I went into Santa Fe today hoping to find something special for Ruth's birthday tomorrow. It is amazing what one can buy, when you go looking for stuff that does not have to fit any purposeful need of your own.
What did I find? Well, by the time Ruth sees this her birthday will have happened already, so the surprise won't be spoiled.
The bike I bought, and the painting is my portrait of us this year...
Ruth had to do errands today so I took over sitting at INCAHOOTS ( www.incahootsmadridnm.com ) thinking if I was lucky someone might buy something...
As it has turned out a German film crew is in town, with three huge buses that took over the entire parking lot of the Mine Shaft Tavern, which means people that might come in to shop are displaced to other parts.
I sit in an empty shop amusing myself with the meanderings of my mind. That is a scary thing.
Every once in a while (and usually when I am trapped in a bus station waiting for a bus to take me out of an ugly town, hitch-hiking on an empty highway in the middle of a desert or sitting looking at the clock as it slowly pokes by) I start wondering where my life went wrong, and how come after all these years, I apparently have come to the ringing conclusion that I am a crazy old man, who makes weird art things people rarely buy, and if they do, it is for practically nothing.
See what I mean about wondering?
My father once asked me when I was about 19 or 20, why was I taking an art class in college. My response was that I liked art.
He said, "Well son, I advise you to study being a doctor or a lawyer because then you can buy all the goddam art you want."
I am not exactly poor, but sometimes I wish I would have taken his advise.
Too late now.
Art is the only thing I can do, in one form or the other...
We went to our village of Cerrillos this morning for the annual yard sale. I bought a couple of things and Ruth tripled what I got. Of course she found a couple things she can turn around and sell, making more money than we both spent. I guess that is why she is the business person and I am the artist...
Yesterday I spent most of the time undoing (no longer a buffacorn) what I had done the day before.
The hard part of being an artist is when to stop a freeform piece that has no predecessor of form, or get rid of what does not work.
I have made many "stick" sculptures, but no two pieces of wood are ever the same unless they have been milled into planks, and even then the grain is always different. But a natural limb from a tree is like a fingerprint---only one of a kind. To make a very large art piece there is no real way to predetermine what it will look like.
In short, the art piece becomes its own creator if the individual pieces fit to each other...
Hmmm....what did I say?
As most end of the days, I go to the local pub to meet Ruth and a few buddies for a beer or three...by the time we get home it makes for a good day.
We talk about Ruth's day at the shop, my day with the buffalope (which at the moment I am considering renaming it as a buffacorn because of it's third horn) and sometimes take the dogs down into the bosque, visit the neighbors horse, after which often a short game of pool and I get in my casual slumber wear.
It's a sweet life we have.
Ted Kennedy's death all the news; even though one understands everybody gets to take their turn eventually, I felt a strange vacuum. An era is over.
I have never been a fan of any politician, and the incident of the young woman who died because of Ted Kennedy, never endeared me to him...ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, ONLY SOME MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS...America's unofficial royalty off the hook of personal responsibility, and such.
Yet, I assume he tried to pay for his mistakes the best he could. I don't know what I would do, if I caused the death of a person, so I have no position to make judgment of him.
But the feeling remains, part of my existence is gone forever.
It is an echo of what I felt a couple of weeks ago when I returned to my childhood home of Pueblo, Colorado.
My grade school was gone. 16th street where I grew up after my parents divorced, all the houses were scheduled for demolition. My father's house in another part of town was replaced by a cell phone tower. The house I was born in out by the Arkansas River, had been replaced by an ecology center's exhibition building.
One approaches oblivion slowly but surely.
Good bye and hello to new dreams.
Meanwhile, I continue to work on my BUFFALOPE as if it was made of titanium (instead of humble erodible soft wood) and will be here a billion years.
One of my favorite photos of Ruth.
In 7 more days it is her birthday and she says she is going to be a brunette again if she loses a few more pounds.
She looks just fine to me gray or no gray, pounds minus or plus, still a honey.
So I have been thinking about what to do for her birthday. A couple of things in planning but of course not to be divulged here...
Rain for the second day.
