Saturday, May 30, 2009

Intimate Black Hole

In terms of the experience of blogging...
 It feels to me like writing notes to your dear friends and the universe. Then you send them, with great intimacy, out in to a black hole, without any expectation of(an)echo. 

Don't get me wrong, the echoes are wonderful, but unexpected.
"stroke an artist and surprise a child"

But for most of my waking hours it is about being productive in the service of my crafts. I love being able to express some of the feelings, without expectation.

In real life, with pen and paper, I am on sketchbook #96 or something. 99% of those books will never see the light of day. Yet the internet is both collective and perpetual. The cosmic dictionary. 

At least a tear in the river

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ok, back to heady stuff...

We can not cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.
 - Joey, or J.C.

Several references led me to remember this quote and tenant. We must not be overwhelmed with all the pain in the world or we will not paint with pretty colors or make useless things or experience any joy - we will be vacant of strength to help the human condition. 
.... and lord knows,  misery loves company.

Jayne and I refer to Joseph Campbell as "Joey" and Leonardo Da Vinci as "Lenny"
It makes it all less ominous, and although conceited and blasphemous, it is meant as endearment and familiarity. It makes it easier to absorb lessons if they are coming from a dear friend, rather than a Genius or God. (Joey would hate those last words)

(Click on the picture for a better view)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Behind Curtain #2...

You heard it here first!
The Museum of Outdoor Arts has inked a deal with Hudson Gardens to create an outdoor light show and display called 
Hudson Holiday
We have been working on this project for three years now, and we finally have the perfect site and a great partner.
The show will open mid November and run selected nights through the New Year.
The thirty acre site is a stunning landscape to work with - 
I am so excited to be designing this show! I love my job!
In addition to light-scaping, we will be bringing back and expanding the Emry Gweldig's Wondrous Keep display (This time outdoors in a Conifer grove), and launching many projects we have had in the works including the Herd of Electric Sheep & Crazy House.
This will be a ticketed event and will benefit both non-profits - MOA and Hudson Gardens.

In the not tooooo distant future, I am going to start a separate blog "Designer's Sketchbook" for the Cabinet of Curiosities and Hudson Holiday projects and keep this blog for the more personal sputterings.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rights versus Privilege

She is gone now, bless her prickly soul. but None-the-less...

Weather you were part of her family, commune or business you knew that she divided all the good things in life between Rights and Privileges.
So here is my grand epiphany:

To make art is a right, not a privilege.

...And the world would be a better place if everyone made art like they make pasta!

Perhaps the privilege (or sacrifice) is to be called an artist -  by others.

I believe that people can call themselves anything they want, as long as it is attached to one or more crafts : Painter, illustrator, storyboarder, sign painter, weaver, dancer, writer, bon-vivant, gad-about, traveller, provoucture, 

But I have come to run from the word, the beautiful word and honest profession of 
 - artist -
It has become  artiste'  - Artiste' de pu' pu' in our society.

I feel so blessed, so lucky, happy to have the life I have.
And even though I am working for a fine art establishment, and my job is to manifest collaborative works of art, 
they encourage me to do the common magic. 
Wizard in Residence is a title I can hopefully accept and prove, because it is a craft.
It holds me to this world, this community, and demands my waking moments for the results.

Then my job can be about making a(n) (inner) child giggle.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Curtain #1 of 2

Thank you, thank you,...both of you 
(as I would chime to a small audience..)
Let me share what I have been working on...
I have not meant to be mysterious, but have been waiting for this blog to split for the 
Museum's (Museum of Outdoor Arts) Fall projects of which I am proudly a part of.
Now that dates are getting booked and t's are dotted, 
I am going to attempt to cover 2 projects
 and keep this personal train going at the same time.

MOA's indoor show this fall is Cabinet of Curiosities. 
It is a group show curated by Cynthia Madden Leitner, and involves 6 incredible artists (including Jayne HH) plus the Museum team.
My charge in the show is series of cabinets and acquired objects that make up a room for the
Imaginary and Impossible Wunderkammer of Lewis Carroll 
& his Collection of Fairy Tale Reliquaries
or something to that effect.
The show will open in early October.

Stay tuned for Curtain #2. The big enchilada 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ok, I'll try this

No, not some secret society of Di Vinci esque concoction, but an I idea that I started to write about that quickly became a gigantic chalkboard paradox, and I had to walk away.

It started with an examination of the emotions one (I) go through in my daily work, and the dilemmas the very structures of the work creates.

See, I told you....

Ok, as a "creative type", a person that creates stuff for a living, there are are structures and constant questions that we are always honing and asking.

