Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, McKenzie!!!

Wow! My baby is 17 today. Hard to believe. Where has the time gone. I remember last year how weird but yet comforting that on her birthday she asked me to take her to get her belly button pierced. Those nuggets of time don't seem like much while in the moment but they become cherished memories. Usually about this time I pull out and read the poem I wrote for her almost ten years ago titled "Daddy Do You Cry". Well I certainly cry more now as I grow older than I did years ago but as the poem goes I usually do it when no one is around. When Kenzie was about 13 we went camping, just the two of us, and during that long weekend of now cherished memories I wrote these two poems.


These trails many feet have traveled
Even before the Ice Age, someone was walking these grounds
Looking for food, a place to shelter from the elements or
rest there weary head

I think about my father
As I walk these steep stepping stones with my daughter
My mind moves to a different place
Takes a different path, if you will
A path in which I am following behind my fathers big footsteps
Just as my daughter does in mine today
His normal stride forces me to almost run to keep up
But I will not disappoint him by making him wait or slow down

When will my legs fail me?
And force me to walk these paths with my minds eye
Or knowing what has come before me and what I'll leave behind
Am I already walking with a sense of higher purpose?
Or is this just another walk in the woods?

Campfire Serenade

No television or PlayStation tonight
Only the dancing flames
Choreographed to the busy insects buzz saw sounds
As if in hi-fi stereo
Sounds bounce from one side of the circle camp to the other
Natures stereo phonic surround sound
No loud subwoofer beat shaking everything in it's path
Only a chorus of crickets singing praises of nature
Rivaling the best of Sunday morning inner city praises
Add another log to the fire
Sixty watts of campfire flames
Just isn't enough to write these verses.

Happy Birthday my little princess. May your 17th year fulfill your curiosities, lead you on your path to adulthood and keep you grounded with the love of friends and family. Time to go and shed one more tear.

Love Dad!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Girls in Their Summer Dresses, Irwin Shaw

Below are the three variations that I create for chapter six of my Book Passages Series. This passage provided me with many challenges but in the end I am extremely pleased with the results. I have my favorite but what do you think? Please comment on the images below and vote in the poll at the top right corner of the blog. Thanks for your patience with the long wait for this visual interpretation but I do think it was worth it. Enjoy, vote, and most of all - give me the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Girls in Their Summer Dresses by:Irwin Shaw

"Go ahead", Frances said.

When I think of New York City, I think of all the girls, the Jewish girls, the Italian girls, the Irish, Pollack, Chinese, German, Negro, Spanish, Russian girls, all on parade in the city. I don't know whether it's something special with me or whether every man in the city walks around with the same feeling inside him, but I feel as though I'm at a picnic in this city. I like to sit near the women in the theaters, the famous beauties who've taken six hours to get ready and look it. And the young girls at the football games, with the red cheeks, and when the warm weather comes, the girls in their summer dresses..." He finished his drink. "That's the story. You asked for it, remember. I can't help but look at them. I can't help but want them."

I can't help but look...

The Girls in Their Summer Dresses

The Confession

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hushed Abandonment

Derrick W. Sherman, The Reunion show

I once met a man and asked him if it were true that when you get older you become wiser. He said that the only answer was to get older. Looking back to when I was a kid, I realize that my ignorance was a virtue. I saw the world in colors and shapes. Now my nerves keep me awake at night. I think about the future and what I want to do with my life. I asked that same man if he had any advice for me. He told me to quit living and start breathing. "Look around at the life you lead. Listen to the wind and the trees. Take time to smell the ocean breeze and sleep on the beach." He said that the beauty of this world was in its complexity and that our lives for the most part are ordinary. He told me to never stop painting, but mostly never stop creating. "You're as free as your mind will let you be. So, what's holding you back?" he asked, "fear or laziness??"

excerpt from one of my favorite books Revolution on Canvas, poetry from the indie music scene. Edited by Rich Balling

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Charity and Charity's Addiction

For those interested in following my Book Passage Series, please have patience. I finally found a key prop I need for my next photograph. With the holiday fast approaching and a group show to get ready for I will have the new image in about another 10 ten days. Until then I am posting images from the past. Hope you enjoy!

These two images are titled Charity and Charity's Addiction. Both photographs are based on a woman named Charity who was a friend of a friend. My friend took me to Charity's house because she had an awesome doll collection. She also had a serious heroine addiction. When we went to Charity's house she was very skeptical of me and really didn't want me in her house but because I was a friend of one of her good friends she allowed me in. She proceeded to show me all her dolls, most altered with paint and wardrobe. The first image on the left was actually taken with an SX-70 Polaroid camera of a shrine like set-up Charity had in one of her closets. I then manipulated the scanned polaroid in Photoshop.

Soon after I visited Charity's house she traveled to Nebraska to visit and get clean at a family members house. A few months later when I was having dinner with my friend she said, "You remember Charity"?, and of course I did. That house, her behavior, and her belongings are not something you soon forget. Well, Charity got clean but as soon as she came back and was with "friends" in Chicago she quickly went back to her old ways and unfortunately O.D.! So the image on the right was made after hearing the news of Charity's death. This turned out to be the second time in my life at that time where someone I hardly knew who passes away ends up having a huge impact on you emotionally. I find these images beautiful and honest in a very haunting way.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

National Poetry Month

I'm not a writer nor a poet even though I love to read great material. I've tried to write poetry and have had some success and many clunkers. Still it does not stop me from trying. I've been so busy concentration on my studio and art that I haven't written a poem in a very long time. So in honor of national poetry month I have to dig into my archives and thought I would post this poem that I wrote a few years ago for my sister.

Brothers & Sisters

big sister
little brother
sisters brother
brothers sister
who watches over who?
dishwashing saga's
butcher knife drama's
tattle tale lies
save young kid's hides
locked out, locked in
break out, break in
don't tell: alibi's
hide another
little white lie
horrorama out of control
Jason can't swim
camp counselor sins
Halloween masks
motorcycle helmet clash
childhood memories
adult maladies
Jabberwocky bitch slaps
balloons are festive
your friends
my friends
no friends
best friends
coming of age
turns a new page
adolescent innocents
gone but not forgotten
life changes
forces rearranging
no longer convenient
conventional dialog
speak with ease
path is not lost
hidden by neglect
feet step on solid ground
speak to me
I'll speak to you
together again
Brother & Sister!

Chapter 6, not yet....

It may be a couple of weeks before I get the next installment of Book Passages ready to view. I have a few idea's, need props, models, and son's coming home for the holiday. I do want to slow it down a bit anyway because it is about the images and I don't want to compromise any of them for the sake of the blog. So, in the meantime I will post things like I have in the past. I hope I don't loose any new readers who have tuned in for the Book Passages series. Please keep checking in, make comments, email me a fascinating and challenging book passage.