In New Mexico rain is more than special, it is precious. Not too surprising. It is high desert country with 12 inches of annual moisture...
So when it comes like it did yesterday it reminds me of years spent in rainy countries---Scotland, northern California, Portland, Oregon---but the good part in New Mexico, I know it will be only a day or two, three being very rare. The sun will come.
Once in Arcata, California, nearly three months went by and the sun didn't peep once. In Scotland, it was rare to have a perfectly clear cloudless day. Yet, there was a kind of beauty to misty weather, I sometimes miss but not enough to ever want to live in it again.
New Mexico is just fine.
Our little dog Gina who decided to go for an adventure after dark, finally came home.
It is like having a small child, loving a dog.
7:53 PM A good day and got more than 20 pieces added to the Buffalope.
Like something from a monster movie, the Buffalope terrorizes the neighborhood.
Today I am getting my hearing tested at the VA hospital in Albuquerque.
I have been hard of hearing for nearly 30 years---brought on by using screeching power tools and seldom bothering to wear ear-muff protection.
I have tried very cheap hearing-aids in the past but when I take them off, I really do feel deaf.
The one thing I wish they could do would be to get rid of the tintinnabulation that has been ringing in my head since 1980...it is a phenomena of sound I ignore, as it has gone on 24-7-365 X 29. If I pay attention to it, I start to go bonkers.
I drank too much beer last evening after several hours of breathing the wood dust coming off the making of my new Buffalope...hmmm...maybe it was the wood dust that gave me visions of MANDOG races...
At any rate, in the morning light it seems an interesting fantasy, but one I am unlikely to manifest...who knows?
...another day...dot, dot, dot, my life whirls and some things are the same and some things will be never again...
And there is nothing different for any of us...or so to say, dot, dot, dot...
But I did have a couple of small epiphanies today, one being my childhood town of Pueblo.
Not one building remains I lived in as a child.
I felt very old and could empathize with many people in many lands...
The second revelation of thought came when I walked the dogs in the Bosque as we do most evenings.
Once again I was impressed with the speed of Gina, who runs like a cheetah in the African savannahs ....
I started thinking about dog races...
What that led to was me thinking about a humanitarian dog race where people ran with their dogs... meaning in general terms a MANDOG RACE...
( I have copy write on this idea) ....
Well, I saw one day a race course around a quarter mile of my land, just like a real Olympic track race oval where people race with their dogs beside them, just as once, hunters ran the land with their beasts...
So that is it; that was my day.
Every morning the dogs want to go for a run so I let them out the gate and down the hill they run to the Bosque (river meadow).
Sometimes the cats follow...all right for the mutts but not so good for the cats.
Coyotes know they are bite size...
I will be glad when it gets cooler. I work in the shade which means I have to move my creature (buffalope) from place to place around the studio and it is getting to be a monster.
Weird how things go...meaning as much as I see importance in the technology of global communication; I existed just fine most of my life without it...
One must be very selective in the use of time playing over a computer as it can eat into true creativity as well as relay worthless detours, meaning both things I send out and info coming in...still, it is fascinating, but excuse me for wasting your time when I do, which is often.
When I can pull myself away from this modern Pandora's Box, I continue pretending I am an artist.
Which reminds me, many years ago when I was bicycling up through England on my way to Scotland, I came to a railway overpass where a graffiti bomber had sprayed in great big letters, DON'T PRETEND
I nearly fell off my bicycle laughing as the message seemed to encapsulate my two-wheel Ulyssesian odyssey perfectly.
As for words, I m near the conclusion reading
THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS
by Arundhati Roy
In the beginning I was annoyed with her unique style, blending poetry and prose as well as her thing of capitalizing certain words or phrasing. But as I continued, I began to understand the unique talent she has and have become a total fan...mind you I have not got to the end yet, and that is exactly where most books fall apart if they do...
Sometimes I wonder about me...for instance this morning I spent an hour working on my GREENPAGE story, it getting more ridiculous by the moment, and then of course the new (old) computer that I just spent $160 to get fixed started going crazy and I lost everything...you know those infuriating computer moments...
Ruth thought I needed inspiration I presume and bought the nude bull fighter...
