By on January 19th, 2021


Note: This post was slated for January 15 but was postponed for reasons you’ll quickly understand.





Fair Use Frivolity


What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday I was contacting a copyright lawyer and feeling dark and dismal, today she’s straightened me out and I see blue skies. The concept of fair use includes my right to comment on an artist’s artwork and to use relevant images to illustrate my point.  The smartphone-sized 72 dpi images that I use can’t harm the originator’s sales.



My heart sings. The big roadblock that I’ve felt has disappeared like a brick wall movie prop. POOF! I’m back in business!



The four-day postponement was so my new lawyer could read my text and correct mis-statements.  Which she did.











By on January 14th, 2021

Unnatural Growth by Sloan Nota. From two images on Unsplash by Chuttersnap.

Unnatural Growth

January 14, 2021


Six days until America’s Id has foretold with chest-thumping pride that mayhem will be visited on this country. And by the way, my favored candidate who happened to win more electoral votes than his opponent by a wide margin, is to be ignaugerated we hope without bloodshed.



My brain is banging inside my cranium walls like a fist. That my country has come to this, where lawless hate-filled fools  who declare themselves Patriots threaten my peace of mind. With their embarrassing belief in a known liar. It’s as tragic as it is ludicrous. Following a crook with their priestly warrior ferocity. Fools, idiots, proud men.



Fear is their business and they’ve whetted their skills. What’s it mean to become more hateful  and dangerous for nonsense? Nonsense with a bad smell.





On a personal note I have a call in to a copyright lawyer. Domestic felicity requires that I get law’s view of my rights as a blogger. If I profile someone may I illustrate with their work? Or must I pass a screening by the copyright owner? If I provide a 72dpi version at 1920 x 1440 pixels of their significantly bigger and clearer original?

On an art blog it’s senseless to present words about an artist’s work (free speech) but a sin to illustrate with examples. With money damages piled on top. I don’t argue the necessity of finding out — pauperhood has zero appeal. But I bridle at the wishy washy law.



Online free speech has to embrace images.




Even more personal and imminent is the fact that I’ve received test prints from the printer. I’ve also tried yet another strategy for mixing images today and have had yet another idea that doesn’t feel authentic yet.


To my prints…







By on December 31st, 2020








By on December 22nd, 2020


3 plants from Unsplash: tree limb, nick-nice-uATVhIKPr8M-unsplash; wiry plant, sanni-sahil-fBE3hd8dMxs-unsplash; big leaves, scott-webb-EI4xE2Mrdt0-unsplash.

Birth of a Christmas Card


Three images of plants that looked like they might say something to each other.  What they said:



Art made from 3 Unsplash files (playing with Photoshop’s Stroke effect).


Two similar images suggest a pattern… which suggest a card.



Pattern from files above.



To see the finished card as well as one I made earlier go here for my good wishes to you.


By on December 7th, 2020


What’s left after the soft parts of the pumpkin have departed. (Author photo.)



In nature’s wondrous ways there is a precision process that detaches the durables from the fruit. Here, the pumpkin top and corkscrew vine remain after the vibrant orange flesh has gone.



When meat creatures die they leave behind the bones.



Heretofore in the democracy that is the United States, Presidents left office graciously when their term was up. It was understood that there would be a loser and it had become second nature for that loser to pass the torch with dignity. What was good for the country was the best thing to do.



Like everything else about this malform in the last days of his rightful term, his transition is uniquely tantrum-esque. You can see him in a department store bawling because his mother won’t buy a toy. Pounding his indignant feet, hitting with his little fists. “Just wait til I get big!” If Georgia disqualifies its votes he still lacks votes enough to win.



Someone in a department store (me, you) doesn’t know this brat or his dear ones, but he succeeds in cranking a kink in our day too. “Good!!” he screams. And means it too.



Adults don’t behave like this. Heroes gain esteem by displaying discipline. It’s the natural way with grown-ups.  The yelling apparition disgracing the White House chooses to go with a stripper’s flourish, revealing the embarrassing flesh-toned truth that he most seeks to hide.



