My Nemesis


Working at my easel I heard a thump and a rustle of papers somewhere behind me.
Murphy had finally clawed his way through a box holding drafts–some 700 pages worth–of my great but destined to forever go unread first novel…. The Magic Slate… cardboard shredded, fell apart, pages sliding down the side and between other boxes to the floor.  ‘Nemesis’ was its first working title.
I wish the photo of #499 were better–I was pretty happy with it. I think I’m finding my way with metal point, my own signature.
A couple of painting I’d pulled out and set aside to paint over were rescued by Sire for his room. When I like–or dislike– one of my pieces, it probably hasn’t much to do with it’s actual merit–if such a thing is measurable. What I like isn’t so much the painting, as it is its power to suggest what I want to do next. The pieces I paint over are like closed doors to rooms I’m no longer interested in visiting. Metalpoint seems endlessly fresh, because I’m finding new ways to use it.
I’ve got the ground now where I like it. I can get beautifully modulated tones, and almost hear the grit of the silver as it slides over the surface–I detested the plastic-like feel of the unadulterated Golden Silverpoint ground. I use about 1/4 cup of high quality gesso, a heaping TBS of fine marble dust, maybe a teaspoon of water soluble brown ink (with soft Golden Titanium white if the ink makes it darker than slightly off-white–and the rest, Golden ground. Two cups.
 ‘Nemesis.’  The muse as fatal temptress… that an artist, writer, poet… can achieve the best of their ability only by pressing themselves beyond that… pressing on to an ultimate, and fatal failure.
I look at that dusty heap of papers… Fail… fail better.
(My second novel, Ari Figue’s Cat, was published in May, 2015. Check out the reviews on Amazon!)

The Imposibility of Art

imagesA blog post is as ethereal as the trace of dancing particles though a cloud chamber, and yet in the universe of the web, seemingly always there, as though cyrogenically frozen beyond time, perhaps sprung to life at the mistyping of a search word, or preserved on old UBS drives at the bottom of a landfill, like mineralized imprints of the first self-replicating cells that drifted in Precambrian seas.

I don’t trust the impulse to preserve. nursing as it does, a delusional wish for immortality, and yet, like: Shakespeare’s 64th Sonnet, the wish to have that which we fear to lose, nudges aside good sense, and I go back into the old blog, searching for scraps–what, had I not written them, would have been likely nothing more than trains of thought, passing time on the el waiting for my stop, forgotten as soon as my foot touched the station platform.  Here, then… from my birthday, June 22, 2008.

Ulrich went on: “Every great book breaths this spirit of love for the fate of individuals at odds with the forms the community tries to impose on them. It leads to decisions that cannot be decided; there is nothing to be done but to give a true account of their lives. Extract the meaning out of all literature, and what you will get is a denial, however incomplete, but nonetheless an endless series of individual examples all based on experience, which refute all the accepted rules, principles, and prescriptions underpinning the very society that loves these works of art! In the end, a poem, with its mystery, thousands of words in constant use, severs all these strings, and turns it into a balloon floating off into space. If this is what we call beauty, as we usually do, then beauty is an indescribably more ruthless and cruel upheaval than any political revolution ever was.”
From chapter 84 of The Man Without Qualities.

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