Sunday, April 27, 2008

toads fish boats and water, the meaning of life

Perfect time to the middle of the night, with the frogs, perhaps they are toads, trilling, the dog scratching, the spouse snoring, and hopefully some peace in the world.

I've been doing so many ink drawings lately, usually two a day. I can work through ideas and pent up frustrations with a certain dispatch. Although I get hung up on the details. Or rather I like to get hung up on the details. Especially, the dark and darker scribbles that give contrast and texture to the drawing.

As to subject, the boat the fish the branches are all me or a person caught in the flow and sometimes the stagnant pool of life. Or something like that. I'm going to go have some raisin bread raw and see what's on tv.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

depressed artist art as used furniture

It's easy to get depressed if you are an artist of any kind.

The point is, you dredge sludge up from your very soul, do your best to make "it", the art, beautiful or controversial or inspiring or motivating or comforting, and then you put it out there after hours and hours working and birthing "it".

And then "it" is disregarded, or denigrated, or glanced at momentarily, or asked what's next or forgotten. Ouch. It's just that it can't help but be personal. Even when "it" is celebrated, it becomes old news pretty fast.

The best thing for "it" is if it can go live with someone. And be appreciated for a while, and we hope "it" doesn't show up in a used furniture shop looking orphaned.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

falling house recycled

Went to the "country" yesterday to drive around and walk around small towns and relax. Then went out further to a deserted farm (the land is in the family) to see what had changed since the last visit. There is a house on a slight hill overlooking the mesquite and oaks and cows.

Many years ago it was abandoned. The paint peeled off, the door knobs and hinges rusted. A few years ago it had slipped from any vestige of human usage to hay storage. The hay was no longer there after a while and then there was a tornado. The little house with the gray planks and hand built bricks now slumped down on itself in an almost graceful way. Aside from some twisted sheet metal fallen from the trees you would assume the house had a peaceful death. There is an old tire near by and a corral all bent in on itself, a sister to the house.

So, you pick up a brick and hold it warm from the sun in your hand and wonder about the hands that made it so long ago. Then you notice there are tiny bugs in the crumbling brick and let it drop. This is real recycling.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

compulsive artists or artists compulsive

Another thought after perusing Flickr: There is a group on there called Obsessive Drawing and one called Obsessive Compulsive Art, or something on that order. I contribute often to both. I paint compulsively and I draw compulsively. And I think I do a lot of other things compulsively.

I think I have to blame genetics. I managed not to become an alcoholic like some in my family, nor a real actual OCD person like another, BUT, I make art compulsively. Is this something most of us who are artists are guilty of? I couldn't stop painting for my last show and now I can't stop drawing. And this is fine, I guess, but sometimes it is at the cost of other duties. I have several artists in my family and yes, all pretty compulsive.

Does it come with the territory....are we artists because we are compulsive or are we compulsive because we are artists??????

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

warhol, illustration, commercial, fine, art art art

Tax day. Be nice if it was not spent on war and political favors pockets.

But, it is a nice day here at the bottom of East Texas, people and plants raging with energy.

Someone at Flickr brought up the question: illustration vs "art". If a painting/drawing etc is being used to sell something, then I suppose it is "commercial" art. But if some artists paint/draw in a narrative and/or graphic style.....that is not commercial or illustration art, it is a simple choice of subject. Andy Warhol never shirked the title of commercial one could have been more commercial.....but in his challenge to regimented contemporary (at the time) art thinking, he turned things upside down in the art world and the museums. So, signs are art, marks on walls are art, neon bar signs are art, your kid's art is art. Its all art, in my opinion, unless it is hawking perfume, etc. A case might be made for artists hawking galleries and curators, but that is another subject.

Monday, April 7, 2008

our garden runneth over

It is Monday and we have managed to get through yet another weekend of not sweeping up the disgusting mess left by our big oak tree. Yellow pollen and seed things cover every surface. In a addition to that, when we cut down the Mexican plum tree last fall, we did not reckon on the orchard that has now sprouted all along the running underground roots of said tree.

So, shall we have a Mexican plum forest or shall we get the axe out? The indecision in our house has caused the forest to flourish. Isn't it amazing what happens to a garden? Everything changes!
The many gingers, the three enourmous clumps of bamboo, the pentas, the fireplants, and of course the "weeds" (it is subjective as to what is a weed), have crowded what once seemed like a very large yard. And because all of this is so overwhelming and because taxes are due, we will continue to watch it grow for a while. Happy Spring.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Walmart old furniture patina and global warming

There are some photos of my abode on Flickr right now, so I'll state my personal decorating belief system: No System. And its best if most everything can be previously used and/or handmade. There seems to be a kind of soul patina that attaches to things, especially wood things, that once belonged to someone else. Even better if many someone elses.

I grew up with Danish Modern and clean lines and surfaces to everything. No great surprise then that I prefer knarly wooden worn out things with banged up edges and surfaces. A bit of history, and it will be a history unknown, is a healthy thing for any object. And if we all did it maybe we wouldn't have furniture stores, Walmart and global warming. Far out, but just musing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I've been posting on for a few weeks now and I am amazed at a few things. First that there is so much creativity out there and second how clear it is that each person sees and creates so individually. Yes, yes, I knew that, I taught that, but here it is in the tens of thousands.

Personally, I am surprised at my preferences in the type of art I like to look at. (Sorry Ms. Kroker, my English teacher). I am so drawn to drawings. Black and white and line drawings. It's like stepping off a building to confront the blank paper with no clear intentions. You just start drawing and there is no going back. Painting is much more forgiving.

swamp, 55" x 29"

in progress

flying fish, 55" x 29"

eye with a view

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About Me

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I am living and painting in the little town of Houston. A far way from my San Francisco beginnings. I paint what I see of the human condition, be it human, animal or object. The glimmer of humor, pathos, and spirit in so much of what I see is the basis of what I paint.


All content here is under copyright: Gail Siptak. Please ask for permission if you wish to use them. Thanks.

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