Archive for the ‘Painters & Other Graphics Artists’ Category

Efforts Of Comportment In Linguistic Scholarship

15 Oct


Palin Supporters


The mainstream media keeps trying to make Sarah Palin irrelevant and within the NYC-Washington Corridor she is exactly that. But the highbrow mainstream media might want to put down their lattes and New York Times and embrace the concept that Palin is still relevant. Her words and endorsements will matter in the 2014 Midterms. And beyond? Who knows.

—David Brody | The Brody File

My friend with the Mexican mustache, savvy art collector and former Mike Gravel campaign strategist, José Rodriguez, could not contain his glee that he had gotten another whiff of the Sarah Palin meme, and so rushed right in to let me know how beneficial to the nation she would be should she stretch her wings to fly right at the old bastards who are in cahoots in destroying the economical sustainability of this nation in the long run, just one of their many political sins, "Cruz Palin 2016! Please help make the GOP irrelevant."

I had to capitalize and punctuate his words to meet the standards of this punk rock blog. You must understand, I have always been a grammar Nazi, having fought at least two underqualified English teachers in junior and senior highschool right straight to the revolt of the class when they tried unsuccessfully to assert their ignorance over what I knew to be true. I would walk away with a F in Comportment and a visit to the principal's office on my final day of Eighth Grade with an A in scholarship. That story I tell elsewhere, so I'll just flash my hall pass to get on with this one. So. Later, in the Tenth Grade, I refused to reread Huck Finn as I had read that book silly a dozen times as a grade schooler on summer break on my own, instead cutting up in class, clown and resident know it all, but was woefully prepared for the more sophisticated written essays of the highschool finals, so to my surprise I turned in an empty page. Still, Miss Harris, whose fiancée, was just starting out on the PGA tour, and who had only come to Glynn Academy as a sub after Christmas holidays to replace the beautiful young but tough Mrs. Mayhew who took a leave of absence to have the baby she'd been carrying long before the first September bell of the school year 1970-71. Mrs. Mayhew was also my first Negro teacher. I liked her. She was deliberate, adjudicated, serious, temporate, friendly, charming, but when analyzed as a complete package suggesting woman in charge who knew her place she was as tough as nails, as I said.

Did I mention I later ran for Senior Class President at another school from which I in two years would graduate, on the platform to bring a junk food canteen to campus? An idea that has become the contemporary norm but is now frowned upon just like it was back then at the front of the caloric revolution, an idea of freedom of choice, of brief respite, of the mouth-watering zest that sometimes is just a little bit more satisfying and attention-grabbing than the traditional wares of zealotry...
At the end of the first quarter of fifth period Mayhew English, we got our report cards. I was pleased I had received an A in Scholarship, but was stunned when I saw a B in Effort. I also received an A in Comportment, but it was the B in effort which startled me, as rumors soon circulated that I had received the only A in that fifth period class, and that she had only given out four A's across the five classes of sophomore English that she taught that semester at Glynn Academy, located in Brunswick GA, Glynn County along the famous "marshes of Glynn" made memorable by some romantic long-bearded mid-19th century minor poet named Sidney Lanier, for whom the nearby grade school where my youngest brother, John, now also a painter but always a woeful student, was attending.

I recall the class had mostly been rote memorization at that point, no essays, just spelling and a rehash of grammar studies we were forced to memorize year after since since we were first taken from group tables and put into individual desks like the big kids we would become.

Yo Rodriguez. Palin's not running for anything, but Cruz will take a bite out of that left-wing biscuit of you'rn...or put another way, I'm sure he'll step right up to announce without a drop of insincerity, "I'll be your Huckleberry. Seems I recall a chief strategist, a mutual friend of ours I'll just call Paul, declaring on the same night he announced he was considering a run on the Green ticket for Governor of New York state as we were all sweating over dinner at the 14th Street Busboy's & Poets in the summer of '08, that destroying the Democratic Party was at hand, and favorable. What a tangled web...and what strong, large memories some of us have. While yes, some just have large mammaries. And others, not that it matters on the golf course have neither."

Funny, as a ballplayer, I was often diagnosed as an over-achiever, capable of great moments, and of carrying a lackluster team far beyond its means only to crash at the last moment. Second place, not third, or last, or in the middle but second place was the recurring theme of my competitive life. Second most econonomic cab driver after just a few weeks on the job. Second most productive and accurate surveyor after being given my shot at party chief with my own crew. Race through dominating the regular season only to lose in the playoff finals to a team we'd slammed by large margins several times already. This was my luck, my meme, my path to the stars. Never quite the top dog, always stuck in the doghouse at number two, and I don't like the way that sounds.

