May 30, 2010

collector, photographer, painter, actor

Photograph of Jasper Johns by Dennis Hopper.

Ike and Tina cover design for "Rivers Deep - Mountain High" by Dennis Hopper.

The handmade feel of the cover is in beautiful contrast to the big "Phil Specter Sound" on the record.

This slightly pared down version feels more in sync with the design.  I highly recommend watching this through to the second half.  Oh, lordy my, that dancing.  RIP Dennis Hopper.

May 24, 2010

muse - dan rose

Some people are the sun that draws all the planets together.  Over the years Dan Rose's gravitational pull has allowed me to meet the most amazing people who have done everything from make a movie together to dance all night.  His rare and inspired view of the world never stops surprising me.  
Happy Birthday!   

(Lorette took this photo with her phone last Saturday behind Ernestine & Hazel's.)

saturday yard sales - scored on lines and colors

May 21, 2010

bow legged

Nature's abnormalities make the best shapes.   (This was picked at the Angelus Street Garden, across from the Piggly Wiggly on Madison Avenue at 6:00 this morning.  The more ideal carrots will be here tomorrow.)  

May 20, 2010

Working outside.  

May 18, 2010

"light breaks where no sun shines" - dylan thomas

Early this morning I pulled down a collection of Dylan Thomas poems that I bought in a used bookshop years ago.  Inside the jacket, written in neat firm handwriting diagonally along the lower part of the title page is this note:

Christmas 1984
To one of the brightest souls I'll ever know:
Take this book, go to Swansea, Wales, follow the seashore to the Mumbles, and read it on the cliffs.  
It's a guaranteed religious experience!  I know that you'll take advantage of every minute of the next few months - and I can't think of anyone who deserves it more.  Keep on growing...
Love and best wishes,

I won’t be going to Wales these next few months, but I will be working hard to “take advantage of every minute”.   Thanks for the encouragement, Tim, whoever you are.  

May 16, 2010

spikes and splashes

Everyday there's something new in this patch.  

Overhead is a long way off.

May 13, 2010

summer's coming

Very soon the windows will be shut and the hum of the ac begins.  In August when I'm fantasizing about being in the Catskills, I may totally regret saying this, but I don't mind the hot sticky Memphis summer.  I like sitting outside at night when it's muggy and best of all, I make a lot of art in the summer months.  There's a place my head goes to in the heat that I need to visit each year.    

May 9, 2010

grow memphis

Since March I’ve been volunteering with Grow Memphis, a non-profit that helps people facilitate community gardens.  Over the course of the spring,  a small group met at the greenhouse at the city’s public works facility by Overton Park.  We planted everything from basil seeds to squash seeds in a potting mix made from compost, sand and peat moss.  Last week the greenhouse phase ended and hundreds of starter plants were given away to gardens all over the city or sold at the plant sale.  

Gardening influences my studio practice in ways far beyond the visual.  I can grow a flower with no problem, but I haven’t had much luck with vegetables.   So working with Grow Memphis is about staring something I’m completely intimidated by squarely in the eye.  That stare down is something I have to do in the studio time and time again.  Like in the studio, though, breaking down the process rids the fear. 

Last week I helped Josephine Williams, Grow Memphis coordinator, pick arugula for the farmers market.  Filling a few buckets full of greens was as satisfying as making a good mark or mixing a clever color.  At that moment it was all connected. 

Here's Josephine.  I agree with the hat.  

May 2, 2010

happenings in the yard

The azaleas are out, the grass is turning green and the dog spends hours basking in the in the sun.  Memphis is magical in the spring.


Peony buds make fine circles.

The columbine is all up in the peony, but I don't mind because the red and purple are gorgeous together.

This iris is actually made from a tiny satin prom dress, bound and ready to burst.  I'm not sure which is prettier, the bud...

or the fully open flower?

More irises....

Herbs and annuals ready to go in the ground...

medicine factory - art, cars & putt putt

The Medicine Factory is a beautiful light filled building off E.H. Crump Blvd that feels like it could be on the pre-war industrial edge of any downtown in any mid-size American city – a dying no man’s land in everywheresville.

The art at last week’s open studio tour was tucked in nooks and crannies all around the building.  Down in the partially flooded basement, in a back room where a boiler could be, there was a small video installation of rooms in a building that felt a lot like the Medicine Factory.  (Later I found out it's a building in Milwaukee.)  It was spooky being in the dark empty corner of a huge basement looking at lingering shots of empty rooms, but I was enjoying being creeped out too much to leave before the loop was over.

While my friend was outside having a smoke, he discovered an automobile graveyard behind an overgrown chained linked fence across the street. 

There should be a nail polish or paint color called "Triumph Brown".