Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bob Camblin

The Professor's friend Bob Camblin died Sunday morning December 3rd. He came to Houston to teach at Rice the year after ther Professor was hired. They became fast friends and shared studios for many years . The Professor learned how  to draw and paint  from Bob.
 Bob was a gregarious story teller.He could entertain for hours as can be seen in the above picture . Bob showed his paintings and drawings at the David Gallery and the Moody Gallery. Then he dropprd out. In the 80s he and his wife Nancy and moved to the Oregon coast and then to the New Orleans suburb of La Place. His friends in Houston never heard from him again
In the 60's and 70's Bob and The Professor shared a studio off Montrose which they called B and E Productions and organized shows such as the Tatoo Show at David gallery (before Tatoos were a fashion statement). The Professor was let go from Rice. The Menils moved to Rice,The Professor moved to St. Thomas to begin the studio Art Department with Jack Boynton and Pat Colville . Joe Tate was hired to replace The Professor. The chair at Rice John O'Neil had a wonderful capacity for hiring teachers with whom he could not get along. John was a disiplined painter and teacher and he hired The Professor and Bob and Joe who were the exact opposite. The Professor and Bob and Joe teamed up as the Holding Firm and rented a house a block south of Alabama behind what is now the Blue Bird Circle store  and proceeded to knock down walls and build a second story deck with a third story tower and then a enclosing wall...all without a permit.
Collaborative drawings and paintings were  weekly lessons then collaborative shows at The U. of St. Thomas. Joe Tate's Backyard and The Camping Show were outstanding examples. Ideas...painting, drawing and  objects devoured us. The Professor has  home movies  on a DVD of many these events .The Professor thanks the Bascilian Fathers of St. Thomas for their endulgance. He was chair at ST. Thomas but Bob and Joe  became ever more divorced from teaching and were always in conflict at Rice...finally leaving teaching.  The Professor hired Joe at St. Thomas and within a year had to let him go and in 1974 the Holding Firm broke up. The Professor moved to his own studio on Peveto and then after his divorce to a house on Hickory and had no contact with them. Joe moved back to California  and Bob moved to a small studio in Waugh Drive. Bob was now divorced and several meaningful romances left him broken hearted.The Professor connected again and we began our friendship on a  less intense level. His small place was a treasure tableau of the curious and outragous that he had collected or traded was as entering a wizard's den. The Professor knows of no photos recording that space.There Bob produced wondrous work and entertained those who came by. Bob owned a Mr. Peanut costume/shell in which he often portrayed himself; signing many works Mr. Peanut and finally Anonymous..Then he stopped...selling or giving all the  treasure away. He met Nancy and they move to Oregon and then to Louisiana and we saw him no more. He did come back for a quick visit a to see Joe (who had returned) before he died. Bob was uncomfortable back in Houston and with his old friends who wanted to Know...and slippery as Bob was he quickly disappeared. We never heard from him except via proxies and we know nothing of his life or work. Recently his supporters in Houston tried to organize a show of his work at a Houston Museum to no avail. After his stroke there was a show of his work at a frame shop to gather funds for his and Nancy's support. There must be treasures in his estate.
It has been so many years that we have missed his presense. He is forever with The Professor as a friend and teacher.

Monday, November 8, 2010

new and old

Here is a new picture. Winged House. 48x24

Mary Margaret worked too.
Today in class I worked on this.
Then there was the warehouse...
Assembly Park, Delavan Lake, Wisconsin  early 1970s.
Map of the Professor's childhood summer cottage.

Camp Dan Beard  early 70s
Weekend Boy Scout  camp out site, Thatcher Woods, Chicago, Ill. 
Bacchanal I980s
He began this before he went to Italy and finished it after he came back.
Palm acrylic and glitter 1970s-1980s
There was once a landscape in  Maine.
Landscape with Tree 1960s-1980s
part of a tree series from the late 60's
The Professor will rework.
Recuerdo 1970x
Parts to be used
Skull with Cactus
A keeper
Mermaid and Triton  begun in the 70s and finished in the 80s after the Professor returned from Italy
Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico from The Professor's studio in San Gabriel, Etla, Oaxaca
The Professor loved this place. He went here as often as he was perfect. He made many pictures here. Rex and Lolly Marcum who owned the place loved and took care of many Houston artists. The Professor visited often as he could beginning in 1976 until he went to Italy in 1981. They are both dead.
 He loved them.
Some pictures work others do not.
The Path 1988
This works...and He will keep it, but it is uninspired.

Mermaid/Skull 1970-1980s He is considering doing more to it.

