April 30, 2006

Ahora Luego

(Luego hoy, earlier this Sunday afternon.)

Springtime is here. As I shake off the bewildering fog of chores and prioritize my have-to-do list, work in our back yard calls. Landscape lighting and rearranging the storage below the house...

...buh, the readership of this blog isn't interested in the have-to-do list.

Well, how about this:

...a tour of sweet California in our back yard:

A view from the back forty.
Here's another shot for the top, a bit marginal as a foto but I'll pop it up anyway:

The yard faces South and a prevailing breeze rises every afternoon. It's air that I imagine to be off the ocean, a layer that comes from a higher elevation that hits our Santa Monica Range foothills as it moves horizontally with the jet stream, air that hasn't been breathed before... at least for the time it takes for a transit across the Pacific.

(I wonder how many times a typical lungfull of air has been breathed before by humankind?)


Nasturshums come up every year and are strongest at this time. They spill out and flood the yard, even under the big oak in the shady front yard.

The hill that rises to our West is covered by succulents: Aloe, Century Plants, Prickley Pear and Bougainvillea. Spiney, thorny, difficult and a good barrier on the upslope side of our property.

Better watch out.

This sunflower is a carry over from last year, so we get the bloom early. I'm going to plant dozens of them in the side yard and let the seeds fall down and grow as they might in the oily soil on the hill under that stand of nasty stringy bark eucalyptus trees that screen the Eastern edge. The bees will gorge on the pollen. The birds will pick them clean.


It's time to plant the salsa garden: tomaotes, peppers and onions.


Posted by Dennis at 10:46 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2006

Morning Reading

"Hammer & Tickle":
Stalin himself cracked them, including this one about a visit from a Georgian delegation: They come, they talk to Stalin, and then they go, heading off down the Kremlin's corridors. Stalin starts looking for his pipe. He can't find it. He calls in Beria, the dreaded head of his secret police. "Go after the delegation, and find out which one took my pipe," he says. Beria scuttles off down the corridor. Five minutes later Stalin finds his pipe under a pile of papers. He calls Beria?"Look, I've found my pipe." "It's too late," Beria says, "half the delegation admitted they took your pipe, and the other half died during questioning."


These words shot out of the essay for me: a "spectrum from resistance to complicity."

Posted by Dennis at 8:54 AM | Comments (0)

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 2:04 PM | Comments (0)

ArtNet on Aaron Parazette

The first review is in from Aaron Parazette's recent show:

Aaron Parazette (b. 1960) is a former surfer who has been showing his work in Houston for more than 15 years, but comes for the first time to New York at Marlborough Chelsea, in the last show at the gallery?s West 19th Street space before it relocates to a new building under construction on West 25th Street, next to Cheim & Read. The opening for the exhibition of Parazette?s new work brought out a sizeable crew of New York painters with their own Texas roots. What?s more, they all had exhibitions in New York galleries. It was like some kind of invasion.

In addition to Parazette, there wasJeff Elrod, whose computer-aided abstractions were on view at Fredericks & Freiser; Susie Rosmarin with her gingham TV-test-pattern Op Art paintings at Danese; and Giles Lyon with a series of intense, semi-Surrealist works done in Sumi ink on paper at Mixed Greens. (What?s more, Charles Cowles Gallery is currently presenting a show of works by a senior Texan sculptor, James Surls.)
Talk turned to various kinds of Texas dish -- the in-house confusion that reigned at the Menil Collection in the years after the death of founder Dominique de Menil, for instance, and the family feud that divides the Judd Foundation and the Chinati Foundation, the two institutions that Donald Judd set up in his will, one controlled by his kids and the other by his longtime girlfriend. Really, someone should write a book. Or maybe not.

As for Parazette?s paintings, they?re stylish and sharp signs -- literally, each work containing colored shapes and lines that spell out a simple word like Butter, Juice or Surf, the syncopated letters edged with pinstripes against monochrome grounds so that they hover at the threshold between abstraction and text. The illustrated catalogue has an essay by Mark Flood, still another Texas artist. The paintings are priced in the $7,000-$15,000 range, or thereabouts.
Posted by Dennis at 7:55 AM | Comments (0)

Morning Reading

A tour of Arts AndLetters Daily turns up another fine prospect of the next book purchase*:

The Yellow House, full of irregular angles, cluttered with paintings and right on the street was barely big enough for the oversized personalities of its inhabitants. The two painters existed in a fug of tobacco smoke, alcohol and paint, cooped up when the weather was bad, living, eating and working together in a room only 15 feet wide and 24 feet long...
Sounds like Chinatown, Jake.

