14. November 2019
This view was up on a ridge, a rocky spine that ran the length of the island. In 2004, it was the only place I could get a cell signal. I would paddle and then climb to check in with my loved ones once , or twice a week. The view was spectacular! The signal came from Thunder Bay in Canada, don'tcha know. Other than distant kayakers, I didn't see anyone this entire day.
20. October 2019
These were halcyon days of listening to loons, journaling, painting and paddling. I grabbed a host of materials, last minute, from the Austin main library. One of these books turned out to be controversial , The Man Who Would Be Queen. I missed the controversy, and just saw myself between those pages, over, and over, and over again. I had found myself in this solitude. My 47 year struggle with sexuality had kept me from examining gender. It was a revelation unto myself. Everything began to make...
13. October 2019
So, I am smurfing in my Smurf shack, out on the tip of Scoville Point, Isle Royale National Park. This is pristine wilderness. It is the quietest place I have ever been. Days would transpire without hearing a human voice, nor would I speak. I have done a lot of solo hiking and camping, but this was the most isolating experience I have had. I was connecting deeply with myself. Hiking in and out of the parks developed areas was a complete shock. I am sure it would have been different had I taken...
05. October 2019
The much beloved Voyager delivers mail and supplies to Isle Royale, ferrying kayakers and hikers, as it circumnavigates the island. I am a sucker for vessels. Each time I painted one, I would get adopted by the crew. Some of the fortunate residents that donated their family estates to create the park rely on the Voyager for fresh food, medicine...the stuff of life. The Voyager II berths out of Grand Portage ,MN.
28. September 2019
Once upon a time in the 1990's, I read about an artist residency on a fresh water island. Every couple of years I would send in an application which included my wilderness plein air paintings. My third application included nothing but urban imagery, and, bingo, I was accepted. When I met the administrator, I asked him if he was looking to drown a "citidiot". He laughed and said he wanted to see what I would do in a wilderness setting. I guess the lesson is don't overthink what you include in an...
25. September 2019
I did several paintings in South Beach but this is the only one I have documented...oops! In hindsight, it was an important trip. I was still reeling from a month in Las Vegas. I was seeing patterns and hearing the ding, ding, ding, punctuated by "Wheel of Fortune" from the slot machines. My sister in law invited me to come chill, and paint, while her production crew shot scenes for a television show. S. Beach is worth it just for the coffee in the bodegas! One evening, we met for dinner at a...
22. September 2019
Like the investigative reporter that I am not, I was on the scene when the story broke that the Bellagio had lost power. Like Moses at the Red Sea, the crowds parted and dispersed. I began to paint without the hypnotized masses mesmerized by the water, fire, and light. Money was hemorrhaging and security had abandoned the sidewalk. Not only was it quiet in a noisy, crowded place, but it was a little cooler next to the water. I was ready when the power returned.
19. September 2019
Did I mention it was hot in Las Vegas? Well, it was. Security took pity on me by offering me water and chatting with me. I asked them about public easement. They told me, there is none. It is private property from curb to curb. This allows the casinos to control access from picketers, protesters, and unwanted artists. They welcomed me into their bathrooms and I deposited some money into their machines.
10. September 2019
This was such a surreal environment. Throw in some triple digit temperatures and five star bathrooms (used facilities at the Grand) and I would have to get high to come down. In the middle of a desert rises New York, Rome, Venice, and Paris, surrounded by miles of plazas and acres of parking. Can "Fine" art be made in a kitsch world? I am sure there is a vibrant art scene in Las Vegas, but they were not being represented in any of the casino galleries. Why take a cruise when you can buy art at...
07. September 2019
Whenever I work on location I pay attention to egress. I don't want to be a hazard, and I don't want to be trampled. I usually look for a utility box or pole to set behind. People have to walk around them anyway. Since I was so close to the doors of this building( in the previous painting), I sought out security to announce my presence. They hemmed and hawed about permission as I completed the painting. The same situation occurred at the Venetian but they irritated me such that I painted over...

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