April 28, 2006

Admin/Mail Call/Tots

("Tots" in Catalan means all or everyone)

Here's the belated MailCall. Your prodigal correspondant is at the doorway, folks.

(Still, we wait for my team to fix the comment engine. Patience of Job. Meditatively. Suspend desire and repeat the mantra. I trust that someday they will get on it.)

In the long-mean-time, let's open up the sack of mail:

Jim Murray sent his regards:

Hey denny ..been a bit a tiempo..dug to the max ur musings about ur
friend painter who had an opening a month or so ago..how u looked at him and
he was sa?ing something to u about having to pra? for all those people he
painted portraits of ..that was movey ver??groovey ..ver?

Yea, Henry Taylor is a quite a unique character here in ChinaTown. Any art scene gets infested with wanna-be's but the ambient residency of studio artists in our community keeps it real. Henry's presence keeps it realer makes it even more vivid.

also dug the bit where u four artists got together and painted after
treats ..very corazon-legible ver??neat blogentree..i dig it when artists
are compelled to be defrocked of clearcut-concrete sequential steps in thier
artmaking process...iow... we are compelled to show "what a big gesture
drawing"..that... all {first steps} essentially are and showing how
tentative and vulnerable one is at that instant.. Such public acts bewray a
cure for timidity to many watching..at least I am timid about such stuff..or
am I not..anyways great fun..ive been doing some collabrative stuff with a
couple of artists now for a couple years

Yea, the Couch paintings were fun, very Yellow House like.

havent been writing 2 much lately supposed to move out of the farmhouse
b??tommorrow and found nothing.my dear wifey is packing and freaking .o well
been in lots ruffer sits

One of m??daughters whom of course I love dearl? is pregnant in another
state and needing help to leave a dead end abusive relationship..so got that
pending within a week or so.....
so , as usual my life is brimming over with the drama quotient..ha

It sounds like your hands are full! But full of good stuff: a big family, farmhouses, poetry, students, studio....

took my students to the des moines art center there was a big retro of
richard tuttle's stuff real fun balloons , cardboard, sticks stones bones,
wire wires shadows ,styrofoam and all...a real treat of a gu??who "just
found something and made something out of it.." as saith mister j johns...
lets see massive congrats on new stuff..and ur upcoming show in gotham
city! Congrats ~! Wish I could be there this ma? ..i dig the most recent
snapshots..full of early april verdant mixmatch
verde/gravel-/vio-lay/bruised cranberry....whoooahhh keep it up babe..nice
lets see...oh ?eh u and architecture and teaching creative
rebellion...or cretively rebelling thyself.... HAAAA
here is a fine poem a-pros-pros

later jimmy jetta

Chris Jagers comments on the post on Alyson Miller's show at Bart's place:


Allyson's paintings even remind me of Paul Klee, I like! Where did she go to school?
What is she doing now?


School? I don't know, Chris, 'shoulda asked. Probably CalArts, Bart's alma mater. The story I heard was that after school, she was working in obscurity. She was probably shunning the hustle. Word got around that she had built up a body of work that artists in Bart's circle were interested in. Then Bart surprised her with the proposal for a show in his one wall, one day ocassional gallery. By the end of the opening, Bart's gallery across the way on Chung King Road (Black Dragon Society) had pitched her for a show and representation. All in all, a good story for the total absence of guile.

Jim Murray drops another lline:


He's a poet and not a painter because he is compelled to write too much (a complaint of verbosity?) although, in the end, he and the painter create through omission?

(Don't answer that.)

Thanks, Jimmy.
Jim Murray follows up:

