I'd apologize for my tardiness but I somehow don't think anyone is waiting with baited breath to read my updates and...if there is, well, I think I could recommend a few things that could keep him/her from the devil's workshop, viz., idleness which leads to excessive blog reading. I have been fully engaged in the battle beyond the border fighting the forces of the dark side trying to get this adoption finished ...and that without a light saber. I have had all I can handle to keep the inspiration flowing (not to mention the paint), the kids in check and all the while spending more pesos than a shipload of tequila-fueled sailors at Rosa's Cantina on the sea of Cortez. So, I have maintained sanity and am happy to report that our new daughter is fully adopted (we have yet to get permission to cross the border with her) and is as happy as a little Mexican clam. One of my own activities, designed to keep me out of the above-mentioned workshop, has been to read Robinson Crusoe during my travels and while waiting interminable hours between appointments with lawyers and judges. (If they were to make a movie of my life Scott thinks that Chevvy Chase should play me during this part...he must think this all sounds pretty funny)I have to say that the theology expressed by Daniel Defoe (author) is as profound and stirring and as completely encouraging and intellectually satisfying as any of the Puritan writers my beady little eyes have ever had the privilege to read. If you have yet to dive deep into well-thought notions of the sovereignty of Providence and the pleasurable answers to questions of the first order provided in the gospel accounts, I highly recommend this book. Originally considered a children's novel this is good and fun reading and quite wholesome for the brain. FYI, if the word "puritan" turns you off in regard to religion than I suggest you do like Elvis did and toss your TV out the window and ...read a bit of history. Some of the best minds and most self-sacrificing examples of noble-hearted men and women who ever lived and who are credited with some of the most significant inventions, writings and achievements ever were Puritans. Anyway, I'm no puritan but do appreciate the well thought -out philosophy that seems to always accompany their work. This painting is a real beauty. Inspired my my recent tropical voyages and awe inspiring clouds that populate the summer sky. It has some thick paint and is another that has a bit of that Maxfield Parrish look to it. Offered here on auction.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I walked through a black widow's web the other day. Several heavy strands stretched across my face as I went unwittingly head-first into and then through the diabolical trap. I wiped and whipped the imagined venomous creature with the hour glass tattoo from my hair and shirt and neck and inside my shirt and, well, you've got the picture. Basically I invented a new dance step that I'm sure would have earned a great score had one of the "stars" done it. How did I know it was a black widow you ask? Well, to anyone worth their salt it's a small thing to know the difference between an orb weaver's web and that of your run-of-the-mill house spider. They are thick like mono filament fishing line, say about 4lb test. When you feel a web that doesn't give as you reach down to pick something up in that deep dark damp corner of the basement (we have no basements in the southwest) you know that you're close to an encounter with a woman who kills her spouse and sucks his guts out. One of the fringe benefits that comes with the beautiful summer monsoons is the proliferation of all creatures great and small. This cool new painting is the direct result of my black widow rendezvous and the thunder storms that have Davey (the black dog) hiding under anything that will cover him. It is being offered on auction here....it's available for 10 days so get it while it's hot.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Listening to a radio show this morning as I paint....Talking about the border problem etc. No one (local callers) seems to have a very broad / historical take on oppression verses freedom. Opinions abound as to how and why and who they should let cross the border. One of the presidential candidates (not the one who owns a Hawkins original oil painting) stated during a 4th of July rally that America is great 'cause of it's people...the great diversity. I believe he couldn't be more wrong. America is diverse because America is FREE. America has been great... because of the unique freedom we experience....really unlike any other country in just about any time in history. (I have both time-traveled and lived abroad) This is the only place where the poor or minority or foreign born can become a doctor or teacher or a governator or whatever...quite unique I think and yet...the greatness is deteriorating precisely because of it's embracing and focusing on "diversity" rather than empowering people through the freedom found here. America lets more people enter the country (legally) than the sum of all other countries combined. (I just heard this stat not long ago) Yet it seems we continue to undermine the very things that make this a desirable place to be, eg., the Tucson Sidewinders triple A ball club is leaving the state, the Minnesota North Stars hockey team was sold to Texas, and the Vikings are trying to recruit by subterfuge ex-enemy Bret Favre. Seems one of the only saving factors is that Bob Dylan still tours incessantly and so, there is hope. If he's coming to your town you better try to catch him. He's 67 years old and still has some teeth left....and his voice is as beautiful as ever. There you have it. My answer to all the worlds problems. Thanks Bob.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I'm reflecting on youth and a few things that go with it. One of them is the absence of sense that comes from experience....and that's no nonsense. (a nice little rhyme eh?) My kids are reading a book written by teens 4 teens. The premise is that the youth of today aren't challenged enough, the expectations that society puts on them are just too low. The book promotes a Rebelution (combine revolution and rebellion) to change the world for the better. There's a lot of good stuff in there and some of it is very thoughtful to be sure. But, the idea that the teens of today are gonna do anything other than grow up is little more than the typical idealism that smites the heart of many a folk before they have their own kids to raise....and they realize just how un-smart they really are. Well, I won't rain on their parade...life does that enough for all of us and in spite of the thunder and getting a bit wet I am all for aiming high...and standing out in the weather. As I look back on the ventures of faith I've been on I am glad no one was there to put the cabash on them. Maybe it would've saved me some heartbreak but how would I know how good a mended heart feels if I hadn't experienced a broken one a time or two? Here's a nice little picture that will serve only as a healing balm and salubrious salve...for your broken heart.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
