Monday, May 26, 2014

Too Easy To Get

It is too easy to get guns in this country, too easy, without background checks or any kind of regulation at all. I speak of guns because they seem to be the weapon most often used in mass killings in the United States. 

I just watched a report about a young man in California who shot and killed six people and then killed himself. He made a video before he did, saying that it was retribution day and (paraphrasing) he wanted to kill every woman in the world. Apparently he was angry about multiple rejections? 

I can't even speak to his level of insanity of this kid. He was clearly insane. He was clearly full of rage and had a skewed view of the world. Anger over rejection? Hatred of women? Undiagnosed psychosis? Being rejected in part of life. In the animal world, in human relationships. It is part of nature and I think, part of a self preservation mechanism. Maybe it is even part of natural selection. I don't really know. I've been rejected at least as many times as not and I'm sure this is no different for any other person or animal on the planet. 

I can talk about the ease at which this man obtained a weapon that allowed him to effortlessly end the lives of six young people. Every time there has been a mass killing in the US, a gun or multiple guns have been the weapon used, have been the tool of destruction. Isn't it time that we start regulating these things the way that we regulate who gets to drive a car? Or use some other method to try to at least stem this insanity we have to live with? What else is it going to take to overcome the powerful gun lobby's hold on law makers?

Of course, the gun people say that arming teachers or more people is the solution. One of the kids killed was at a convenience store. Does anyone really believe that had he been armed that he won't have been shot by some psychotic asshole?

It's too easy to get a gun, and the cost we all pay for this was is too high. Isn't it time we change this.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Faces I Love To Paint

Julie, my beautiful wife. 

The face of a beautiful woman I saw recently. Painted from memory. 

A little more progress:

I'm at Pleiades Gallery this morning, listening to Nina Simone pour her heart out in song over lost loves and tragic lives. No one sings in a way that stirs me more than Nina Simone. Her voice is perfectly beautiful and I'd just like to sit inside of her songs for a while and see what gels in my brain. 

There are some things, like Nina Simone's voice that stop me in my tracks and fill me with what I can only describe as a mix of happiness and longing. One of these, the primary ones are certain faces. Some people I know have a face that I can't stop looking at. My wife is one, my son is another. Mostly women's faces or when I was younger, those of girls I knew. I was very lucky when in my twenties that the women I was involved in were those whose faces I loved. I'm very lucky that I will get to spend the rest of my life looking at Julie's and will Get to see Gabriel's change as he grows up. 

As far back as I can remember I was falling in love with one girl or another. I just wanted to look at them, it brought that feeling in my chest of happiness and longing. I would be completely distracted and just want to stare at them and feel my feelings. This hasn't really changes much since becoming an adult. The thing that has changed though is an understanding that I wasn't really falling in love, I was becoming infatuated. More specifically I was infatuated with their faces and something in them that showed what kind of person they were. I've come to realize more recently that it is the faces of the kindest people I know and it is this kindness that I love. These are the faces I want to paint. Most of my work had nothing to do with people's faces or beauty bit with social issues or human behavior but this is one aspect of my work that I am interested in now. 

A few times in my life I have seen people with this quality and asked to paint or photograph them. Sometimes people have agreed and let me capture their face and other times they've said no. I'm sure in my persistence in trying to get them to let me paint them that I have come across as crazy. In these times I think of other painters and poets who have pursued people and written about them. Most notably, Pablo Neruda's poetry seems rife with longing and admiration for beauty seen but unknown.

I can't be the only person that has this feeling. I've seen movies where someone is so smitten that they act in all sorts of irrational ways. "Love Actually" is one that comes to mind. It's full of characters expressing love and admiration even knowing it is not reciprocated. 

I wrote recently that everyone is crazy. I think the above comes close to describing my own personal craziness. Or maybe it is just an acknowledgement of my truth.  Or, my Achille' heel. 

Friday, May 23, 2014


I don't often post about things unrelated to art or illustration but I wanted to share something personal.

Here's our dog Chester. We've had him for about six years. He was a stray wandering the streets in a town not too far from here and rescued by a friend. She couldn't keep him and I liked him so we tried him for a weekend. Though he steals food and has gone through screens and torn things up at times, he is a sweet soul.