<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td><font color="#FFFFFF"> <script src="/js/jquery.infinitescroll.min.js"></script> <script src="/js/imagesloaded.pkgd.min.js"></script> <style> .encloser { text-align: left; width: 100%; margin: 0 auto; display: table-cell; vertical-align: top; padding-right: 15px; padding-left: 15px; font-size: 1.0rem; box-sizing: border-box; } .rightArchive { text-align: left; width: 100px; margin: 0 auto; display: table-cell; vertical-align: top; font-size: 0.8rem; padding-top: 10px; padding-left: 15px; top: 80px; border-left: 1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .33); } .encloser table { margin-right: -10px; margin-left: -10px; } .encloser th { text-align: left; } .encloser td { text-align: left; padding: 0 10px 3px; } .encloser Xtd:first-of-type{ padding-left: 0; } .encloser Xtd:last-of-type{ padding-right: 0; } .encloser figcaption { margin: -1px 0 1px 0; font-size: 0.9rem; opacity: 0.8; font-style: italic; text-align: left; } } .encloser article 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margin: 0 auto; padding-left: 0; padding-right: 0; width: 100% !important; } .encloser td:first-of-type{ padding-left: 0; padding-right: 0; } .encloser td:last-of-type{ padding-left: 0; padding-right: 0; } .contentPageDiv img { max-width:100% !important; height: auto !important; } } </style> <div> <div class="encloser alignLeft" id="encloser"> <!-- Blog Name and subscribe --> <div> <div class="tableCellDisplay"><h1>&quot;Love is short, life is long&quot; blog by Patrick</h1></div> </div> <div id="articles"> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1267" target="_top">Another birthday</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 22, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>Today my beloved step-daughter was born. &nbsp;I actually met her mother when she was pregnant with Hannah. &nbsp;Two years later we got together, and soon produced our own biological child, Dante.&nbsp;</p> <p>I was so charmed by Hannah, and her older sister, Alexis, that I couldn't resist having their mom perform&nbsp;one last time. &nbsp;So glad she did. &nbsp;In a matter of a year or two I had a complete family on my hands. &nbsp;Not that it was perfectly smooth sailing after that.</p> <p>I didn't have a job. &nbsp;I never have had one after age 26. &nbsp;And I had no idea how to raise daughters. &nbsp;I made some mistakes, but no one seems to care about them except me. &nbsp;The sisters have all developed into beautiful women. &nbsp;The fathers couldn't be prouder. &nbsp;And the adventurous mother is also happy with the continuing narrative. &nbsp;</p> <p>People are occasionally surprised that everyone gets along so well. &nbsp;We're surprised that they're surprised.&nbsp;</p> <p>Tonight Dante, Hannah, and&nbsp;I will go to Little&nbsp;Tokyo for sushi. &nbsp;We don't go to restaurants as often as we once did, so this will be a treat. &nbsp;</p> <p>We'll probably discuss how it's all boiled down to the hard-core trio. &nbsp;Once again. &nbsp;After 25 years in LA, and various loves, we are all simultaneously single, and not exactly eager to mingle. &nbsp;</p> <p>I'm looking forward to it. &nbsp;Probably go to Zencu Sushi. &nbsp;A favorite. &nbsp;Jackie and I must have&nbsp;hit it 100 times. &nbsp;Today Little&nbsp;Tokyo very busy, overrun by new youngsters. &nbsp;Back then it was dark and forlorn. &nbsp;Not anymore.</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1265" target="_top">the invisibility of the unpredictable</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 21, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>I woke up at 7:13. &nbsp;Exactly, because on the way to the bathroom I picked up my iPhone and clicked the screen. &nbsp;</p> <p>After pissing I climbed back into bed and checked the news&nbsp;on IG and FB. &nbsp;As I scrolled down I came across an article of contemporary philosophy forwarded by Professor Manny. &nbsp;It was about the nature of time, and I decided to read it, while I laid there. &nbsp;</p> <p>It took a few minutes. &nbsp;The author attempted to&nbsp;show&nbsp;how time doesn't flow. &nbsp;We imagine it to always be moving like an arrow in flight, but this is only because we've accepted that conventional&nbsp;image. &nbsp;</p> <p>I've realized something similar about the reality of time. &nbsp;It derives from that famous comment of Heraclitus, over 2500 years ago: you can't step into the same river twice.</p> <p>The implication being that everything changes, everything including yourself, and the river. &nbsp;Everything flows. &nbsp;</p> <p>But why stop with that image? &nbsp;You can't step twice onto the same sidewalk. &nbsp;Because it, too, is different every time. &nbsp;</p> <p>You can't step twice into the same pair of pants.&nbsp;</p> <p>Or the same pair of shoes. &nbsp;</p> <p>Everything is always different. &nbsp;Nothing is the same. &nbsp;Repetition is a fanciful&nbsp;ideal. &nbsp;A &nbsp;way of stabilizing our everyday life. &nbsp;If we actually thought about the fact that everything is different at every second we might never get out of bed. &nbsp;We'd be swept up in a cloud of wonder. &nbsp;Like Socrates who stood rooted to one spot for 24 hours, trying to solve a metaphysical problem. &nbsp;If a person tried that today the cops would be called. &nbsp;</p> <p>Philosophy is the scourge of normal, everyday, contemporary bustling. &nbsp;It may have been more central to the Greeks of long ago, in their slow, rural existence. &nbsp;Even city life in Athens would have moved at a glacial pace. &nbsp;</p> <p>But as for today? &nbsp;We need a much different kind of philosophy, or we're doomed to stagnate. &nbsp;Or behave like insects, always on some&nbsp;instinctual forced march. &nbsp;</p> <p>Anyway. &nbsp;I got out of bed, made a pot of espresso, and after cruising around to other sites, sat down and began to blog..........&nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1264" target="_top">A little less</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 20, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>My daughter and I begin our work day by cycling through the web, examining newly posted pix on IG and FB. &nbsp;And discussing other sites, mostly having to do with art. &nbsp;</p> <p>Dante is appalled by the shortcomings she detects on IG. &nbsp;"Look at their world. &nbsp;It's incredibly bad, even though the people can look all right."</p> <p>We then flip through several examples.