Monthly Archives: October, 2019

Letters Drawing of Eugene Street (n.d.)
soot and saliva on found paper
by James Castle
28

Last night I met with five of the 17 million artists who currently need to sell more of their art.

Two of my visitors came originally from a sales background. Two were young and disliked the subject of selling but were eager to get on with it. The other one had read a lot and taken courses — online, on the phone and in person. These courses included art marketing, eBay sales, art blogging, display advertising, selling yourself and your art, the business of art, licensing art…

Letters Sphère Tailèe, ca. 1970
marble sculpture
by Hanna Eshel (b. 1926)
10

Olivia Remes, an anxiety researcher at Cambridge, has discovered that we can develop coping skills for anxiety through the things we do. She says the way we cope can actually have a direct impact on how much anxiety we experience. We can lower anxiety just by making a few tweaks to how we deal with stress in the first place.

Letters Ishiyama Temple Scroll, 1805)
ink scroll
by Tani Bunchō (1763-1841)
9

On Friday we went to see What the Bleep Do We Know? It’s part documentary, part entertainment, part lecture. After being recommended by so many fellow artists, I knew it would be like no other film.

It’s about Quantum Physics. It asks and attempts to answer some of the big questions: Who are we, what are we made of, where are we going? The natures of intentionality, possibility, addiction, creativity, and self-love are examined and graphically demonstrated.

Letters CONGO_30th-Painting-Session-11th-December-1957_Paint_on_paper_37x51cm
14

Before 1956, Desmond Morris was a surrealist painter who had recently completed a doctorate in zoology at Oxford. That year, he began studying the picture-making abilities of two-year old chimpanzee Congo, a resident at the London Zoo. As Morris had recently agreed to host a show on animal behavior for Granada TV, he caught the whole thing on film.

Letters Composition VII, 1913
oil on canvas
78.25 by 119.1 inches
by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
12

In the incredibly dark and grubby Odessa airport, waiting for the short flight to Kiev, I find a crumpled copy of the English-language Herald Tribune. While most of its words appear well used by previous travellers, there’s an interview with 76-year-old American author John Updike. “I’ve tried to avoid teaching,” he says, “which for all its charm takes a lot of your energy and makes you doubt yourself.”

Letters Six Prayers, 1966–67 cotton, linen bast, silver lurex
186 × 48.9 cm each panel
by Anni Albers (1899-1994)
12

Annelise Fleischmann was a teenage art student from a wealthy German-Jewish publishing family when Oskar Kokoschka saw one of her portraits and asked her why she painted. She promptly quit, applying instead to the experimental Bauhaus School at Weimar, where she was rejected and then accepted after a second try. Because women were barred from most classes there except for weaving, Anni reluctantly eased into textiles. “To work with threads seemed sissy to me. I wanted something to be conquered. But circumstances held me to threads and they won me over.”

Letters Vermont Landscape, 1967
Pastel on paper
11.5 x 17.25 inches
by Wold Kahn (b. 1927)
12

Where I live, the spiders come out in autumn. They’re in my face when I bend to turn on the garden hose. Going about their sky-harvest and their devious mating-games, they spread their webs across my larger windows. In the nearby forest there’s a surprise of mushrooms. The longer, darker nights bring the owl’s call closer. Even by day the night birds are more active, silently moving between the tall cedars. It’s time to step out into a season — something to do with what John Muir called “washing your spirit clean.”