Thursday, January 16, 2014
the studio looked good
after 2 weeks in California
and a week in Hawaii--
indeed, by my standards, rather orderly.
it strikes me that some of the real value
in the "space" of a studio
might lie in the banal moments
of maintenance and upkeep.
clearly, sweating away
over the elusive line
and uncooperative passage of color
offer their own rewards and scars,
but there is some odd strength
to the less poetic pursuits of priming a wall
or balling up the detritus
of masking tape and paper towels
stiffened by the subtraction of acrylic…
in the San Fernando Valley,
Encino, to be specific,
i ply my trade in a small redwood studio,
at times, sitting on a brick porch,
beneath an orange tree.
at other times, i set my work table up by the pool--
large canvases atop bricks and labor under the sun.
in Brooklyn, i work in a former candy factory,
built over a century ago,
a building of sense and history,
of crooked, aching stairs
and weathered 12 foot ceilings...
the work of either coast informs
the work a continent away…
the murky romance of NYC
soils the vivid promise of California,
just as the chlorinated blues
and olive teals of the Valley
inform the work hanging opposite
the 4 tall windows.
this afternoon, my daughter
and i walked blocks west
to Riverside Park. she was excited
by the action of the squirrels
and the dogs they maddened.
it was a very profound moment for me--
walking the streets with my little girl
holding my hand, or at times, merely a finger.
our steps slowly chewing up the distance
to wherever it was we were going.
at 2 1/2 years old, she has distanced herself
from the frivolities of the stroller--
turning her ambitions to the larger game
of independent mobility.
i mean well, but my good intentions
shade many faults.
however, she tolerates me,
as do my wife and long suffering friends.
there are moments when it seems
all i'm really meant for
is sweeping a dirty floor
in a studio in an old building,
in an old part of Brooklyn
near the Navy Yard.
and then there are times when the paint
is moving so well i could cry,
except that wiping the tears
would be a tremendous waste of valuable time.
and then there are times like today--
taking small steps
through the park
holding my hand,
just a finger...