“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley”

a little anxious with the studio plans on hold, i easily got over it with the past couple of monsoon weekends where in we discovered: that the contractors who dug up the yard did not put all the dirt back (no, instead of packing it down they tossed what did not fit under the deck causing a sinkhole) and the back door & frame has sprung a leak.   neither of these are problems worthy of much complaint, we are happy and grateful to have dealable things to take care of.  besides there is something to be said from having a break to really get your mind around what you want to do.

updating my book list i discoverd this year is a near neck and neck tie of elmore leonard and david sedaris, although now on the docket is alex ross’ the rest is noise, listening to the 20twentieth century.  its appropo since i began the rough draft and research for ‘talking bout pop music’

this morning i made somebutternut squash chips, our final installment of the local farm delivery goods gifted us with what is quite possibly the worlds largest butternut squash ( we’ve managed 3 three meals out of this)

butternut squash chips


i still don’t know what i was waiting for and my time was running wild

listening to bowie this morning and finding the irony in his words.

my first job out of grad school i found myself in the freezing depths of the desolate north, and with two pieces to show for it, and no real prospects on the job market i decided to move back to texas (where it continues to this day to be warm and overly populated as to make up for the desolation of that year)  one of those right out of grad school pieces (title taken from dinosaur jr’s lyrics from the wagon, which in turn were twisted from bowie’s the wagon)  got into a show and on the cover of the catalog and postcard to that exhibition, which was the boost to the psyche and validation, that as an artist keeps you going.

drawing between the light and dark

drawing between the light and dark

i found new prospects and got employment (both in the field and out to pay the bills) i began to settle in, and focus like the gnomes of zurich on my goal: make more work.  and i did, as part time became full time, and continued to work and build my vitae, more exhibitions, solo exhibitions and i realized i  was good at where i was and what i did, but i wanted more.  (part of the reason for grad school was to be qualified to  teach at the college level.)    so i began the application process: shooting my work,  dusting off the student work, practicing lectures and brushing up on the academic vernacular  i was invited to 3 on campus interviews, which in itself is not bad at all.  but nothing panned out and so after weighing the options i decided to move on.   so now decide if an academic life is the one for me or i just continue to move forward as an independent artist and in the meantime setting up my studio at home.

in news other than my art or thoughts, i got married a couple of weeks ago.  as these things usually are it was over the top in the best ways (food, drink, family and friends)  we chose a beautiful compound in the hill country and had some of our nearest and dearest join us for the weekend.  i got to put my art skills to task with the decor: i made all of the table runners,  vases, cookie trays, cake stands adding a bit of made in china paper lanterns to tie it altogether.  as guests began to head out the vases began to disappear, which is quite the compliment (not to mention my plan was to send them all to good homes) 

the outside vases, waiting to be placed outside

the outside vases, waiting to be placed outside

what can only be described as my "oh pretty cake face"

what can only be described as my “oh pretty cake face”

and for our wedding gift, my best friend made my cake, which was as tasty as it was beautiful.   if you ever find yourself in southern illinois the bakery is Cristaudo’s 207-209 south main street

my life

you can speak your mind just not on my time

you can speak your mind just not on my time

for some reason billy joel managed an earworm into my summer. irony being what it is, the pandora station i found did not play as much billy joel as one would think it would given the station bared his name (and lets be honest when you want to hear something particular you want to hear it and only it)  but a glad tiding of karma led billy joel cds to the house not to mention me forcing everyone at a friends birthday to watch the theme to bosom buddies on the u tube, which was not the music of the night.  playing it over, rejoicing in the happenstance when it came on the radio so i could overdose on its lyrics and discover what it is that was drawing me in.  the working  idea started to become clear.   originally i had wanted/intended a double pair to fit within the context of the words i chose, but they were off, to pleasant in their anger and attitude. the above pair however,  i had been working on sans title and began to play around with the initial placement of the forms, realizing, the slight lean and tilting draw away of the piece on the left conveyed what was needed .  looking at my sketchbook i had also meant to choose a much more biting lyrical section but it felt to derivative of a sophomoric riot grrl statement rather than the decree of owning oneself.


