Conversation with a painter

found art (22 April 2015)

found art (22 April 2015)

The man up the ladder turns to see what I’m up to.

“It’s okay, I’m not photographing you,” I say, hoping to reassure him.

He’s puzzled. “Why would you photograph a wall that hasn’t been painted?”

“Because it’s art,” I assert, taking a second shot for good measure.

“S’pose you’re right,” he ventures, with a half-smile.


PS: The Boon Brothers know their café is cool. Located in the ground floor of the Opera House, it’s called Crumpet. Lately, the gracious old lady’s been undergoing a facelift.

 

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

painted pole (11 January 2015)

painted pole (11 January 2015)

A year ago – almost to the day – I opened a new document and gave it this name, but did no writing in it. My intention, if I recall correctly, had been to use Samuel Beckett’s words (from Worstward Ho) as the seed of something. Since then, the draft has seen the light of day more than once – but with no demonstrable result.

Along the way, I’ve written and photographed … and, from time to time, published. You might have noticed that this is my first post for the New Year … and that I’ve put nothing up since before Christmas. So Beckett’s text is apt. As ever.

Perhaps, I told myself, today, a new WordPress theme will inspire me. Well, yes … having tried a couple, I concluded that the old stuff looked awful in the new themes. So I’ve reverted to the old Tarski.

“Unchanged? Sudden back unchanged? Yes. Say yes. Each time unchanged. Somehow unchanged. Till no. Till say no. Sudden back changed. Somehow changed. Each time somehow changed.”  (Samuel Beckett, in Worstward Ho)

During the past twenty-four hours, I’ve been considering that |cross-ties| is fundamentally – or, at least, primarily – a photo-blog. And the photos I seem to like best are like this one. So that’s it … for now.

“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” (ibid)

“Samuel Beckett is sui generis … He has given a voice to the decrepit and maimed and inarticulate, men and women at the end of their tether, past pose or pretense, past claim of meaningful existence. He seems to say that only there and then, as metabolism lowers, amid God’s paucity, not his plenty, can the core of the human condition be approached … Yet his musical cadences, his wrought and precise sentences, cannot help but stave off the void … Like salamanders we survive in his fire.” (Richard Ellman)


NOTES:

Worstward Ho is a prose piece by Samuel Beckett. Its title is a parody of Charles Kingsley’s Westward Ho!. Written in English in 1983, it is the penultimate novella by Beckett. Together with Company and Ill Seen Ill Said, it was collected in the volume Nohow On in 1989 (Wikipedia: Worstward Ho [stub]).

Colin Greenslaw has done an elaborated version of Worstward Ho (interpolated with what he calls ‘expansions’ of the original text), which can be found on the Samuel Beckett On-line Resources and Links Pages.

On the Empire of Lights web-site is a ‘picture series’ which photographer Tobias M Schiel has titled “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” (Samuel Beckett). Very good.

Another rip-off

rip-off (18 April 2014)

rip-off (18 April 2014)

A friend has more than once suggested that I could use some of my “abstract” photographs as a start-point for paintings. Another friend, seeing this new photograph today, said it could be a painting. Okay, I guess it could. But I would find that difficult, since it seems finished – complete in itself. There is nothing missing for me to paint.

It’s best if I lose myself

The Spaces Between (cover, featuring 'The Painted Bird' by Shane Cotton)

The Spaces Between (cover, featuring ‘The Painted Bird’ by Shane Cotton)

.

.

.

‘I’m a ceramic artist,’ the German woman said.

‘Do you have to think when you’re making a pot?’ Kraik drew an invisible circle on the table top. ‘Imagine its shape?’

‘It’s best if I lose myself,’ the woman said …

(Russell Haley, in The Spaces Between [p184])

__________

Haley, Russell. 2012. The spaces between. Auckland: Adastra

Storm of thoughts

Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head. (Mark Twain)

other (15 Dec 2011)

other (15 Dec 2011)

According to the old Zen koān, things are not as they seem … (But wait, there’s more!) Nor are they otherwise.

Public media bring us news of all sorts of things. And we eat it all up avidly.

More often than not, however, the news is not so much a summary of facts as a report of reactions and opinions: shock, horror, outrage, hatred, fear, hysteria, grief, etc.

Truly, I see the world not as it is but as I am.

“Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.” (Aldous Huxley)

Our reality is compounded of thoughts and feelings, judgments and perceptions. The news is a mirror in which we can see our storm of thoughts reflected.

“If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion.” (Aldous Huxley)

“Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.” (Mark Twain)

The Queen of Hearts hates white roses

Alice observes three playing cards painting white roses red. They drop to the ground face down at the approach of the Queen of Hearts, whom Alice has never met. When the Queen arrives and asks Alice who is lying on the ground (since the backs of all playing cards look alike), Alice tells her that she does not know. (from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Caroll)

painted rose

painted rose

“Would you tell me, please,” said Alice, a little timidly, “why you are painting those roses?”

Five and Seven said nothing, but looked at Two. Two began, in a low voice, “Why the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been a red rose tree, and we put a white one in by mistake.”

The past couple of days, I’ve been painting … Not roses, but a bookcase. It was green and grungy, and (many years ago) was liberated from a skip.

I’ve painted it white.

The next phase in my project is to reduce the number of books I retain. Some are destined for the dump, some for the second-hand bookshop … and some need to be returned to their rightful owners.

Incidentally, I have a white standard rose that doesn’t need painting … Unlike the Queen of Hearts, I love white roses.