Then, I was humbled by this paragraph:

In December alone Van Gogh had painted 25 pictures, he was exhausted, often drunk, becoming increasingly unhinged and fearful that Gauguin was going to abandon him, as indeed he was...
I've painted only sixteen since returning from Tossa last Fall.

Man... oh... man.

Fly a little higher then, Icarus.

*However, the cover is rendered like a children's book, not so good. Is it written likewise? ...all sugary cute ...with tales of drunken debauchery alienation and suicide?

Posted by Dennis at 6:42 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2006


Picking up the pieces: I'm making lists, have-to-do's, pulling out the calendar, installing ventilation (right above the ladder there), chores and stores and lots of odds and ends. Call it the whiplash from monomaniacal behaviour, a kind of hangover after a holiday away from the prosaic.

Somewhere near the top of the list: blogposts of many things. Rich, dark, loamy earth to come, folks. And mailcall, too. Lots of mail responses in a blacklog (Sorry folks!).

Please stay tuned.

Posted by Dennis at 9:59 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2006


Hand off day.

Since I wanted to minimize the handling of the paintings, I kept them on the wall, and therefore I left the job of signing and scribing the titles onto the back of each one -for last.

Two fellows from Gallery Services came by to crate and ship the work to New York for my show that opens on Thursday, the 11th of May at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery. I hovered and advised, reminded and cajoled the guys to handle the paintings correctly. So much can go wrong at this stage. Even though this marks an end to the tension of preparing for the show, I won't be off the hook until the paintings arrive in the gallery safely next week.

Process photos as follows: 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

On the Subject of Titles.

It's time to make the list of works bound for the show. My numbering system is straight forward. Titles, though. Titles require an investment.

Here below the fold, is a list of works, each keyed to the source in the blog.

I've flown the flag that the blog is a bibliography for the paintings, a virtual stuido visit. When I first concieved of this, I was accomdating an intuitive impulse to blog, fitting the function of a diary to the practice of painting. I wanted to massage the inscrutability of non-objective or abstract painting, trying to respond to the reflexively insistent question: "What does it mean?". At the same time, a bibliography is in a posterior inferior secondary position in this telling, and therefore in service to the paintings.

I write this to acknowledge my belief in the expressive potential of the online diary even as I subordinate (sublimate?) it to the paintings. A rival after all, this I acknowledge.

It makes the painting a kind of literature, a desire to be seen as a product of scholars.

Oh, what pride lurks in that sentence.
This could be vanity, yes.

Then double or nothing: would it be vain to quote -myself... again?
Temerity is an occupational hazard for artists.

(Ante up: That feels sooooo good.)

What follows is map to the genesis of the titles.

Titles, hyperlinked.

Here they are:


Born Under Saturn
"Born Under Saturn.... a good title..."
Magical Thinking
"This, an excerpt from KCRW's excerpt from Didion's recent Year of Magical Thinking..."
Wave After Wave and then the Sea
"The great thing is that here in Chinatown, multiple generations are cross pollinating. Easily. Wave after wave and then the sea."
Things Must Change, Things Must Stay the Same
"The message of the suburban rioters: Things must change. The message of the students: Things must stay the same..."
The Antihero Might Frown
"Our age of the anti-hero might frown on this..."
Jungle Patrol
Take care, people..."
"The crowd is a tapestry, an abstract pattern of color and shapes; or it is something like an engulfing sea of humanity that threatens to overwhelm. Within those two categories, there are other choices..."
"Oh yea, and Steve: I'll work on that deer/creek/snow/mountain/moon painting right away."
"I'm squinting, coming out of the studio."


UPDATE: Chris Jagers writes in:

Congratulations on your new show! I really like that you are really trying something different with every painting. Thanks for the studio shots...helps me connect to you and your process. So few artists have the confidence to do that. How do you feel sending off these paintings?

Thanks, Chris!

You're right. There's a risk in subverting the mystique of the "great painter" with an online diary that appears to tell all. The cliche that "familiarity breeds contempt" must be based on reality to some extent. Maybe I'm relying on the stubborn fact that there's plenty of life that escapes the capacity of a blog to tell either through prudence, kindness (there's a lot of knuckleheaded folly to relate out here), a discipline to stay on topic (painting instead of the endless distracting minutiae of life) or ultimately the reality that every medium has limits and inevitably cannot avoid ellipsis.

