art

the art of making art

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“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.” 
the words above are really wonderful. they represent an idea which seems so progressed, so advanced, and so worth achieving. however that idea seems so far away at times, too. i have yet to live with my heart open consistently. i manage it at times. i feel good during those times. i also slide back to living a smaller life rife with emotional reactions, gut impulse, and intricate tribal type war dances that signal messages to the universe. 
these latter mentioned times are not my proudest moments. if i were to compare them to paint on a palette, those moments would be the darker hues, violets, deep reds, black blues, black greens and browns- shame, blame, denial, and fear all becoming like leg irons creating shadow and drama. as i metaphorically capture my life with brush in the current time, i may very well be using the blacker tones. strangely, i seem almost stuck in a spiral of these dark hues- almost drawn to them- even when i want nothing more than to blast bright yellow or pink on the canvas. 
hockney sketch of he and picasso
none-the-less my agenda is to learn to be different. to be open, to be curious, to work with fear, and to not shut down first. big hopes for a small town boy. i paint and i throw away. and i paint and i paint over. i paint  and i set aside. and just as david hockney suggested about the work of picasso- it is all the same connected piece of work- just like a japanese paper scroll- that rustles, and twitches, and has its own life while it is viewed as a whole.
This is one way in which Hockney has maintained a close, posthumous relationship with Picasso. Early on, the Spaniard’s abrupt changes of style had licensed Hockney to do the same. One of the aspects of both artists that confuses commentators is their stylistic shape-shifting. Lesser artists, Hockney wrote in 1976, can get trapped in a way of working. Picasso didn’t let that happen, he had the courage to say, “I’ll quit this!”

“When you stop doing something it doesn’t mean you are rejecting the previous work,” says Hockney. “That’s the mistake; it’s not rejecting it, it’s saying, ‘I have exploited it enough now and I wish to take a look at another corner.’” That was a lesson for Hockney in his thirties, and one he is still drawing on. The spectacular landscapes in his current Royal Academy exhibition are the latest of such changes of tack – and, I believe, a stunningly rich one…. reprinted from a David Hockney interview at telegraph.co.uk


life imitates art

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image credit… ddmag


INTERVIEWER:

When and why did you start to write?

BURROUGHS:

I started to write in about 1950; I was thirty-five at the time; there didn’t seem to be any strong motivation. I simply was endeavoring to put down in a more or less straightforward journalistic style something about my experiences with addiction and addicts.
INTERVIEWER: You regard addiction as an illness but also a central human fact, a drama?

BURROUGHS: Both, absolutely. It’s as simple as the way in which anyone happens to become an alcoholic. They start drinking, that’s all. They like it, and they drink, and then they become alcoholic. I was exposed to heroin in New York – that is, I was going around with people who were using it; I took it; the effects were pleasant. I went on using it and became addicted. Remember that if it can be readily obtained, you will have any number of addicts. The idea that addiction is somehow a psychological illness is, I think, totally ridiculous. It’s as psychological as malaria. It’s a matter of exposure. People, generally speaking, will take any intoxicant or any drug that gives them a pleasant effect if it is available to them. In Iran, for instance, opium was sold in shops until quite recently, and they had three million addicts in a population of twenty million. There are also all forms of spiritual addiction. Anything that can be done chemically can be done in other ways, that is, if we have sufficient knowledge of the processes involved. Many policemen and narcotics agents are precisely addicted to power, to exercising a certain nasty kind of power over people who are helpless. The nasty sort of power: white junk, I call it – rightness; they’re right, right right – and if they lost that power, they would suffer excruciating withdrawal symptoms. The picture we get of the whole Russian bureaucracy, people who are exclusively preoccupied with power and advantage, this must be an addiction. Suppose they lose it? Well, it’s been their whole life….. reposted from an interview with Conrad Knickerbocker in the Paris Review on NYE 1965 and re-pusblished at dangerousminds.net

i am not clear how much change the new year will see. however i am sure i have changed. having been at my workplace for 4 years has afforded me some peace of mind. i have become familiar with not using for several years and my emotions don’t seem to run the risk of sabotaging me any longer. don’t get me wrong- i am still overly impulsive at times-more than i would like- but my recovery process with regard to those impulses has become like a well-rehearsed swat team. 
in moving forward this year, i hope to regain a sense of security that i misplaced a few years ago. i hope to work the steps again with a new sponsor and gain additional insight as well as let some further unneeded baggage go. i hope to pay off some debt that has been haunting for a few years and become a little less dependent on 2nd and 3rd incomes for entertainment. at this point, i am not sure i will ever write a short book, as i might have incorporated “confidentiality” to a fault in my writing that is public- or perhaps i should just be writing for myself with a privacy setting so no one can read. i know that somehow my spiritual connection to this online journaling has altered.

 i registered for school last fall, however i never did follow up with it further and i would very much like to pursue this. i have considered painting as a form of expression. i have no idea if it is even something i can do, but i am very aware that paintings move me – and abstract and neo-expressionist works seem to grab my gut. 

i spent nye day painting the office in the suburbs where i facilitate a meth recovery group. i enlisted the help of 2 persons whom i have worked with over the years and they came through with flying colors- pun intended. i sincerely hope that the metaphor of putting a new face on life for the new year somehow takes hold on them both. 
i have made a new friend who appeared in my life almost like magic. uncertain of where we might land, i am very grateful for a new set of eyes and ears. and i am very blessed when i meet a new friend in recovery- it’s culturally competent. my intention is that a new relationship or two will continue to flourish within my world.  i am hoping to head to chicago to be with friends and perhaps see “the book of mormon”. i will be ready for a break by that time. i would like to catch up with my cousin who lives in rogers park as well.

these are plans i have and