</p> <p>"I would call this tacky," I said, pointing out&nbsp;a woman. &nbsp;"But she doesn't see herself this way. &nbsp;No one wants to viewed as tacky, which is never sexy."</p> <p>"This is beyond tacky," she switched to someone else. &nbsp;Someone who follows her. &nbsp;"Can you believe it?"</p> <p>"I see this&nbsp;world as pretentiously tacky. &nbsp;It's tackiness with an additional level of depressing phoniness. &nbsp;Tacky&nbsp;that aspires to something else. &nbsp;Not white trash tacky, but bourgeois tacky. &nbsp;Even worse."</p> <p>There are so many kinds of inadequacy. &nbsp;My eyes have been opened even wider because of online&nbsp;social media. &nbsp;I struggle to find words. &nbsp;Before social media there were only a few ways to see firsthand how mediocre the world is. &nbsp;Not just America, but everywhere. &nbsp;Popular magazines, tv shows, songs,&nbsp;even movies. &nbsp;I seem to have overrated people, in general. &nbsp;Imagined that they were more civilized, more cultivated. &nbsp;I'm being brought down to earth. &nbsp;</p> <p>"People seem better looking than ever, but also much stupider. &nbsp;I don't know if this is an improvement."</p> <p>"This is particularly true in LA, but it isn't as if we are just now realizing it."</p> <p>"Right, but I feel I'm being shown more layers of imbecility. &nbsp;Layers I didn't suspect. &nbsp;I recall what my brother once said. &nbsp;People will settle for less. &nbsp;People will be happy with less&nbsp;originality, less precision.&nbsp; They don't even see the difference. &nbsp;But it's still hard for this truth to sink in. &nbsp;And even harder to make paintings with this in mind."</p> <p>"I think they want too much. &nbsp;They always overdo it," she said. &nbsp;</p> <p>My daughter is the genuine minimalist in the family. &nbsp;She gets it from her mother, who has impeccable taste. &nbsp;Mine is spotty. &nbsp;Not natural to me. &nbsp;I've had to learn the hard way. &nbsp;Through miles of experience.</p> <p><br></p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1263" target="_top">Humanity&#39;s Garden</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 19, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>"So. &nbsp;How've you been?" I asked Gina. &nbsp;It was yesterday afternoon when she called.&nbsp;&nbsp;I hadn't spoken with her for weeks. &nbsp;All this, after her&nbsp;adventurous stretch, which landed her in jail.</p> <p>"I'm good. &nbsp;Everything is good." &nbsp;She sounded bright, and level-headed. &nbsp;</p> <p>"Where are you calling from?"</p> <p>"My apartment. &nbsp;I'm packing up and leaving it."</p> <p>"I thought you'd already done that."</p> <p>"Only half-done it. &nbsp;Just finishing the job."</p> <p>"Where will you go next?"</p> <p>"I'm thinking of Napa."</p> <p>"Sounds great. &nbsp;I'd like to visit you there."</p> <p>"I'd love that.&nbsp;&nbsp;I have so much to tell you."</p> <p>She's once again re-united with her dog, who's grown. &nbsp;</p> <p>"Mexico is over. &nbsp;I won't be returning. &nbsp;There're&nbsp;no more Mexicans left."</p> <p>This was a strange statement, and I didn't want to open a can of worms. &nbsp;Gina has some very unusual interpretations of life. &nbsp;I was determined not to set her off, although I mentioned that there were a lot of Mexicans in my neighborhood. &nbsp;She agreed, but changed the topic. &nbsp;</p> <p>"Well, I'm glad to be talking to you, and that we're still happening. &nbsp;I was afraid you might have had some angry thoughts about me. &nbsp;Like 'I won't ever listen to that guy again!' "</p> <p>"No, no!&nbsp;&nbsp;Not at all. In fact I've written a song that I'd like to send to you. &nbsp;It's called 'Space Brothers and Sweetheart.' &nbsp;You told me about that, right?"</p> <p>"I did. &nbsp;I'd love to hear it."</p> <p>"Okay. &nbsp;My parents gave me back my car, and this really helps. &nbsp;I'll drive to Napa and look for a room."</p> <p>"Call me when you have a chance. &nbsp;And send the song."</p> <p>I never know where my odd stories will end up. &nbsp;The "space brothers" are a group of glowing non-humans who a man told me about. &nbsp;They love the word "sweetheart."&nbsp; Among other curiosities. &nbsp;I've never met a space brother. &nbsp;It was only a story from a very original man. &nbsp;I can talk for days about the incidents in my life, but only a few bizarre things are remembered, and planted in another's mind. &nbsp;</p> <p>So happy that Gina is back in the game, and,&nbsp;according to her "not&nbsp;on drugs." &nbsp;A step in the right direction.</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1259" target="_top">What is value?</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 18, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>When I was growing up&nbsp;I never heard the word <strong>value</strong> around our&nbsp;home. &nbsp;It wasn't part of the&nbsp;conversation. &nbsp;It was an abstract, colorless term. &nbsp;But the value of value was everywhere. &nbsp;Value was an absolute reality, but hidden, implied, permanent, and powerful.</p> <p>Value extended to everything, in a mysterious, unquestioned way. &nbsp;It was felt in your bones, blood, in dreams, perceptions, and whisperings. &nbsp;</p> <p>Good and bad. &nbsp;Black and white. &nbsp;Nothing in between. &nbsp;Nothing fuzzy, or overlapping. &nbsp;There were people who knew at a glance how this separation happened, and these people had no doubts whatever. &nbsp;Their judgments were crystal clear and reached from the beginning to the end of time.</p> <p>The three supreme values were, as I found out later, truth, beauty, and goodness. &nbsp;But growing up in a medium sized town in Midwestern America in the 1950's it was goodness alone that counted. Truth and beauty lagged far behind, and were never viewed as co-equals. &nbsp;Goodness reigned supreme. &nbsp;It was never really challenged or debated to any serious extent. &nbsp;It simply&nbsp;existed. And was firmly in place at the top of the pyramid.</p> <p>Truth had a foot&nbsp;in our world, and so did beauty. &nbsp;But both were only given lip-service. &nbsp;You were not&nbsp;supposed to lose your head over either. &nbsp;Truth was cloudy and filled with rumors. &nbsp;Beauty was nice enough, but&nbsp;also a&nbsp;trap for the unwary. &nbsp;</p> <p>And at the apex of this world there was God, who ruled from his throne in heaven. &nbsp;God was of course good, but even more than that he was just. &nbsp;His goodness wasn't as impressive as his justice, where he dealt with people, according to whether or not they obeyed his commandments. &nbsp;</p> <p>The Midwestern God of the 1950's was a kind of accountant who had a massive&nbsp;ledger which was covered with marks, next to everyone's name. &nbsp;He never left out a single act, or idle thought. &nbsp;You died and then stood before him and received your score. &nbsp;It was hard to imagine anyone not fidgeting a little at that point, looking down at their feet, biting their lip, beads of sweat on the&nbsp;brow.