Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I am breaking from my session, paint wet on my fingers and now keyboard, for a short minute to write down this thought rattling in my tranced out head. I have been painting furiously. No sleep. No eat. No. Nothing but the work. Work.

As I should, I allow the subject matter to inhabit my studio, my ears, my eyes, my bed, my bones, my fate and my soul. In this body of work, mostly centered on jazz musicians I love, I find the subject matter cracking the casing from which I used to create within.

I wake whistling horn phrases from Sonny, Wayne, John, Miles, Louis. I organize my paints in terms of pitch rather than color. The music roots down.

Jazz: The moment. Right now. Not then. Now.

I choose to become the art I am creating. History is crucial. The more I study, the more I ask. The more my paintings evolve. And expand. I have tasted the tip of the iceberg and I want more yet know my limitations. It is for the prophet alone to dive headlong into the unrewarded. The old paintings I did of jazz musicians were scratches on the surface. So are these. Yet, with these I see the man scratching. I may not penetrate but I know more this time around. I feel more this time around.

Jazz: Adaptation. The greatest human achievements begin with a problem. I throw problems onto my canvas. Then I adapt. I take a painting already finished and I strike through it with pink. Then I turn it on its head and start from scratch. But never from scratch. That old painting, disfigured and dismembered is the foundation for the new work.

All great music stands on the shoulders of another. There is no Miles without Dizzy. There is no Dizzy without ... There is no one source. There is all.

There is John Coltrane.

There is God.

Why do I need my painting to look just so? I have a camera. Why don't I take a damned picture if I need it to be just so? This is not about you. This is about me. This is my life and so this is my art. If I hang up thinking about you I will never let the real me out. So I go.

Jazz: Allow it to be what it is. Instead of polishing tunes, Miles releases Bitches Brew, which is a documentation of a group of individuals adapting and improvising. The documentation of the journey to discovery. Are there pieces they wish were different? Of course. But that is why it needed to be recorded. For us to see them struggle until they found the solutions. And so this art, I let be. I work as hard as I need to on some aspects, while leaving the impressions of my struggle on the rest. And in this I find great peace. Great satisfaction.  I learn.

I unlearn.

I choose to forget.

I release my fear. My knowledge. My lack of knowledge. I release everything except my ability to improvise right now. Right now.