the summer work

my my my we are treating each other just like strangers

my my my we are treating each other just like strangers

well here you go again you say you want your freedom

well here you go again you say you want your freedom

between throwing and firing wedding pots and a dry salt firing of functional ware, which was more an experiment to see what residual salt would get me (the results were not too bad, and i admit the nice orange of reduction is growing on me) there wasn’t  as much time this summer to get work made, but i did manage to get a few sculptures finished, sandblasting was quick and a return to the old norm of having premeditated ideas and sketches to work from.  the next to goal is to start writing more, ive been gathering my thoughts and notes on pop music and am about ready to start working them out on paper with the writing being the next focus of time.


this pair was a redux from the end of semester/start of summer.  i had returned to listening to more of the classics, a moniker that has different meaning depending on ones age, for me this meant returning to the late 70seventies and early eighties. i had wanted to capture the declarative and empowering start in dreams.  and it was a redux because the first set, where a little to thin (think enveloped) so i got out the sketchbook and returned, liked what i got out and then changed up the sandblasting for more angled edge to further the piercing.

music musings

one of my fb friends posed the question ‘ if you were stuck on a desert island and could only listen to one band for the rest of your days what would it be’ while it was interesting to read the choices of others,  i myself chose talking heads, which then caused me to put them back in heavy rotation in the various devices.

I’ve hit replay more than a few times since on, houses in motion,  and have narrowed down a couple lines that i find most intriguing for what i want, then its been playing with punctuation, line breaks as well as the lyrical movement. not quite a haiku or tanka but close.

never get to say much

never get to talk

tell us a little bit but not too much.

Get out of the way!                                                                                                                                       no time to begin.
This isn’t the time,                                                                                                                                            so nothing was done.

  the next step is to figure out what to do with them, i’ve been sketching but so far nothing has clicked, i’ve also got a trifecta in the studio that has been staring at me for a while waiting. waiting and it might just be that some sandblasting can make that happen, its the pesky middle piece where i want to not only focus but tie the other two together and apart at the same time.
besides talking heads, i’ve been playing with some fleetwood mac and trying to work out a little something referencing dreams
and in the respite of dry, humid weather we’ve been having i managed to get some work sandblasted and shot.

i want nothing in return but the softest little breathless word

i want nothing in return but the softest little breathless word

don't look for opinion there is only simple fact

don’t look for opinion there is only simple fact

more from the air, less from the studio

well the last trip out had a small unwelcome hiccup, but i returned home safe and albeit a bit sore.  its left me pondering whether it was possible i have some how entered a co dependent relationship with texas where it won’t let me quit it.

however trip be damned or not i managed to get a couple more nice shots from the air over phoenix, these remind me of turkish tiles and mosaics. the phone camera did not do the colors justice, but i might have to incorporate some of these water shapes into functional ware soon.







and while our studio is being repaired and i am taking it easy, there is no new work to be working on i’ve got a few waiting for glaze and fire.

april pre showers

new blackies 1between the trips (upcoming will be #3) and planning other life altering events i’ve been lax in the studio this semester; but this week i managed to get 3 completed up to the point of sanding, which required drying time and lucky for me i’ve got other things to keep my mind afloat while they dry.  i also got to sandblasting more of the work from early in the year, this pair i like, although i have misplaced what i thought the title would be so for now they have settled on ‘the lengths that i would go to the distance in your eyes” although they and i are not content with this.



the way it sometimes goes



me and barb

me and barb

cleaning up images and uploading them reminded me of the backlog of things i had wanted post/write.  once the procrastination starts the next step is avoidance and then feeling overwhelmed in a “where do i start, those thoughts were so 3 weeks ago” feeling came.  instead of beating myself up or putting it off further, i’ll begin before trip one: i was surprised to see that the caring place used an image of myself and my pal barb for their annual report.  while doing good is payment in itself, it was really just awesome to see me and my friend on the cover.



northern illinois farm fields by air

northern illinois farm fields by air

On the flight home I got lucky with window seats, actually the planes were all small so the choice was window or aisle.  On the way to the Windy City for my connecting flight home (which cancelled right before my eyes but there are worse places to be stranded than ohare, and i did make it home so no harm, no foul) looking out the window and perhaps having 2D design on the brain, I was reminded at how our landscape has some pretty terrific views.  This one was of farmland and while snow covered you can still make out the borders of fields,roads and waterways.  I am in love the juxtaposition of the  hard and organic lines in the composition.