Winged Skull 1970s ???? Keep or not?????  He thinks he can do more to it.
If it was smaller he would leave it but its about 36x36 so more can to be done.
There is not enough time for any of this. New work awaits.
The Professor considers artist's as the true force and is amazed at the power given to those who make NOTHING. The pretense of gallery owners, curators, critiques, consultans, collectors and all those that decree and decide.  Yet the artist's needs them. There are so many of us, they do not need us. Today Picasso Matisse etc could not, too edgy, too demanding. Keep making it, do not stop. Do not be discouraged although it is impossible. BELIEVE!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Professor gets older

Election day. Who knows what the population will decide.
He turned 72. He is now considered old. How did that happen?
He spent the day teaching Byzantine art history...not his favorite period and teaching drawing . He also got to work on this picture. It is 48x60 and has been problematic since it's conception a few weeks ago. It has become something other than how it started.
October 4, 2010

October 6th
November 2   stage 1
November 2  stage 2
November 2 3rd stage
This one strange picture. The Professor will let it rest for a while.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mermaid Intervention

The Professor has finally decided that this picture is done. It is made up of old pictures that have been rejected by him from his estate then torn and reused.
Mermaid Intervention 48x48 
acrylic on collaged canvas on masonite

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Extra Credit

The Professor gives his Art History class a chance to bring their test grade up from a F to a D, or a D to a C etc. Here is the question.
Extra Credit
Due the next class
Completely and correctly written this will raise your Greek Test by one grade.
One of the architects of the Parthenon is responsible for another famous building
that is still in existence.
Who is this architect?
What is the building?
Where is it?
What was its purpose?
What major architectural innovations are found in this building?
Be Complete in your answer

 10 Tried and 2 were correct.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

White House

White House 36x24 acrylic 10-13-2010
This he began with torn canvas' culls. The rectangle in the center he painted white to rid an dark image and it became a white house with wings. Finished at school. The Professor's painting class was empty for the second time this week. He gets to paint a lot.
The studio 10-13-2010

Here is a Winged House from 1973, 72x72 acrylic, glitter and wallpaper on canvas

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

1974 was an interesting year

Self Portrait 1974
                                                         Singing Skulls 48x108 acrylic on canvas

Landscape with Skull 72x144 acrylic and glitter and dirt
collection of MFAH  This picture was in the Whitney Biannual 1974

The Professor made a lot of ceramics. This was his cactus garden behind his studio on Peveto Street
He had a good time doing them, but they have all self distructed. He liked cactus and skulls.

The Professor hopes to find this one in the archives. He does not remember the title. It has something to do with challenges and over coming difficulties. Charging into the future. ..Going to Big Bend and working it out. It's 60x144.  He did lots of large pictures. He would fill the 4 walls in the studio with 6 x 12 footers and paint them and then stretch new ones do it again. He had lots of energy. He would teach in the day at the University of St. Thomas and paint until 2 am, sleep and then go back and teach and so on..
The End 36x48 acrylic
 He found this rolled in the archive.

He had a show at the Texas Gallery when it was still on Bissonett.
He was the only Texas artist in the Texas Gallery. Three of the pictures he still has.
The big one on the right is the first large picture he painted. It is titled Caring for Oneself is Finding the Way.
The Indian in the center has been reworked a number of times and has been posted earlier. Caring is still to be uncovered in the archives.

Love Stories and other perversions 72x144
He sold this to a doctor . His twin daughters were his students at St Thomas. At their encourgement he came to the studio and saw it on the wall and bought it for $1200. Now it  is for sale at Sandy Parkerson's Gallery in Houston.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The History Lession

The Professor rolled up the large picture he calls The History Lesson and brought it to school where he hung it in the gallery so to see. Could not see it in the studio. He described its making in an earlier post. Not too bad he thought. Here is the photo.

The History Lesson 60x96 09-2010 acrylic

Sunday, October 10, 2010

He paints because that's what he does

Someone at school told The Professor that he had a self portrait in a show at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Sure enough there it was; a watercolor from 1973 of himself holding a cactus. He does not remember it, but the date and image coincide....lots of psychological angst. A wonderful patron of the
arts donated it to the museum: Eleanor Freed.

