Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Here is the unfinished wall I am working on right now. This is one layer of a three layer "glass birch forest" I am making for a hotel/ restaurant in NYC. Some jobs seem to flow along smoothly--this was not one of them...in the end I am happy with what is going on with the wall and clients are very happy. The two other layers will be installed tomorrow and then my stress level will drop 75%. This wall is three walls 60 by 8 foot total on half inch glass.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Here is the second book I am reading. I am not a huge fan of Warhol but his interviews are pretty funny and he was clever. Many people do not know that he stole much of his ideas about cult of personality etc. (admittedly) from Dali. Also, Dali used a coke bottle in a painting long before Warhol's soup can. This was (I believe) Warhol's inspiration for pop culture imagery etc. Warhol was a clever artist but he was no Dali and I am not sure I would place the of label genius on him as I often do with dali.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
here is some info. regarding the history of sunspots:
The Maunder Minimum
Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. Very few sunspots were seen on the Sun from about 1645 to 1715 (38 kb JPEG image). Although the observations were not as extensive as in later years, the Sun was in fact well observed during this time and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the "Little Ice Age" when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes. There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past. The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.
Monday, September 22, 2008
WHAT IS GREAT ART
Chancellor of the Alexander Order
Great art is more than a treat for the eye or a tonic for the spirit. Truly great art is an expression of the innermost soul of a people: an expression of that people's yearnings and ideals, of its deepest hopes and joys, of its meaning and purpose.
Is there anything which Americans need more today than a renewed sense of purpose in their lives? Our forefathers in Europe strove to uplift themselves and their people to new levels of greatness. The best of them saw their purpose as the elevation of man, and they were often able to inspire their fellows with the same feeling of purpose. In America today there seems to be little, if any, sense of purpose beyond the individual accumulation of material wealth and the pursuit of pleasure. This aimlessness has taken an enormous toll, not only in lives destroyed by drugs and alcohol, but even more in the degeneration of our national life.
Today the great standards which guided us in the past have been ridiculed, belittled, and torn down. This is true of art, which in turning to modernism has lost all meaning for the American majority, and it is true of most other aspects of our social and cultural life. In view of this it is hardly surprising that so many of our young people are leading confusing lives and are looking to the future without hope.
It need not be this way. We can have standards again. We can renew the purpose and meaning in the life of our people. The great art which inspired and guided our forefathers is not dead. It lives today in the magnificent sculpture of Arno Breker. His art is the living expression of the same spirit which inspired the Greeks of the Classical Age and which flowered again during the European Renaissance. It can also inspire Americans in these dark days and guide them again to the light.
Classical art is the true art of Europe, the true art of our people. This is why so many great leaders of the past--Napoleon, for example--took care to instill Classical ideals in their citizens. This is why they commissioned artists to create art in the Classical tradition for state buildings and public monuments, to serve as a standard and an ideal for the government and for the people. They knew that only with great and noble ideals is it possible for a nation to achieve and maintain greatness.
Greatness is what we want for America. Our hearts yearn for a great culture once again, for great deeds once again, for great heroes once again. We yearn for the elevation of our people, for the bringing forth of a higher man: a man of will and purpose and greatness of spirit. We want our people to glorify the great, the noble, the beautiful, and the divinely creative once again.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
"Eighteen hours wasn't enough."
My Freedom Bird touched down at Travis Air Force base in southern California on November 3, 1968, two days before Richard Nixon was elected President. When our landing gear touched the runway, almost every soldier, Marine, airmen and sailor aboard that plane cheered and howled.
At Travis, many of us headed for the bathrooms to change our uniforms. We shed our tropical khakis and donned our dress winter greens. From Travis, a group of us took a bus ride to the San Francisco Airport to catch our flights home. At the airport, the men on the bus, veterans who had been traveling together since leaving Nam more than eighteen hours earlier, shook hands, wished each other luck, and walked off in different directions.
With duffel bag slung over my shoulder, I went looking for an airport bar to have a cold beer and call home. Throughout the long flight from Nam, I had this knot in the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t figure it. It wasn't my fear of flying. It was something else. Unlike the other veterans on the plane, I hadn’t cheered when the plane landed. A beer would help relax me, I thought.
As I walked through the terminal looking for a bar I noticed the way civilians looked at me. The stares of some made me uneasy. I was sure it was the uniform. A beer would help. But first I had to call Brooklyn and let my family know I was back in the States.