What a day yesterday!
I sat in Ruth's shop for a 6 hours and sold a few trinkets between me trying to add pages to CRYSTAL TIGHT ROPE .
After rereading a thousand words, I scrapped it...I took a left turn and got completely off the road.
The best advice I have ever heard about writing is "CUT, CUT, CUT."
It was junk but it still annoyed me losing the trail.
After work I rendezvoused with Ruth and our friends to hear and see Mose Allison
http://www.bluesaccess.com/No_33/mose.htmlat at the Mine Shaft.
If you know who he is then all I can say he still sounds like the Mose I knew from 1964 but he was funnier and more entertaining musically than I could believe.
If you don't know who he is, let me say it was like seeing John Lennon as far as I was concerned.
Ruth did not know him and she thought he was fantastic, but she said to me, "You didn't tell me he was funny."
Well, in truth he is more than funny. He is an old hip poet, a beatnik and a philosopher of cutting musical wit and a damn good pianist. He can't really sing, but like everyone knows Mose, I love the sound of his voice and the number of famous musicians he has influenced is legendary. He is 84.
After the concert we and several friends had an impromptu party at our house.
All went well until in the middle of having perhaps too much fun, one of my best buddies suddenly keeled over.
911 and medics later he came to and we mutually agreed that maybe we shouldn't act like we are 20 any longer.
It is a wake up or kind of drop dead message one does not really want to hear...you know, the old play the fiddle while Rome burns story...
Some of you who have been following the little events of this blog may remember the WORLD COMMUNITY ARTS DAY project I did last winter which was in part was a mural and sculpture combo along the front of our property on the highway...in particular, there was my neighbor kid Fabian who joined in on a regular basis adding a lot of labor and honest creativity.
Well, Fabian comes over to my studio often and just hangs around hoping I will give him something to do.
Yesterday I said, "All right, as long as you are here you might as well do something."
I gave him a boring job of de-barking a Russian olive tree branch, hoping I suppose he would leave me alone and go.
Nope, not Fabian, he stayed with me for the next five hours, not only removing bark but coming up with several ideas on how to improve the humongous XMAS09 #3 series.
Originally I thought it was going to be another kind of DEER/ELK creature, but slowly it has turned into a monster sized bull buffalo...well, that is so far...being I am at the beginning.
Other than that, I took in my friend Glen doing his music at the Mine Shaft.
WOODSTOCK...a memory of mine.
I was in Denver with my troubadour pal Fred Baue, a week before Woodstock. We had been doing coffee house and beer joint gigs in Aspen and Colorado Springs when we decided to go to the Denver Pop Festival.
The venue was Three Dog Night, Tim Buckley, Johnny Winters, Jimi Hendrix and a couple other performers I can't remember.
The city gave a site where all of us long-haired-hippies could camp.
It was an abandoned piece of ground near the performance grounds. Right through the middle of it was a stinking black creek that that was filled with human turds.
Everybody there was talking about going on to Woodstock.
The day of the concert, there was riots, cops lobbing tear gas and whacking kids on the head with long billy-clubs.
We had tickets and got in.
While Johnny Winters was playing, Jimi Hendrix came out in front of the stage and apparently watched in amazement as Winters played an unbelievable set.
When it was Jimi's turn to play, it was like the wind had completely stopped blowing through his genius and a stand-in was playing in his place.
Everyone who was there talked only of Woodstock and what was wrong with Hendrix.
We all went back to our stinking campground with the open sewer flowing through it and had one hell of a big final party that went on into the early morning hours.
Somewhere in the evening a young guy who was on LSD was standing in the middle of the shit creek pulling big globs of mud from the bottom and eating it.
I went out into the fetid water to get the guy out. When I got to him I took his arm, but he looked at me and started chanting a kind of ancient script...
I stopped and listened and knew I was in the presence of a Holy entity.
I don't know why, but I was totally humbled and dropped my hand from his arm and just looked at him.
I have never seen such intense eyes.
I left him in the putrid liquid and went back to bank and watched him for a long time. Eventually he got out and went to opposite bank and lay down.