yeh..umm taliking @ paintings as storms..we got our first batch of
baby tornadoes yesterday..tho intense..a certains part of me thrives on
meteorological transitions and the feeling rite ahead of a storm front that
u know is gonna bust on ya and change every thing...round here tornado
season is (traditionally) somewhere between 4/1 to 8/1 so guess every thing
is bout as regular as the rural electric bill
colors.. And storms..there is a beaut of a paintings in the stl louis
art museum..by george bellows..bellows was an excellent painter!and less
mentioned as one of those influence-engendering pre ab-exer harbingers of
big-brush-gush....from this century..not excluding rubens possesiveness as
the "early bird who got the {wormkey} to PINKS' importance to 20th century
oil painting....the certainment mister turner...and for lushlayermeisters
like dieberkorns op series..gericaults wisywashy backgrounds to his small
portraits..(whose paintings cher henri checked out in the monsterpiece of
masterpieces _de louvre....egro lending that "skratchthru the surface
isolated line" motherwell and dieberkorn threw into their visual verbage
but bellows did this painting in st louie of a "farmer"
waiting/watching an oncoming storm..and the sky is this gustonlike tongues
and messed up gorrve quilt of storm-sky slate blues..sickly green
greys...shard of gamboge..metamorphic mauves...and expresso opaque
indigoes..just powerfull..
no place to rent yet..but did come across a place that I ma? pick ur
wizard-architectural smarts about...this church in town has an old 4-square
2 story slat box house that they uysed for a parsonage...it is clean as a
whistle..the? don't want to rent it..but will give it to anyone who will
take it away..im gonna ask the county attorney what it would cost to lift it
off the foundations.and haul it to a sti..then ma?be I could get a discount
on some pella windoww(tho the present windows look good..(but id OPEN UP THE
ROOMS AND WALLS to a more rural-industrial art studio like space like ur
studio..(least I think that)...pella is up the road and I have friends who
work there who can get discounts..anyway?might be and idea..later on that

Sounds like a good deal, Jim. If you can do it, build a big basement or a block base (as footings that become a first story -studio- habitable wall) and park the church atop it. You'll have to build footings anyway, just build them big.

congrats again on ur upcoming gig in gotham city..denny..hope ur wifes
oowie is healing..!...pains a' touch a hell healings a' touch of heaven...
did my 3-6th art show last week..beeeuuuuttiiifooooouuuuuull!
mechanimals things, 2nd grade color designs, 3rd grade fabulous funky
freaky flying foul , 5ht grade paper mosaics, 4th grade drawings of designer
rockets on watercolor univers backgrounds...my jo? of the year really nice
to look at..like richard tuttle said in his brochure "I still get a thrill
of anticipation as a child picks up a pencil to draw"..yeh rich..me2....

Lucky kids there.

here is a sweet stanza @ color from underrated conrad aikens
"improvisations : light and snow" poem ...>{a pros pros
weather/affectations/words @ such feelings/color}

The first bell is silver,
And breathing darkness I think only of the long scythe of time.
The second bell is crimson,
And I think of a holiday night, with rockets
Furrowing the sky with red, and a soft shatter of stars.
The third bell is saffron and slow,
And I behold a long sunset over the sea
With wall on wall of castled cloud and glittering balustrades.
The fourth bell is color of bronze,
I walk by a frozen lake in the dun light of dusk:
Muffled crackings run in the ice,
Trees creak, birds fly.
The fifth bell is cold clear azure,
Delicately tinged with green:
One golden star hangs melting in it,
And towards this, sleepily, I go.
The sixth bell is as if a pebble
Had been dropped into a deep sea far above me . . .
Rings of sound ebb slowly into the silence.

Thanks, Jimmy.

Later, he drops another note:

Wowo after reading the bit @ ur pg friend, just went on a trip recollecting
the 7.5 years of my wifes life where she was pregnant..and connecting it
ruffly to ur bit about your paintings...wow..i made some drawings on the
beach in peru of her nude pregnant with these little bamboo reed pens I made
after seeing a book of vincents reed pen drawings..ive none left the
drawings were exquisite..( I rarel? keep things)..the? looked like a cross
between ashile gorky crayon drawings and milton averys drypoints....a style
I dig ..that is to say a style whose characteristic is punctuated by lines
drug exploratorily around by?their collar then occasionally smeared
erasuredly like a kid trying to get all the pudding off his plate..
'nother good title

You're an intense guy, Jim.

Peru, too?

The pudding image is particularly good.
An old Navy buddy wrote in:

hey hollywood,

i went on another trolley tour of historic savannah today. i always think of you when i am on the tour, always thinking "hollywood would really enjoy this town".

i was looking at the blog and always wonder about the blow up pics you take of a portion of your paintings. i like those and often think "why doesn't 'wood just paint a blow up so he doesn't have to blow it up?"

you're always welcome to stay with us when you visit. you "need" to come here. also there is a new art center here. the jepson art place, there's probably something on the web that will do it a lot more justice than me. check it out.


Hey Gary:

I hear Savannah is a nice place. I don't know when it can happen, but as my Granpapa used to say: "A tree falls in the direction it leans." I think it was a Spanish phrase. I'll lean on an East Coast trip someday.

