Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tell Stories

I'm adding this post on the 31st of March, 011 to try and keep up with a weekly write in here at the Operation. The purpose really is because this has become a live diary of sorts where I talk about my problems and tell my heart to the air, talk about my life and what's happening, anyhow.
Life truly is a roller coaster ride for some, and there is no roller coaster like the one that has no worldly security. Ye-Haw! You never know which way that bull is going to buck, till he's got you on the ground giving you the gore through a kidney.
For the last several years my goals have been to acquire enough stability to keep a studio and make paintings. However, life today makes that really strenuous, there's alomost no real security to be found! Truth is, it has never existed on this earth, short of Adam's fifteen minutes in the Garden of Eden. But, you've got to keep swinging the bat. Tomorrow's the first of April and by then I'll discover weather or not this ranch deal will stick. Meantime, I'm working on some pictures that are about my last few years of experiences, a time when I lept into the void to chase after my goals and dreams, a body of work that reminds me of the art of my youth. It's a lot of fun. I'm doing my best to get some money together for a new computer, a mac! But for now it is only paintings, and I no longer feel comfortable talking about them until the entire body has ran it's course and done. That said, here's a teaser:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some Kind of Pep Talk

Well, I'm going to run along with this post while I think of a title for it, I'm not exactly sure where to begin with it. I guess it's been about eight or ten days since I've posted to the Operation, lets just say that it has not been my intent to neglect, but the "real-life" situations that I have been experiencing have been a little more than discouraging. And, I know that people of todays time do not care anything about hearing of one's hardships, or struggles, about no matter how much good they want to do or how hard they work and position themselves they just can not seem to get some traction in the world. Hell, I don't even like writing about it; but, my loyalty to persistence demands it, someone out there is listening...

For as much as I try to do right, it seems that I am rewarded with wrong, and my forward progress slides down a slope that takes me further away from my objectives. I often imagine an angel, just swooping down, picking me up and setting me directly on top of my goal. How great would that be? I'll bet that's the refreshment of a winning lottery ticket for those few who are blessed in such a way, or a family trying to have children for years and years then finally she or he is there.
When I rediscovered art at Texas State University in the year 2000, in a basic drawing class, I was in a social pit of despair. I was younger, my mid 20's, and things were comfortable enough to attend a four year college but I was far out of place socially. I didn't fit in with anyone, really, except a few rural folks that I knew who were attending the same school, from the same hometown as me, but a full load of college courses, to keep my financial aid, and 40 hrs a week working, so I could survive, left me with little time at all for them. So, more or less, I was alone. I did a lot of soul searching in this time, I had done a lot of soul searching before my descision to go to college, so when I was at my spiritual low God answered my cries for help with charcoal and graphite, and a semester later, with tubes of paint and some brushes, as were required for the course of color theory.

Things picked up from there. I knew after a year or so that what I was onto was more powerful than anything imaginable. That, in fact, I was involved in the true final frontier, that place as a boy I considered exploring on excursions into the wild countryside, on missions to find new places to go fishing, which amassed mostly to nearby rivers and distant stock tanks on my uncle's Uvalde County farm. Art had been around my whole life. I consider it one of the most consistent things in my life, less God and regular food and water, with the exception of my late teens, when after high school I swore it off, even at the request of many who urged me to continue, declaring, "All I'll ever do with art is struggle at life, and will never have any money or comfort". I remember saying it, and I was right (so far), one of the reasons why I often consider it as a curse. But, in my young adolescence, I could not foresee the nature and importance of it.

Since my studies at the University I have thought rarely about anything but art and it's massive expanse, it's possibilties, the imagination. Over the last ten years I've discovered, taken apart, and reassembled the whys and how to's of why it is that I must find a way to do this, to keep my head up, keep my hands busy, keep my feet and nose on the trail, render this into the realm of reality. At this point I am having such a terribe time at just keeping up with getting myself in the game. I have spent six of the last nine months working to upgrade my conditions, only to face a situation where the rural work I've been doing, and the man I've been doing it for refuses to treat me with any dignity and pay for my wages worked... I can't even get paid! And my last two hundred dollars will leave my bank and go to direct student loans for the time I spent there. At this time my heart is heavey, I feel oppressed, and I'm losing the will to keep up with this, even though the marrow of my bones shutters at the thought, the last reminencse of my existence on this earth says, "You are too great at this to quit, what you have to deliver will stand forever!"
My bones are right. This is my heart and my happiness at stake. This is what I was placed into the earth to accomplish. All of this said in the face of a lifetime of rural poverty, with no visible way out, except through the paint and brushes that is all that I have, that, and these words.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword

"In this day and age, if you are any kind of a self-thinker, then you are a conspiracy theorist..." J.W.G.

