drummer boys

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Sunday, March 4, 2007 3:44:55 PM

If you can’t think something nice better not to think anything at all. I suppose. Not a satirist’s creed. But an interesting exercise.

So every little while I shut up and paint. It doesn’t stop my critical thinking, doesn’t improve it any either… but it slows my talking some. Perplexing for visitors. I’m happy to see them come and I’m happy to see them go.

Half past midwinter. Still cold but there’s sun later in the day and the fire isn’t so much a concern. One day last week both the cat and the dog were out sitting in the yard Sounds like the beginning of a children’s radio play but it was a welcome indicator of spring’s never ending capacity to inspire edgy mutual tolerance.

These claustrated winter parties in the snow belt. You go to parties and everybody looks sneaky pouring another glass. Like everyone’s hitting the sauce pretty hard while planning an intervention for the next guy.

The stove isn’t a going concern now. With the new daylight In the studio everything looks crude. The paintings look crude, the room looks crude. My talk is crude too. The light reaches the cat hair in the corners. I am a stoned slave to a month of sundays thinking of something undone in the lap of luxury caught in some wrongfulness or some anointment, on one of those days you feel so entirely and uneasily enthralled by some fool interior thing that in the most mundane of community conversations you feel you’re tunnelling.

Before I’d much begun my education in human affections I read Proust, knowing I should, wanting to be able to say I had read the fucker…and nearer now to the end than to the beginning of that sentimental education, Proust is the nearest thing I have to sane counsel. Sad really. Happiness, that many splendored one man dog.

I’m up late taking advantage of the solitude, working on a little drawing. Uselessly. Everything I paint lately has a brutal quality in the drawing I try to subdue. Billy says too that right now his own drawing alarms him initially. I guess that’s good. I’m politely pressuring away the distractions.

I’m trying to submit to the hours, go with the flow as the young people here in the hood say but I keep hearing a buzz saw. I wish sometimes I were more capricious. But then I guess with some that’s just one step closer to postal. Tell you how it works, any enlightenment I get out of painting, on how gross a level it comes to me. I’ll spake in parables. I never know why I’m painting any particular piece of subject matter until long after I’ve begun.Anyway, I’m painting a very difficult picture right now, two figures in similar postures seen from a raking perspective from above. Difficult drawing and obvious. Working from a very small photograph. They’re children so I don’t want to be sentimental or distractingly sensual and things are falling into place slowly and deliberately with no corrections a boot, a hand, a drum at a time.

I’ve been trying to focus on this complicated drawing, working on it upside down and sideways literally and wondering why I’m working on the subject matter at all. I turned it right side up and focussed in on the forms as representational rather than abstract and what am I looking at? Two comfortable male figures sitting fairly well apart on a big gray tarp on a lawn. They’re playing drums. They’re holding primitive communication devices.

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~ by Rocky Green on March 16, 2007.

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