&nbsp;</p> <p>But what if this picture was completely wrong? &nbsp;Distorted beyond recognition. &nbsp;A crazy fantasy. &nbsp;A juvenile bit of nonsense. &nbsp;What then?</p> <p>This is what the artist has to contend with. &nbsp;How to proceed from this point. &nbsp;With a new vision. &nbsp;And more perfected values. &nbsp;</p><p>God is so much fuller, deeper, and&nbsp;closer than we were taught. &nbsp;Rather mis-taught. &nbsp;And all the highest values shimmered throughout him. &nbsp;It was intensely dazzling. &nbsp;Beyond words. &nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1258" target="_top">up and moving</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 17, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><figure><img src="/users/PatrickMcCarthy1576/blog/1258/images/gray abstraction new.JPG" data-image="58421892"></figure> <p><br></p> <p>Worked on this one over the weekend. &nbsp;The solitude of a few days in a row gives me an opportunity to concentrate my efforts. &nbsp;By the time I quit painting last night I was pleased with the results. &nbsp;Not exactly a breakthrough, but a good abstract piece according to&nbsp;my standards.</p> <p>I wish it could be more personal, more original, but it must have those qualities to some degree otherwise I wouldn't approve of it. &nbsp;To like it at all, the canvas&nbsp;must faithfully express my vision of life. &nbsp;</p> <p>It's not quite finished. &nbsp;I can see a few areas where I'll hit it today. &nbsp;But it's at that stage where I have to be careful, as if I'm a doctor operating. &nbsp;Instead of a madman having a meltdown. &nbsp;The madman can start the painting, but the surgeon must complete it. &nbsp;Often repairing the damage of a frenzied melee. &nbsp;</p> <p>A painting requires multiple personalities, all working either simultaneously or sequentially: the raving lunatic, the sober judge, the charming drunk, the hot-blooded lover, the melancholy loser, the exhausted bum, the airy mystic, the silent&nbsp;monk. &nbsp;They all have a crack at making something that lasts. &nbsp; All seem like sides of myself. &nbsp;Some of the sides.</p> <p>Photographing it late at night in the dim studio gives it a vintage feel. &nbsp;Slightly grainy, blurred, darkened, classic. &nbsp;Leaning against a stovepipe helps take it back in time. &nbsp;The reds looks murkier than they are in reality. &nbsp;</p> <p>But later today I'll take it outside in the intense summer light of Southern California. &nbsp;It'll reveal things that can't be seen otherwise. &nbsp;And snap a pic with my iPhone.</p> <p>I often wonder if I'm gearing up for a big explosion of new work. &nbsp;And whether or not this is even&nbsp;a good thing. &nbsp;</p><p>Mystified. &nbsp;Must shrug it off. &nbsp;What will be, will be. &nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1257" target="_top">positive disintegration</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 16, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>A Polish psychoanalyst named Dabrowski had&nbsp;a theory of "positive disintegration".&nbsp; He's not that known&nbsp;in America, but he might become so. &nbsp;I haven't read&nbsp;his books but I'm thinking of buying a translation of one.</p> <p>I like the sound of his thesis. &nbsp;He writes of primary integration, which is primitive and more or less just a way of organizing yourself in reaction to external pressures. &nbsp;This results in a socially&nbsp;acceptable, but shallow, mediocre type of adult. &nbsp;</p> <p>This development doesn't go far enough. &nbsp;More energetic, overly excited,&nbsp;curious, independent&nbsp;humans will fight&nbsp;against&nbsp;these conditions, feeling that they're unreal, unhealthy, unauthentic. &nbsp;They then dismantle, break down, and&nbsp;dis-integrate this temporary structure, in a purposeful, deliberate&nbsp;manner. &nbsp;Like a chicken bursting through&nbsp;its shell in order to be born. &nbsp;</p> <p>A secondary integration process then occurs. &nbsp;It's more personal, with greater attention to higher, more universal values. &nbsp;This integration follows the positive dis-integration of the immature, clannish, conformist, narcissistic, alienated&nbsp;phase. &nbsp;</p> <p>I'm probably mis-interpreting Dabrowski, reducing his theories of human development to a mere sketch. &nbsp;But a&nbsp;fascinating sketch, to be sure. &nbsp;</p> <p>Each person has a&nbsp;path. &nbsp;A way through life. &nbsp;Either he follows another's path, or strikes out on his own uncharted, pathless path. &nbsp;</p> <p>You may begin on a well-traveled road, and that may satisfy the great majority of people. &nbsp;But there are also those rare few who take a detour into the wilderness, searching for something better.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;More fulfilling. &nbsp;More truthful.</p> <p>They don't automatically&nbsp;find what they're looking for. &nbsp;But at least they know for an indisputable fact that it's not back there with the anonymous masses. &nbsp;It's either up ahead,&nbsp;or&nbsp;nowhere. &nbsp;</p> <p>Or, most incredibly, right here and now, under your very&nbsp;nose. &nbsp;</p> <p>To dimensionally&nbsp;understand yourself, you need all the help, all the wisdom, all the experience, you can obtain.&nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1255" target="_top">be free</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 15, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>I'm amazed by contemporary painting. &nbsp;It's discovering its own long suppressed freedom to be itself. &nbsp;People have been shackled by tradition, convention, religion, politics, economics, superstition, and&nbsp;slavish opinions for centuries, or longer. &nbsp;</p> <p>Art isn't totally free. &nbsp;You can still be locked up or worse for doing something the world condemns. &nbsp;The cops are ready with their clubs and handcuffs. &nbsp;Ready and willing to pounce. &nbsp;</p> <p>But in America you can still get away with a lot. &nbsp;Before that happens. &nbsp;The artist is a co-conspirator with the law. &nbsp;The typical&nbsp;artist has an internal cop inside his brain. &nbsp;He censors himself out of fear, lack of imagination, or lazy indifference. &nbsp;</p> <p>The painter makes progress by confronting and conquering these obstacles. &nbsp;</p> <p>I worked late last night on a canvas. &nbsp;This is one sure way of getting a solid, uninterrupted peaceful&nbsp;night's sleep. &nbsp;I really conk out if I've physically tired myself before climbing into bed. &nbsp;</p> <p>I experimented with another new way of painting. &nbsp;New to me, at least. &nbsp;The results generally bring other artists to mind. &nbsp;"Ah--hah.