I found a bar with a phone booth in the back. A single customer sat at the bar, a middle aged man in a gray business suit. The bartender watched me as I walked to the back of the bar. I dropped my duffel bag outside the booth, closed the door and made the long distance call. As I waited for someone to pick up at the other end, I glanced at the bartender. He was watching me. It's the uniform again, I thought.
I heard my eighteen year old kid sister on the phone. It was great. Hearing her voice helped ease the tension in my gut. When she realized who was calling, she became excited on the phone. She was happy I was safe in California. She asked for my flight's expected arrival time in New York so she could invite family and friends over the house for a homecoming party. I told her I didn’t want a party, at least not for a few days. She sounded disappointed, but said she understood. That's what I wanted, I said.
After the call, I looked forward to a cold beer. I picked up my duffel bag and walked over to the bar. The bartender was waiting, looking as if he expected trouble. I ordered a beer.
"I'm sorry soldier," said the bartender, " but I need to see some ID. You have to be twenty-one to drink in California. I’m sorry, but it’s the law." He was a big guy, half-a-foot taller than me, yet he seemed nervous asking me for ID.
I remember thinking he was joking. This is a comedian, I thought, who liked playing jokes on soldiers coming home from the war. I expected him to bust out laughing and tell me he was joking, maybe even offer me a beer on the house. So I waited, waited for the him to bust out laughing, to tell me he was joking, to ask me what kind of beer I wanted.
The place was empty except for the middle-aged man in the gray suit who sat a few stools away at the bar. I looked at the stranger. "He's kidding, right?" I said, not really expecting an answer. I turned back to the bartender and repeated my question, "You're kidding, right?"
"It's the law in California," he said, a little too loudly. "I'm sorry. I don’t like it, but it’s the law. Soldiers come in here all the time and I have to ask them for ID. I don't like it, they don't like it, but if you’re under twenty-one and I serve you alcohol I can lose my job."
I could see he was dead serious. He wasn't going to sell me a beer unless I could prove I was twenty-one, which I wasn’t. I wasn’t sure how to react. Wasn't it obvious I had just flown in from Nam. At first, I was more embarrassed than angry. Then I realized the situation was actually absurd, hilarious even. I began to laugh. I think the bartender misinterpreted my laughter for something more ominous. He started shaking his head, perhaps thinking I was about to do something crazy. After all, I had just emerged from a jungle war eighteen hours earlier. The bartender's concerned look kept me laughing. I realized this poor bastard was going through this shit with young veterans all the time. Maybe he'd gotten into a fight or two. Maybe police were called, arrests made.
For me, it was embarrassing, sad and funny all at once. There I stood in my dress greens, an airborne trooper back from the war, wearing a rainbow of ribbons on my chest, jump boots on my feet, trousers bloused, enemy shell fragments embedded in my jaw and neck, an airborne cap cocked to the side of my head. I didn't feel the part, but I looked like a goddamn war hero. But to the State of California and this bartender, I was still a minor.
This meant one thing. I was back in the Real World. The war was back there somewhere, with its own terrible rules. Goodbye to all that. For me, the war was over. I was now expected to live by a another set of rules. In the Real World they had rules about who could and couldn't drink beer. The problem was that I didn't have a switch in my head that I could flip to make an immediate adjustment. I wasn't ready to accommodate these new rules. It was too sudden. Eighteen hours wasn't enough. I still had this knot in my stomach. I was thirsty. I needed a beer and didn't really give a shit about the laws of California. My uniform was my fucking ID. The situation stopped being amusing.
The bartender was still talking but I wasn't listening. I watched the bartender as he took a bottle of beer from the refrigerator behind the bar and brought it to the only other customer in the place, the middle aged man in the suit. The refrigerator had big glass doors. I could see the cold, green and brown bottles of beer inside sitting on the shelves. I decided I would walk behind the bar and take one. I would warn the bartender so he wouldn't think I was coming after him. I didn’t want trouble. I would tell him up front I was going back there and get a beer and pay for it and since he wasn't serving me he shouldn't worry about losing his job.
I prepared myself for a scrap; but just before I spoke, the man in the suit took the bottle of beer just handed him and gently pushed it toward me, leaving it on the smooth, shiny bartop within my reach.
"Welcome home, soldier," said the stranger in the suit. "The beer’s on me."
