Visual Playlist – Christopher Wool Style

Sell the house, sell the car, sell the kids” – Christopher Wool

Christopher Wool – Untitled, 2000

Franz Kline – Untitled, 1950

Georges Braque – The Clarinet, 1913

Francis Picabia – Lausanne Abstract, 1918

Bruce Nauman – Human/Need/Desire, 1983

Gerald Murphy – Razor, 1924

Charles Demuth – I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, 1928

Stuart Davis – Owh! in San Pao, 1951

Robert Rauschenberg – Factum I, 1957

Jasper Johns – Colored Alphabet, 1959

Edward Ruscha – The Music from the Balconies, 1984

Artist web site:

Visual Playlist – Amy Sillman Style

“That’s the huge problem with an abstract painting. When are you done? You’re done when you don’t want to do it anymore.” – Amy Sillman

Amy Sillman – A Shape that Stands Up and Listens, 2012

Margaret Curtis – Trial By Water: The Pool Party, 2016

Philip Guston – Daydreams, 1970

Lari Pittman – Untitled #1, 2000

Sue Williams – Zbigniew, 2011

Elena Sisto – Elena Sisto, Vest, 2013

Artist web site:

Visual Playlist – Alex Katz Style

One day I just looked out the window and just decided I was going to paint a window.” – Alex Katz

Alex Katz – Twilight 1, 2008

Willem de Kooning – Untitled I from Quatre Lithographies, 1986

Jackson Pollock

Matisse – The Horse, the Rider, and the Clown, 1944

Japanese screens – Red Sun Over Autumn Grasses

Thutmose – Nefertiti Bust, 1345 BC


Artist Web site:

Seeing Like an Artist

Sculpture is the main type of art I usually blog about. I’m going to switch gears a bit and blog about painting and art in general. Recently I stopped by the MoMA and ended up buying a book called “How to See” by the painter David Salle.

Mr. Salle’s book is a collection of essays he has written, over a long period of time, reviewing the works of other contemporary artists. What attracted me to the book is that Salle choose to avoid art jargon and instead describe the art and artistic process in everyday language. I enjoyed reading his essays but that fact alone doesn’t usually cause me to blog about it.

A common technique used to convey one’s feelings about a picture/book/album is to list examples of other better know works/artists as synonyms to illustrate your point(s). Mr. Salle’s choice of examples, highlighted his extensive knowledge of contemporary artists, forced me to realize how just how little I know about the subject; especially when it comes to contemporary painting.

I’m much more likely to read a music review than a review about a painting. Perhaps because of this, I begin to think of Salle’s lists of related work/artist examples as a sort of potential visual playlist. The more I thought about it, it seemed like it would be fun to write a series of posts listing visual samples of each referenced artist, attempting to convey the point I feel that Mr. Salle was making, along with an example piece of the artist being essayed. I’m setting myself this task as a way to bolster my limited knowledge of contemporary painting. Hopefully others will enjoy viewing the resulting painting “playlists”.

Using Soap on Cast Iron – Gasp

Old testament stuff – Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! This post makes their case, that using mild soap to clean a pan is fine, by describing what it would actually take to remove the seasoning from a cast iron pan. I also agree, you don’t need fancy flax seed oil to maintain the seasoning; canola oil works just as well.


No, if you wanted to remove the seasoning, you’d need to either scour it with something very abrasive, like steel wool; heat it at a very high temperature for an extended period of time without any fat in it; soak it in a strong lye solution; or strip it via electrolysis. Suffice it to say, it takes quite a bit of effort to actually take the seasoning off a cast iron pan.


Petrogylphs Under the Sand

Actual rune like carvings found on Hawaiian beach. Should I rename my blog to “Carvings Under the Sand”? That of course holds a different meaning (more on that in the about section). If you want your carvings to last ~400 years then sandstone will work much better than sand. Although it would also help if you didn’t carve your images right next to the ocean.

The press release doesn’t explain what the Army has to do with this site. If this find is on Army property then what was that couple, who found the carvings, doing walking down an Army beach. In related news – who knew that the Army have their own archaeologists?


The Art of Album Covers

Back in the day, when I was active in my local art league, I had an idea to put on an art show comprised of album covers. I had a large enough supply of album covers that I could have supplied a nice sized show on my own.

I’m pretty sure the league would have let me put on such a show despite the issue that album cover art is much more graphic art than fine art. In the end, I never got up the courage to ask. Reading about this cover art show at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum makes me wish I had.

The Fine Art of Rock” show is running until November; so if you are anywhere near Memphis I recommend checking it out. Btw – Memphis is great vacation stop if you haven’t been there before.