The Professor met the Doctors Frank and Dale Hill at a poetry reading by Michael Berryhill. Frank bought the first painting The Professor ever sold. He went over to their house and photographed it.
Landscape 54x52 1967 oil on canvas
This probably one of two oil paintings still existent. The rest have fallen prey to the elements. They were kept in his garage and subjected to humidity and temperature changes. He notes that the images and
stylistic manners  are still part of his work. It is circular, he cannot escape himself.
Here is one just finished and  not yet titled.
Untitled 48x60 10-09-2010 acrylic on canvas
Here is another 48x60 that he is doing. Stage 1 0ctober 4th

October 6 stage 2
It has become something else. It is called The Rockery.This had a mind of it's own and refused the first direction.The Professor believes it did not want to look like its predecessor.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

the results

The Art History exam  was a disaster. Not unexpected. 23 students.. 1 A , 4 B, 1 C, 1 D and 14 F.
He went over the test and  again explained how to study... he emphasized the material that might be on the test, but did not announce that "this will be on the test." He believes that students in high school are taught the test, not to think independently.
Today's lecture was the first of 4 about Greek art, the foundation of all Western art.  A few asked questions and even participated. One got up in the middle of class and left. Is that not rude? Could he not wait? The Professor is astonished at such behavior. Not that it is the first time it has happened.
Yesterday was good; his design class was full as was his painting class and a student from a few years ago stopped by. She went on to California and got an art  degree and is in a show in Dallas. It is nice  to see students from the past return and share their experiences.
The Professor is working on a painting whose subject is his painter's apron.
In 1971 he did a painting in which he embedded his paint apron in a dirt mixed with acrylic medium encrusted canvas. That year The MFAH decided that they would invest in some local artists and they bought it. They actually exhibited it for a while.
Apron 1 1971 48x48 mixed media (very poor image)
 He saw the show in the San Antonio Art League  of Marilyn Lanfear's work. The show is wonderful. She had some work pertaining among other things to aprons.This provoked memories of his 1971 work and he pursued the idea. Always use what ever you can in your own way.
Painter's Apron 2 42x44 first stage
Painter's Apron 2 42x44 2nd stage 09-29-2010
Painter's Apron 2 42x44 3rd stage 09-30-2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Misc. Stuff

The Professor be Bloggin
Nice to sit outside and smoke and have a bit to drink and talk at Jay's house. The weather has cooled just a bit. This is the first day of Fall and  a full moon.  No wonder so much craziness is going on. The Professor washed his cell phone again and has a new one to be activated at the cell phone store tomorrow..
The Professor is never surprised after 18 plus years teaching at the college. 3 weeks of classes and his attendance is diminishing. Drawing 1 was down 10 this afternoon, an important class, beginning perspective. One Point perspective is basic knowledge for drawing just  like shading. The next class is 2 point perspective and he wonders how many will be there. Next week is devoted to free hand perspective and those that come back will be clueless.  There will be the usual excuses.
He is always amazed with those who take his Drawing 2 class who have taken Drawing I from other schools who have no idea to how draw...What were they taught?
His Design I class at 8 am is holding and doing very well. Painting class? there are those that are always there and some come once in a while. He has one person who he has failed before, back again and doing the same....not being there. Survey of Art History I has it's first test tomorrow over Prehistoric and Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art, always a sobering moment. Art Appreciation class which was bursting without enough room to sit now has plenty of room; Only one class a week at 7 PM, a ten question test over the previous material that is in the book and covered in the lecture, is down by over 10 students. One person told  the Professor that he just got the text, therefore did not pass any of the tests and  thought it was a drawing class.  He was having trouble... meaning flunking the tests. I could barely understand him, his speech was so poor. As teachers we cannot make them come to class, read the text , take notes or study. How did they get out of High school? The Professor answers " by showing up". It happens every semester.
                                                                           The Professor paints.
Stage 2... fermenting for a while

Here is a 48x60 : Stage 1

Stage 2
The Professor read on Facebook James Surls comment about art critics.  Where are they? Or what is their importance? What the Professor reads are Fluff pieces. Don't offend. He remembers one critic who said of his work that it was "beyond the pale". He liked that, a real opinion, a criticism and a complement. That was in New York. The critics that he liked such as James McKeverly or David Hickey were good as long as they stuck to general theory. He saw a show that Mr. Hickey curated in Santa Fe a few years ago which was to say the least shallow and trendy. One artist was so out of place, Kermit Oliver from Texas a realist. The Professor likes his work. It is very personal and knowledgeable. Ah Santa Fe the self pronounced 3rd largest art market in the USA. A three month market in which to make a profit before the tourists leave and winter sets in. Anyone with enough money and social ambition to open a gallery without any knowledge of art history can open a gallery. They will have 1000s of Artists panting, nose pressed against the door to show their work. The Professor watched  a  tourist market selling feel good "art" with plenty of Knock-Offs of Knock-offs of  supposedly sellable "art". Is it art if it is shown in an art gallery? The Professor likes the anonymous Houston art market where it is part of the general economics.
Keep it personal. Use yourself for source material. Know your art history. Do not follow trends. Celebrate who you are.