Monday, May 20, 2013

Hello, Goodbye

I say Hi
You say Low
You say Why
And I say I don't know

I started this blog to talk about events and issues relating to leaving my day job and taking up art full time. Studio work, health care, what I was reading, over a 100 posts so far , including a long gap in which I was too busy surviving to keep up the thread.

Now it's time to say "goodbye", though I'm going to start this off by saying "hello". Yes, this is the farewell post  for, though it has already had its first post from its new home,

I had planned on a website to highlight my various activities since I took a very excellent "Internet Marketing for Artists" seminar with the good folks from in July, '12. The blog was already in a bit of a slump by then when the idea of importing it into my website hit me. The instructors at IMA said this was possible- importing a Blogger blog into a WordPress website. But owing to many projects and part time jobs on my table, the website didn't make it up until last week. As for Squishtoid, with my idea of giving it a fresh start in a new domain it kind of got lost in the shuffle. The perfect being the enemy of the good in this case.

It probably needn't have taken that long, but I'm not all that tech-adept, and wanted some time to sit and learn it, though the blog import was actually accomplished with a widget and was the easiest part of it. The moral of the story:

DO attempt this at home.

WordPress is a bare-bones open source program, and not your silky smooth, WYSIWYG, drag and drop, rocket ship style program like those made by Adobe. It requires a few good sized blocks of free time, some googling and help-center searching, but if I can do it anyone can. The page is no where near complete, by the way. I plan to add more portfolio pages, a workshop page, a contact page, and eventually, a You Tube channel and PayPal app for buying small artworks. But this time I decided not to let the perfect torpedo the good. I have several shows and workshops coming up this Summer, so it needed to get resolved. I also will have promo spot airing on Colorado Public Television ( Ch. 12) and needed a site to direct viewers to. More about that later.

I'll leave this page here for now, though I assume Blogger will come wanting their server space back at some point. You can follow future Squishtoid Blog posts at You can also search the archives there, and look at a small library of recent monotypes. Eventually you'll be able to download info sheets and pictures. It will be updated pretty regularly because it's really sort of pointless to do all that work and not update. I think I learned my lesson there.

Above, a picture from near South Pass City, Wy. from an early Squishtoid post. It's pretty much the same view Oregon Trail travelers saw decades ago. You can see a long way.  I'm entering my fourth Summer of pretty much calling my own shots. There've been some misses, but somehow, the Squish abides.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Green Manifesto: "See" Change

"Man With Torch" 30x42", Monotype. Will be shown at The Art Students League's Carson Gallery, "Modern Man and the Landscape", May 17-June 28 

In Spring the light moves quickly. Spring is a good time for seeing. Slapped in the face by a fresh breeze, I realize that I have been looking at things through windows and I can now step out into the air to see them as they really are. But Spring moves at the speed of light. One day we look out and see a few diaphanous green leaflets, another, we are driving to work and see through the windshield a scrim of fully leafed trees. Spring reminds you that you are present; a green manifesto.

Sight is the most mercurial of senses. Smells linger, cumin and cilantro just beneath the radar until we realize we are hungry, songs become earworms for days. But look away for a second from a glade of trees and everything has changed. The light has moved- it has parsecs to go before we sleep. Even in memory, sight is ephemeral. We struggle to recall the face or breasts or fingers of a past lover.

The top picture, though more autumnal than vernal, is one of my favorites because it shows a man poised very incrementally between past and future, memory and hope. He has a torch, which suggests bridges being burned, but also light shining (it also, some have suggested, indicates environmental disaster, a not incompatible theme). Environment, is after all, where we are now. And a job? A denial of the present experience in favor of an idealized future. Necessary, yes- but Spring reminds that the time is now, and the word is light.

An artist gets placed in charge of freezing light and time, a trickything to do. An artwork is always about a moment, as Mark Tansey's rather subversively iconic image of plein air painters documenting a shuttle launch tells us. The trick is to slow things down, get in the present, making art in real time, somewhere in the rushing stream of photons. Not an easy thing. So I guess I'll get out and take a walk.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Riding on the Metro

Having to work means less time for social media. Fortunately, there's public transportation for catching up. I can check email, Twitter and Facebook on the way to the University of Denver.
I can also blog, thanks to Blogger's iPhone app. I have a larger post in "drafts", but chose to post this instead, because it's hard to concentrate on revisions when the Foothills are glowing with a new coat of snow on a mild Spring day.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My class at Art Students League did not fill, so it is cancelled. It's disappointing, and also leaves me with less income during a slow time of year. Fortunately, I have temp work at the University of Denver Bookstore to tide me over. I've been helping out during their beginning-of-quarter rushes for about three years now, and it's a fun place to work. Lots of great people, many of whom got into it (mistakenly, it turns out) from a love of books and culture. 