That Sick Feeling in Your Gut is the Gauntlet Being Thrown

I admit it, I optimistically thought that the FBI would have no choice but to recommend that Clinton be charged, at least, with ‘gross negligence’ in her handling of classified information (18 U.S.C Section 793-F). I based that optimism on the State Dept. emails that have been publicly released. For me, this email thread is a smoking gun where Clinton personally instructs a staff member to remove classification headings and send the information via an unsecured channel.

On the one hand, a lot of details are publicly known and with Clinton running for president her efforts to avoid FOIA exposure became very high profile. On the other hand, she was Secretary of State at the time. I think this is what Director Comey was referring to when he said: “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” In other words, it is hard to believe a senior government official would be so willfully criminal, Not to mention that if Clinton got into trouble wouldn’t that also have to apply to Obama? After all, surely he sent Clinton emails during her time as Secretary of State.

Yes such misconduct is shocking but not as shocking as completely letting her slide. In the same announcement in which Director Comey lets Clinton off, he basically says she is guilty as hell: “None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.

I’m not so naive as to believe that justice is actually blind. Clearly if you are poor and get entangled in the justice system, you and your public defender are most likely screwed. Should you have some financial resources and find yourself under legal scrutiny, even if you win, you are still screwed due to the high cost of legal defense. However, if you are rich and or powerful not only do you not have much to worry about (unless you’re also very stupid) the legal system is yours to utilize as a weapon when needed; Director Comey admits this point as well: “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.

The last line in the sand is – keeping Clinton from be elected POTUS. Disturbingly some 40% to 50% of the country seem willing to vote for her; or so we are lead to believe. Yes it is appalling that she has a real chance of being elected President. However, now is not the time to just roll over and let it happen. Sure, anyone who goes against the pro-Clinton narrative will receive the full wrath of Clinton’s supporters but people have stood up to worst.

It takes real stones to give Hitler the finger:


Defying Clinton’s SJWs is nothing compared to staring down the Chinese army armed only with your groceries:


It is now clear, this election cycle it will take more than just casting your vote against Clinton. Everyone one needs to speak out to anyone who will listen, give money to the idiot Republicans if you can and resist her election at every opportunity. I for one, want to be able to tell my grand kids –  I defied Hillary as best I could. With any luck, hopefully my grand kids will respond with “Hillary who?”.

The full text of the FBI announcement


XKCD: Garden

On April 5th, Randall Munroe posted his interactive April Fool’s comic that unfortunately had technical issues when originally released on the first. The comic starts with a barren landscape with a lamp. The reader can interact with the comic by adding up to three lights, which are adjustable and by pruning (deleting) growth you don’t want. If you are interested, the details on how this works can be found at the Explain XKCD wiki.

Below is my first attempt at a garden, started when I had no idea how it the interaction worked or what was going to happen. As a result I initially “pruned” a few deer, because I was afraid they would eat the plants. Fortunately a deer did return, in an unusual spot. I also really like the board with the potted plant that was added to the tree. After I read about how the lights could be adjusted I rearranged things to have as many types of light color as possible. However, the garden was well established at that point and the change, to the lights, hasn’t had much effect as yet. If you leave these garden comics up for a while, you will be able to see them “grow”.  Note: sorry to say that Mr. Munroe has turned off the “garden” server; so the links below now point to xkcd. Unfortunately I didn’t have the presence of mind to grab some screen shots; as some of the results were pretty odd. Wait – the garden server is accessible again (perhaps he read of my disappointment; that’s how I choose to think of it). I’ll take this opportunity to post some screen shots.



In the second garden, I wanted to have a big patch of ground, covered by a fully color blended light. Notice how the kittens really enjoy the patch of pure white light.



In my next garden, I want to try not using all the colors. I elected to just use blue and yellow. I also clustered the lights close together. With the lights arranged this way it looks a bit like a trail of a rocket taking off. The resulting garden seems to not be doing too well. I assume the light is likely too strong/hot. [I like the toy boats floating next to the shark fins with a the fish jumping out of the water. You can’t see that behind the large balloon, except when the wind is strong, the second cue ball has a balloon growing out of his hand.]



For my last garden I thought, why not experiment with the light source not being directly overhead. The result illustrates how blue light tends to encourage  the growth of octopus. Notice how a majority of red light seems attract bird baths. Over time I lowed the lights closer to the ground, to cover more area. I’m not sure if close proximity of the lights will inhibit growth or not. [I have to believe that wearing the double headed turtle hat while standing on stilts is fairly rare. Note the ducks sitting on the cuttle of octopuses. I made up that group term; apparently there is no name for a group of octopus, as they are very solitary creatures.]


BTW –xkcd is a great comic published three times a week.