I often find myself pondering the obvious while at labor with work. It is during these moments when solutions are realized and become concrete; most often, they occur while tilling in the earth or handling the pigments and soils of which my physical being is comprised. It is much like coming to the most extensive understanding of the complexity of the universe only to realize it's only scribbled notes on a flat, rigid piece of paper.
I think of art and the world of art from top to bottom, about pictures and the people who involve themselves in these matters. By comparison, in a conversation with Andy the day before yesterday, he mentioned to me some of his business competitors and how they would call you up to take you out to lunch and discuss things real friendly like, then twenty minutes after parting, they're on the phone to cut your throat and take your business away. After five o'clock rolls around, they're calling you to meet up for happy hour drinks, all so they can cut your throat at eight o'clock the next morning.

When you gear yourself up as a young man to take on the responsibility of cultivating art into a legacy and fertilize the realm of humanity you had best understand that the floor under your feet is primarily swamp, and flooded with venomous snakes and hungry crocodiles, reptiles that spew forth the same type of shallow behavior and treachery, mouths full of bacteria. Fortunately, and to the Glory of the LORD of Hosts, this is just the fight I seek. I'm looking for the ultimate place to puke God's own hellfire justice upon the most crude of areas infected by loathsome slothful debauchery. Like hydrogen peroxide on an infected wound, herbicide, pesticide, the ring out shots of warfare against the wicked leaderships. I seek to take the entire grounds of the places of all art and it's people that are not already solidified into history and drive across it with a chariot machine, a craftsman tiller, and turn it's place of soil over and upside
down. Right it, rid it of the weeds and parasites that mean to destroy the beauty and lavish life giving prosperity of the garden itself, calling the action, "ART", a movement I refer to as Negetism, or a period when the wicked constitutions of the world prosper over the good. An inversion of proper subconcious into the dominion of the abyssal.
My intent: Invite and reintroduce an establishment of art cultivation that will ultimately clash with the dominant, "wicked rules" mentality that sickens and hinders, beckons The Pale Horse.
Shoot, what am I talking about? That's me...

I've got to go get my cookies out of the oven. No irrigation gets done without some fresh cookies.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

End of the First week of March, 2011.

Things are slowly grinding along out here along the Rio Grande Valley and Big Bend Basin area. This last week included the execution of several ranch projects around the headquarters and beyond. The first of which involved the redirection of some water lines in order to drain the large supply tank that provides fresh water to the headquarters. It had become overrun with moss and sediment and required cleaning. In order to drain the thousands of gallons of water into a usefull place we linked it with a line that would flood the yard and water the grass. It took two full days to complete the task and then another half day of scooping and cleaning out the tank itself, which rendered a mass of great natural fertilizer for the garden area.

Friday included an all day excursion down into the bowels of the Rio Grande Valley on a quest to extend Andy's mountain lion trapping campaign. This area is an extremely harsh piece of the Texas Desert and if it were not for the Rio Grande itself, nothing would survive. The descent into Reagan Canyon is long and winding, with steep cliffs and bluffs above and below most of the way. Toward the bottom the valley flattens a little and rolls into the river. It is down here in this mountain terrain where the Texas Bighorn Sheep restoration project is going on, an effort to restore these animals into this once natural habitat and also a big reason for Andy's trapping efforts. Along the way we saw the last of the once populated wild burros, solitary, and watching us pass from a ridge. The wild burros were once hunted down, killed and disposed of by potential ranchers years ago. Now even those attempted human settlements within this harsh region lie in ruins, extinct. But not Pedro, the Last Burro, he was there, then he wasn't, like a ghost who could not be removed.
Toward the end of the day we also ran across a small group of wild cattle. They bore no brands and were not very friendly at all, bucking and kicking at the mere sight of our presence, most never seeing a human in their lifetime. It was a long and hot day, but by dark we had made it back to the truck, our mission into the canyons a successful one.
Saturday was another all day expeition into Alpine to gather supplies and groceries for the ranch. I was able to acquire some 1/4 inch mdf board to mount some paper paintings I'm working on, and a new pair of work gloves. Mesquite and the thorny brush of the region seem to destroy gloves faster than you can put them on. We also acquired several plants for the garden, the first of the season, despite the cold front that was hitting early yesterday morning. I'm looking forward to getting them into the ground in a few days and even more so the homemade hotsauce that they'll hopefully produce by summer. By the end of the day it was afternoon drinks at the White Buffalo Bar and dinner at the Famous Burro in Marathon. Then, the trail back to the headquarters, I've got to get more paintings working, clock is ticking.

The Thoughts and Times of

The Video Bar