Glynn Academy, 1970

Glynn Academy, 1970

However, after turning in a blank sheet of paper in response to twelve analytical questions, no multiple choice here, sitting in the same desk in the same classroom where I had achieved a rare A only to get a B in effort, you could have knocked me over with a feather when a few days after that school year had ended, and the final report cards were mailed, and I opened that envelope with great trepidation, I discovered to my amusement that Miss Harris had capitulated to my commanding spirit,and had given me straight A's across the board, including the course final. Deportment, Effort, Scholarship. All A's.

If Mrs. Mayhem's intuition had presaged the Miss Harris teacher-student debacle, the Miss Harris scourge would presage the coming generations, although let's face it, student punks were a dime a dozen at least since the times of the Greeks. Did I mention I later ran for Senior Class President at another school from which I in two years would graduate, on the platform to bring a junk food canteen to campus? An idea that has become the contemporary norm but is now frowned upon just like it was back then at the front of the caloric revolution, an idea of freedom of choice, of brief respite, of the mouth-watering zest that sometimes is just a little bit more satisfying and attention-grabbing than the traditional wares of zealotry, an idea I also picked up at Glynn Academy, an historical school founded in 1788, had sported the first "rest area" I had ever seen (although I'm sure large urban highschools in other warped regions of the country were even back then in the very first year of forced integration in the south), an entirely different breed of failure and excess freedom running rampart apart from my own small town observations, aptitude, and media-crunching misapplications. But as I learned somewhere in the finer thills of Huckleberry Finn via the aristocratic airs of the cinematic flair that a tuberculosis sickened Doc Holliday, who hailed from Valdosta GA we should not forget, one should first write about what one knows as long as you include lots of links because the following generations will know nothing about any history that preceded them until it affects them more than a poorly formed sentence from the gangrened mouth of their hanging judge.

The world is a very strange place. Not unlike the movie Tombstone.

Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

03 Jul


52 O Street Studio


The following is a thread that Facebook captured, the only thread of its kind in my spotty career, a very special thread to me, for obvious reasons—I am being praised, harangued, and supported by several important women in a fury of words I have never experienced, before or since, in such volume or impact. Thank you, all you funny, sunny, honey girls. You're my blistering awesome public. There are a few others, but they were here for these three days. Now, go, don't be a distraction. I have much work to do, most of it far away from a paint brush or canvas. But I trust, yes, I trust one day most of you will understand more fully what I cannot say today.

I debated taking out the timestamps, but decided to leave them in rather than create a story out of whole cloth, when most of social civilization recognizes and respects the Facebook model, and willfully shares its information with the Internet, despite the periodic outrage of privacy and intellectual property rights advocates. Show here goes. Chances are I will frame in a bit of ad lib, but I think that the time stamp may make that difficult for both format design and creative considerations. So be it.

  • Shannon Koehler Fleming at 7:18pm July 1
    No goodbyes to the art world, your art is amazing, and has to keep on coming, the real estate is just a side project, one that I hope will fund many more paintings, oh and pay the bills…
  • Char McNair Bafalis at 7:55pm July 1
    Bullshit…the Gabriel I know will never quit…come on…keep driving everyone crazy!! love ya…but hate quitter’s.
  • Gabriel Thy at 8:10pm July 1
    Thanks Shannon, but I’m a bull in the china shop gone berserk. Can’t fathom under what skies I’m doing in real estate, but yes, it’s about money. Nobody’s buying my art these past couple of years and the irrational optimism vanished. I’ve sunk tens of thousands of dollars into a means of observation and expression which earns me at best a small peace of mind, a mere fragment of what’s left of a failed or perhaps recoiled intellectual, but in the post Warholian world, if it doesn’t sell, it ain’t art…

    Matt Sesow sells. Gabriel Thy does not. So it’s off to the gristmill for me…

    Working real estate paper will not come easy for me, at this point in my life when I am so preoccupied with other projects, and there are no guarantees there either, but I will give the sector all the muscle and energy I’ve got left after sinking heavily into debt chasing the paint and the word only I can define as my own.

    Individuality of imprint seems to be my driving force. Bittersweet doesn’t begin to describe the pain, but it’s all I know…

    Or the words I left out of this response.

  • Gabriel Thy at 8:27pm July 1
    Who’s quitting? You bought two pieces at my very first show. Thanks. That was fab. But I haven’t seen Charlotte’s Harlots at a GT show or studios since. Can’t paint AND put in seventy hours a week hustling up listing leads, something that frightens the hell out of me, by the way. Char, my dear beautiful bombastic belladonna, I haven’t QUIT anything. But I’ve been stonewalled plenty. Life is tough, that’s all. And I’m getting too old and too harried to keep throwing Sue’s money down a drain…
  • Gabriel Thy at 8:28pm July 1
    Part-time painter? hah!
  • Shannon Koehler Fleming at 8:48pm July 1
    oh god i hate that shit, true expression and creativity, can’t put a price on it, but that’s the point you need to get paid….so, ….but you know the real estate profession may inspire some new artistic ideas or things to write about, lord knows people and their ways can inspire, haha, or infuriate, or drive to the depths of insanity, a good start in the art world…well keep on keepin on or just fuck it…happiness is underrated…i want it no matter what the price.
  • Gabriel Thy at 9:14pm July 1
    Yeah, Shannon. You nailed it. So did Char. And guess what, so did I. Who knows what form the future will present? You both know I’m just stressing about this new direction. It’s damn scary, right Char, me? Real estate agent? In what parallel universe? But here I am, licensed, affiliated, and erect with marching orders, supported by a team of great new people. What more could I possibly need?

