A Powerful Vision of What Love is

“Your love should never be offered…”

by Hafez

Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a stranger,
Only to someone who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.

Stay close to any sounds that make you glad you are alive.

Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.

There are different wells within your heart.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far too deep for that

Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.

Even after all this time the sun never says to the Earth, “You owe me”

There is no pleasure without a tincture of bitterness.

ballou - towardessential - two nautillus


Thanks go to Catherine Armbrust for bringing this to my attention, and Paulo Coelho for posting it here.

Diebenkorn, Painting, and Contemplation

My most recent essay is now available to read on neotericART. The piece was written after an October 2011 trip to Texas that was funded partially by the University of Missouri (where I teach). It is a long contemplation on the experience of seeing Diebenkorn’s work in significant number and in appropriate surroundings, but also reflects the long-time presence the great artist’s work has held in my mind. I also see the text as a lateral critique of Raphael Rubinstein’s (part 1, part 2) and Sharon Butler‘s writings about provisionalist/casualist painting. I hope you enjoy the piece and would welcome any comments you have.

Pulling an Edition of Mezzotints

I am a part of an upcoming traveling mezzotint show, a brainchild of printmaker Aaron Coleman. Today and last Friday I worked with Derek Frankhouser to pull 21 mezzotints (an edition of 19 +two artist’s proofs). Derek is also in the show and is a budding master printmaker who held a residency an internship at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in 2011. Below is a record of our efforts.


My hand, blackened by hand-wiping, in front of the pinned prints. I used Charbonnel ink.


Derek laying the paper…


…and carefully pulling it off the plate after a pass.


A beautiful pull (this was my first print of the process).




A shot of the whole edition set off to the side for drying.

I’m super thankful to Derek for his help and couldn’t have pulled the entire edition (without mistakes or needing to re-do) without him. This is the also the first time I’ve been able to edition beyond 10 or 12 prints; that’s a testament to Derek’s counsel and help.

What a Difference Four Years Makes

Four years ago this week I watched Eli Manning and the Giants devastate the New England Patriots in Superbowl 42. It was glorious. Be sure to watch David Tyree’s amazing catch here and Plax’s gaming winning TD catch here. This was my reaction:

Four years later I watched the Giants crush the Pats again, only this time it was with my daughter. What a wonderful difference four years makes. I’m looking forward to many more years of Superbowls with Miranda :)