As glazing layers build the overall values tend to darken and homogenize. There are rumors of painters who don’t have to rebuild their lighter tones, but they may just be monsterous fairytales.


Over-darkened and over-saturated with glaze. An in-between step that I’d hoped was my final step, but then wasn’t.


Today was back at Morning Glory Bridge. The tree gained dimensionality, and I put some atmosphere between the left yellow wall and the bridge, and between the bridge and the tree.


“Before” The changes are subtle, and maybe don’t quite punch up via photograph…


shadowed branches against sunlit stone


Bounced glow on stones, with direct and indirect light on the tree.

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Painting along with the Thrilling Adventure Hour (at, a new-fangled old-timey radio-like funny-time podcast; paintings suffer if’nz a don hav no fuhny disrakshun.

The painting is nearly getting somewhere now. This is the smallest bale-to-landscape ratio in the big bale series to date.




It’s the week of Valentine’s- the week my father died of cancer in ’09. In remembrance I cooked a roast of one of my last remaining Black Angus roasts from him, and began another Entropy Bail. This is the fourth in the series, the rest were painted in the spring of ’09. They are 3′ x 4′. They are all derived from the summer of 2000 when the old baler put out a field full of loose bales. Painting at this scale takes awhile, but it is nice to work on this theme again…

I may be done. Hard to say. Just because there are some areas that I’m unsure of doesn’t mean that I should work them more.

This one was worked more while working on Bale II. The digital process has really gutted them both of life and color (Bale II below is closer than the two above)- On that note, I submitted Entropy Bale II & Elizabeth with Heavy Ball to a state show- the museum curator was excited to see E w/ Ball and hoped it would get in. Neither piece was accepted, so I’ll drive down tomorrow and pick them up.



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This is an excerpt from a essay I created during my MFA to parody Conceptual Art, creating a premise wherein a post-Post Modern aesthetic is applied to creating round hay bales. This flowery little ditty was created at my father’s kitchen table on a bright summer day in late July of 2001- it was written to be a bit over the top, as a journal entry of one of the characters who is smitten with a percieved romance of the Montana ranching lifestyle. It does, however, point toward my current work.

    the form of the bale is an infinite spiral in a finite space. the bail encapsulates verdant spring in all her glory of alpine wildflower and rich meadow grass. the bale is a talisman of Persephone to keep the earth from despair when she is gone to Dis. in their Montana homeland they are life itself in the depth of northern winter. they are formed by one man and many machines, formed to care for his herd. they are a testament to a life lived in harmony with seasons, of a man who lives his bond to the earth. when he was young the work was done with horses and a family of eight. now, with the aid of machines, he runs the ranch alone. the individual working in isolation with machines in a landscape that wants to swallow up all signs of man.
    the fields of baled hay hold a mathematical symmetry, a cosmological grouping, a sense of the underlying structure of the universe, man’s conception of the LOGOS in tangible form, man’s existential desire for form and meaning and harmony.
     multiple objects made by machines, too large to be moved without machines, yet they blend into the vast landscape and offer no affront to nature. they are of a relationship of man and earth, of plant-life and season and faith in nature, of man understanding self and world and his own constant animal effort. they are a bridge, not only man and earth, not only of summer in winter, but of humanity through all seasons. they are a pure conception of time as spiral, space as curve, mass as direction, and the mysterious simultaneity of gravity and electricity which is best sensed when the self is in motion around the static bales so that the relativity of time, distance, and perception bespeak the physics and metaphysics of the particular. the deep aesthetic of science arises with this motion, twin to the deep aesthetic of art.
    they are objects created to be unmade. in the depths of the northern winter they are unwound, rolled backwards to their spiral under a cold sun that dazes the night for a few short hours before the earth returns to darkness and the sky to stars and moonlight and silver tendrils of Aurora Borealis, spring is uncapsulated and devoured by the harsh winter gods, the Norse apocalypse of endless dark winter destroying all creation crushes inward with the cold, but faith of seasons is offered in the Greek trust of Dionysus’ annual resurrection, even after his death that heralds all tragedy.     

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Some day a painting will look on the post as it does in the studio- lemon yellows disappear, as well all the complex layering. The day needed to be much brighter, and the shorn hayfield seem nearly too bright to look at. This helps emphasize the swirling depths of hay.
I didn’t work on this yesterday, or the day before really- as my sister flew in from Sacramento to pick up my Dad’s truck. It is the lovely Ford F-250 V-10 that effortlessly hauled the old Mustang down from Montana. Now it is off to it’s new life as a California truck- it snowed yesterday and the day before; the last snow the truck will ever see. A bit too much truck for hauling groceries though- it will resume it’s life as a working truck on my sister’s little sheep ranch.

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Once again, color is horribly compromised- and since that is where these works really live, the gutted versions appearing here only approximate…and deaden it down. that’s all right, as it still has a ways to go. I’ll take picts outside when it is finished in different locations and see if that helps. til then, it is all in-progress anyway.

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The first bail is nearly done, but I’ll wait til this new painting is further along before I post the first one again. On the first/prior bail painting, I’m having a painter’s gap over a portion of the mid-ground, and so far it is one forced looking attempt after another. I may have gotten it resolved today: mid way through this latest one I mixed what seemed a tone that called to the problem area and wandered over and diddled about. I’ll let is set for a bit and see. Meanwhile, this one has a fairly promising start- it is missing some of the essential volume and gesture as yet, but things are well enough mapped in to give an idea of where to go next.

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I decided to work larger for this series, 32 x 48, and work in acrylic house paint (yellow, green, brown, white). This series explores a meadow full of unwinding hay bails, from many summers ago up on the MT ranch. They occurred because of a mechanical defect with the bailer. They are meditations on physical collapse, once again investigating my father’s life and struggle with cancer. 

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