    Good grief, Charlie Brown.

  • Marianne Royals Wynn at 7:51am July 2
    very black and white of you gabe, extremely dramatic.
  • Marianne Royals Wynn at 7:57am July 2
    oh gabriel, you will continue to paint, not because it makes sense, but because you must, it will quiet your mind, and drive you. very few people make enough money from their art to become rich. also, having a day job (which is scarey) doesn’t unmake an artist. this economy is the pits though, and thats just the way it is. Art and real estate will make a comeback when the economy does. until then, let them eat paint.
  • Gabriel Thy at 8:24am July 2
    Well said, Marianne. But you know I’m know dilettante. I’m in all the way or I’m not in at all. And dramatic, yeah, I’m either stoic on the diastolic and ruthlessly dramatic on the systolic with no middle ground, beat me with a feather. Comebacks may not be in our future from what I read, but it rarely hurts to be salt and peppered by folks with a nominally cheery outlook, despite their questionable math skills. Thanks.
  • Gabriel Thy at 8:28am July 2
    Truth is both careers are full time full body contact sports. Half ass is as half ass does…
  • Char McNair Bafalis at 12:14pm July 2
    I so agree with Marianne..your art defines you…so now you will make real estate your muse…who doesn’t need art on their new, freshly painted walls? As for Charlotte’s Harlots..touchet”….one can lead a horse to water…..when can you have another viewing.
  • Sue Hedrick at 6:04pm July 2
    Gabriel is and has always been an artist since the very day I met him, and I am sure he will always be.
  • Erin Murphy at 10:51pm July 2
    Gabriel – as Sue says, you will ALWAYS be an artist (you can’t help it) and what you do for a living is irrelevant.
  • Marianne Royals Wynn at 12:51am July 3
    well, i don’t have any math skills, but i do have a day job that puts a roof over my head, and i am a fucking artist. but sometimes i feel stuck in the talking heads song, once in a life time, but what the hell aren’t we all walking contradictions. and sue is right, and always has been.
  • Marianne Royals Wynn at 12:52am July 3
    i disagree with the idea that real estate could be your muse, architecture perhaps, poetry, painting sure.
  • Gabriel Thy at 8:21am July 3
    Was Arthur Rimbaud still an artist long years after he penned his final line, then running guns and slaves in the African desert, losing a leg to cancer, mad with death at the ripe bloody age of 37, found in bed clutching his money belt like a whimpering child with rag doll?

    Besides, it not about labels. And contrary, Marianne, to your comment that not many make it rich, extreme wealth I do not seek, but crawling out from the depth of debt we have sunk into giving this old man an identity muster is important as is a name of mild intellectual regard in the field, always a thing of vanity, but rarely as stiff as it sounds. As a kid nearly universally acclaimed most likely to succeed, I frankly have failed rather miserably as a human achiever, and let’s also note that it is those damned early expectations that make us who we are, that inform our passions and our hurdles, that color our landscapes and number our fixations. And haunt us until the end of our days.

  • Gabriel Thy at 9:28am July 3
    Thanks for all the LOVE guys. You know I could drag these discussions out forever, but there’s no real point to that. Yet, one last blow. Each of you have MADE my point. How can I possibly devote the kind of time and disciplined sprints I am told in prep classes it will take to succeed in the world of real estate, even if I had the energy of three ballyhoos, when my natural need to write and paint and politik and shove aside the world – as an artist with severe notions of what it takes to succeed on his own terms in the art world – will not be easily suppressed?

    And believe me, I would like to succeed on both ends of this candlestick…

    Don’t believe art is an attitude. Art is knowledge executed in such a way as to profoundly effect the senses and knowledge base of those experiencing it.

    Punk rock thrived on attitude, but how much of greater PR perspective was genuine ART and not just simply an exercise in celebratory decadence and costumed alienation?

    The same with so many of these peace, love, and understanding movements. Nothing but artificial constructs made up of lingusitic and jingoistic chants, charms, and spells meant to jiggle the curtain of reality just long enough for some petty transaction to be conducted.

    My intellectual demons run long, they run hard. Will I ever be able to overthrow them long enough to carry off some mainstream industrial-stength service professional racket?

