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Can you believe Chrome users outnumber Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox users? Am I living under a rock?
I'm a Firefox guy, for you completists. And I'm listening to Patsy Kline on vinyl as I type.
On July 4th, 2006, I embarked on a quest to become the pre-eminent American portrait painter of the 21st century. This blog chronicles that journey. With apologies to Joan Didion, I call it THE YEAR OF MAGICAL PAINTING.
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Which is a crass way of establishing artistic worth.Yes it is. But at the same time, it's not chopped liver.No it isn't.
Or shit.Yes. Or shit.
And you comfortable with the cheerleader reference?Yes. I suppose so.It might make some people uncomfortable. You are, after all, what? Seventy years old?First of all, I'm not that old. Second, people in the arts can say whatever they want, by and large.But that guy with the Marlins can't say he likes Castro.No he can't.Okay.
I wonder if anybody will show up.Just out of the blue?Well, not out of the blue. Based on your specific invitation above.They just knock on the door and say "I read your blog and I've popped by."? I call that out of the blue.Well, regardless. I'm just wondering.They won't. I can promise you.Kind of a buzz-kill, that sort of negativity.Maybe so, but I'm a grizzled professional. I am, however, loving my little watermark G stamp.
Bear is fine!
Lord, help me to become the painter my dog already thinks I am.
Update: The alarm has stopped. Perhaps it burned up in the fire.I had oatmeal for breakfast and I'm listening to Kat Edmonson, whose stuff is pretty good although her voice is girly enough as to make it an acquired taste. Jazzy stuff, kind of like Nelly McKay but without the loathsome self-indulgence that renders Ms. McKay a truly annoying listening experience.
I stole the only girl I lovedYou have to hear it to see how she draws out those 'yous' -- three syllables each -- but wow, what a song. And loathsome might be too strong a word.
And drowned her deep inside of me
You ... soft and only
You ... lost and lonely
You ... just like heaven.
I probably shouldn't say.
Well, just the notion of you labeling somebody else as loathsomely self-indulgent seems, on the face of it, to be the zenith of hypocrisy.
Wow. Don't hold back. Let me have it.
I do have more, if you'd like.
Stop. I retract my previous statement.
The one that says don't hold back and that you should let me have it.
So you're saying you don't want me to let you have it?
Realizing, as I'm sure you do, that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?
Yes, realizing that very thing.
Okay. Perhaps some other time.
Like the Ming painter Shitao, whose free brush Fu especially revered, Fu believed that liquor stirred the creative juices. “Often After Being Drunk” is the phrase on a personal seal that he frequently stamped on his paintings. More than one art historian believes that Fu drank himself to death. If so, it may have been just in time. He navigated more than his share of ideological challenges, but it seems unlikely that he would have survived those of the Cultural Revolution.I bet the man never once went to the dentist.
Patience, Grasshopper. The path to truth is fraught with peril.Stuff like that. It may be working against me.
Update moments after publishing: Look! Click on the "Clients" tab. She's got a blurb from some guy from the ADA talking about the very event! What fun is this!
How many exclamation marks is that?I suppose, in the interest of inclusion, I should mention that we were both working for a company called Van Vechten and Associates. Prettiest office I ever had. Beautiful brownstone. 12 foot ceilings. Fireplace. I looked out across East 64th Street right at the Plaza Athenee. The tenant above was Carolina Herrera, the fashion designer. She was quite pleasant, by the way. But her husband was an ass.
I know. But I got excited. I apologize.
And it's laughable to think anybody reading this blog needs crisis management.
Yes it is. I apologize for that too.
Or if they did, that they'd use this blog as a resource for obtaining consulting services.
Okay, enough already. I apologized.
I can just imagine the conversation: "Hello, you don't know me but my company is being investigated by Rolling Stone Magazine and I need to train my spokesperson for the worst case scenario. I read about your company in The Year of Magical Painting and was hoping you would help."
The mind reels, doesn't it?
Yes it does.
A cheap shot.And yes, we were expensive. But that's not the point.
No, not very sporting. Although Tamara was extremely attractive.
I hear you, brother.
And I was wearing a full-enough beard that some of my friends referred to me as Rabbi Huffnagle.
More recent?I'm thinking about Oratio.
Yes. I'm painting one a day, with the odd break.
I can feel the influence of Augusta National on your work.
Yes you can. The above depicts the 12th hole at Augusta.
I get nauseated just looking at it.
It's a stressful hole. But at least when you put your ball in the water you can usually find it.
Which is nice. Golf balls are expensive these days.
What does that mean?
Oratio. As the first name of my character.
As in, off the top of my head, "There are more things in heaven and earth than dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio."
My God, what a loathsome term.
It is, isn't it? Kind of gives the whole enterprise short shrift.
Yes it does.
Ando Hiroshige was born in Edo (now Tokyo) and at first, like his father, was a fire warden. The prints of Hokusai are said to have first kindled in him the desire to become an artist, and he entered the studio of Utagawa Toyohiro, a renowned painter, as an apprentice. In 1812 Hiroshige took his teacher's name (a sign of graduation), signing his work Utagawa Hiroshige. His career falls roughly into three periods. From 1811 to about 1830 he created prints of traditional subjects such as young women and actors. During the next 15 years he won fame as a landscape artist, reaching a peak of success and achievement in 1833 when his masterpiece, the print series Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido (scenes on the highway connecting Edo and Kyoto), was published. He maintained this high level of craftmanship in other travel series, including Celebrated Places in Japan and Sixty-nine Stations on the Kiso Highway. The work he did during the third period, the last years of his life, is sometimes of lesser quality, as he appears to have hurriedly met the demands of popularity. He died of cholera on October 12, 1858, in Edo.The original painting in question was executed in 1857, which suggests, as per the above, that my boy Hiroshige had fallen off the sharp edge of genius. Hey, it happens. WebMuseum, Paris is a fun website. Send the man some money by clicking on the Everything you need to know section, then the FAQ section, then the How do I contribute? section. Yes, it's complicated. But life is short, my friends.
In your defense?I'm currently reading Liar's Poker and Death Comes to Pemberley, based on the theory that one is best served by having one work of non-fiction and one of fiction concurrently active. Liar's Poker, as you likely know, is a Wall Street book by Michael Lewis. Death Comes to Pemberley is perhaps a little less obvious. Both a murder mystery written by P.D. James and a kind-of-fun riff on what things would be like at Pemberley five years or so after Elizabeth Bennet married Fitzwilliam Darcy, I am enjoying it at exactly the amount one might expect.
Yes. In my defense.
Defense wins ballgames, my friend.
Yes it does. Thus the disclaimer.
This would be Jane Austin we're talking about, yes?Anyway, the technology is really quite marvelous, and you never have to wash your hands even once. And when the paint builds up on your iPad, you do this:
Who doesn't like Jane Austin? Your dead father would be proud.
Yes he would. God blessim.
Does it anger you that Mr. Darcy has a bigger Wikipedia page than you?
Are you bringing all this Pemberley business up because you think your portrait of Bill Self might actually look more like Mr. Darcy than Mr. Self?
Defense wins ballgames, my friend.
Yes it does.
Olivier as Heathcliff jumps to mind as well.
Yes he does.