1. Purpose. The work must be serving some purpose. The work must have a purpose, or it is simply pornography or phycological doodling. Why would you sign up for a job this tough unless it was at least an honest service. 
Hitch:  The more "popular" your work, the harder it is to find a handy purpose. People like Koons or Hirst or other "Fine" "Artists" can name ART as the purpose on the form and they are done for the day. For a craftsperson or designer, we are audience based, like many of the other collaborative arts. The audience's reaction and acceptance is paramount. The audience is the purpose.

2. The Rub: Who the Hell died and decided you had a destiny to share your "talents" with the world as some kind of purpose? Did you win American Idol or the Art Olympics in the Auto-didactic triartathon?  AHHHHH - Enter EGO - Id.

So, could I please, pretty please, obtain, for even one single moment, the humility of an ancient monk, the bravada of an opera tenor, the social skills of a politician, the physical focus of an athlete and the technique of great magician? 


But I can try. Decoro - the skills, Sprazzazia - the sell, Grazia, the harmony.

Perhaps it takes our whole - the good parts and the bad parts, the pretty parts and the unpleasant parts, all is spinning balance, to create.

Does purpose demand ego, or ego create purpose? 

I warned you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Oh lordy....

 I'll have to get back to you on this one.  

The thought plickens.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sorry Jayne, had to leak it!

I am so sorry Jayne..... But when going through the manuscript/Dictionary  that Jayne is writing about our work together over the years, which I am collaborating on, I ran across the following under the letter W , and I couldn't help but sharing : 


--- Working with the work; 

1. Have the right tools or the right people. Anything done without the proper 

whatever-you-need is the bad timing in a black whole. 

2. pick two; fast, cheap, or good....

3. Be aware that absolutes are not true things, but tendencies, and roll with them.

4. Don’t suffer future pain.

5.. Materials / Work/ Altar ... Method / Material / Alchemy... Inspiration / Media / Spirit....

4. Try to know if that was the easy part or the hard part. Try to get passed it, indeed it may be all down hill from here.

5. If something is not changing you are not looking close enough.

6. Draw yourself in.

7. Paint yourself out.

...more or less...

--- working with the peers; see CRAFTSPEOPLE

 process of elimination; Making elimination a process.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Magic 1977

Right Costume, Wrong Play (Sfumato Series 2001)
I was still trying to make my living as a performer in 1977. 
Clown work, Character wave at cars, and magic shows.  Yes, really.
One night, I did a show in a conference room in the basement of a bank for a group of metaphysical devotees.  

I played it fairly straight. I was wearing a (bad) suit or tuxedo, and I presented a couple of typical tricks, and then I tried a very difficult and finicky illusion - levitating a small piece of crumpled aluminum foil in between my outstretched hands - 
Full light, audience within five feet.

And then something happened. I entered "Grazia" - I was the instrument of my magic, not the creator or seller of it. 

That little piece of aluminum foil was levitating and the room was very still and happy. 
They loved it. They believed it. They, in a way, created it through their suspension of dis-belief and allowing me to practice my craft.

The belief of magic had created those moments - 

Magic is the truest feeling you'll ever feel.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Golden Egg

I heard baby Geese have been seen at Hudson Gardens,
and several little signs that projects will be announced and Winter's work will be over soon.
Promises of golden eggs and sparkling lights
Mad dashing Summer
to reveal secrets and brighten the night
of the Fall

To all the Mother's out there
who pluck us from obscurity
and nurture us and love us 
and defend us and cry for us
smile for us, and sometimes curse us

I say for all humans everywhere - 
You are amazing. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What Shall We Grow This Summer

Oh what should we grow?

we could grow potatoes
we could grow squash
we could grow melons
all juicy and soft

But,  'sted
let's grow some laughter
and let's grow some corn
let's grow some instruments
like tambourines and horns

Sometimes I think
we need a bite full of love
of silly antics
and innocence

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cross Section / Cross Roads

Ok, I don't know if it is just me, but I am bumping in to my past - a lot. 

As we were puttering through the French flea market (I think they call it French because is sells nice things - go figure) anyway  - puttering through an antique stall and finding an old wood weaving shuttle and and flute that I was in real need of, (really - for a project) and the purveyor asked " Are you Lonnie Hanzon?" It turned out to be an associate I worked with in the early 1980's.  
This is not just the Facebook "Finding people you never knew you lost" syndrome. I am physically and electronically visiting moments of my past. Some say it is about turning 50 - What? Do I get a visit from each year - wow - interesting.
But then is started to make sense when I heard a brilliant and funny science author on NPR. She was talking about probabilities and the Bell curve in ways that made actual sense, and even though some of what she spoke was about good and bad slimy things in our mouths and bodies, she exposed for a moment the sameness of everything and the logic of it all.
I have to admit that I am often truly astonished and perhaps even ashamed at what nut cases we are as peoples and societies. But then it made sense that we were just changing and adapting and morphing to rise to the challenges of our environment just like all the rest of the  slithy toves. 

Evolution is not finite. Duh.