Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010


Exhausted. Traveled down to South Texas for Christmas time with family and friends. Met up with a dozen or so of the old Warehouse Arts crew in Austin for a night, or, the San Marcos Group, as I like to call them. A lively bunch, I always feel the potential possiblity for anything great while around so many of them.

Then it was off to me mum's for the Christmas Holiday. We hung around and ate rounds of homemade chocolate pie, buttermilk pie, fresh apple and bannana nut cake, sweet potatoes, chicken and dumplin's, ham, the works; all of it homemade from scratch of course. One of the best things about my upbringing has always been the cooking. One of my gifts was a pound of beef jerky from Dziuk's, a meat processing market located in the next town over, Castorville. That stuff is great, I coundn't stop myself, I blew through the entire pound in four days. Now my teeth and gums are aching in pain from the constant ripping and tearing, chewing and grinding. If I could have anything other than mom's great pies and cakes and chicken 'n dumplin's, I'd have a pound of beef jerky.

The other highlight was playing round after round of the domino game "chickenfoot" with family including my 93 year old grandmother. There's nothing greater than seeing an ancient old woman laugh her heart out at the cutting up of family and a simple game. It was the most fun I'd had in awhile, and a very good Christmas.


There's potential developing out in far West Texas that could really kick me into high gear for this next year. I'm feeling optimistic about it all, but not enough to go talking about it, I'll let you know. Happy New Year 2011!

P.S. Click on the title link and buy a pound of their strip beef jerky. It's good stuff!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Last Installation in Redford

For my last appearance out in Redford I had devised a sequence of movie scripts to cover as a finale to the year spent there, a closing that would leave open narrations for future ideas. Having placed burial capsules within the park already, my finale was going to include some work, placing objects, sculpture, in the desert along a path leading the viewer into the mountains of the Bofecillos.


George Zupp and I made a decision to join each other in Redford back in 2007-2008. During that time we were discussing the issue of how an environmental change can affect an artist's work through a healthy natural influence. In May of 2009, the capital had been saved, and the adventure was set into action; however, my arrival in Redford was met immediately with tragedy. Losing a friend and companion to the harsh nature of West Texas, my first "marker", or sculpture, went up without my realizing it's importance. It would mark the beginning of my time there, and also serve as the center piece for an ending as well.


An environment such as Big Bend can generate a multitude of inspirations within the heart of an artist, needless to say, it flooded mine with ideas. My relationship with George was a bit distant, while at the same time loosely collaborative. Each person wound up watching the other in what felt like a Mexican standoff of artistic egos, each reluctant to place ideas on the table for fear that the other's were better, or would be stolen, however, we did try to work together in the media of video but from my perspective, the video collaboration was largely unsuccessful. In retrospect, the bigger narrative videos I had scripted were never produced, largely due to difficulties between collaborative energies, and partly due to a lack of dependable resources. On the brighter and better side, the desire to produce these videos inspired the greater of the two, an on site installation leading into the mysterious Bofecillos.



The path of the installation was originally intended to compliment George's work beginning with a pyramid of food cans, which he had been sculpting with, and ending with his being reunited with a bunny sculpture, which made several appearances throughout our time there. In the video script, he was to acquire a lost map from the Angel of Death after a West Texas shootout concerning a desert art critique gone wrong. From the first map, he would have to follow along a series of markers and installation pieces to find new maps ultimately leading him in the direction of the hidden bunny. The first point on the map was the pyramid of cans, climbing out of an arroyo near Texas Highway 170 and the old Redford Elementary school.



From that point, a series of posts, or markers, doubling as removable walking/hiking staffs, would lead deeper into the desert. Each post,a total of five, were created from recycled spam cans, metal striping, polymer resin, acrylic & wood and were topped with blue paint buckets or hoods, to protect the medallion pieces from the sun and to also make the markers more visible in the desert landscape. Their installation was key, four being set on a line leading to the top of Checker's Hill and the last positioned off the beaten path leading to an alternate hill where sits the "Golden Chair of Academia", the last resting place of the bunny.






