“I never really separated painting and literature.”

Claire Daigle writes: In 1959 Twombly executed some of the most spare works of his career, among them the 24 drawings that comprise Poems to the Sea, done on the coast of Italy. What order of poems, punctuated with numerals and question marks, are these? The sea is reduced to horizon line and word, scribblings and…

Trespassing time and place

Cy Twombly (American, 1928-2011) is a great painter, but sometimes it seems even more accurate to describe him as a great writer. He writes of many things: his love of other great painting and writing (and sculpture and architecture), his love of nature and history and of the places where all these things intersect most…

I DON’T LIKE HEARING that poetry is dying or dead –

I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems… Possibilities I prefer movies. I prefer cats. I prefer the oaks along the Warta. I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky. I prefer myself liking people to myself loving mankind. I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case. I…

To require perfection is to invite paralysis

“What I want to paint are the things that have been seen so often that people no lenger notice them …” —Eliot Hodgkin morning walk in the woods   “Insight comes, more often than not, from looking at what’s been on the table all along, in front of everybody, rather than from discovering something new.”…

truth be told

Though there’s an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle age. The only perk I can see is that, with luck, you’ll acquire a guest room. — David Sedaris (2018)

on making bad art

If you have ever read a better book on making art than Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland … I would love to know! Art & Fear is my absolute favorite in the genre of creativity, I read it all the time, and it…

The Artichoke

Artichoke: That vegetable of which one has more at the finish than at the start of dinner. ~Lord Chesterfield Artichokes are young, unopened thistle buds from the daisy family. If left to mature, the flowers can reach up to 5 feet in height. They are descendants of a similar thistle plant known as the cardoon,…

Art and Fear

Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. I guess I mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards)…

Regarding Beauty

Beauty has been a recurring theme in these writings of mine – it’s a concept constantly slipping away from any final definition. Andrew Wyeth, “Frostbitten” (1962), watercolor on paper (Private Collection. © Andrew Wyeth) In his book Why Beauty is Key to  Everything Alan Moore writes: I have always been fascinated by beautiful things: architecture, furniture, books.  Beautiful…

Winter Landscape with Skaters

I read a short text today that made me think about the artistic origin of urban sketching. Winter Landscape with Skaters is a 1608 oil on oak painting by the Dutch artist Hendrick Avercamp in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.   Urban sketching, as a contemporary phenomenon, is indebted to the Seattle-based journalist and illustrator Gabriel Campanario, who in 2007…