I have mixed feelings over the ship out: I'm relieved that the nut of work for the show is finally cracked, and I can tend to the many other parts of life I have had to let fray. There are other paintings that I have been thinking of in the past week: little portraits andself portraits on store bought stretchers; a long horizontal that I want to hang in our house; another long one made vertical that I want to collaborate with Joel Mesler with; another green (yes) near-monochrome, dappled with little (what name can I apply to them?)... flowers.... (the process involves blowing gently with puffed cheeks into the forms that... flower up... from the rocking motion of of my improvised dauber tools -what fun). I will surely attend to these little inspirations eventually, but now they will not beneft from my monomaniacal indulgence. They will have to jostle with other necessary, albeit satisfying projects in the next month or so. But it would be a strange kind of wonderful to continue the momentum and slide into those other twitching notions for projects in painting.

On the other hand, the deep studio submergence is eventually oxygen depleting:

Jacques: You go down to the bottom of the sea, where the water isn't even blue anymore, where the sky is only a memory, and you float there, in the silence. And you stay there, and you decide, that you'll die for them. Only then do they start coming out. They come, and they greet you, and they judge the love you have for them. If it's sincere, if it's pure, they'll be with you, and take you away forever.
(Image Source)

Posted by Dennis at 4:17 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2006



Posted by Dennis at 1:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2006



Posted by Dennis at 5:21 PM | Comments (0)



Here are the last two paintings of the brace headed for New York.

I'm squinting, coming out of the studio.

Lots of blogging to come.

Posted by Dennis at 2:41 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006



Posted by Dennis at 6:46 PM | Comments (0)


I found an excellent blog for painting. No chatter from the author in a off the shelf blogger account. Terse, singular posts and a lively comments section -some people there I recognise from ArtForum's chat rooms but with tangential riffs kept to a minimum.


It goes into the soup.

Posted by Dennis at 2:39 PM | Comments (0)

Aaron Parazette Opens in NY

My good friend Aaron Parazette will open a solo show Wednesday night at Marlborough New York:

The Directors of Marlborough Gallery are pleased to announce the New York debut of work by Houston-based painter Aaron Parazette...

An opening reception for the artist will be held at Marlborough Chelsea on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The gallery is located at 211 West 19thStreet, New York, New York.

I'd love to be there, but here I am in my last week of work before the paintings get shipped out.

Posted by Dennis at 2:30 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2006

Admin/Please Stand By

Here we are, the final week at the end of a marathon of painting one canvas after another. I've been lucky to have had a tight schedule, and this tempo has been in effect certainly since before I've been blogging (see the archives). I've been luckier to have a wife who understands why I've been in the studio so much lately.

There are times when my packed schedule goes into overdrive, "the rapids" as I have been calling it recently. This week is one of those times.

The ground rush effect.

I like to quote my old friend Marcus Adams: "To get anything done in the studio, you've got to let the rest of your life burn." Or fray. By that, he meant not doing pragmatic life maintenance like laundry or the like. For me, this includes visiting a whole slew of friends as near as LA and as far as San Diego, Ojai, even Houston or Seattle... and now as the final days of free fire painting draw to a close: nearer as a laptop click of email or extended textual blogposts.

After this week, I will be able to un-dam the rest of my life and mend the fray. Next to meeting up with several friends here locally, there is a blogpost and mailcall backlog that tops the list, chores and repairs to perform at our house in Echo Park, plane tickets to buy and a summer schedule to plan, people to contact in Tossa to prepare for a summer of painting, people to contact in New York during my week there... and I want to take the scooter across town and show you all a tour of the art galleries in LA, I hear that there is a good show of Gustav Klimts at the County ....the list goes on.

In the meantime, I've got some painting to do!

Posted by Dennis at 6:26 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2006



Posted by Dennis at 3:41 PM | Comments (0)

Morning Reading

Mea Culpa*, I'm sure:

...I'm neither a critical theorist nor a fluid mechanic; I'm a linguist. But I do find examples of academic prose even within my own field that are a challenge to read because of downright bad or unsympathetic construction.

Here's one: "Using large, computer-based corpora linked to databases of socio-geographical information about speakers does, however, give us access to a bird's-eye view of what present-day spoken usage is, and we must surely accept as 'good' spoken English that which is widely attested across speakers of different ages, genders, social and geographical backgrounds, that is to say, our common coinage, the plain, everyday talk of the plain people of the speech community, and not just that of its super-skilful members who command the airwaves and the public platforms."


