unconscious) subliminal knowledge. And I do think that one has knowledge about things that haven’t occured yet, and I try to work for those […]

  • Art Making
  • Priming

    Close up view of a painting by Yayoi Kusama on view in Chelsea. This is a gentle reminder for me of the rhythm of the hand moving, the ritual of a mark being made A preoccupying theme for me lately has been the compelling (and at times, compulsive) nature of art making as well as […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Wheat and Chaff

    The unstoppable nature of art making…from a recent installation in Chelsea Adam Davidson‘s piece in the Sunday Times magazine, How the Art Market Thrives on Inequality, explores that rarefied world of art auctions, blue chip galleries, U.H.N.W.I’s (Ultra High Net Worth Individuals) and sky high prices. In a sentence: “The art market, in other words, […]