All in all the traveling has me thinking of my responses to questions and wondering whether they were answered proper.  One that I don’t think I gave complete justice to  (and in my defense I can only say I was sleep deprived and nervous) was the question was what is next in my work and research.  The correct answer of course is a long one.  Yes I have a direction and the next move is to write about the work from a music standpoint, which is a major influence in my work although i’m still trying to find my start point, this can often be the hardest part.

a few summers ago I went down a course to figure out why I was making the work I do, not just the canned answer or artist response/statement but more in depth.  It led me to read and research quite a bit: Lyotard, Danto, Merleau-Ponti, back to Baldesarri ( because surprisingly i can always get answers there), Tratctatus (although while I can find answers there, I don’t know if they are the correct answers and i’m not ready to touch that with a hot poker in academic circles just yet)  I had thought my next move would be to theater (for the drama, the interaction) but it wasn’t and the book i sought proved interesting but not helpful so sitting in the q. is alex ross’ the rest is noise and a file folder stuffed with notecards and ideas waiting to draft.

The other part of that question was where is my work going? well i’ve been thinking about doing more platteresque (read: flat wall work) and dealing with aesthetic choices – keep them as a platter, have them be individual pieces, et al… one of the goals here is to have the work read more lyrical movement wise and the option to incorporate multiples rather than coupling.   So I’ve been working on those ideas (as well as working out the technical kinks that come with working with porcelain)  Below are the successful fruits of this labor with working titles.


you and i in silence with nothing else to do

you and i in silence with nothing else to do

shut your mouth cause i'm not listening anyhow

shut your mouth cause i’m not listening anyhow

Spring Break

i had hopes to have some work started and others complete, but it seems that since late february the driving force of life has been work, then traveling (for the possible start of new adventures) and work again (the dean actually had some wise, great words which basically made returning on focusing on the ask at hand quite easy) late last week i wound up sick, so this spring break was not spent doing the things i wanted but at home resting, taking care of little things and reading.   i sped through the david sedaris book ‘ when you are engulfed in flames’ which reminded me of many things, which at some point i shall write about, because this book after all is signed (and there’s a story there without having to go any further, but i might)

so while feeling human and ready to tackle the world all my ideas were thwarted by rain, so i bring you ‘ode to gaiety’ by  james broughton

Go gloom
Begone glum and grim
Off with the drab drear and grumble
It’s time
its pastime
to come undone and come out laughing
time to wrap killjoys in wet blankets
and feed them to the sourpusses

Come frisky pals
Come forth wily wags
Loosen your screws and get off your rocker
Untie the strait lacer
Tie up the smarty pants
Tickle the crosspatch with josh and guffaw
Share quips and pranks with every victim
of grouch pomposity or blah

Woe to the bozo who says No to
tee hee ho ho and ha ha
Boo to the cleancut klutz who
wipes the smile off his face
Without gaiety
freedom is a chastity belt
Without gaiety
life is a wooden kimono

Come cheerful chums
Cut up and carry on
Crack your pots and split your sides
Boggle the bellyacher
Convulse the worrywart
Pratfall the prissy poos and the fuddy duds
Take drollery to heart or end up a deadhead
at the guillotine of the mindless

Be wise and go merry round
whatever you cherish
what you love to enjoy what you live to exert
And when the hight spirits
call your number up
count on merriment all the way to the countrdown
Long live hilarity euphoria and flumadiddle
Long live gaiety
for all the laity