VINCENT OF DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN


 

a06129_196e948311fa422aaddc18b2589a041b

Sparhawk oil portrait of Van Gogh, c. 1999

 

“ONE THING I KNOW:  WITHIN A FEW YEARS I MUST BRING A CERTAIN WORK TO COMPLETION….I AM CONCERNED WITH THE WORLD ONLY INSOFAR AS I HAVE, AS IT WERE, A CERTAIN DEBT AND DUTY, BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN ROAMING ABOUT IN IT FOR THIRTY YEARS, AND ALSO BECAUSE I WANT, OUT OF GRATITUDE, TO LEAVE BEHIND A SORT OF REMEMBRANCE IN THE FORM OF DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS–NOT MADE IN ORDER TO PROMOTE THIS OR THAT TREND, BUT ON ACCOUNT OF THEM HAVING IN THEM SOMETHING THAT EXPRESSES A SINCERE HUMAN SENTIMENT. THAT IS THE GOAL OF MY WORK…”

Vincent Van Gogh’s letter to Theo Van Gogh, 1883, from the Hague, on his third year of having begun to be an artist.

I’ve been years writing my autobiography. In it Vincent Van Gogh comes to visit me this one anguished young painter’s night in Brooklyn. I ‘m in my early 20’s, in the clutch of death by brush, not knowing enough to translate my visions to canvas and I have conjured him up. He stays and advises and the most marvelous grand adventures happen in the following year. During which my own story unfolds. My book begins when I am packing up and leaving Yosemite, remembering back decades to that midnight I first saw him.

Constant warfare my whole life.  Like an old soldier now done with war. What were the whirling years, to whom did they  belong.  Not a stranger, no not a stranger.     An earlier me.”

to be continued…………

 

 

Advertisements

THE DEAD OF THE OAKLAND GHOST SHIP. Blood on the Hands of the Multiculturalists.


 

                                      THE DEAD OF THE OAKLAND GHOST SHIP FIRE 

920x920   Blood on the Hands of Multiculturalists.  No Sanctuary City for Independent Whites.

 

I heard of dead youngsters hauled from Oakland’s inferno, who then were identified, whose faces then went to broadcast. I saw the dead artists. I said aloud:

                         “But they’re white. No one will feel their pain.”

Suffer the little children. They could have been me. I am sister to Oakland’s Ghost Ship Corpses and I must speak.

Who is San Francisco.  Yes.  And who are the  sidewalks and Universities of America, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany……..where Diversity is code for Not Safe for Whites Here.

Did Black, Asian, Middle East, Hispanic Oakland City Inspectors get orders to ignore Whites in substandard housing? Will we ever know.

Few crying the horror of exclusion, who rage and fury at exclusion as a philosophy or business practice, in a government…..few may be counted on to be welcoming to Whites.

I speak with some credentials and experience.  I have been painting, drawing, and writing since infancy and never gave it up and it even earned me a living wage during interludes from salaried jobs.  I still gauge the merits of studios based on how often my nose goes red and runny from the cold. I’ve done the tribulations and glories of creative endeavor in France, London, and East Europe; Mexico City, Cuernavaca; Quebec; NY’s Chinatown, Lower East Side, Brooklyn; the Blue Ridge Mountains, Big Sur’s redwood and sea salted air, Yosemite’s High Sierras, and crossing America north and south 3 times.

I’ve intentionally moved into hovels and shacks, filthy lofts, log cabins, stables, condemned basements, attics, garages, root cellars. More than some without hot water, without running water, without heat, without air, without windows, without electricity, without safety, money, food, or allies. I’ve moved into tents, trailers, trucks, and cars without without without. I’ve also lived in stunning scenery, endless skies, dramatic weather, and some totally…..uhm…..unique, low-or-no-cost housing because of hallelujah privacy and space to paint, sculpt, write a book. It’s a miserable, magical, thrilling horrific life as anyone knows who’s tried.

After all I left home at 17 because I sought bohemia, life outside of convention, endless experiences of being alive, music of the spheres, and glorious independence. And I did not, nor did my White generation, seek the exclusion of any race sharing that journey.

In fact we of the sixties, we still alive today of the flamboyantly inclusive equality-demanding outrageous generation, (much to the shock of our elders, and in danger from it, and not giving a hoot) wanted everyone along for the ride. You amongst us may note, as I have, that despite attaining 72.5 years, born in 1944 near-post-WWII, not a single person of color in any part of the world I’ve ever been, spanning over half a century now, has looked me in the eye and said:  Oh right, the 60’s! Good show! Thank you for that, let me shake your hand, we’re all better off for your revolution.

Indeed Whites are now blamed for every trouble the world has every known, by everyone.  Including the twice elected Black President who says: ” All Whites have racism in their DNA. Up yours.”

I devoted 5 years of my life, gained praise from every race and religion of individual NYers but lost my shirt trying to sculpt a memorial for ALL slain police officers in NYC in a year monumental for so many killed.  I was told by a predominately Black NYC Arts Commission, a Black NYC Chief of Police, a Black mayor that my work had no merit because the dark bronze figures were merely human. Not Black. The Vietnam Wall was heralded for not (choosing or daring — I don’t know) representing figures.  The Air and Space Museum finally approved a sculpted floating astronaut in space suit at it’s entrance~~ visor closed ~~ which neither identified or glorified any race though all our astronauts then were white.  As were the guys who designed and built and shot the rockets and brought them to earth again.  No matter.

In the early 1990’s, a person of great authority at the Corcoran Museum in Washington DC, our famously “American Artist” museum, told me to my White face they could not possibly find interest in my art because as a White American I had no culture whatsoever. They would exhibit African American and Native American and homosexual artists who contrariwise had culture to brag about.