Coupled with the video idea, this was meant to indirectly give a "choice" to George concerning which path to take. The path is not an easy one however, after the second marker the trail dives off into a series of arroyo channels and the path becomes lost, hidden there was a sculpture I rescued from the old San Marcos Warehouse arts scene and titled "portrait bust of a Lost Soul". This was a location of the second map, and encouraged keeping faith and pointed to the next direction. Also, there was a dead tree of stolen spam cans meant to incite horror or disgust in the arroyos. All in all, the participant could find their way out of the labyrinth by maintaining sight of the remaining markers.







The markers eventually follow a path leading up to the top of a hill where my dog was buried and where a blue cross now stands overlooking Kelly Pruitt's jacal, toward the old Polvo Baptist Church, and a view into the larger Bofecillos mountains and Texas' Big Bend Ranch State Park. Just beside that hill, and on the alternative route, stands another smaller hill where I placed an old elementary school chair painted gold, calling it the "Golden Alter of Academia", or "Golden Chair of Academia". It was a poke at our academic backgrounds and an indirect blow from my position that academics will never rise above the magnitude or potency of the supernatural or biblical prophecy in the minds of humanity. But still acknowledges academia's importance as a continuingly vital institution while leadership and direction maintain truth.






In the end, my vision to produce an entertaining sequence of videos revolving around this installation piece were never realized. Fortunately, the installation itself was. In the larger scope, the finale was the installation. It was the artistic effort to produce a physical journey for viewers to experience in a site specific space, a call to all, to adventure seekers to explore some of the desert's mystery in real time. An invitation to take the path of discovery, to continue on into the greater mountains, to reach the higher peaks and find the treasures hidden there, the treasure of imagination sparked by the natural world itself.

More images from the installation:


















Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 Almost Gone

Not much happening. Took a recent trip to Amarillo. Thirty minutes in Best Buy was enough to depress me for a day, standing in the Apple computer section, dreaming about what it would be like to own one. I'm guessing it's for the best, for the sake of this blog anyway. It would be nice to properly edit and store files. Crash and burn.
On the positive end my wood shop has been in full swing. For the last ten days I've been framing small works on paper. There's a Floyd County Christmas Bizarre happening this Saturday and with a bit of luck maybe I'll make enough to survive into the new year.


I've got a lot more to say, and to talk about concerning my progress as an artist, but I'm not feeling up to it now. I want to keep it alive and moving, keep production online and running, let the horse run full gallop forward and break into the larger vision, wield it into reality, get people's eyes on my work and continue building the voice, but; alas, my stars were not made by an easy path. I continue the struggle.

Monday, November 29, 2010

End of November

Well, the Alpine night seemed to go over as a bust. I made an appearance, showed a painting and stated a case. Overall, I'm weary about all the tight West Texas cronies. Even as far up as the Texas Panhandle, it's tough jaring people out of their slowed down conservative drawl. Difficult for me to calibrate business, difficult for me to just get my name out there. It appears the internet is still my best hope. Just keep chipping away here, until I can gain enough capital to approach galleries for a show. My internet participation is going to be pretty low. Loosing ground there too, as machines are dying off left and right. I'm just going to paint for now. There are no friends in art business, very few in art at all.
Installed a desert installation out in Redford, as I pulled out from there. Gonna try and get some pictures up of that and talk about it. We'll see how long it lasts out there.

Friday, November 19, 2010

At Auction Saturday Night in Alpine Texas Artwalk


Bar Three Texas Longhorn, acrylic on paper, 8.5x11", 2010.

Alpine Public Library benefit auction at the Granada in Alpine Texas, bidding ends tonight at 8 p.m.

Last Ten Days in Redford



Redford Desert Constellation

At sites with contemporary, George Zupp, digital photo.

