Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Riding a tiger

When I was doing this years ago, there was always a point where I couldn't work a painting any further without it seizing up, becoming mannered or just tickled (and it showed). With this painting, I was able to keep it suspended longer, make critical changes and course corrections along the way...persist.

Painting #6 of 6       (30" x 31 1/4")


View preliminary states of the final painting below the break.

Friday, June 18, 2010

This guy is a pitch-perfect political assassin

A couple of things:
The political and media theater that this clip represents is rather disgusting...okay...especially that it followed the Biden's "Super Soaker" picnic that many of these journalists attended.

But...the political instincts of this sharp elbowed Democratic veteran "reluctantly" taking on another tone deaf Republican talking point is brilliant. When finally "coaxed" by the White House Press Corps to address Joe Barton's undemocratic apology to BP, he destroys Barton and the Republican's position on the oil spill. He makes it clear that the corporatist, big business loving, free-market wanking Republicans don't give a shit about the "real americans" they always claim to represent.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Butler County, Ohio 1918

This photograph of my great-grandparents and their children (my grandfather is standing on left) has always intrigued me. My grandfather's sisters are rather frightening. He regularly gave accounts of his sisters' cruelty toward him (with the exception of Ruth, far right). 

His father was born in Canada of Scottish parents, who migrated to Connecticut. My great-grandfather was a farmer like his father before him.

His mother was born in New Jersey and in the 1880s moved with her family to southwest Ohio. My great-grandmother was a member of the United Methodist Church and regularly taught and performed music and musicals for her church and the local Grange.

I have no accounting of my great-grandparents age or the circumstances around their meeting and marriage. 

My grandfather.

He learned farming as a boy, but initially worked at the Ford manufacturing plant in Hamilton, Ohio. Just before the stock market crash of 1929, he became a policeman in Hamilton and later a motorcycle patrolman. His time as a cop was notorious and mythic (largely as a result of his alcoholism). Around the beginning of WWII, he retired from the force (was asked to leave) following an off-duty motorcycle accident (that nearly took his left leg). He returned to the work of his father, farming and farm management, which he did well around his alcoholism. He would regularly make arrangements to move to another farm job just ahead of going on a binge. Consequently my grandmother and mother lived in many different parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boy needs a haircut...

I almost passed out from laughing when I saw this 30 years ago. Eugene Levy's Floyd the Barber is the best.

I apologize for not being high-minded today...

Given the current situation, this is in bad form. But I hadn't heard of the Uzbeks until I saw this bit on SCTV.

Another painting...

(#5 of 5)    30" x 31 1/4"

(Painting #5, details)

I think this one is finished. The marks, lines, shapes and palette are starting to move beyond a phantom-like recall...slowly becoming current, more now than mere physical memories of having once painted.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Right is always wrong

I've posted some version of this before, but it's worth a look every  month or so. One might listen to this and think..."Why so harsh Mr. Burroughs? After all you're dead, and certainly things have improved in the past 24 years"
Just read a Sarah Palin Facebook post. Listen to Rand Paul talk about how mountain top removal is okay if the mountain belongs to you or your company. Watch anything uttered by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Think about the politics of South Carolina and Arizona.
Oh, let us not forget the Gulf of Mexico.

You can never be too harsh when discussing the American right wing.

UPDATED: American politics have become a zero sum game. Let's face it, some of the right wing, libertarian and fiscal conservative bullshit is attractive to a lot of Americans. Processed within a life of work, debt, fear and hassles of every proportion, the "I've got mine, screw you!" mentality hits a chord.

Whether the issue is guns, re-segregating private businesses, illegal immigration or the deficit, a moderately clever right wing strategist can appeal to a large number of Americans who struggle enough on a daily basis to have long ago walked away from the idea of citizenship; the concept that the real founders folded into both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (and yes, they were wealthy and white, but philosophically visionary). The challenge that the founders faced (and well meaning Democrats/liberals still face today), is convincing the population to take the bet that helping the least among us, and advocating for the middle class over corporate power, will benefit the whole and preserve a modicum of social stability and harmony. The more rightward politics move, the less anyone really benefits.

Come on...reasonable federal gun laws, the EPA, Social Security, Medicare...state sponsored law enforcement, fire protection and local social services for the poor, the addicted and the crazy...does anyone really think that eliminating these things will make life better?

Really? Come on.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Painting

(#4 of 4)    30" x 31 1/4"

Reaching back to my own painterly abstraction from the early 80s. I have been trying to work through "not painting:" many years of not painting. Consequently, I thought it was necessary to mine old ways to see if I can cycle up to the present. To keep it going, it seemed that tapping into "pleasure principle" work of my past might help me want to work.

Who knows, maybe in a few months I'll be (re)doing the disconnected image and text anchored work of the "late capitalist" period (late 80s-90s)...you know...images of a smiling Ronald Reagan, barking dogs and a mushroom cloud.

Web Counter