&nbsp; So that's how they did it!"&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;I feel as if I've been let in on a series of secrets. &nbsp; These practices are not for the faint-hearted. &nbsp;They only reveal themselves to those crazy enough to risk it all. &nbsp;Often in solitude, unloved, broke, exhausted, sick, miserable . . . &nbsp;</p> <p>I'm not there yet. &nbsp;I mean I feel excellent, have a few bucks in the bank, some friends and well-wishers. &nbsp;I'm as close to happiness as I ever thought possible. &nbsp;</p> <p>Correct that. &nbsp;I never believed I'd be this contented. &nbsp;I didn't think it was for me. &nbsp;</p> <p>I didn't imagine&nbsp;I could ever feel this way if I&nbsp;reined&nbsp;myself in&nbsp;to such a rigorous extent. &nbsp;If I cut out all my absurd behavior&nbsp;so ruthlessly. &nbsp;</p> <p>I believed that a creative, concretely&nbsp;virtuous, life was painfully empty, but--in spite of this alleged&nbsp;deprivation--worthwhile. &nbsp;</p> <p>I never realized how full and beautiful it could be. &nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1251" target="_top">always the beginner</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 14, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><figure class="text-center"><img src="/users/PatrickMcCarthy1576/blog/1251/images/patrick and large blue-green painting.jpg" data-image="62876447"></figure><p><br></p><p>Here is a photo Dante took yesterday. &nbsp;The lighting in the studio might be good for paintings, but not as desirable for people. &nbsp;At least not when it comes to my mug. &nbsp;We had to try a few different spots to see where it was not so terrible.</p><p>When I grumbled about my looks my daughter said, graciously, "It's the&nbsp;lighting." &nbsp;Well . . . it may not help. &nbsp;Bad lighting. &nbsp;However, even the most Hollywood professional lighting can't work miracles. &nbsp;Not on this kind of material. &nbsp;</p><p>You'd think I'd be more concerned how the painting appeared. &nbsp;No. &nbsp;The painter is what catches my eye. &nbsp;I suppose this attitude hasn't advanced my art that effectively. &nbsp;Not when there is too much focus on the artist. &nbsp;Such absurd vanity. &nbsp;</p><p>On the other hand I've always preached that the art should become more beautiful simultaneously with the unsightly&nbsp;disintegration of the artist. &nbsp;</p><p>At least an artist has an intelligent way of compensating for his own decline. &nbsp;He can even make money out of his depressing state. &nbsp;Consider the final paintings of Rembrandt. &nbsp;Or DaVinci's celebrated self-portrait in red chalk. &nbsp;DaVinci was once regarded as "the most beautiful man in Florence." &nbsp;Many years earlier. &nbsp;Picasso took pleasure in drawing caricatures of old men when he was a member of that tribe. &nbsp;Old, horny, ugly men alongside voluptuous women. &nbsp;It probably made him laugh bitterly. &nbsp;</p><p>Life is compensatory. &nbsp;The pendulum never stops swinging. &nbsp;I'm old, but content. &nbsp;A failing memory, but a few simple insights are stronger than ever. &nbsp;</p><p>I guess it might be true: the first 100 years are the hardest. &nbsp;And I take this to be factual. &nbsp;The next thousand should go much more smoothly. &nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1249" target="_top">the pleasures of work</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 13, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>I was stretching some canvas and my daughter was planing a board. &nbsp;We can work in the same room, since it's large enough. &nbsp;</p> <p>"You know," I said, "I always feel better after I start working."</p> <p>"Right."</p> <p>"I mean it doesn't matter what I was doing before. &nbsp;Whatever it was it didn't make me feel as good as when I stand up and begin on another painting."</p> <p>"Have you always felt that way?"</p> <p>"No. &nbsp;I don't think so. &nbsp;I can't remember. &nbsp;After the first few minutes nothing is a pleasant as work."<br></p> <p>"But it depends on the kind of work."</p> <p>"This is true. &nbsp;It has to be your own work. &nbsp;But even that might not be the best way of seeing work. &nbsp;Any kind of work can still give pleasure. &nbsp;It's strange how people are so eager to retire, and stop working. &nbsp;It seems as if they didn't lead the best kind of life. &nbsp;And are still unable to live properly."</p> <p>"To find pleasure in work is the best. &nbsp;Yesterday I had to ask this friend of mine if he's still working. &nbsp;Lately all he does is complain about this or that small thing. &nbsp;And he's always sick. &nbsp;I think it's because he hates his work and wants to quit doing anything."</p> <p>"But how does anyone do nothing? &nbsp;You always are doing something."</p> <p>"A little less pain, and a little more pleasure seems to be the best way to go."</p> <p>"Right. &nbsp;To want a huge helping of pleasure is a mistake. &nbsp;As foolish as imagining no pain whatsoever in your life. &nbsp;These are childish ideals."</p> <p>"Being an artist comes close to having&nbsp;a great life."</p> <p>"For the artist himself. &nbsp;Or herself. &nbsp;But not for those around them. &nbsp;They have a hard time dealing with the artist's self-involvement. &nbsp;And his strange happiness. &nbsp;As he works away until the end. &nbsp;It galls them."</p> <p>"So people don't like to hear that you're an artist?"</p> <p>"Hah. &nbsp;They're deeply unimpressed. &nbsp;You ought to see their faces when I tell them&nbsp;what I do. &nbsp;The disappointment. &nbsp;The indifference. &nbsp;Even bordering&nbsp;on disgust. &nbsp;Maybe it's this town. &nbsp;But I don't think so. &nbsp;It was everywhere I've been. &nbsp;But I have a hard time not sounding proud of my vocation. &nbsp;Or calling. &nbsp;Gift. &nbsp;Whatever it is. &nbsp;I'm&nbsp;happy to be an artist. &nbsp;Are other people secretly envious? &nbsp;I have no idea." &nbsp;</p> <p>Face it. &nbsp;People think artists are nothing but boring crackpots. &nbsp;I even feel that way about other artists. &nbsp;Some of them. &nbsp;Most of them. &nbsp;Talk about getting no respect. &nbsp;Or about needing no respect. &nbsp;</p> <p>A good&nbsp;artist loves what he does to such a point that nearly&nbsp;everything besides making art is worthless. &nbsp;As dull as a parking lot.