Redford Desert Constellation is a live air trailhead inspired by one year of living spent in the Chihuahuan Deserts of Texas. Just beneath Big Bend Ranch State Park in the Texas County of Presidio, Redford Desert Constellation offers five hooded markers to aid travelers as they approach the first of mountain hills entering the Bofecillos. Behold the Blue Cross of Maria de Agreda atop "Cheg Hill" or sit down and gaze your eyes toward Rio Grande y Conchos river valley agriculture at "The Golden Chair of Acedemia".
Redford Desert Constellation was created and temporarily installed this year by artist Justin Warren Graham and is located just west of late artist Kelly Pruitt's adobe jacal.

2010.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gallery Alpine Night, Alpine Texas Nov. 19-20, 2010.

Working on some pictures for this event. Last year I had some small work around Alpine for "Artwalk", as it is called. Alpine is a West Texas town about 33 miles east of Marfa. It's a railroad/ranching community and home of Sul Ross State University. Currently, I'm painting away in the Texas Panhandle for a return presence this year. This new work has been a full return to the acrylic medium. The objective is to bind languages of acrylic into a body of work descriptive of my origins of youth. If you're traveling in that area of Texas for the Holidays, reserve Friday or Saturday night this November at the Holland Hotel for front door action and festivites.


Waitin' on a Bunch, acrylic on canvas, 36"x48", 2010.


The title link will take you to www.thehollandhoteltexas.com.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Do IT! Go vote!



http://www.youtube.com/user/JustinWarrenGraham?feature=mhum


Click the title, go see some 'o my cows.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New work

After a summer working on a ranch in Sanderson Texas, I've landed back in the City of Lockney working on paintings for this Fall in Alpine and beyond. Here's a taste of what I'm producing, this picture is a detail of a larger 36"x48" canvas completed, 2010. There are more to come!



DETAIL; Waitin' on a Bunch, acrylic on canvas, 36"x48", 2010..

Monday, October 11, 2010

Next Level Pages

you know something, ???.

Anything writ in a blog is dang lucky to get there. Therefore, things shared in one of these scripts is the result of some overflow, crashing out of books, illustrations, colour, painting chairs.

A tide of digital numbers printing in mind reading with eye now.

A crumudgeon whirlwind.
Befalling a herd,
In the night of an'ev'nin'

By the poltergiest light of a cotton gin millin'.




THE END


J.W.G. 2010.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Definitions of the Vacuum

Well, not much to say really. Actually, there is more than your mind can imagine. The details of my life are like the sandy grains of a shoreline, desert, mountainline. Like a ship lost at sea with an angry stomach, this way and that, no control if I wanted to.

The abyssal is full of barking dogs that never shut up. Nevermind.



The great difficulty of our time is to discover how to maintain the past course of maps. To not completely lose all that is where we've been. Our history will always and forever define us. Our past, both physical and spiritual, is fact.
Existed as long as the universe. Consciousness aligned with matter on a plane.
Experience is our feeling, our sense of doorway. The door. The connection that binds together two rooms, both powers of the magnetic poles, positive / negative.

This begins to explain the vacuum.


Friends, and Question.
My disparage over the last three months of pay.




After the first month of ranchhand capentry work:



Title LINK takes you to:
Featured Artist, George "Chicken" Zupp and his dog Haas, Redford Texas, 2010.
If you would like to visit my youtube site, scroll down to the video bar at the bottom of the page.

Thank You

Sunday, September 26, 2010

le /negete' ~ Negetism

Concerning darkness, or the time period of calender day which is night.






Cotton Module Nocturn, oil on cardboard, "4x6", 2008.


09/2010.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Donate to my imac campaign

I am in poverty, but before I choose a real job, I choose art and the suffering that befalls those with no support in it. It is my choice. I choose to continue art. My computer is deficient, weakening my progress in this new world, disabling my comunication to people about what truely it is that is happening here. Click the apple to go paypal and donate!