No one went near him. He smelled and looked like a big human turd.
In the morning at sunrise Fred and I went around playing a raga on banjo and guitar while our young hippie friends gave fresh Duncan donuts to people waking up. We bought about ten dozen donuts with the last of our money.
Almost everyone there started packing up and began their journey to Woodstock.
Fred and I decided to return to Aspen.
We had a gig in the Jerome Hotel, and I was in love with a young gal from California. She was a more attractive than another concert with my peer group getting tea-gassed, beaten with billy-clubs and camping in shit-holes.
I guess I was wrong, but then one thing leads to another and I am here now because I turned that direction that day.
Still, I would give almost anything to have been able to see and hear Jimi Hendrix be himself and play that final anthem at Woodstock.
Yesterday I heard the ducks going crazy in their pen, so on inspection I found my dog Gina taking it easy pool side. Unfortunately I didn't catch the trick she does, which is to stick her head completely under the water and blow bubbles...
Meanwhile out in the studio I am working on a new series of XMAS deer for Santa's sleigh. This time it is bigger than life size critters.
So far two are done, and six to go. Who knows if I actually will get it all done, but then what else do I have to do in my retired age?
The mornings are getting cooler. Once again I am amazed the speed of light is also like the speed of life which seems to be rolling by in light seconds...
Odd things happen. Like my little garden which so far has produced about 30 miniature cherry tomatoes and one tiny squash. I haven't got the water bill yet but I think my veggies are running about 60 dollars a pound...
Another thing this summer is unusual. In the 20 some years I have lived here I have never seen coyotes in the day time run up my driveway. It has happened twice in the last month.
Having so many pets no doubt has encouraged the predators. So far four cats have simply vanished and one dog.
Two peacocks ( actually hens) appeared out of nowhere a month ago, and they strutted like great big Thanksgiving dinners around the property. I would imagine the coyotes took notice as one of them suddenly disappeared.
So far the chicken and duck population of our ranchero has remained the same but none of them no longer produce eggs, so they now qualify as pets. Perhaps the coyotes will take notice and save me a few bucks...
So it goes. In the meantime I am considering starting a GREEN PAGE on my site and exploit my genius as a farmer. Stay tuned.
Uh hum, I am back in the saddle, that is back at the ranch after a few days travelling to my birth place and home town, Pueblo, Colorado.
My daughter Rowan and I went to visit my oldest sister Ruby and Nick Runco who was married to my sister, Doris, who died two years ago.
Going back to Pueblo has always been a kind of odd experience because of the checkered history I had as a kid.
In short, I was a juvenile delinquent and got in a lot of trouble when I was 12 years old. My family decided the best thing to do was deport me to central Oregon to live with my cowboy brother, Red.
It is a very long story of which some day I may tell the whole thing, but not here, not today.
Anyway it was great to be with my daughter and drive around Pueblo and tell her stories at the scene of crimes...
Hopping around my site I randomly clicked on an old link and came across a photo Ruth took of my oldest brother and me a couple of years ago. This September he will be 80, I will be 65.
I'm looking forward to seeing my oldest sister, Ruby. (and as far as I know my only surviving sister).
My daughter Rowan and I will see her soon so it will be a mini-family reunion.
My two other brothers Robert and Tommy will be having a reunion of their own later this month out in central Oregon. Too bad our family is so scattered around the west as we are all getting to that point of WHO WILL DROP NEXT?
Well, whatever, the rainbow still is out there somewhere.
5:00 PM The day goes and is almost gone, but at least I came up with an old idea and ran it through the wash again...so I am well on the way to a very large project of which I have no real vision of what the final product will be except for knowing the color theme and geometrical principle.
Yesterday was about as hot (near 100) as I have experienced in Cerrillos, then about 2 PM the sky caved in and the classic New Mexico cloudburst dumped about an inch of water in 5 minutes dropping the temperature to a cool 72.
It remained a soothing gray for a few more hours, so I ran around the studio taking photos of cats and art...
The moon was doing its waxing or waning I'm not sure which, but the effect was the dogs barking at fleas scurrying across the top of their dim-wit brains all night.
