#709 Meltdown!

40.6 x 50.8cm (16″x20″) Acrylic on canvas panel. Last of the 4 canvas panel paintings I picked up from the trash, and painted over. I’m hoping it wasn’t oil paint I covered over. Was pretty thin–not impasto, and seemed to be a single layer, so hoping the gesso won’t peel away from the painting underneath. I’ll leave that for the museum restorationists.
#709 Meltdown!.JPG

Here’s a detail, close up.
#709 detail

View my web portfolio here ART BY WILLARD
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40.6 x 50.8cm Acrylic on canvas panel. The few times I’ve traveled by air, have left a deep, visual impression. Bolstered by satellite photos. The series I’m working on now are like images from space… stripped of clouds. This also is another step toward integrating what I’ve been doing with my pen & ink and watercolor, and drawings, into my larger acrylic paintings.
View my web portfolio here ART BY WILLARD
For photos on this blog:CLICK HERE, and scroll down.

The Coming Human Extinction

I seriously ask myself, why do I bother to make art when there will be no humans on this planet in another generation?

The Uninhabitable Earth

Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.

New York Magazine

What is an Anarchist?


I keep reading comments about protests, where peeps blame everything they don’t like, everything they think excessive, violent… on ‘anarchists.’

When they know nothing about actual anarchists, but what the enemies of actual anarchists have always said about them.

There is a rich history of a very diverse stream of anarchist ideologies.

It can be complicated. For me, it’s complicated only in the doing… which is always actions and decisions made with others.

No gods, no leaders… no representatives” … Nehil de nobis sin nobis… nothing about US… without us. We are capable of taking care of ourselves, and one another, without hierarchy, without institutionally mandated leaders.
I am an anarchist.
That is my manifesto. Read it well, read it with care, turn it and turn it, cause everything is in it.

As for how we get there?

Solidarity, Love, Imagination, RESISTANCE!

What is “Structure?”

It’s one of those, “I know it when I see it” words. Not ‘composition.’ It’s the difference between pieces I will like a week after they’re finished, and ones I’ll want to paint over. It’s what’s missing in #704

WIP 705 underpainting.JPG

It’s what I’m working to correct here–the underpainting of #705–another canvas stretched on an old window frame.  The painting below, #693 (now at International House) — has structure.
#693 Cityscape

This is my current obsession.

Prepping to make art, from found materials

A few weeks ago, I picked up an 8×7′ piece of heavy, cotton duck canvas, painted on one side. Cut into 4 pieces. Been thinking how to use a couple old, wood window frames I found. I’ve used them as frames, before, both for paintings, and assemblages, so thought I’d try stretching a piece of canvas to the back side–using it as both stretchers and frame. The painted side, a thick coat, so couldn’t do much ‘stretching,’ but got it reasonably tight. Canvas wasn’t seized, and really soaked up the gesso. That’s a second window frame behind in the photo.
Window frame with canvas.JPG

Art & Capitalism: the problem won’t go away.

The interface between making art, and making a living, is the most politically charged area in the life of any artist. This is where the artist engages most directly with the monster of capitalism and Empire, both as a maker of art, and as a citizen of the human community. I don’t understand why so many artists are so reluctant to seriously engage with the problems we face in this arena. This is something I’ve been thinking about — for years, and yet, the most typical response I get from working artists: on commodification of our work, on how to live by our art, of the corrupting influence of investor driven gallery gatekeepers–is a curt dismissal, as though I were an impertinent 12 year old. “I need to make a living–what am I supposed to do?” But of course, never asked as a serious question.
And of course, I have no answer. No one person does, because it’s not the kind of question that any individual can answer alone. —

  Artists have to figure out–together–how to control the outcome of our work–or we will be controlled and used to the ends which the Empire of Money and Death sees fit.

First–acknowledge the problem. Then, pledge to work together to applying ourselves to find cracks in the walls where we can expand and live. We cannot continue to be artists under capitalism. Because, under capitalism, we will only be permitted to do what supports capitalism–that is, no longer artists, but technicians of the machine, and entertainers, distracting the masses.

A Revolutionary Artist Collective

I have this dream… of a collective of artists, who don’t “sell” their work, but … sort of… ‘rent’ it. That is, Someone who makes a contribution (sliding scale) has right to the work in perpetuity… but not ‘ownership.’ the collective, legally, retains ownership. What that means, is the one who takes the work, agrees never to sell for profit. They can exchange for another work, or accept an exchange at current value, if they want to offer it to someone else–ok…but wherever the work goes, the collective retains “ownership” rights.
The idea being, to prevent a work from becoming a commodity, an item of exchange value taken in expectation of profit by future increase in monetary value.

A network of such exchanges–drawing in more artists, removes more and more art from the fucked up , utterly corrupt gallery to investor gatekeeper system we have now.
The idea–however this might actually work out, is that artists take control of the distribution of our work, withdrawing our work from the market system, but creating together ( I envision networks of these collectives), a system outside the capitalist system.
No artist has any hope of bucking the system alone. This can only happen if enough artists come together, and work out a system of distribution, and sustainability–by consensus. By USING OUR CREATIVE IMAGINATION for how we LIVE IN THE WORLD, and not exclusively in devotion to our work.