From the 1970’s to this 21st Century, publishers print up authors of confession, self-help, self-pity, victimization, obscure/profound/common sexuality, and most loved of all, racism. Publishers are reluctant to print up White heterosexual women standing on their own 2 feet. Who apparently in these times have no point of view, no life to notice, no merit, up yours.  Oh, I said that already.

Look at the relentless defamation of marvelous individuals who invented, described, built for the benefit of all humankind, being re-written out because they are Caucasian. Please, on behalf of art everywhere, turn from the movie “Turner” which grinds to shred and dust the brilliant artist who was a revolution in a waistcoat all by himself until the politically correct Brits in exhaustive humiliation at their own White skin, who are not worthy of pronouncing Turner’s name, shamefully corrupted the dear man’s history because he failed to be Black.

Oakland’s White Ghost Ship Fire is your payoff, you racists of San Francisco and beyond who have been shouting from the rooftops that anyone with White skin does not matter to this world, to your Sanctuary City. Do not apply. Get out. Get lost. We hate you bad Honky.   Burn baby burn.

 

 click here for SF GATE, movie tribute

 

 

 

Weather Watching


Weather Watching

Gorgeous dawn this morning, one of a week full. Black clouds nested low but high enough for pink slanting across the underbelly to produce more than one wow.  And ~ briefly ~ the distinct form of an eagle with pink tailfeathers. Thanks, mother nature.

We’re told an Atmospheric River is about to empty over our coast here starting about now, north getting the greatest impact. Sets me to thinking about weather. Here’s a rainy day story for you.

Just let me say that I’ve seen some weather in my life. The most intense and varied and long running was, so far, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It beat out Yosemite’s High Sierras at 5,000 feet, Vermont’s Green Mountains, Mississippi’s hurricanes, and California’s floods.

I moved from downtown Brooklyn to a teeny town called Bluemont, on a rise of about 200 feet. Not much elevation above the DC swamps, but there’s some configuring the Blue Ridge has done to produce unbelievably intense storms of enormous drama. The hills are abrupt and ferocious rivers (Potomac, Shennandoah) and multitudinous tributaries run at their bases providing constant moisture and interesting wind.

I should add that this town of Bluemont was at the base of a 1750 foot rise named Mt. Weather. A slippery, narrow black ribbonned road led up to the pinpoint of the first  U.S. weather balloon launch. If Ben Franklin had asked George Washington where to find electrified air, George (who as a youthful surveyer lived, I swear, in THAT shed right there, on every single farmer’s south forty) would have sent him south of Phili. In (numerous) winter ice storms the air would blacken right down to your feet, not just bouncing above your head somewhere. The place drew thunder and lightning to the highly forested hilltop. Unbelievable sound and light show. Gene Kruppa, Gabriel, and Michael Jackson all en flagranted on the same stage.

Trees would drop and shatter the air. Phone, electric, and wells would stop and you’d for sure have remembered to top off the cords of firewood with sturdy plastic. That was Bluemont. Two years later I rented a c.1830 log cabin on a 60 acre farm in the middle of nowhere about a mile from Harper’s Ferry. Now THAT place had what you call weather. If you survived til dawn you got an eyeful.

Violent Dawn Across the Pond. Oil on Canvas.
Log Cabin Farm, Virginia

Late Summer Arrives


We’ve had a cool summer on the central coast, only now beginning to break its grip, finally heating up. Big Sur south coast (Big Sur Kate) announced 84 degrees before dawn, and I envy that cozy kind of hot air. Carmel Valley isn’t matching it.

Carmel-by-the-Sea was jammed yesterday. Fog lifted, word is out. The ocean was going from turquoise to a deep ultramarine blue, brilliant white foam on the cresting waves that hit those cratered copper colored boulders along that stunning coastline. Down by Carmel River a long slim span of kelp just under the surface put a mystic shine on the blue. When you get closer you see the orange and brown sea creature dancing.

In that little sheltered, sand dune protected bay just a few feet from the ocean, a man in a big straw hat was practicing kayaking. Doing all the maneuvering, memorizing technique. His young daughter was inner tubed, laughing, weaving in dad’s wake.

Always curious to see tourists, which I once was. I wish it were not the case but Carmel fosters a kind of uneasy pretension, all that beauty and so few sure of themselves in it. Until you hit the beach and get carried by it. Thank God for nature and it’s power to connect with what’s real and discard what ain’t.

A friend in Yellowstone overheard a visitor who said, I’m comfortable in my own skin here. The friend’s been there for weeks now, photographing grizzly bears and wolf packs vying for fallen bison, and has amazing photographs (Oops John) of the incredible wild things that live out their dangerous lives within those acres and acres of flowered pastures and purple mountain majesties.

Enough time in wilderness we forget how we look, what needs fixing, the fugit of tempis, and all the stuff that doesn’t matter once our hearts and brains are on fire with the call of the wild. All that registers is, Oh my God, look where I am! The stuff dreams are made of.

Gardens have been delighted with the cooler weather, very good year for plants and flowers, no heat drooping anybody. I feel so bad for the drought-stricken mid west.

I heard a radio report on the weather in Fresno, I think they’re looking at 113 degrees today. But if you live in Fresno you expect it.

When I lived in Coarsegold and up above Bass Lake (5100 feet) we’d get some of those hot mountain top days making for spectacular sunsets.

Those hills around Yosemite are famous for flying saucers and UFO’s. You learn to take your new neighborhoods in stride. It’s always something.