This sentence, all 86 words of it, has, lurking within it, eight clauses of various kinds, most of them embedded in others. The vocabulary is not that dense, apart from the words "corpora", "attested" and "socio-geographical". It's simply too long; it could have been said in half the words, or in two or three separate sentences. What is more, the sentence occurred in a general magazine published in another European country and read by locals and expatriates interested in the English language.
Posted by Dennis at 3:39 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2006


When I first noticed this, it was half the slipped distance. I calculated the odds of the capacity of this particular pigment to be able to dry in time to adhere to the surface of the canvas -versus the weight of the mass to overcome the sticky quotient and continue the gravity slide to the floor.


Action Painting.

I'd be pretty bummed if this thing tumbled down. But I also like the risk of it all and the vivid evidence of pigmented mass under stress.

UPDATE: I couldn't tell how much this was giving way, so I.....

I decided to mark the beast.

A good thing I did, too:

It was time to flip it horizontal for the night.

That should do it.


After 24 hours laying flat on its' back on time-expensive studio real estate, I hung the painting and in 30 minutes, another half inch of slippage.


So, I asked the folks next door at Rental Gallery to let me park the painting there so it can dry horizontally for a few days:
Bueno, cuadros. Relajate, tranquilo.


That should do it.

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Matt Chambers


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Admin/TRUDI Update

Jennifer Segal sent in a foto from the night of TRUDI's opening: yours truly with Henry Taylor, sitting on the curbside. Jennifer and I taught architecture together at Woodbury University back in the day. She's doing great, check out her bricolage-meets-off-the-shelf-practice: Office of Mobile Design.

I've updated the post on TRUDI's opening night, check it out!

Posted by Dennis at 2:36 PM | Comments (0)


(Feeling bearish. Sorry folks, but the ratio of words to images will suffer for a week or so until I get past this tight schedule. As I like to say: more hablaba to come soon.)


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Admin/MailCall/Steve Strassman

Steve, an old Navy buddy, reports a recent find:

got to admit.....enjoy reading your blog every now and again.......although I just don't see you painting those christmas card scenes that I like......you know....of the deer by the creek looking up at the snow covered cabin in the forest and the mountains in the background under a full moon......or is this an avenue you may be taking soon??

by the way......came across this sketch while going through some boxes today......don't know why I have it......not even sure who OS2 Baker is.......but looking at the date....and the "number of days to go" made me laugh as I remembered what it meant.

funny......had a dream about you, me and Tom Gibbs the other day.......very
weird.....maybe need to change medication.

anyway hope this finds you well.....and this attached scan brings a smile to
your face.

This is a nice way to start the day, thanks Steve!

Although, thoughts about the way the years can reel past is quite a strange feeling. We were teenagers then -baby faced fleet sailors, counting the days until we reentered civilian life. 1,234 days to go was the way everyone kept track of our time in service. Two digit short timers would look at my I.D. and sneer: "Rocks don't live that long!", my first lessons in taking it on the chin with a grin.

Here we sit thirty years later almost to the day! Now, I can report with authority that rocks do indeed live that long. And once we get our technological act together, we might yet live even longer than the rocks themselves.

Oh yea, and Steve: I'll work on that deer/creek/snow/mountain/moon painting right away.

Posted by Dennis at 8:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2006

Give and Take

More of a negotiation than a composition.

Posted by Dennis at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)


In this morning's reading, I learned of Elias Canettti and crowds:

The crowd image generally reflects the latent fears inspired by those who have gathered in the streets. Photographers who pick out an individual marcher choose a face that reflects the emotion the photographer, or his employers, finds most compelling. Just as the eye scans the multitudes in a Bruegel painting, the lens scans the crowd, and finds it festive or restive, attentive or dull, emotional or over-passionate. But those are really metaphors: The individual stands for the crowd.

It's the photographers who stand back and try to capture the expanse of a crowd -- and yesterday the crowds were enormous -- who make the real crowd images. They have, in general, two choices. The crowd is a tapestry, an abstract pattern of color and shapes; or it is something like an engulfing sea of humanity that threatens to overwhelm. Within those two categories, there are other choices. Is the abstraction an organic shape, that flows like blood in the veins? Or is it regimented and linear, something suggestive of a military force gathered for battle? And does the oceanic crowd attack fragile markers of civilization and good order? Or does it cleanse the decadent vestiges of an old and unjust regime?