Didn't you ask me about painting the enlargements I show in this blog? I search... YES! Here it is. Gary, is this one of your mischievious pranks? Like back in the day, you have a devilish capacity to needle into the soft spot t get a rise out of me. Click on the link and you'll see a bigger blogpost, a big rise it was. Gary, I'll bet you had a big grin on your face when you read it.

A devilish grin.

I remember Pat Costello asking me back then: "Dennis, do you like to fish?" Yea, I said. "Well then, do you like to catch a fish that fights like crazy or do you like to reel in one that just lays there?". I got the point, even though I had to relearn it many times over since then. I'm a fighter, not a lay-limper.

Here's a little more tension on the monofilament:
Well, I guess that wouldn't work. Besides, paint gets pretty heavy.
And crazy things begins to happen when the mass gets large.

It would be better to contract a Hollywood prop fabrication company to build a fascimilie of a detail, striaght out.

Well... pues...

Or, how about this:
What if I show the blow-ups as... what they are...
...fotographic enlargements?

Two rooms.

In one room, supersized photographic technological artifacts shown in the giant warehouse scaled globallly extended wolrdwide interlinked economy, disembodied facts of information....

In the next room, one human sized actual painting, from which the images in the other room are derived.

Here's a photo stream:








What do you think?

Jim Murray writes in again:

Havent red a novel in a long time..an old friend (fine sculptor) pushed me
into reading joyce cary's "the horses mout?" glad I did , a must read for
ever? artist..neways now I understand wh??he kept referring to me JIMson ha

Here is a great quote from the book..aint it the trufff!

'Certainly an artist has no right to complain of his fate. For
he has great pleasures. To start new pictures. Even the worst artist that
ever was, even a one-eyed mental deficient with the shakes in both hands who
sets out to paint the chicken-house, can enjoy the first stroke. Can think,
By God,
look what I've done. A miracle. I have transformed a chunk of wood, canvas,
etc., into a spiritual fact, an eternal beauty. I am God. Yes, the
beginning, the first stroke on a picture, or a back fence, must be one of
the keenest pleasures open to mankind. It's certainly the greatest an artist
can have. It's also the only one. And it doesn't last long , usually about
five minutes. Before the first problem shows its devil face. And then he's
in hell for the next month or six months or whatever it may be. '

Yea, an artists' life... this artists' life, work and play are one. And when you do anything you like or love to do over and over again, the key is whether that activitiy remains or can be made to remian fresh as the first time you did it.

Sheri? Franssen has a question:

Hi Dennis
Do you have any tips about finding specially-made paint brushes? Long-
handled natural ones (black sable, oxhair, squirrel). Rounds, flats
some made about 2 or more in wide? Most retail just aren't wide enough.
Thanks if you can help...I keep hitting dead ends.

Your work is looking nice, heavy dense and raw. Love it.

No, I tend to cut and reduce the bristles in store bought ones. I've restructured them, but I have never made them. I think Japan is the place for you. I'll look for some when I am there next year.

Kerry K. writes in:

Hello Dennis,

I hope all is well with you.

Have been taking time to tour the VirtuGrid of your site before considering myself informed enough to steal any of your time with a comment or two.

To ?Morning Reading,? I can say only ?you go.? Artspeak is a bane, one that I have generally tried to weed out of the little bit of writing that I still do, but it lurks there like an easy mark, the languageflash that blinds the uninitiated but does little to inform. Anyway, you nailed it and I second your emotion on that one.

And ?Slippage? was just cute somehow. March of the Cerulean Urchin.

Be well,


P.s. I know you?re likely rockin? out to get ready for the NK show next month, but when you?re back, if you?re up for a coffee break sometime shoot me an email or give me a call.

Definitely, let's have a coffee in CT someday soon!

Doug Henders is back from Berlin and he's letting the world know of his hidden love for panoramas:

Hello Dennis

Just back from Berlin, friends with inquiring minds want to know.
Wie Gehts? How was it?
Great, and rainy enough that I didn't take many snapshots or see much of
the Berlin Biennial. So in the name of community service I put together a
panorama from my previous visit of the new train station. Where the gaping
hole appears is now filled by a glass box. Still, it will not be finished in
time for the World Cup. Being a panorama lover yourself, thought I'd share.


Very nice panorama there, Doug.

There is a huge cohort of ChinaTown people in Berlin on the ocassion of a Perez Projects group show. I'll blog about it later, and I've asked friends to bring fotos to show you all when they return.


Thanks for the mail everyone!

Posted by Dennis at April 28, 2006 2:04 PM

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