</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1248" target="_top">drop by drop</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 12, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>I was beaming from yesterday's realization, when another idea came to me. &nbsp;Hot on the heels. &nbsp;It must have been my overdue luck arriving. &nbsp;</p> <p>It was like this. &nbsp;I splashed&nbsp;my large painting with very fluid pigment, spilling it over the edge,&nbsp;onto the floor. &nbsp;Rather than track paint around the studio I then grabbed some blank canvas remnants and laid them down on the wet surface. &nbsp;</p> <p>On the following morning I pulled them up and realized that they had made an interesting pattern from the night before. &nbsp;From the liquid paint on the concrete floor. &nbsp;</p> <p>I stared at it for a long time. &nbsp;I concluded that I'd made a kind of mono print. &nbsp;A mono print is a one of a kind print pulled from a wet surface. &nbsp;I once knew a French artist who only worked this way. &nbsp;He used thick watercolor paper and a sheet of glass. &nbsp;He then brushed on a freely formed drawing and pressed the paper down on top of it. &nbsp;After a few seconds he lifted the paper and, voila,&nbsp;a mono print. &nbsp;Then he washed off the glass for re-use. &nbsp;Simple and effective. &nbsp;His name was also Patrick. &nbsp;I wonder whatever happened to him.</p> <p>I liked his technique but I don't care for working on paper. &nbsp;It's actually more expensive than my own methods. &nbsp;Plus art on paper ends up&nbsp;getting stuffed&nbsp;in the closet. &nbsp;People resent having to go to an expensive framer. &nbsp;They put it off and it never gets done. &nbsp;Then the paper disintegrates. &nbsp;</p> <p>After studying the canvas scrap I decided to stretch it and see how it looks, ready to hang. &nbsp;It reminds me of Sam Francis, or Helen&nbsp;Frankenthaler. &nbsp;Or even Joan Mitchell. &nbsp;But not quite. &nbsp;It has a very random patterning. &nbsp;Impossible to get with a brush. &nbsp;But this was the first attempt.</p> <p>It's one of the advantages of owning my building. &nbsp;I can make a big mess, every day for many years. &nbsp;No one is going to complain. &nbsp;Or stop me. &nbsp;</p> <p>I'll see if this discovery has a future.&nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1245" target="_top">realizations</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 11, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>I slept poorly. &nbsp;Had trouble falling asleep, then awoke early and feeling unrefreshed, irritable. &nbsp;What was the trouble?</p> <p>My Instagram account isn't working. &nbsp;I spent the entire day and much of last night tinkering with it. &nbsp;Nothing. &nbsp;It was still messed up. &nbsp;Then had to reset passwords. &nbsp;And after getting no response from IG support I guess I'll have reinstall, but I hope my page is saved. &nbsp;</p> <p>In addition I was frustrated with a large&nbsp;painting that I've been working on for much too long. &nbsp;It's not that I hate spending days on a piece. &nbsp;It's rather that it isn't turning out. &nbsp;After so much sweat. &nbsp;Literally. &nbsp;It's very hot in the studio. &nbsp;</p> <p>I drank my espresso, feeling that I am finally out of ideas for painting. &nbsp;I wondered whether or not I should take a short break. &nbsp;I realized that I'm not getting anywhere, and the harder I work the worse it becomes.</p> <p>But then I had a new flash of insight. &nbsp;It came out of the blue. &nbsp;Or maybe because of the book I was reading. &nbsp;It's on the philosophical practice&nbsp;of zen. &nbsp;I picked it up at a junk store the other day. &nbsp;For a buck. &nbsp;The author, Shunryo Suzuki, helped bring this&nbsp;subtle form of Buddhism&nbsp;to the West.&nbsp;&nbsp;The first zen temple in America is&nbsp;right here in LA. &nbsp;In Little Tokyo. &nbsp;Just over the bridge from the studio. &nbsp;It still exists. &nbsp;I've parked next to it dozens of times, on my way to a sushi dinner.&nbsp;</p> <p>It all started to come together.</p> <p>Painting, like other pursuits, improves little by little. &nbsp;With a lot of difficulty. &nbsp;Even agony. &nbsp;But then, when you least expect it, and&nbsp;having said to yourself hundreds of times, "well, fuck it. &nbsp;I give up..." &nbsp;</p> <p>Suddenly.......satori. &nbsp;</p> <p>I jumped up and grabbed a brush, mixed a bucket of paint, and started throwing it down. &nbsp;I covered the piece in a matter of minutes with a final transparent&nbsp;glaze of greenish blue. &nbsp;</p> <p>It looks beautiful. &nbsp;To me. &nbsp;It's a&nbsp;problem if I can't judge&nbsp;my finished painting to be&nbsp;beautiful. &nbsp;It may be a hangup. &nbsp;I don't know what it is. &nbsp;But when I stare at my painting I must believe in its beauty. &nbsp;</p> <p>No matter if it's a kind of rough, naive, unfamiliar, accidental, derived, conventional, unfashionable, sentimental, or violent&nbsp;beauty. &nbsp;Any type of beauty will do.</p> <p>Above all, above every other value,&nbsp;it needs to be seen clearly&nbsp;as&nbsp;beautiful.&nbsp;</p> <p>In my eyes.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At a precise&nbsp;instant. &nbsp;</p> <p>A lightning strike. &nbsp;Of visible beauty. &nbsp;</p> <p>Tomorrow it may seem less so. &nbsp;But that doesn't count. &nbsp;It'll always be less so (or more so)&nbsp;in the future. &nbsp;That doesn't concern me. &nbsp;It's out of my hands. &nbsp;It belongs to the bigger world. &nbsp;</p> <p><br></p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1243" target="_top">types of beauty</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 10, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><figure><img src="/users/PatrickMcCarthy1576/blog/1243/images/merciless beauty.JPG" data-image="42779082"></figure> <p><br></p> <p>I finished this one yesterday. &nbsp;It's the first piece of painted text that I've done using this technique. &nbsp;I suppose I could call it my personal calligraphy. &nbsp;Although calligraphy may be giving it more credit than it deserves.</p> <p>I painted over another canvas to arrive at this one. &nbsp;Man, it is heavy as a chunk of steel. &nbsp;With all these layers of plaster, paint, and asphalt. &nbsp;But you don't see that when it's hanging. &nbsp;Generally it's thick frames that give paintings weight in pounds. &nbsp;But this heft is due to its surface.