And I do see a lot of interesting books there, though during a busy time like this, only in passing. My basic strategy, being poor and of limited bookshelf space, is to note the books that interest me, then type them into the Denver Public Library search when I get home. Stickin' it to the man...

I get into a lot of great conversations at work. Books, movies, stickin' it to the man; a definite step above the typical workplace chat fare from my old retail job: weather, and Broncos. Then more Broncos and back to the weather. Scintillating stuff. 

One interesting (and funny) fellow at work is Dave. He has combined a love of photographing sleep-deprived retail workers and a dry humor in a blog that winds up telling the tale of what happens to a bunch of interesting characters in a small bookstore as it is being taken over by a large mega-corporation. I'm in it quite a bit. Not because I'm a major player, but because I don't run and hide when he pulls out his camera. 

I generally play along, contributing a bunch of nonsensical commentary, not to mention my sleep-deprived mug, as he snaps. I think this amply explains why Dave Hoyt's Blog is not exactly redlining the ol' Google Analytics, just as it does with mine. 

Here's an iPhone picture of Dave, trying to figure out how to snap my photo without ruining his nice camera. It isn't a very nice pic, but I haven't been doing this as long as Dave. Cheese, Dave!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fear of a Mac Planet

An artist/instructor where I teach responded to my casual suggestion that faculty could communicate and resolve various routine issues among themselves by using a dedicated Facebook group with: "I'M NOT GOING ON FACEBOOK; I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR FACEBOOK!" So much for the social media revolution. 

Perhaps she's one of the few who have realized the Romantic Dream: making enough sales at a sufficient price level to not need to worry about marketing her work. If so, she should tone down the vehemence of her reaction- it makes her sound like a raving technophobe. 

The rest of us will be making time for social media, thank you. One thing about leaving your day job, you DO have more time, but money, not so much. So social media, which is mostly free, becomes pretty huge. 

It is time consuming to do right, meaning: get a conversation going. Facebook and blogs require promotion. Twitter is reviled, even by Facebook and blogging afficianados, but if you devote regular time, it is easier to get its mostly younger, more savvy adherents talking, thus getting yourself into conversations you just can't enter in "real" life, such as at art openings. Or even on Facebook or the blogosphere. I suspect that some who put down Twitter and other social media are just not that comfortable with the idea of meeting new people online. 

I've had some success devoting Monday mornings and Friday afternoons to my various media accounts, with random tweets and posts thrown in when I have time. I'm also experimenting with using the Light Rail more for commuting, thus converting that time to productivity through social media and blogging apps on my phone.  I try to apply that to blogging, but writing is not a spontaneous activity for me, so it's easy to postpone. It's clear "I don't have time for blogging," but I would never admit that I'm not trying to make time. Social media is not going away, no matter how much it scares you.

The picture is a "mash-up" of sorts, in which I cut up old failed prints and reassembled with some new ink on top. It's designed to have a number of discrete textures and visual timbres while conforming to a new, somewhat abstract, whole. What is your reaction?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The light is stretched and thin after a couple days of clouds and a dusting of snow. It's warmed up, so I took a walk down by the lake this morning to get a little air. Then I sat down to start the site, after a couple of days of reading and researching.

"Return" Monotype, 22x30", 2012.
The domain name and hosting were easy. I chose DreamHost because Internet For Artists recommended it, and because they handle domain name and hosting account in one spot. They donate some of their proceeds to Creative, which puts on the IFA seminars. They do charge for one year up front, but it's inexpensive. My domain name will be

I'm on to WordPress now. I'm working a temp job next week (to pay for the hosting, nyuk), so I'm hoping the software is pretty easy and fun to use, as this week is the last I'll be able to sit in front of the computer for long stretches. 

I entered the picture above in a regional printmaking exhibition in November. I'll find out if it was accepted this week as well.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

This image is from my summer 1-man show at Zip 37 Gallery. It's pastoral, mostly, a bit of Eyvind Earle creeping in I guess. But it contains a more subliminal component, and I can never convince myself that it's strong enough for people to notice. Thoughts?

A reminder: Tuesday, December 4, is Colorado Gives Day. Any 501c3 type charity is eligible for this (all proceeds go to the charity), but consider the Art Students League of Denver if you haven't decided on a recipient:

*In these times of reduced educational funding, ASLD teaches critical thinking skills to children.

*ASLD employs artists and other creatives, thus helping Denver's creative economy, a real asset to companies looking to relocate.

*ASLD provides community in an inner city neighborhood, and is preserving a beautiful Richardsonian 19th C. Building.