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The pool room so far...leveling a floor is more difficult than I thoaght.
1. This is the best hot rod I have seen in years, but it is not the best photo...maybe later I will have a picture that you will be able to see why... 2. The POOL ROOM thus far... 3. POOL ROOM again.
Okay, another week half way through and I am in the middle of getting the new POOL ROOM floor strengthened to hold the one ton weight of the pool table... in other words back to another major remodel project...
1. Cowboy, the president of local biker club, THE BANDITOS. 2. Splash and crash painting.
On the other side of this last week, I did a portrait of Cowboy in trade for a motorcycle tire, and in between splattered paint around a large piece of board. That's the week so far.
Well I know now I am slipping off into the abyss. Not only have I come to painting cats and dogs in cowboy hats, I have started carving gargoyle faces in lumps of wood...
When Ruth and I were cleaning the front yard of her little house in TorC of rocks, then gravel then the heavy carpet that was under and we finally got down to the dirt and found five pieces of wood that I almost threw into the garbage. I realized they were almost solid resin, and were very very old...how old I am not sure, but probably older than Ruth and I put together. Anyway I wondered what they would be like to carve and so...
What surprised me was the one I started on was more like amber than wood, and took a beautiful surface finish. I couldn't help but reflect on my travels through Germany, and seeing the many crazy old men who carved such things. It is a tradition there but I have no excuse. Anyway, they are great hunks of wood, if that kind of thing gets you going...
1. Old man in the rough. 2. Deputy Dog. 3. Pussy Cat in a Hat series. 4-7. Old man polished.
Above is the panorama from our campground and place we went for a quick dip.
Ruth and I went down to Truth or Consequences (TorC) New Mexico, where she owns a small house. We did several days of lawn work and maintenance stuff and had a few nice meals in local bistros...
As usual we took our little 12 foot trailer and our two mutts, Shiloh and Gina.
When we got back there was an ART OPENING at one of our friends gallery. WE swore we would not buy anything, and then without knowing it we both decided to buy the same piece.
1. Friends at the Mine Shaft. 2. Liz Patterson's Gallery. 3. Pete the gun totting artist. 4. Liz and Pete in collaborating. 5. Again.
6.Dito 7. Ditto Ditto. 8. The two pieces we bought. 9. Ditto piece. 10. Art talk.
Afterward I went to the bar to hear Glen Neff and hang out with friends.
Ruth went into town after to see her father. He is 95 and seems to be slipping from the Earth.
It is a very mixed and sad time for Ruth.
9:00 One of the people who dropped into the studio in the last couple weeks was a very nice tourist lady from Japan. She sent me a few photos.
A full day yesterday, Mine Shaft listening to Peter Mahl's band and earlier in the the studio...
1. John. 2. Peter. 3. Kathy and Collin. 4. K & C. 5. The band. 6. Kathy. 7. The band. 8. Again
6. Pussy Cats in Cowboy Hats, 7. Detail. 8. A cat in there? 9. The models. 10. The star, Jezebel.
Every once in a while, Ruth needs me to sit in one of her shops so she can do bank business in town and other obligations for her aging parents.
I am not very good at sitting around and chatting up customers, so I usually amuse myself by working on some kind of portable art piece...hence all the cowboy and Indian clichés of recent postings on this page.
Yesterday, I decided to go back to one of Ruth's requests of doing PUSSY-CATS IN COWBOY HATS...
I admit, I hated the idea at the time even though I agreed and made 15 such silly little portraits of cats...
I didn't waste much time on any of the paintings, probably no more than an hour or so on any of them. To my great surprise, all but one of that series sold, not for much, but they sold. Each one around a hundred bucks.
For an hours labor that is not bad, considering what most people get for most honest jobs.
I am not talking about lawyers, doctors, stockbrokers and other overpaid individuals...I can use the same argument as them and say it took me a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice to learn how to do nonsense in a few minutes.
