there are early mornings when i step out onto 7th avenue, about 7:20Am, on my way to the dojo. the sky is the most brilliant of light cobalt blues and i look up at it from the shadows of the buildings around me. it's a unique, incredibly alive moment. and there are the the encino sunsets i look at from my fathers garage as we drink beer, or what have you... there is the early morning fog out here in the valley, the fog that burns off to leave the sun and it's crisp, true light.
good work has been done in the few days i've been out here. pushing the drawings, trying to see where they're going. 3 are being framed for the show at bjorn ressle fine art, but i want to have as many as possible ready, should heavy action start up... i re-visited 2 paintings, one black and one red. red is unusual for me-- a bit too loud, perhaps, but it's working. the black one is a tough, solid work, could be done, whatever that means. and i've gone back into one of the 5-footers started on the last trip. i laid it out on the lawn and hit it with a dark gray liquid acrylic, then went to lunch at my sisters place and fed my new niece. and got to hold her for the first time. when you feed a woman, they usual end up digging you. this chick is no different... back to the painting, i went into it with the same dark gray and did some rubbing, etc. it's an aggressive surface right now, looking pretty good. we'll see... this is either a good thing or just "a thing", about having a studio on 2 coasts-- you make the moves and see what happens and it looks good and then you go away and come back to it and think, "what the fuck???". but thats ok... i try to use it to my advantage. in the end, it's beautiful to be able to paint and walk (or fly) away and forget it for a bit of time and come back and look on that surface anew. and then begin again or pick up again and figure out what it (the painting) is really supposed to be about. and thats how i'm approaching the sculptural projects i've got going... we'll see how they develop as the time comes that they need to develop.
crissy and i spent the day at LACMA on saturday. first time i'd been there, since all the new renovations and construction. in the end, it was pretty glorious... the modern collection is beefed up and given ample room to flex it's muscle-- a truely great (and enormous) sam francis, a tough, tough diebenkorn and de kooning's "montauk highway", a great, massive motherwell "elegy", and one of the best clyfford stills i've seen... clyff is great-- if for no other reason than his ambition and need, but he was a most flawed critic of his own work. too much went out of the studio. period... but this piece at LACMA gives us what he meant for us to have-- the epic expanse, the physicality of color and pigment and awesome vision of 1 man against the hours of a day and the days of a week into a year or however long it took to realize the final work.
and then there is the broad collection. well, what can one say??? a fine, late twombly, any number of sad jasper johns, rusha (of course) and an entire 6 to 7,000 square foot gallery of fucking jeff koons... theres no point to discuss the koons nonsense, so i won't bother... having said that, however, i'll get up now and pour another scotch to ease my sensibilities.
ok, so if you make it past that bullshit, you are rewarded with serra's "band" and "sequence". these are 2 later works that offer a navagational tilt to the maestro's body of work. i've gone on at length about serra's importance to me, so i won't re-hash my admiration. suffice to say, it's a great experience to be able to engage with this artists work. and i consider myself very, very lucky to have done so as much as i have.
my parents took me for a driving tour of the burned out hillsides of the north valley. i took some cool photos climbing about the charred hills and my father and i returned with the pick-up to salvage a large stump/root, blackened and scarred and a 7 foot piece of PVC that had been partially melted and cooked to resemble the bone of some ancient beast. these will figure into sculptural projects sooner or later....