City and Ocean

Interesting how we try to tame everything.
The ocean, with its wildness pushes against everything we hold as “our own” with total disregard. She doesn’t care about our feelings or our inadequacies. She will eat you up and spit you out. Sometimes, she won’t spit you out.
When we were kids, we would rent “surfrider” inflatables and let her throw us at the beach. We’d walk out the door by nine and by 10:30 we’d be slammin’ the sand. For a couple of bucks, you’d get a bus ride, a soda, a piece of pizza and several hours of end-over-end near-death misses. It was a good thing for mom to get all that energy out of the house for most of the day.
That’s the ocean I like. The one with dolphins that hit the surf, or tiger sharks that’ll “take your leg off”. The one that reminds us what it means to be alive….to live with mortal uncertainty. We tested her, and after a few times in the “washing machine” we decided it’s time to head home….stronger, browner, every orifice full of sand.
Yet for some reason, this is what I think of to paint? A safe quiet harbor?
Who is the one who has been tamed?

20×16 Oils on canvas board

I have only ventured onto the open ocean a few times in my lifetime. Even a couple of days of five foot swells will give you a respect for the sailor that braves a liquid life.

Going Home

Those words
When we say them
Mean Nothing
And Everything

A subjective a comment
Unique
Only to the speaker

Such places
Only exist in our minds
For a time

While the walking
Directs our steps
To perilous places
Where we fear
Being torn apart

Though once we’ve traversed the gauntlet
Of hungry wolves and bears
We find the single door
Of long standing memory
Painted same as childhood dream

Knocking avails no answer
Fumbling keys do not fit the lock
Slowly opens of its own volition
And is filled with home
The subjective agreement
Of rest and assurance




DAy oF ThE CRoW

Long has been the voyage
Epochs noted
Multiple times along the way

Trails have become wide
Distinctively stained
With tears

Subjective notes of joy and sadness

Much better now
To close the eyes
And rest easy

Listening
To the flow
Of stronger life forms

Leave them to their current struggles

In a moment’s notice
They too will see
Their true value

And that greatness
Is not found externally
Or in the bondage of rage

Rather, in the selfless act of giving

Soon enough
Will be
The day of the crow

Compulsion

It’s like playing a musical instrument.
Holding it firmly, like deadly weapon
An extension of the arms

Connected to the brain
Connected to the heart
Connected to the eye

Reality melts away
Like it was never there
Reality is now foolishness
Logic dies quickly, quietly

The eye looks at all conditions
Color over there
Greater values to be had
Two miles away

Extreme contrast
At the forefront
Thought walks away
Let’s instinct in the door

Mind assembles
Heart assists
And speak to hands

Hands obey in the frenzied moment
Before it all changes

I have been practicing this obscene bastardized form of photography for about twelve years and it won’t leave me alone. It is not considered valid by most traditionalists and is discounted as “Photoshop” (veiled insult). This piece is a manipulation (contains a second photo layer) so in that sense it is “Photoshop”. The base photograph is (10) exposures onto one frame.
My critics’ jabs would carry weight if I saw how easy it would be for them to make a similar image using the same techniques. Even if that were so, I would still refuse to allow any voice to interrupt the creative processes that have now become compulsion.