Well...after my recent experience of trying to make a few spadullahs in the public school system, the idea of creating ridiculous cat paintings didn't seem so bad.
So once again, I'll do a small series and see if there are as many crazy people crazy about cats as there were a couple years ago. Below is the first in the new series, ridiculous as ever...
A funny thing.
I had an English artist friend who at one time was one of the world most successful (financially speaking) artists in the world. He once told me he KNEW he had MADE IT when he realized he had not bothered to add or subtract numbers in his check book for over a year, and every time he got his bank statement there was more money in his account than the statement before.
He painted cats in windows.
Life is ironic. He fell off his bicycle last year and died. He was a very nice guy and that is way too tragic.
Hmmm, there I was trying to earn a few meager bucks acting the role of a substitute teacher...realizing it is near the end of the year, and I was working with 13 and 14 year old hormones etc...
But never, and I do mean never, have I encountered such a crowd of absolutely rude, disrespectful young louts, who might be better fodder for the guns of war than a contribution to the crumbling shell of civilization.
Not all of them.
There were quite a few good kids, but enough at the end of the day to collapse the little patience of this old cranky man, to say to the principal who had come in to control the students, YOU ARE THE WORST EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE...this is in relation to working with some of the toughest thugs in ghettos in Scotland and New Mexico over 30 years...
The principal tried to diffuse my absolute disgust by telling me I could go home, meaning SHUT UP AND SAY NO MORE ABOUT THESE POOR ABUSED CHILDREN, of which I went on to say, "Mam, these young people need to hear this, that if they think they can go on in life treating their elders in such a manner, they will be lucky to get a job collecting the garbage at McDonalds"
I went to the office and told them to cancel my job for the next day and not expect to ever see me again.
In short, once again I have retired.
I am way too old and way too cranky to be shit on for $75 before taxes a day.
I have to admit there is a certain amount of defeat in me knowing the young brats got the better of me.
What can you do?
On the other side of being me, I am now definitely back to doing the only thing I can do well, that is being a weird old artist that makes stuff few people want.
Aside from that, on a happier note, Ruth and I went to ABQ a couple days ago where she bought a full size pool table, and now I get to rip out the last walls of the trailer so we have room to swing the pool sticks.
Hmm, who knows, we may open a pool hall and get the young thugs who drop out of school to pay for the game.
I am back on the wagon, realizing for quite some time my old habits have been doing me no good as well as costing me money I do not have---in short, being an old drunk is not as glamorous as being a young boozer...so as I say, back to the wagon. No promises, but I did it once before.
I stopped drinking alcohol from 1998 to 2002 and during that time went back to the university, finally graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2004 .
Being sober, there was not much else to do but study, as it cut out going to beer joints and chasing my tail in circles around assorted cocktail parties. It was incredibly boring, so I started having a daily beer in 2002, but I did not have Ruth in my life so it was still boring, and of course nonproductive.
When I came back to Cerrillos in 2004, I slowly but surely got back into old habits, such as hanging out at the Mine Shaft and bending my brain with an occasional puff of the local farm produce...
Hmmmm, none of that got to me when I was a younger man, perhaps because I had an excess of energy and belief that I was invincible as well as a bundle of arrogance.
Now approaching the wizened age of 65, the energy has evaporated and I am a resounding flop in regards to financial success in the WORLD OF ART, so I suppose I have done what many have done before me, by charging my batteries with false enthusiasm.
Well, to follow a vicious circle of ever diminishing resources naturally brought me to the point of no return. I either go on doing the same stupidity, meaning swimming towards a continent that does not exist, or return to a small island of possibility.
A small island of possibility is still not much, but at least I know it is not an illusion, and I have Ruth in my life, and she is anything but boring.
You make your own luck, so once again I will attempt to do that.
There is always hope. No matter what, I have Ruth. We have a wonderful home, family and friends.
That is as good as it gets.