</p> <p>I made the words with a ruler and by squeezing plaster through the pastry bag. &nbsp;Finally, brushing white house paint over the plaster. &nbsp;The effect is....I really can't say. &nbsp;Sturdy?&nbsp;&nbsp;Simple? &nbsp;Matter of fact? &nbsp;Personally impersonal? &nbsp;Awkward? &nbsp;Naive?</p> <p>Whatever. &nbsp;It does however have its characteristic message, like nearly all of my language art.</p> <p>The word merciless looks strange. &nbsp;It's not misspelled. &nbsp;Nor ungrammatical. &nbsp;But its strangeness must come from something else. &nbsp;Maybe the way it's slightly collapsed, fitting into the dark surface of the canvas. &nbsp;I say "into" rather than "on" the background. &nbsp;I had to plan the text and sketch it in first with chalk, which I erased after completion. &nbsp;</p> <p>The second word "beauty" looks familiar enough. &nbsp;You see it in many places. &nbsp;Signs, magazine articles, advertisements. &nbsp;</p> <p>So, about merciless beauty.&nbsp;</p> <p>It's a rare type of the beautiful. &nbsp;One of my&nbsp;favorite poems is La Belle Dame Sans Merci by the Romantic genius Keats. &nbsp;A &nbsp;great, imaginative, painfully lyrical piece. &nbsp;The beautiful woman without mercy. &nbsp;The merciless beauty of a particular woman. &nbsp;</p> <p>But of course this could also be referring to all types of merciless beauty. &nbsp;A storm, any person, a spiritual vision, an approaching death, an offer of a special gift, a ruin, a landscape.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>I have gazed at a supremely desirable beautiful woman and thought "she is infinitely ravishing and equally unattainable." &nbsp;This is a very conflicting sensation. &nbsp;Something I want in the most vehemently urgent way that is utterly beyond reach. &nbsp;This feeling doesn't happen often in a person's life. &nbsp;Maybe never. &nbsp;But if it does--it stabs&nbsp;straight&nbsp;into the&nbsp;heart's&nbsp;core. &nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1241" target="_top">The complexities of time</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 09, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>Facebook needs to have an automatic button that sends out birthday greetings to the&nbsp;group of friends. &nbsp;If you have over 400 "friends" that'll mean possibly every day someone will require a note. &nbsp;You will have to wonder whether or not to write. &nbsp;You'll drive yourself mad. &nbsp;</p> <p>I was surprised by the&nbsp;hoopla on my birthday. &nbsp;Extremely minor, but nevertheless something. &nbsp;I am generally indifferent to these chronological events. &nbsp;But like everyone I respond dutifully.</p> <p>Jackie used to make it a point to show up at the studio and paint on her birthday. &nbsp;I think however that she's not done it lately. &nbsp;These resolutions change over time.</p> <p>I wasn't able to complete a new painting by my birthday. &nbsp;It shows that painting-time differs from clock-time. &nbsp;My development as an artist is very different from my movement through space. &nbsp;</p> <p>Which is one of the many mysteries of time itself. &nbsp;Not only does it go forward, but it also retreats backward. &nbsp; I've always quoted Bergson on this: the future creates the past. &nbsp;You can observe this everyday. &nbsp;Books, programs, news, opinions: all redefining, reinterpreting, reassembling, re-discovering the past. &nbsp;And also falsifying and rewriting the past. &nbsp;</p> <p>Time is like unwinding a spool of thread, or a strip of&nbsp;photographic negatives. &nbsp;It goes from the present to the past. &nbsp;The latest to the earliest.&nbsp; Psychological time goes backward a la Proust, clock-time goes forward.&nbsp;</p> <p>We constantly examine the ways we arrived at&nbsp;this moment. &nbsp;We're all forensic&nbsp;investigators of the crime as existing mortals. &nbsp;Like the two-faced Roman god Janus: one looking forward, the other backward. &nbsp;</p> <p>Blazing heat in LA. &nbsp;Breaking long held records. &nbsp;Hard to do anything. &nbsp;Even lay still with an industrial fan cranked up and blowing in my face. &nbsp;But it'll pass. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>For now. &nbsp;But it comes back. &nbsp;More intensely. &nbsp;</p> <p>When people stop believing in hell, they get busy making their own version. &nbsp;This is what is happening today. &nbsp; On several levels.</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1240" target="_top">Basic requirements</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 08, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>Humans need food, clothing, and shelter. &nbsp;It's&nbsp;impossible&nbsp;to be&nbsp;human without these three necessities. &nbsp;They might be considered individual&nbsp;rights, guaranteed by all&nbsp;governments. &nbsp;But it isn't so today. &nbsp;</p> <p>When these three primitive conditions&nbsp;are met&nbsp;they are then&nbsp;followed by&nbsp;the advent of luxury. &nbsp;Elaborate dishes, elegant clothing, and ornate dwellings. &nbsp;That is, art. &nbsp;The most archaic society doesn't have art.</p> <p>If you lack food&nbsp;you will choose an apple over a painting of an apple by Cezanne. &nbsp;<br></p> <p>Three people could create a fundamental society by a division of labor: one would grow food, the other would makes clothes, and the third would build shelter. &nbsp;</p> <p>All functioning&nbsp;society means living for others, not oneself. &nbsp;A purely&nbsp;selfish world dies out before it gets started. &nbsp;Robinson Crusoe had the advantage&nbsp;of a&nbsp;wrecked ship which provided him with necessary&nbsp;tools. &nbsp;An axe, rope, gunpowder, etc. &nbsp;That is, things made by others. &nbsp;</p> <p>Humans living in luxury&nbsp;must realize&nbsp;that these privileged conditions were created by others. &nbsp;<br></p> <p>With luxury there is inequality. &nbsp;Rich and poor,&nbsp;higher and lower, bigger and smaller, front and back . . . &nbsp;until the&nbsp;original structures are covered over,&nbsp;hidden, and long forgotten. &nbsp;But they still are there, submerged.</p> <p>Absolute selfishness means non-being. &nbsp;You won't even exist. &nbsp;Not even be born. &nbsp;</p> <p>Humanity is automatically in debt to itself. &nbsp;For as long as it is in this state. &nbsp;To be human is to shoulder&nbsp;inescapable obligations. &nbsp;A human is an animal with freely chosen responsibilities.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>A human is a human because he understands that he understands himself as such.