In short, Ruth and I had a weary night and took turns yelling SHUT UP at the dog-brains that only interpreted the command as us joining in barking at the fleas...
Eventually Ruth abandoned me and went into the other bedroom, where the dogs howling has less decibels.
About 5:30 AM I finally conked out and woke at 7:30...well, if you add that 2 hours to the 4 hours I had between falling asleep on the couch at 9:30 till when I was aroused from my stupor at 1:30 I almost had a full night of repose...so much for a night in the life of...
Tonight is supposed to be our old-pals POOL-PARTY-NIGHT. Hmmm, we will see who shows up.
I took the Gazellope out for a walk on the road yesterday causing no rush of art patrons in the neighborhood.
Later in the day my friend Dwight Miller showed up and took me to lunch at the Mine Shaft. Just shows that little rewards come...later he bought another one of my sculptures, and added it to the collection he has of my work going back to 1986.
My sister Ruby is the only person that has a bigger catalog of ye old Wolvertons...
Aug. 3 To change pace in the studio I switched from a natural wood look to a painty-gloss look...whatever that means I am sure the tag will never make it to glossy magazine art-talk.
In some ways this year I look forward to winter and even hope for huge snow storms so I can sit in my study and get back into the CRYSTAL TIGHT ROPE. In fact I have not done any serious writing in regards to the trilogy in over a year. I have to remind myself that writing is one of my least expensive hobbies...
Aug. 2 Okay, this little page gets funkier and crazier as my computer slowly fades into the sunset of several Trojan horses and God knows what other virus that is dissolving most of the software in it's tiny cyber brain.
Meanwhile before this box crashes, I decided to upload the beginning of the third book of the Harlequin Moon trilogy, The Crystal Tight Rope
I started it when Ruth and I were in Corsica last year. Being the first two books were set in Corsica, it seemed natural to start off the last book there and then take it to the last setting in New Mexico.
The difference in this book is that it will be entirely fiction---no parallel to my biography.
Test page to see what I can do about my dysfunctional computer...hmmm, well.................................
The German "POP STAR" television at the Mine Shaft
The Cerrillos Village Yard Sale Day
...the bufflope nearly done...
Slowly I am getting into the buffalo...
Click on it and see the Buffalope grow...still 1 or 2 days to finish.
The Buffalope with a couple more days of work to be done.
The dogs anxiously await the opening of the gate.
The Buffalope continues
XMAS09 series # 3
What is it?
Images in the GREENPAGE
The Adventures of
The Great Big Fat Green Thumb
...an adult fairy tale and work in progress...
The Mose (Allison)
Still sounds great
Arty picture below of seating...
My ever present assistant.
Glen and band
Ducks and Smokey the rooster.
Here is second of XMAS09 series standing in front of XMAS08 series
Gina caught in the pond.
Might as well drink some duck soup.
New Xmas Plan
One of our friends had a little birthday party on the deck bar at the Mine Shaft. So below is her and a few other local pals....
AUG 8 TO 10
TOUR TO PUEBLO
ABOVE ARE SHOTS OF A LOW RIDER SHOW, THE RIVER WALK AND UNION AVENUE... BELOW MEETING WITH CHILDHOOD FRIEND RICHARD (BUDDY) IKELMAN AND AT THE HOUSE OF MY BROTHER IN LAW NICK...
the color theme and principle...
after the rain...
Gazellope and Gina exploring the neighborhood.
I call it a GAZELLOPE
The hot tub makes a good pedestal.
The plaque is hard to read but says:
THE RATIONAL AND IRRATIONAL WORLD LIKE THE REAL WORLD IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEPARATE BLACK FROM WHITE, NEGATIVE FROM POSITIVE, GOOD FROM EVIL, SO THE TWO SIDES MERGE AND IT FOR YOU THE VIEWER TO FIND THE HOPEFUL IN THIS COMIC/TRAGIC WORLD.
Above: an attempt to explain what I do as an artist, done many years ago, but still seems to work...
Below is what is in the front exhibition yard for the moment...
My own odd sense of humor on the blue A-frame sign declares, strong>OUTSIDER ART INSIDE.