I just couldn't wait to post this picture. It has a companion sign that says END HASSLE FREE VEHICLE ZONE with a slash across the picture! The last time I passed it my camera froze up right as I was about to take the shot. Lastima! We were about 300 miles south of the US / Mexico border traveling in the "hassle free zone" without a care in the world. We motored down the highway, wind in our hair as we threw unfinished food and aluminum cans out the window with impunity and zero qualms of conscience. With only 79 clics to go before the hassles started I wanted to pull over and get a picture of the last sign. As soon as you leave the special buffered protection of the zone all bets are off. You don't know what's gonna happen after that. I never know whether to breathe a sigh of relief upon entering the zone or to expect more hassles as I leave it. I have been stopped in Mexico at least a dozen times for traffic violations...both on the highway and in small towns. Also, I've been stopped in the hassle free zone and been threatened with the loss of my car, my license plates and my driver's license. Lucky for me I know some of the local jargon and it seems that I am somehow always related, one way or another, to the cops that pull me over. I think only one time did I ever pay a fine. It was for $5...after which the officer apologized for lying about the other "infractions" he had tried to lay to my credit (and after recognizing that it was just my Nordic features that hid the fact that I could understand him and that gave him a momentary lapse in judgement). I gave him a ride home as his shift was ending right after my illegal U turn. So it is that us intrepid world travelers must never take for granted the always wary and ever vigilant keepers of the law. I'm convinced that the Wal-Mart greeters were at one time Costco receipt guards in the prime of their youth and that Mexican traffic cops where...well, very friendly once you got to know them.
Friday, July 4, 2008
A new scene is pictured in another big ol' painting. I do like to paint big...used to be something I was intimidated by but a large palette and big blobs of paint help to take the edge off the fear factor. There is a lot of paint on this bad boy too. The golden/rose sky is pretty cool and this, in spite of a slow season for eBay, is being offered at auction right here. This particular painting will look especially good in one of our wide profile black frames. (keep that in mind if you bid)Does it bum me out a bit when I sell a large painting at a low price on auction? Well, yes and no. Most of the time a lower priced auction ends up going to a repeat customer...that warms the cockles of my heart. Sometimes it will be a new collector but they are almost always very appreciative if not altogether savvy about art and what they got. Once in a while someone will think that the gallery and retail prices I mention on the sale page in describing the value of the work is just a bunch of hot comedy. There is an awful lot of that out there so I can hardly blame anyone for doubting the stated value... but it does hurt. I'd almost rather not sell at all...just enshrine my little babies in a secure vault and let my progeny sort out the estate after I'm gone. Or,... I could just burn them in effigy.
I guess, after all is said and done, I want them (the paintings) to be happy in their new homes scattered hither and yon throughout the American countryside adorning the otherwise bland and barren walls. Well, if FDR promised a chicken in every pot the least I can do is hope for a painting in every room (they don't all have to be mine)
Thursday, July 3, 2008
A great picture of a Midwest field. This was made with lots of paint and lots of expressive strokes...actually, not really a lot at all. I was very conservative and deliberate in my painting of this cool tonalistic (sort of) scene. It has a real cool vibe to it. Will make for a great wall hanging. Speaking of cool, below is a little known true story of one of my many brushes with fame.
I was a budding rock star at 18, or so I thought. Already the classic rock of the early 70’s and 60’s was considered retro but we had made it ours. I was convinced that the Beatles and Dylan and Clapton et al. would be nothing more than footnotes when the last pages of rock-n-roll history were written. We would be one of the main chapters. So it was that on a windy and rainy Minnesota evening my band mates and I rolled into an Edina neighborhood. We had a gig at a private party…mostly older folks, 20-30 somethings. We played a lot of mellow stuff, two sets worth of Johnny Cash,Willie Nelson and Neil Young, in a dimly lit basement next to a Naugahyde bar. There were mixed drinks and maybe other substances floating around for consumption. Intent on the music as I was, I don’t remember many of the sordid details but what does stand out as a memory was the invitation we received. They said there was this cool guy who had his own studio and was a great musician. He was asking us to come over to his house and jam with him. Having learned my harmonica chops by listening to the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson and Sonny Terry & Brownie Magee I asked if he was a blues man. When they said he played funk and disco I declined. They said his name was Prince…or that’s what everybody called him. I thought the whole scene sounded pretty square and let my friends go over and hang out with “Prince” for the night. I stayed and played a solo acoustic set …on my way to super stardom.