The Professor still feels off although improving. Because of the meds. he has been able to paint. He did not have the energy to work on larger work but he did 9 small pictures: 5x7, 6x8, 8x10, and 9x12. The Professor likes small pictures. They each could be much larger. Being ill at any age is not good, but at his age it has all the intimations of mortality. There is a fine line between health and sickness. At this time in his life he has so much hope in the future. Many possibilities have manifested themselves.
Opening day of classes tomorrow: Hello to class, give them the syllabus, tell them what to expect and send them off to get supplies so we can start class next period and then we have the labor day holiday. The classes are full.
His asthma has been bothering him for a few weeks. Today he had to go to the doctor and got a shot and meds and now feels thick and groggy, but is in the studio doing smalls and listening to Schubert. His daughter, the nurse, tells him that she has been telling him for over week to go to the doctor and stop complaining, what did I expect.
Don Redman suggested he make a table that could be tilted so he could work flat and not put so much stress on his back. That is what the Professor did today. A good thing to do on a hot Houston day. It turned out ok. His back is a bit out of sorts, but he can walk. All in all he is pleased. Now he can see the HistoryLesson better, He still likes it.
Everything comes from a previous 'something'. How it is that rethought makes it original? Each of us is an original, but if we only 'copy' we waste our originality. There have been very few in the last 500 years who have truly broken new ground and even they built upon the foundations of others. Giotto built on Cavallini; Masaccio on Giotto's and Brunelschi's perspective, Picasso built on Cezanne and the art of Africa. What makes each artist unique is how they rethink the work of their peers. To know your peers you must know your history.
Why is Art History so hard? The Professor's survey class always loses two-thirds of is students. Why? Because, students must use their eyes and mind and must use both symbolic and comparative thinking. This Art business demands cognitive skills.
To Fix the Space 18x24
Everything the Professor paints or teaches is derived from things he has digested from his peers. People can easily point out from whom or what he is borrowing. Where ever you turn someone has already been there. It is all one's personal discovery, yet the Professor sees that many people do not understand that what they are doing is simply copying or playing mind games with themselves and supposedly the viewers.
The Professor likes Duchamp, but he hates what his ideas have fostered, making art a silly mind game and yes, everyone can be an artist, so therefore, what is art? Whatever I say it is and so????
The Professor's years in Santa Fe and visits to other tourist driven art destinations taught him the treachery of the market. He saw knock-off of knock-offs of knock-offs. It all seems so easy. Take a class and you become an artist. Your friends will be impressed. Maybe one of them will open a gallery. Perhaps they have lots of money to burn and need a tax right off or perhaps a social 'lift'. In a market driven art world, why not? If someone has a gimmick, why not use it? The clientele usually does not know the difference. They just want the stuff to behave itself and blend into the surroundings. And please, let the art not be disruptive or disturbing.
Well, in typical tourist markets, people do not to be confronted. They want to feel good and they do not want real intellectual stimulation. The Professor was looking at the Matisse catalogue from MOMA and realized this type of work could never be shown in either Santa Fe or a city such as Houston. The work the Professor sees in the MOMA catalogue is too rough, too ground breaking, too confrontational for a sales driven gallery. He thinks about that a lot. Galleries must sell, artists want to sell. What to do? Happily, the Professor has a job. He is free to paint whatever he wishes. He puts his paintings in storage and makes another.
Here are some pictures from today, until he over did it....having too much of a good time... and his back drove him to the heating pad.
Tonight, the Professor is feeling better again. It's a new painting day tomorrow.
This is the first day the Professor’s back has not hurt him. Everyday has been painful. Last night he relaxed reading the end of the second *Girl with” series and watched more of “Mad Men” laying on a heating pad and he got up with little pain. He also did not work in the studio. He stopped doing pain pills which dulled the pain and allowed him to over-work, as if he needed to make some more. He does of course, each day the images/ideas begin. Here are some studio views from the last weeks and some finished paintings. They are changing. His summer recess is almost over and school begins in two weeks. Houston’s temperature in his car on the freeway read 104 .He thinks he should rant about something, but it doesn’t matter. It is very good to do what he does and to receive confirmation from someone close. He wishes there were others. He paints nothing for sale, but everything he makes is for sale.
This is the breakfast group at 59 Diner: David and Bill and Richard and Harvey.
Anonymous Delight 20x24 08-2010
Doors and Windows 20x24
The Bottom of the Matter 24x20 08-2010
What was Revealed 24x30 08-2010
Garden Plots 15x16 08-2010
Meanwhile back in the warehouse...
Crucifixion with Three Figures 1982 Rome
Crucifixion 1982 (destroyed)
Phyllis and Aristotle: The Eclipse 1976
Skull with Cactus 1975
Fall of the Rebel Angels 1986
Triumph of Neptune and Amphridite 1983 Rome
Odysseus and Polypheuus 1983 Rome
A Few more studio photos. The gentleman is my non-brotherinlaw John.
I was born in 1938 in Oak Park, Illilois. I have been an artist and teacher since 1959.
I received a B.F.A. Degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1960 and
a M.F.A. Degree from the University of Arkansas in 1963.
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 1963-1967
Rice University, Houston, Texas
University of St.Thomas, Houston, Texas 1969-1982
Lonestar College Tomball, Tomball, Texas 1992-present.