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1238" target="_top">Another year under my belt</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 07, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>Seventy-fucking-six today. &nbsp;76 years traipsing, blackberrying, slogging&nbsp;around this bizarrely beautiful whatever. &nbsp;</p> <p>What is this place, anyway? &nbsp;It seems so different examined&nbsp;from different corners. &nbsp;A testing ground?&nbsp; Yes. &nbsp;But for what purpose? &nbsp;</p> <p>Testing ground brings to mind empty desert sites where weapons are tried out. &nbsp;Bomb craters. &nbsp;Shrapnel everywhere. &nbsp;Sterile, dangerous,&nbsp;no man's land. &nbsp;</p> <p>76 years is&nbsp;a lot of time, or nothing at all?&nbsp;&nbsp;A mere wink of the eye. &nbsp;Or a drawn-out,&nbsp;painful, ambling, forced march.</p> <p>What is time? &nbsp;It's several things, but one thing stands out: <em>time is separation. &nbsp;</em>Into parts. &nbsp;Into past, present, and future. &nbsp;Into here and there. &nbsp;Then and now. &nbsp;You and me. &nbsp;I and Other-than-I.&nbsp;Into what I was and what I will become. &nbsp;And who I am today.</p> <p>But all these bits and pieces, all these sidelong glances, these passing profiles, comings and goings . . . &nbsp;what brings them together? &nbsp;What glues, welds, joins, knits them into a comprehensible&nbsp;wholeness? &nbsp;</p> <p>I can answer that: non-time. &nbsp;Transcended time. &nbsp;Richly fruitful super-time. &nbsp;</p><p>In short, eternity. &nbsp;</p> <p>Eternity is the creative hands of God forming my compliant&nbsp;soul-self. &nbsp;</p> <p>I wanted to finish a painting and post it today. &nbsp;I'm mostly done, but Dante isn't here to photograph me standing alongside it.&nbsp;</p> <p>I kind of rushed the painting, but that isn't such a bad thing. &nbsp;When it comes to painting. &nbsp;Maybe it's not so good when adding up a column of numbers,&nbsp;measuring a building, or assembling a space capsule. &nbsp;But pressing hard and quickly is can work&nbsp;when painting. &nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1235" target="_top">Still learning as I go</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 06, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><figure class="text-center"><img src="/users/PatrickMcCarthy1576/blog/1235/images/patrick starting a tall painting.jpg" data-image="21393192"></figure> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;Patrick painting, photo by Dante&nbsp;</p> <p><br></p> <p>I want to be able to complete a new painting by my birthday, which is July 7. &nbsp;So I started on it yesterday, having made the plywood support on Tuesday.</p> <p>I've always been pleased at the date of my birthday: the seventh day of the seventh month. &nbsp;A doubly lucky number. &nbsp;Not that I base anything on numbers. &nbsp;In fact I've always been&nbsp;obsessed&nbsp;by quality&nbsp;rather than quantity. &nbsp;But, like most people, I still pay attention to numbers. &nbsp;Just for fun. &nbsp;And occasional profit.</p> <p>I was surprised to learn one thing about my date of birth. &nbsp;It appears in a song by the blues great&nbsp;Willie Dixon, and was made famous by Muddy Waters' version: "The Hoochie Coochie Man."</p> <p>The lines read:</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; "<em class="redactor-inline-converted">on the seventh day</em></p> <p><em class="redactor-inline-converted">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;of the seventh month&nbsp;</em></p> <p><em class="redactor-inline-converted">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;the seven doctors say</em></p> <p><em class="redactor-inline-converted">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;he was born for good luck</em></p> <p><em class="redactor-inline-converted">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;and that you'll see"</em></p> <p><br></p> <p>And he writes&nbsp;in another place:</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><em>&nbsp; &nbsp;"he's gonna be a son of a gun</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp; &nbsp; he gonna make pretty women's</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp; &nbsp; jump and shout</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp; &nbsp; then the world wanna know</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp; &nbsp; what this all about"&nbsp;&nbsp;</em></p> <p><br></p> <p>When I first examined the words to this catchy tune I said to myself, well, what do you know about that!&nbsp;&nbsp;Am I the hooch-coochie man? &nbsp;And what exactly is the hoochie coochie man? &nbsp;Sounds . . . risqu&#233;. &nbsp;It's news to me, but then again, as Socrates said "know thyself." &nbsp;So this is another&nbsp;piece of the puzzle to my multi-sided identity. &nbsp;</p> <p>From one angle I&nbsp;have been lucky. &nbsp;And, in fact, I've made a few women "jump and shout."&nbsp; Not exactly shout for joy, however. &nbsp;Yeah, I've&nbsp;heard my share of blistering salvos from a pretty woman or two. &nbsp;My ears are still ringing.</p> <p>But the the world hasn't really wondered what "this all about." &nbsp;No. &nbsp;And I still consider that lucky. &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1233" target="_top">Begin again Finnegan</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 05, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>Last night seemed more like a battlefield than ever. &nbsp;Fireworks went off from dusk until the early morning. &nbsp;They were coming from all directions. &nbsp;From public parks, backyards, school grounds, parking lots, streets, driveways. &nbsp;Such a love of&nbsp;spectacle, of&nbsp;noise, and sparkle. &nbsp;It's all kind of lost on me.</p> <p>As a kid I was crazy about fireworks. &nbsp;But today? &nbsp;My nostalgia has its limits. &nbsp;</p> <p>And all the displays of flags. &nbsp;I am critical of flags. &nbsp;I've never bothered to paint one. &nbsp;I'm against the idea of nation-states. &nbsp;With their iron borders, their us-against-them mentality. &nbsp;Their latent eagerness for war. &nbsp;Their un-neighborliness. &nbsp;</p> <p>Give me a one-world government. &nbsp;Under one inclusive banner. &nbsp;To me this is progress. &nbsp;</p> <p>Brothers and sisters everywhere: unite! &nbsp;I grew up in a large house full of children. &nbsp;This is my idea of humanity. &nbsp;The earth is a vastly&nbsp;beautiful single-family home. &nbsp;Or it could be. &nbsp;Someday it will be. &nbsp;</p> <p>So much squinty-eyed&nbsp;divisiveness. &nbsp;Bitter hostility and groundless fears. &nbsp;A nauseating&nbsp;amount of self-satisfaction. