On pain and solace

There can be no beauty without the ghost of pain held within it. Although the wind … BY IZUMI SHIKIBU – TRANSLATED BY JANE HIRSHFIELD   from The Ink Dark Moon (Vintage Books, 1990)  

To illuminate that darkness –

Perhaps the primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid; the state of being alone. That all men are, when the chips are down, alone, is a banality—a banality because it is very frequently stated, but very rarely, on the evidence, believed. Most of…

Sunday poem

Rereading Frost by Linda Pastan Sometimes I think all the best poems have been written already, and no one has time to read them, so why try to write more? At other times though, I remember how one flower in a meadow already full of flowers somehow adds to the general fireworks effect as you…

Summertime

What you need to know about the public pool and beach schedule This is what has been happening lately, a of pack stranger creatures has been starting to assemble in my sketchbook …

Reading symbols

A short note on Goya’s “Red Boy” Portraits of children accompanied by animals have a long tradition in Spanish painting. Outfitted in a splendid red costume, this young boy, the son of the Count and Countess of Altamira, is shown with a pet magpie (which holds the painter’s calling card in its beak) a cage…

some days …

Even in Kyoto —hearing the cuckoo’s cry —I long for Kyoto. Matsuo Basho (tr. Robert Hass) Matsuo Basho

What art can do …

Good art activates both heart & mind. Its a dualisme not always well reflected in contemporary conceptual art. We often see art drowning in its own philosophical – or; as is more & more the case today – political slogans. I do definitively understand the need for political revolt; but for the artist the uttering…

The Odyssey of a Painter

Not necessarily because he is a favourite painter of mine, but because his meditations on making art is just wonderful And obviously; he also is a great painter The Bench Painting series (1989–2009), was originally conceived as an homage to the Italian Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno. Burnt at the stake for heresy in Rome in 1600, Bruno…

Looking at boulders

There are few things I like better than a great ekphrastic poem: Adjacent,Against, Upon Rick Barot —after Michael Heizer I may be looking at the set of boulders that is now in front of me, but it is you I am addressing. You are near or you are far, depending on the accuracy of the…

Learning by heart

Art does not reproduce the visible, but makes visible that which is not easily seen. — Kimon Nikolaides I’m reading Corita Kent’s: Learning By Heart and today her teaching made me think of Yoko Ono. from Grapefruit an artist’s book written by Yoko Ono, originally published in 1964. From Learning by Heart: … when we give names to things,…