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I have been carefully studying the geometry behind the School of Athens by Raphael. If you are going to copy something it is best understand the mechanics behind it--- The old masters never just haphazardly placed their figures and objects in space, they used very careful geometry and golden ratios. When I was in art school I asked my professors about this and they were at a loss to help me so I devoted myself to figuring out geometry on my own. I am fascinated by Raphael's use of the three central circles that seem to spawn from the midpoint of the circle below it. It almost seems to have celestial significance---just a thought...
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
PLEASE NOTE THIS WAS MADE FOR A ROCK BANDS OFF BROADWAY SHOW AND MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME VIEWERS. I PERSONALLY DONT THINK IT OFFENSIVE BECAUSE IT WAS BASED OFF A TRUE STORY I HEARD FROM ONE OF DALIS OLD ASSISTANTS. VIEW AT OWN RISK OR STICK TO MY REGULAR CLASSICALLY INSPIRED ART.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
here is an interesting take on creativity and ideas by David Lynch.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
one of my favorite writings is carl jung's book on synchronicity..here is a photo a collector sent me of the very same piece I am etching in glass. She found this in NYC. My refernce came from the decor on the front of a bar in an interior. If I was rich I would buy this piece of stone or whatever material it is.
this is my latest study.
the coldest point in the last 10,000 years was roughly 0ne hundred and forty years ago --this is known as the little ice age.
this ended around 1875. (this is also incidentally when man began to make his first recored meteorological observations. )
we began taking serious readings of climate at its lowest point in the last ten thousand years.
It seems natural that temperatures will rise up from their lowest level in 10,000 years. I think we should not be too quick to worry about global warming. we should worry more about the effects of TV on humans.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
that is something I think he would find amusing...god must have a sense of humor.
Weather mostly hot & nights sometimes uncomfortably so. Sea variable mostly rather choppy. When no wind fish visible at least 10 feet below surface.
The Barbary Ape is said to be now very rare at Gibraltar & the authorities are trying to exterminate them as they are a nuisance. At a certain season of the year (owing to shortage of food I suppose) they come down from the rock & invade peoples° houses & gardens. They are described as large doglike ape with only a short stump of tail. The same species found on the African coast just opposite.
The breed of goat here is the Maltese, or at any rate is chiefly Maltese. The goat is rather small, & has the top half of its body covered with long & rather shaggy hair which overhangs to about the knees, giving the impression that it has very short legs. Ears are set low and drooping. Most of the goats are hornless, those having horns have ones that curve back so sharply that they lie against the head, & usually continue round in a semi-circle, the point of the horn being beside the eye. Udders are very pendulous & in many cases simply a bag with practically no teats, or teats barely 1/2 inch long. Colours black, white & (especially) reddish brown. Yield said to be about a litre a day. Goats apparently will graze on almost anything, eg. The flock I watched had grazed the wild fennel plants right to the ground.
Breed of donkeys here small, like the English. The conveyance peculiar to the place a little partly closed in carriage like the Indian gharry with the sides taken out.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
This painting by turner has one of the best painted skies ever created by a human. One must see it in person. I would trade every single piece of art made since 1900 (except for a few dalis) for one square inch of the sky in this painting. I cannot believe abstract expressionism ever became a movement when this painting already exisited, did they not know they were doomed to failure from the get go?
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I am under a lot of deadlines so I have to get up at three AM and not my usual 5 AM. I went to the corner deli and the NY Post was not even there yet. Something I will discuss now about art history is the artist Masaccio. He was a lesser-known genius but very important in that he introduced the idea of one point perspective and even though he died young he had a profound effect on later artists. He also made breakthroughs in the way he painted the figure. I suppose he moved art forward from the stiffer, gothic, pre-renaissance style of painting and brought some life and fresh air into his figures. It is good to know that these great figures paved the way so the Metropolitan can have a shark in formaldehyde. Progress!?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I am going to attempt a feat that will surely be my undoing. I am going to try to make a movie of the Leonardo mural I painted on a ceiling. I am will attempt to take the thousand images of time lapse photography and edit them into a movie. I wish I was a techie or a pet photographer so I would not suffer with such issues. the journey of a thousand miles..
12 x 16 inches on arches paper to purchase https://tendollarart.com/products/alice-in-winter-watercolor
Here is a rough sketch layout for a new Palm Beach mural. I always keep my initial sketches rough as you never know where a client's...
Tangled Up In Blue (purple) Early one mornin' the sun was shinin', I was layin' in bed Wond'rin'...
ALEX HAS A NEW BLOG! http://gardega.blogspot.com/ or feel free to cruise the memory of this one...