Monday, July 12, 2010

Calm after the storm

digital image 000537, Terrell County, Texas 2010.

Whew! It's a rough patch going in life after things in which there is minimal security or gaurantee. One thing, keeping up with a blog while living on a skid row situation. I use that term minimaly, I'm not hooked on dope or anything, I just hit a patch of joblessness and monitary flatline, all while pursueing the act of painting. It's a feeling of no control, of extreme disappointment followed by anger and frustration when the life forcast for the pursuit of happiness seems unattainable. For me, that stuff has always come around in my time like a chronic sickness. It doesn't have anything to do with anybody else, it's just a set of obstacles placed to defeat, as they are set for everyone; however, adversity is harder for some.

My tough times always seem to bare the illusion of finacial bust, or an extreme lack of finances to accomplish goals, moreover, the lack of opportunity to find work sufficiant enough to build savings to accomplish goals. This is the social struggle of the American Dream. To come from poverty and stay in poverty. I always hear the critiques; "That white dude ain't got no worries. Shit, he got everything." Why do I use the term "white", because such discimination is real, pegged auto-rich by color.

Anyway, having nothing all the time isn't so hard once you realize that you've been given all you need, and that any extra would be overly cumbersome. I realized this through me talking and walking with God. He told me. Once I came to the notion that it would all work out better from the perspective I was given all the impatient frustration of struggle and the seemingly impossible ability to get in the game went away, for the most part, it still comes around when I wonder too far off, or impatience is allowed to build. But I figured I am in the game, at best I came be for that period of time.

This post is coming from way out in the desert ranchlands of West Texas. An old friend contacted me way back in March when these struggles began. It wasn't till three weeks ago that I discovered what exactly his contacting me ws about. He wanted to offer me a job helping out as a hand on a ranch, a ranch he had been employed as forman to rebuild, a 100,000 acre ranch that had been previously neglected. The masterful thing, and I had expressed this to my collegue, Zupp, was the question about artist patrons. Who are they? Where are they? When will they arrive and why aren't they coming? I guess it takes more of that time? Ironically, it would be that the storm of the last few months would settle away into the blue of the sky with my patrons arriving dressed in the same broken bankrupt suit that I wore also, completed wrags and sunburn skin, worn out boots and tatered jeans. They came back from town with nothing, nothing but heartache and memories of the fast paced flash city life! They came back as broke as I was, dreams that rose up in spirit and topled over, only to understand that they were always there at home, just waiting for them to come back.

For me, the opportunity has been given to help on this ranch with a little pay (security), time and place(to chase my painted vision around in a room), and the revived memory of the old times when we were all children, and we were all as rich as we needed to be with nothing at all, except the people who cared to see us achieve the things we love to do. So if you've followed this writing, and you've read along with me openly in my despair, thank you. It seems that just as the ship is surely sinking into the watery abyssal, that no more water touches the toe before the rescue ship arrives, and with better accomodations than the busted vessel sinking to the bottom of the sea.

digital image 000531, Brewster County, Texas 2010.


09/2010.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Who is this watching my passwords?

digital image 000251, Floyd County, Texas 2010.


Well, the Panhandle still defeats the desert by a grande means.
Better light, for starters, but definately for the abundance of life.

September 26th, 2010 Issued Correction. by J.W.G.

"I can understand why they each are considered West Texas. Each abundant in life, each beautiful light...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Traveling


Passing Sign, digital image, Dallas Texas, 2010.


Dallas Skyline from IH35N, digital image, Dallas Texas, 2010.

Randomly searching for finances the last couple of weeks. Nothing great to tell. Painted a few pale horses here and there, light poles, trees; acrylic on wood. Back and forth on Highway 90, Uvalde, Hondo, San Antonio. Always did love the capital. Think It needs to remain Texan. But I enjoy passing there. I've got to go to Sioux City, post pictures when I find availible wifi next.


Texas Capital from South Congress AVE, digital image, Austin Texas, 2010.

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