The Emperor has no control.







By on November 28th, 2020


Still from the sixth Norton Lecture by William Kentridge.


William Kentridge Expands



I still remember my mother laughing about how wowwed she was the first time she saw the movie Sunset Boulevard. And how gawdawful it seemed decades later.



Sometimes you enjoy something not five stars worth but six. Time may soon calm you down to five. Or two. But some things — Joyce’s Ulysses, Handel’s Messiah — may salute your life’s end by a show of flags. The signs of grace that you carried in your living heart.



Six stars today for artist William Kentridge’s Norton Lectures at Harvard from 2012. (All available on YouTube — links below). On the final lecture night an introductory speaker joked that everyone in attendance might want to go home and review their speaking skills. Kentridge is a phenomenon. He spends minimal time behind the podium, walks around talking, shows film clips, even interacts with one in the last night. His lectures are titled Six Drawing Lessons.



Drawing is the least of what you’ll learn. Drawing is exactly what he’s talking about.



I think of Kentridge as one of the three best living male artists (Frank Stella, Anselm Kiefer)*. Each of them has gone again. And again. And further. Each has searched inside himself and created an astonishing self-portrait.



The reasons for you to treat yourself to Kentridge’s lectures are these. He is the P.T.Barnum of the sober-sided Norton Lectures. A consummate performer with a sense of the absurd. He is a thinker, meaning he really thinks — like a drinker taking a long draught of elixer. I don’t understand it all and I don’t care. To hear someone as multi-leveled, articulate, charming, alive as this cannot mar your day.



I suspect you’ll give it 6 stars and will become quite fond of William Kentridge.




* Oh my, and Ai Weiwei



Six Drawing Lessons by William Kentridge, Harvard University Charles Eliot Norton lectures.

1.  In Praise of Shadows

2.  A Brief History of Colonial Revolts

3.  Vertical Thinking — A Johannesburg Biography

4.  Practical Epistemology: Life in the Studio

5.  In Praise of Mistranslation

6.  Anti-Entropy

By on October 17th, 2020












ERRATUM! Correction to cypres post.






By on September 1st, 2020


The Heady Brio of Heather Ujiie

The Universe, by Heather Ujiie. Digital Inkjet print on cotton sateen 72×192 inches. Courtesy the artist.


A digital print on fabric,The Universe. The scale, the depth of color, the flourishes and design surprises. That elephant is no elephant, it’s composed of many beasts and figures. I love how the savage lion’s tail puffs out from the trunk about where tusks might show.



This is the rambunctious work of Heather Ujiie which delights with its shear galore-ness. Color, horror, erotica, humor — bursting with florals and animalia. This woman has never heard of staid and uses her unstaid for energized compositions that sprawl.



I enjoy the sense that she loves making images. You can’t imagine a dabbler attempting work so challenging. Or a nail-biter taking on anything this strenuous.


If you pay attention to details you’re rewarded for it.


Heather Ujiie, detail of design for the digitallly printed fabric, Battle of the Sea Gods. Courtesy the artist.



I’ve been a digital artist for decades; I work with free digital images from wildly differing sources. Never in my craziest dreams did I consider art of this caliber, without a whiff of digital about it, being printed on fabric of significant size. Heather Ujiie wows and delights me.



Heather Ujiie, Endangered Species, digital print on linen, 96×204 inches. Courtesy the artist.




See also Eric N, Mack. “Painter” for work with fabric

See Kehinde Wiley Paints Black for another artist’s take on florals



By on August 30th, 2020


WikiArts never heard of Kehinde Wiley



Nevermind the virtuoso talent, the social relevance — how about a simple count of museums who have invested in his work?



He recently remarked on the BLM protests that he wasn’t impressed yet. Same same WikiArts.



By on August 13th, 2020


agitrons from cartooning




word: agitrons




Keith Haring agitrons

Charles Burchfield agitrons