Saturday, April 25, 2015

I tried to walk Ghoti at least once a day, around the block, at the park or any field I could let him run in. He wore a collar and leash maybe ten times in his life, due to the fact that he would listen to me, and respond accordingly. The mailman, Julian, was deadly afraid of his large, black, bulk, and would refuse repeatedly to deliver mail if Ghoti was sitting on the porch. Julian didn't realize that Ghoti would do no harm, and I went through many battles, not only with Julian, but with the local post office. Yeah, they were right, but I just wanted to let them know. Julian eventually came to know Ghoti, and they greeted each other whenever Ghoti was outside.

When we walked I would call him by many different names, for no reason whatsoever, other than as terms of affection. He never seemed to be confused, but would respond.

Below is a partial list of some of Ghoti's a.k.a.'s:

- Morvelda

- Pooka Dooka Doo

- Footapoo

- Bach A Lacha Doo Choo

- Sweet Patooka

- Fordozia

- Wapoopinch

- Bobba Loopa Doo

- Ba La La

- Va Roopda Loopda

- Fish Iosis

- Ponka

- Ooga Booga Boo

- Ba Lacha Gnu

- Baboonza

- Pooka

- Poomp Da Da Roo Doo

- Sadaunka

Goddamn I miss him . . .

Saturday, April 18, 2015

My quadruped's job was domestic
he kept all around him at ease
by licking and barking and napping
while he wasn't hard to appease.

For more than a decade he never
thought once about running away
the two of us had an agreement
that neither of us ever would stray.

'Cept once when I had to move eastward
(I left him with capable care)
still when I'd come home for a visit
I knew that for me he'd be there.

And I still have this scene in my mem'ry
of him taking naps in the yard
till when he heard my car coming
he'd jump with his tail wagging hard.

It's true that a dog is man's best friend
and it's true that I'll never forget
that a dog is often quite more 
than that which we just call a pet.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fig. 2Y: Con Text

Fig. 18U: Doe Nut

Cats Scat

Fig. 13G: Orange Jews

 Goat Toga

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Recent Drawings, 2/8/15

At the tail end of 2014 - it seems so long ago - I found a Wikipedia page that gave a great number of web sites for Indie Papers (my caps) around North America. Since the Toledo Free Press had decided not to use my cartoons for their paper, I decided I had nothing to lose by sending my work to other papers around North America (by North America I mean there were some Canadian papers and a Nova Scotia one, too), so I sent out a plethora of e-packages with 5 samples of my work, from the Village Voice to the Memphis Flyer - and everything in between.

As of this date, I've had one inkling of interest from a Lansing paper, who requested to see additional drawings, then I never heard anything more. That's it. Though this annoyance hasn't diminished my drive to get my work out there, I can't help but to wonder if I'm totally loopy in thinking that ANY of my art is worth anyone's attention. 

Sometimes I see other (local) outputs of art - in any of their various forms: music, theater, visual, et al - and wonder : 1) if this poor excuse of a town is cursed when it comes to the Arts, or 2) I, in fact, am delusional in thinking my work is worth anyone's attention.

It's only my thinking that #2 is bullshit, that I continue throwing stuff out there, and, not unlike throwing spaghetti against the wall, seeing what sticks.

With that in mind, I share a fresh sampling of the "cartoons" aspect of my work (even though I have posted some in earlier posts). Enjoy.

The above are all what are being referred to as "bad homophones," play on words, what were called "homophones" when I was in grade school, if I'm not mistaken. Silly? Yes.

These last two are an idea where a four-letter word is rearranged to form another word that can then be drawn in a picture integrating both words. Not sure "Dis Lexia" is the right name for it.

So, if anybody's got any ideas as to where this output can find a home, you know my name, look up the number.

Monday, February 2, 2015

This Winter Means to Kill Us All

February 2, 2015

This was written last year, but not surprisingly, fits the bill tonight.

This Winter means to kill us all
by any means at hand.
Freeze our marrow to its core
each bird and beast and man.

Our bones will crunch in Winter's jaws
our skin will crack like ice.
We'll try so hard to break its grip,
yet nothing will suffice.

And while we yearn with all our might,
yearn for Summer's heat,
relentless cold and frost and snow
will make the kill complete.

A little goes a long, long way
when it comes to Winter's hold.
The skies are grey, both night and day
and you can't ignore the cold.

Yeah, this Winter means to kill us all
it has no real contender.
And if you're wise, you'll empathize
admit defeat, surrender.

- Steven J. Athanas
(from “Cal 'n Dar, 2015”)

February 1st, 2015 (While Da Cold Winds Blow)

(apologies for the weird white boxes framing the letters)

February 1st, 2015, My Stoodio 

As you enter

I was going to start this entry by saying that there is not a more comfortable room in my house than my stoodio (sic), but that's not entirely true. Sometimes when I can't get what's in my head to come to life in front of me, it's kinda hellish. Frustrating, painful, rendering me insecure, ready to give it up, get that job that my Dad always said I should've (little late for that, though). So, truth be told, the converted bedroom on the second floor with windows on the North and West side, more often than not offers up challenges, but it's still my favorite room.