I finally got our little garden planted in its patch. I must admit, this is an experiment being even though I was raised on a ranch, I don't know the first thing about farming or bringing little green sprouts up in this big variable world. I can only hope something might survive long enough that we can eat it...
Well so much for survival right?
It will be a miracle if the tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash, basil, onions and whatever those funny little seeds I found in the bottom of my storage ever get past the cats who love to lie on anything green, the ducks who eat anything tender, the sun that burns any attempt at standing, the soil which can turn hard as cement if there is too much clay and of course the myriad of creepy crawly bugs.
In fact yesterday I saw the first grasshopper and it was already almost two inches long. That is big for this time of year. About every six or seven years, we have an invasion of locusts who eat anything that does not runaway, so as I say, it is only an experiment. Live and learn.
Here we go, another week rolling by...
I have been reading kind of an amazing book...so far...only half way through and in books and movies, it is common, they fall apart when coming to the end...
The book is SHANTARAM by Gregory David Roberts http://www.shantaram.com/
I looked at the web site and found it compelling as his book...so far.
The author calls his book a novel. Perhaps more accurately it is a autobiographical narrative fiction ... calling it a novel gives him license to invent much out of his personal experience and autobiography would make it less acceptable because it is so bazaar.
Anyway, it seems to me he has done what Hemingway was so good at, which was to take his own life and embellish it with amazing story teller tall tales.
There are times I find it hard to believe he could possibly remember in such detail many things he writes about...nevertheless it is a gripping tale that is hard to put down.
Good writing is a tough thing to do.
As for me, I am attempting to grow a garden, which the most ordinary kind of person can do, and yet it is formidable.
Sometimes I can't believe I have gone so far on the delusions of self-importance. Maybe that is the one kind and forgiving aspect of the governing source of this never-ending universe. It gives us a good shot to be who we pretend to be...
My daughter believes very much in the power of positive thinking...so I include a little thing she sent me this morning.
Hey it can't hurt, can it ?
This is a Money Goddess. Pass it to 6 of your good friends, or family and be rich in 4 Days.
Pass it to 12 of your good friends or family and be rich in 2 Days.
I am not joking. You will find an unexpected windfall. If you delete it, you will never know!
SHE WORKS SHE REALLY WORKS!!
Occasionally I sit down to write what has been the recent news around here, and my mind is just blank...well maybe not exactly blank, more like a big green fart has filled the space between my ears.
This is what a big green fart looks like in my head.
SHRIVELED AFTER 24 HOURS, SOON TO DISAPPEAR...its gone
Well...it was the weekend, then it was...
The guy with the cowboy hat is Junior Brown. He was once very famous in the country western world. The guy in the black hat is Jimmy Russell, and I guess he is famous in his own right...the guy in the black leather vest is famous in Madrid and maybe even Santa Fe. He is the the president of the the BANDITOS, our local biker club.
Several other people in the above clicks are famous. Some would like me to say their name and some wish they had not been caught by my camera, as their fame won't do them any good.
And by the by and by...
So I took the three Day of The Dead Mariachis to their new home in Santa Fe.
1. The truck ride. 2. The new masters. 3. Playing in their corner.
Aside from that, it is a dreary day in New Mexico, but not as dreary as many places.
I was going to plant the few vegetables I have got started in little pots out in my workshed/greenhouse, but I think I will give them another week just in case...
Gardening is not my strong point so it will be interesting to see if I can actually raise anything, even though I think the watering system I have devised is good.
Once a week in the warmer weather I have had to empty the duck pond because it not only gets full of duck-poo, but goes into a spectacular electric green with algae. I have always felt a little guilty about using the water just for a few days for the enjoyment (and drinking ) for the ducks. This is the desert, so not only is there a shortage of water, it also costs me mullah.
But now, I can use the water for the garden and of course it is rich in natural fertilizer.
Hmmm...maybe the spinach will taste like duck?