(Emphasis mine)

Posted by Dennis at 4:24 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2006

TRUDI: Opening Night

Both cameras of mine were low in battery power as the opening celebrations got underway. So I'll be harvesting images from friends' cameras as you will see after the jump.

YACHT renders a turn in performance.
Here it is: Matt Chamber's TRUDI, full frontal.

Posted by Dennis at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

Blastodermic Vesicles


We (Stephanie and I) visited a friend this weekend (a couple) who has just become pregnant. Impulsively, I asked: "Can I blog it?" (I enjoy natural morphology, as I hope you have seen in my paintings and in this blog.) Yes, of course. It's early and we tread tenderly therefore.

The ability for people in the near future to see images of themselves at the blastocyst stage is astounding. I love being astounded.

Posted by Dennis at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

April 7, 2006



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Andrew Hahn


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April 6, 2006

Heavens on Earth?

Markvon Schlegell of Venusia fame arrived from K?ln yesterday amid warm fanfare.

A rolling congress of friends convened first at Hop Louie and later at Joey's music studio. Good music ensued, I look forward to linking later to PruessPress for audio downloads.

Another fruit of the evening was a new platform for a redesigned Democratic Party of the near future.

Practical and practically utopian*, we applaud two significant emerging technologies for a better world: First, we should soon be able to engineer stem cells from fingernail clippings instead of the grisley fetal harvest of the current state of the art. And secondly, once we can get into space easily we can build*2 solar collectors unconstrained by dimension, especially the biggest ones. The upshot: as much energy as we want, any time we want.

Functional immortality and an end to energy scarcity in our lifetime? Medical and economic magic bullets? No one can say with credibility that this will not happen eventually. I'm sure there will be a downside, there always is. But compared to pathetically withering to death and bloody internecine struggles for limited resources, who could blame a shoulder for shrugging?

*without the genocidal aftertaste -a technological market driven end run toward a better tommorrow, around bossy and bloddy Marxism.

*2 note here, how NASA is encouraging small scale market approaches to building a space elevator, among other things.

Posted by Dennis at 1:08 PM | Comments (0)

LA DriveBy


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April 5, 2006


(Image Source)

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TRUDY Inaugural Show

Matt Chambers is opening a new gallery, the fourth to grace the triad of galleries at the end of the cul-de-sac at 510 Bernard Street in ChinaTown. He's generous to show our couch paintings at his inaugural show, a tip of the hat to Matt.

Matt's got it going on, this gallery is going to be BIG.
So will he.

See you there?

A postblogpostnote:
There's no time to correct "ChonaTown" in the image above... sheesh.
Well, there it is.

For posterity.

That's blogging on the fly for you.

Posted by Dennis at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

April 4, 2006



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A peek behind the curtain here.

Posted by Dennis at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)


I've been thinking about this painting:


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April 3, 2006

Morning After

A day away from the studio, and this morning I walk in wondering if I will see with the same eyes as before.

OK. This, the distant view. A figure in a field, the third time around.

Mechanical reproduction flattens. We must struggle against it.

Try smultaneously combining this far view with a close one:



And of the day of taxes?

The weeds have been whacked back enough so that another evening later this week will do the trick.

Bureacracy. I have never liked it. It too, flattens.

I saw it first in my Navy days where I noticed the distinction between peacetime and wartime military service. I didn't like it in architecture school where the bureaucratic tendency constantly undermines the fine art of architecture. I don't like it in our art world, where it too, abounds.

I feel an essay emerging, but more on this later. I've got wood to chop.

Posted by Dennis at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

April 2, 2006


Taxes... can't avoid them.

It's nice to be home on a sunny day between storm systems.

This morning was bright with a blue cloudless sky and the sun vaporizing the moisture on the rooftops from the recent rain. By ten, all surfaces were dry. By noon, the sky is hazy from the new weather front coming in.

-Storm systems, like the schedule of painting that I've been in lately.

Paintings as storms.

Painting of storms.

I've got to get this paperwork out of the way and get back in the studio.

Posted by Dennis at 2:09 PM | Comments (0)

April 1, 2006



End of a long day.

Wrestling with red and a little yellow (makes orange).

I hope I like it in the morning.

Posted by Dennis at 8:36 PM | Comments (0)