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Where's the love? &nbsp;I once thought I'd live to see all the jagged resentments flooded with affectionate sweetness and gentle mercy. &nbsp;</p> <p>I was too optimistic. &nbsp;Old nightmares die hard. &nbsp;This planet has a long road ahead, out of its whirling&nbsp;confusion. &nbsp;</p> <p>Starting on a new painting today. &nbsp;</p> <p>Also begun reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's letters from a concentration camp, before he was murdered. &nbsp;His words have a very contemporary ring to them. &nbsp;He writes of the dangers of political and religious&nbsp;power, and "how the power of some needs the folly of others." &nbsp;Astute.</p> <p>Power and foolishness: like stale bread and rancid butter.&nbsp;</p> <p>This tragic&nbsp;martyr&nbsp;lived during an evil time, but he rose above it freely and responsibly. &nbsp;An example for us all&nbsp;today. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1229" target="_top">Not very independent</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 04, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><p>The more I live, and the more I delve into things, I realize that I am less and less original. &nbsp;I'm beginning to see that originality is nothing but another delusion, one of&nbsp;the biggest, and often the last to go. &nbsp;At least for those who see themselves as "creative."</p> <p>Everything comes from something. &nbsp;Or someone. &nbsp;It's a long line that goes around the block, out of sight. &nbsp;</p> <p>If you imagine that someone is original you haven't looked hard enough. &nbsp;Or lived long enough. &nbsp;</p> <p>The best you can say about someone is that they're diverting. &nbsp;Entertaining. &nbsp;Not completely&nbsp;dull. &nbsp;That they've managed to keep a small blue flame flickering. &nbsp;Until it gutters out.&nbsp;</p> <p>But isn't it a little much to expect people, anyone anywhere, to always be fascinating? &nbsp;And it's the height of egoism to imagine that you never become boring to yourself. &nbsp;</p> <p>Originality is like a thunderstorm that keeps you alert for as long as it lasts. &nbsp;And it always ends. &nbsp;All the things that seemed original actually were original --- to you. &nbsp;At that miraculous&nbsp;moment. &nbsp;That's the essence of originality. &nbsp;A flash of eternity ripping like a&nbsp;meteor&nbsp;through time and space.&nbsp;</p> <p>Original means not pass&#233;. &nbsp;But everything slips into past, sooner or later. &nbsp;Which means that it's no longer thrilling, no longer original. &nbsp;Or that it's merely original for others. &nbsp;</p> <p>Original: it takes one to know one. &nbsp;It's as if original means unpopular and hidden. &nbsp;If you know about it, then it's not that&nbsp;original. &nbsp;It's something that's never on the tip of everyone's tongue. &nbsp;</p> <p>Original is like the shyest animal of all. &nbsp;So rare as if it doesn't even exist. &nbsp;You could spend a lifetime tracking it, searching for its burrow. &nbsp;Maybe it's only a rumor. &nbsp;Or (more likely) cunningly hidden in plain view. &nbsp;</p> <p>Time to tend my so-to-speak&nbsp;garden. &nbsp;Isn't that what Voltaire advised?</p> <p><br></p> <p><br></p></div> </article> <article> <div class="padtop30" style="border-top:1px solid rgba(255, 255, 255, .25);"><a href="/blog/post.html?postid=1228" target="_top">born to kiss</a></div> <div class="postDate opacity60">July 03, 2017 </div> <div class="alignLeft"><figure><img src="/users/PatrickMcCarthy1576/blog/1228/images/born to kiss.jpg" data-image="28057607"></figure> <p><br></p> <p>I posted this yesterday on IG. &nbsp;It received a fair number of likes, and even someone wants to buy it. &nbsp;This is a good sign for me, since it represents a newer direction for the future. &nbsp;</p> <p>I've made thousands of paintings with words involved, but this is the first one where I simply made the letters freehand without using any other prop. &nbsp;No standard fonts, no projection, no silkscreen,&nbsp;not even a straight edge. &nbsp;Just working spontaneously, eyeballing as I go.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;I know. &nbsp;It looks it. &nbsp;I have to improve, and because of this I see where improvement is possible.</p> <p>With art you have to make it and then go from there. &nbsp;It must become concrete, above all. &nbsp;It can't be done in your brain. &nbsp;And it must allow for changes during the process of actual construction. &nbsp;</p> <p>Ideally it&nbsp;means&nbsp;perfect harmony between theory and practice. &nbsp;Not too much or too little of either. &nbsp;</p> <p>The form and content in art is, or should be, identical. &nbsp;How it's done is no different from what is done.</p> <p>This takes a little getting used to. &nbsp;This unity of form and content. &nbsp;For me it's been a hard concept to fully accept. &nbsp;To fully understand. &nbsp;But it's slowly sinking in. &nbsp;</p> <p>The idea of this painting rises above gender, sexual orientation, age, and culture. &nbsp;I think of it as a desirable woman who can't&nbsp;help creating a little havoc wherever she goes. &nbsp;The problem of intense beauty entering the world. &nbsp;Like&nbsp;Brigitte Bardot. &nbsp;How she must have upset everything in her midst when she first appeared at around 18. &nbsp;</p> <p>My daughter reads it and sees a very handsome man. &nbsp;A real&nbsp;heart-breaker. &nbsp;She accepts that it could be a Bardot, but "most pretty girls are in tears more than anything else." &nbsp;They don't devastate a dazzled community. &nbsp;Their looks only matter to a degree, and no further. &nbsp;</p> <p>Whatever the case, it can function as an inkblot test for people. &nbsp;They see in it whatever they want to see. &nbsp;Whatever has shattered their comfort level. &nbsp;</p> <p>Volcanic, merciless beauty . . .&nbsp;</p></div> </article> <a id="next" href="/ajax/blogposts.html?lastpost=1" style="display:none">more</a> </div> </div> </div> <script> $(function() { $('.encloser img').imagesLoaded( function() { $('.encloser img').each(function(i) { var t = new Image(); t.src = $(this).attr('src'); $(this).attr('style',('max-width: '+ t.width + 'px; width: 100%')); $(this).css({'visibility':'visible'}); }); }); theIndex = 1; $('#encloser').infinitescroll({ navSelector : "a#next:last", nextSelector : "a#next:last", itemSelector : "article", dataType : 'html', maxPage 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