(the) Cave of Forgotten Snowmen

Charcoal & pastel painting on wood
2015 – 24″x60″

This is the Snowman charcoal drawing one. Yes, I blog-bloviated about it in my “Panoply” post. It’s my ode to the demise of snowmen 😦 Will they disappear forever? I’m not sure, but I hope not. Of course I don’t have to live way.. way up above the Arctic Circle. After I move there for a few decades I’ll repost. THEN we can see how nostalgic I remain about the Great White North with its ten feet of snow for months at a time. Or its soggy tundra and southern invaders fleeing fires, drought, floods, heat . . .

Maybe it’ll be a gentle warming, like chestnuts roasting on a open fire. This is Christmas Day <:>}

But I have a feeling I’d still feel the same, even if I didn’t, somehow. The earth’s climate seems to be a very flexible entity. It is wind after all. Wind and the windy people who get windy about it. Like I’m doing right now!! HA!

Oh, I make light of something that’s important to me. And worse, it’s important to my inner self, that eternally youthful self in me. Now that’s a sad thing to be doing. But it’s a protection from the coming waves of warm and warmer that I fear. More than cold.

More than cold.

I console myself by remembering one important fact about this charcoal-pastel drawing:

(the) Cave of Forgotten Snowmen is a visual experience

It’s reason #1 when I’m asked why I create them. I never set out to try to change, or save the world with my artwork,



Learning by . . .

Learning By . . .
acrylic paint on canvas – 30″ x 40″

 This piece will rearrange or enhance the synapses I believe. After I finished the artwork and was enjoying the view (sometimes I can actually do this without mentally attempting to “improve” the painting). I began to have a new and curious feeling I hadn’t quite felt before with one of my abstract paintings,at least not so directly. As I gazed at the painting somehow I felt a mental change, like I was smarter (in some way). Perhaps it was similar to the way a baby looks at a black and white mobile to get its brain booted up.

I thought the act of viewing this painting was rebooting some part of my mental processes – like new software. I could have titled it Bob_2.0.

I suspect many people will think this is completely ridiculous but I intend to continue working on the complex black and white paintings – with a few color elements – to this end. They are a big favorite of mine anyway, and this interesting feeling I had is an extra impetus to work on them. I’m not sure if the retina cones are processed in the same way by the visual cortex and brain as are the b&w rods, but it seems to me they could not be quite the same, and probably are very different. I don’t seem to get that booted-up feeling from colorful art so much as from some b&w art. This also seems like a good direction to pursue.

the-hallucinogenic-toreador2I used to have a poster of a Salvador Dali painting, “Hallucinogenic Torreador.” It is probably my favorite Salvador Dali work that I’ve seen. Now that painting might operate on my brain like my abstract painting, “Learning by . . .” But I don’t recall feeling like my brain was getting booted-up when I viewed HT. It’s been decades since I owned that Dali poster. The Wiki link has a lot more information on “Hallucinogenic Torreador” than I ever had before, which was minimal.



Hurdy Gurdy Dream Reef


I’ve painted for over 30 years almost exclusively on wood. It made sense because I was making wall sculptures. Then I got a commission in 1996 and there was an ADA stipulation that it couldn’t protrude from the wall more than 4″. I was the safety coordinator at TTUSOA and really didn’t know about that! Well… another story that I probably won’t blog about. Ancient history.

I’d been creating wall sculptures with no regard for the z-sxis (the protrusion into the third dimension) except for design reasons. And as long as I could make each design hold together, it was good. But now it seemed, I was in a new design world. The 4″ restriction very much changed my whole approach (but I noticed that for Frank Stella it didn’t seem to create a ripple at all! Oh well. He made art for museums and I was happy to get art commissions here and there.

That’s what caused the big change for me in the first place. I got a commission for two wall pieces that had to comply with ADA. So, the designs really had to shrink a LOT along the z-axis. Where I had produced some wall sculptures that protruded out from the wall a foot or more, now that 4″ restriction changed my wall sculptures into bas-relief paintings, or 2-1/2D paintings!

Those first two commissions were really two wall sculptures that looked like they got run over by a truck. haha I was still creating in the “exploding” style I had been, with pieces blowing out from the center. Only now, with these two pieces, they weren’t blowing any more, except sideways!! haha I wasn’t laughing too much then, and I really delayed on those two commissions. I never got any more commissions from that company down in Houston. Can’t blame anyone but my own little self. Still, things really changed for me after that. It wasn’t the end of the wall sculptures, but the war was lost (in my mind). Perhaps the mind can trick an artist, or anyone. Ya think??

I’ll probably blog about this topic ad nauseum (hopefully there will be no hurlin’) but for now, I’ll just say that I finally got to the point that I was experimenting with almost flat art again, with just a whisper (just wanted to use that word) of any sort of bas-ness. haha

And this piece has the Z-none axis (none at all), other than the illusionistic spaces created by yours truly.

And black & white! I had a dream of an ALL black and white art show over 30 years ago. Still thinking about it.

This piece has so much going on. I kept working on it for quite a while and things would happen in my little world, which would show up. And now… do I mention them or what?

For this evening I’m done. I think this is a blather-post. May need to edit out a lotta lotta. THEN I might add-in some Hurdy Gurdy Dream Reef yadda yadda . . .