The door, as you enter, that never closes, which has Gandhi's Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World, as well as the word "Meraki":
a word that modern Greeks often use to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself (your soul, creativity, or love) in your work. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it. 

"To have a sacred place is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room or a certain hour of the day or so, where you do not know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody or what they owe you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be." - Joseph Campbell

Ma 'n Pa 

Ceramic Self-Portrait and a couple o' "BOINGS!!!" 

Shelf above the desk 

Inconsequential heart and stick piece 

2 Santa Fish Wait for the next season 

Time, of course, is the true enemy, both in a micro and a macro way: 1) utilizing the hours of the day and trying to get work done before the sun sets, and 2) the longer view, the one that takes into consideration just how many finite beats my heart has left, and . . . when I'll run out of energy and return to dust.

2 Views of workspace table top 

"Never apologize for your studio." - Denise Bezanson

My stoodio is a mess - and it should be. If I were working with pristine glass sculptures or shiny chrome pieces, maybe then it should be clean -maybe. But I'm not working those mediums. The works that come outta there reflect the squalor, I see it as a necessity. For 6+ years I've been working here, and I "cleaned" it for the first time at the beginning of January,2015, only because I was going to be working with a student.

"I used to empty the studio out and throw stuff away. I now don't. There will be a whole series of dead ends that a year or two down the line I'll come back to."  - Anish Kapoor

In my stoodio you'll find a tub (one of those plastic containers that are meant to store Christmas stuff) overflowing with tissue paper, various sticks obtained while walking Ghoti, spools and spools (mostly rusty) of varying widths of wire, containers of brushes, pencils, colored pencils, markers, (more) sticks, scissors, cutters, Sharpies, a rolling pin (which I can't find right now), wire cutters/shapers of all shapes and sizes, rulers, photos, a tin titled "plastic army men" and one marked "toy money," works in varying states of completeness, Barbie heads, Ken heads, wire heads, plaster o' paris, polyurethane, pieces o' paper with various quotes ("Doubt not, o poet, but persist. Say 'It is in me, and shall out!'" - Emerson), a shop-vac (why?), a space heater, multiple empty small tins of Altoids for a future project, sketch pads, saws and tools, barn wood, lath . . . and that's the tip o' the iceberg.  

Mobile experiment 

"5 Men Confess"
("I have a cuticle infection," "I photograph pears," "I met Jack Parr," "I forget to brush," "I pass gas and run") 

1 of 3 hanging men 

North side/front cubby hole 

Corkboard above work table 

Homewreckers' flyer 

Study of baby's deformed skeleton

"Keep your shop and your shop will keep you." - Benjamin Franklin

There is a huge blizzard that rages outside, with an expected accumulation of 10 - 12 inches before it's all done. But I am warm, not only from our imperfect furnace, but from the energies that emanate from my little haven. It's small. I hope, in one way, that I'll move to larger spot someday, but if that ever happens, I'll prob'ly wish for this spot where I will now close this entry and let my muse in.

"We are informed about the gallery space but never involved with it as being an extension of the artist's studio – a haven that purifies emotions through the evocation of fear, stimulation of thought and interaction." - Faisal Abu'Allah

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jan. 27, 2015

As January nears its end, we still have February and March (and probably part of April) to deal with Winter. I find myself burrowing deeper and deeper into the comfort of our home, in an effort to ignore the drudgery of this season.

I have not been as creative in the studio as I'd like to be, but the work that does eke out is worthy of attention (see below).

I spent the workdays of January involved in the Winterim Program at Maumee Valley Country Day School, teaching art to a Junior at the school, Fareid El Gafy. The program winds up today with a fair at the school. I was truly impressed with Fareid's talent. He (wisely) has no intention of being an artist when he graduates from college (he's thinking of something dealing with international diplomacy), but he shows talent, nevertheless, with his work. Part of the daily ritual was to keep a blog of the day's events. This is the link:


My new side musical project (Chinese Purple) has been trying to make a mark on the local scene, with varying successes. The Village Idiot seems to have appreciated what we put forth, and have offered us what hopefully will be a steady flow of dates, March 6 being the next gig.

And by the seat of our pants, we entered a competition affiliated NPR's "Tiny Desk Concert" series. We waited till the day it was due, but thanks in no small part to Mike Malone (who filmed and loaded it to the site) we came up with this:

It's a toon I wrote a few years back, called "When Da Cold Winds Blowed." Enjoy - and wish us luck.

Some pics of recent work:

"Jailhouse Rock on TV"

"A Bumpy Aquarium I"

"A Relatively Useless Basket"

"Deluxe Divining Rod"

"Popcorn Heart (For K)"