Saturday, May 30, 2015


The muted mercurial circle of light on the street corner served as a gathering beacon for mosquitoes, June bugs, night hawks and...vandals. Streetlights don't break easily.  What I mean is that you can't just put the things out with a casual toss of any old smooth stone. No, you've got to really chuck something large and hard.  Probably throw as hard as you can, straight up, many times. That's what it takes. Glancing blows hardly faze those things. You'll need to make a direct hit.  First the outer glass cracks, breaks, begins to crumble and then rain. It takes two or three good hits. Half inch thick shards will fall on your head if you're not careful. Finally, after too many misses to count, a rock (or chunk of asphalt) makes it through to the chewy center and..."pop" it goes.  The sparkling light shower is really something to behold, quite rewarding for all the effort.You only have a few moments to bathe in it's fugitive fusile  glow. Sometimes a painting is like that old streetlight on the corner of 72nd and Riverdale road.  They can be tenacious buggers. But once you get to the core, find the key, it all comes together in a luscious blast that the artist savors but for a moment and then ...runs away before someone calls the cops.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Look Up For Your Redemption Draweth Nigh

Dan stopped by last week. He came up from Sonora. He has lived in ol' Mesico since 1980. Not long after that I started flirting with the southern border myself. A few months here and a few months there, mainly in tropical regions; the backdrop for my first forays into the land of "hot chili peppers and a blistering sun". I finally settled in the southern foothills of Sonora state. I lived with a family of goats on a mountainside in a 300 year old mining town.  We shared a house, built with stones, old mortar and petroglyphs with the Gaxiola family. I taught grade school (yes, rural Mexico in the 1980's, rudimentary Spanish and all) and made plans to capture myself a sweet señorita. Anyway, Dan had something to do with that (the capturing part) and we've been friends ever since. I will add a picture below of my young family from back when.  This is not a canned shot.  We had just got back from picking corn on the steep mountainside with our next door neighbors. Life was simple for us then. Hard but simple. The skies always looked like they do in these paintings too. I think I will go back there soon. Yes, I will get a burro, plant some corn on a steep hillside and grow old with my señorita.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Steelheart 12x24, Megan's Tree 18x24

The bike trail has become my new jogging path. Since the titanium implant of 2010 the nagging and niggling numbness in the left leg has hindered the normal fleetness of foot I'm accustomed to. So, not being one to hang up the cleats too quickly, I have turned to riding a bike for health and... for speed. Actually, speed is the last thing I need at this point. (The cleats are also useless) A pleasant tooling around for an hour or so down the two lane paved bike trail is all that's required these days.  However, I often need to navigate a few miles of road traffic to get to safe bike paths. Tucson prides itself on being a bike friendly town with many designated bike lanes and paths etc. But, truth be told, this place is nothing like real biker cities I've been to. All in all, it ain't bad either and depending on the season you can encounter rattlesnakes, tarantulas, heat stroke, sand storms and any number of other wonderful natural phenomenon that enhance your riding experience. I notice there are distinct categories of cyclist out there.  The  middle aged men dressed like The Riddler (those aerodynamic suits  must shave a whole 10 seconds off their Saturday morning ride), with their $5k road bikes are, true to form, the least friendly of all. You can tell who's gonna give you a nod, a "hi", a thumbs up or whatever as the categorical silhouette approaches.  I've gotten to be pretty good at guessing who is going to wish me a good morning and who is not.  Almost without fail the "Riddler",  somewhere between the ages of 38 and 52, is so absorbed in his imaginary time trial and  in displaying his stretchy, euro-colored, suedo-sponsored suit that he cannot afford the nano-second it takes to acknowledge another human being on this planet. I've noticed too that they exhibit the same cockiness to car traffic. Someday, I can only hope to be so important. Meanwhile, I will enjoy all the other friendly categories of walkers, riders, joggers and strollers that are out there and be glad to count myself amongst them. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

 I finally availed myself of the multi -proffered  invites to fish the sea of Cortez where it meets the Pacific ocean.  We have relatives that live in Baja. They are fisherman of various sorts and backgrounds. For the most part their pursuit of salt water fishies has been for sustenance. I had never been in Los Cabos though we lived right across the shining sea in mainland Mexico for many años. Mother's day was the needed propellant and little Carmelita and I were off to spend the weekend with Mama Carmen and a multitude of nephews and nieces.  Pictured here is Juanito. He knows me as tio Paco.  Juan has wanted to take me out Marlin fishing for years. I thought it was all bluster. I said I just wanted to do some in-shore bottom fishing, catch a few to take home and make tacos. I was explicit. I did NOT want to spend a pile of silver pesos to go out sport fishing. Well, happy to report the later was accomplished without the need for the former. The fishing was off the hook (picture above) and tacos and hot chili sauce and good reunions with old camaradas  prevailed.  I might have to open an art gallery there someday.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Synesthesia Downstream 12x36, NP Winterlude 24x24, American River Revisited 24x30

Here are three new paintings for your listening enjoyment...and you thought I've been saying that in jest all these years.  Did you read the recent articles that have made headlines about synesthetes?  Well, if you are one, then welcome and...enjoy doubly!