  • Marianne Royals Wynn at 10:11am July 3
    life is just so damn hard sometimes, but you are magnificent.
  • Gabriel Thy at 10:28am July 3
    Aw, gosh. You’re still that sweet and sour artsy hippie chick you always were, dear Marianne. Thanks for maintaining that flair and swatting me with it…

Ballad of The Big Ass Skinhead, The Engineer, and The Artists Nearby

01 Apr


Structural Engineer


Alex Roehner romps around the room in her best crayon pajamas, "Use small words and carry a big ass skinhead," she smiles, a service mile of track sunk into the old skinhead she now wants to extend a quiet allegiance. "Hello, my friends," she writes as if she remembers the words of a song she never thought she knew, then quickly types out, "I meant friend in the singular, unless your voices are with you..."

"Allo! Admiring your boots. You caught me looking..." Virtuality, off the record I find myself thinking, is a keen instinct among particular early tribes of hunt and peck typists and rogue artists found in various regions of North America, but according to the latest statistics as compiled by a few former employees of Standard & Poor's—virtuality is not a new phenomenon, but has its roots in the early religious rites of ancient peoples whose archaeological traces can be found worldwide, although much disputed among professionals who chalk it all up as garbage character—lost and found, survival of the fittest, not the fattest, not the thinnest, but the fittest—and not worth the investment of digging for clues as to why this rumor persists while bonding together many populations otherwise stuck on it like barnacles on a favorite whale. That former associates of Standard & Poor's are or might be involved in this study is still a mystery. Then I think again of Alex in her victorious boots. I saw pictures. I think I can smell them heel to toe all the way up the calf in all their splendor from here on this page, despite odors of wet cellar wafting up from the stink below. What can one expect from a place built in the 1740s with beautiful 12" wide planks but no sub-flooring...


"Ha! And I was just writing about things that go kick in the night earlier in the day," say I.

"I will write to you tomorrow," she promises. "My brain is coasting on beer at the moment and I can't lift my unabridged dictionary to aide me in a witty and verbose reply to your wonderfully worded correspondence. I love that you make me think without a drop of arrogance!"

"It's a trick I learned years ago when I created a Zen koan in the form of a question which goes like this: what's the difference between arrogant humility and humble arrogance?"

"One you can hear," she states.

"Your response flew right on past me. Come again..." I am genuinely stumped. But Alex Roehner is no stone in the horse's shoe.

"Arrogant humility must be verbally identified whereas humble arrogance is silent and deadly," she explains in a way I had never considered but made sense at this time of night, and as I write this, so I give her sway.

"Wait a minute. If you're buzzing on beer moving west at forty miles an hour and another bloke is buzzed on atomic fireballs traveling in the opposite direction at fifty miles an hour, which detail do you find most arresting? Nevermind. A joke gone astray. Back to the original koan. I think it is simpler than what you have suggested. Think about it." Here I am trying to get her to land on my square, the one I had picked out for her, but she had been too clever for that.

"Did I tell you about that the other day? My answer is for them to call each other a coordinate." Word games can get silly awfully quick.

"Arrogant humility is like a TV evangelist on uppers and downers and a few dancing girls on the side. Humble arrogance is like the lion with a thorn in his paw." I made my point, but I am intrigued by hers, because it does actually fit the model I had prepared, which leads us to the question, are all squares alike? "Tell me what the other day?" Now, she's lost me in the crayons again. "Not that I recall, and while I recall reams, I might be overlooking something. Please clarify."

"About the Jimmy leaving the station going east at 10 mph with 16 apples and Janey leaving the salon going north with a sack of potatoes. You will get my Alan Aldaish humor in a bit." This girl hangs low. I just love that about her. I wonder if she knows.

"No, just another one of those eerie synchronicities we seem to have going right now," I tell her, remembering something about how she was going to jump off until tomorrow tired and bleary, but we were, lighting fox tails strung to long sticks, and running through the naked woods with only words to keep us armed against the bouncing brown bears and their hunters stoked with large guns, and a license to kill. "That is to say, no, you didn't mention that tale."

"I was going on about it the other day. I am forced to take math so my buildings don't topple and I can calculate bending moments. The problem with math is there is only one answer. In English hell, I can make Jimmy juggle those apples while driving with his knees going in the opposite direction of traffic..."

"LOL! Well, Heisenberg might disagree with you, but for building, stiff calculus will suffice under most conditions. My rebuttal signals a slight twinge of satisfaction. But even on that spot, she ups the cost of doing business with a girl strapped to the gurney forced to inhale the forces that exist in a non-literal world taught to call itself literal.

"So will calling a structural engineer. Aha!"

"You've heard that science now suggests that observing an experiment can change the course of that experiment, right Alex? But don't scientists observe ALL experiments? I guess the key, and I forget this insidious detail, whether observation of an experiment will change the course of that experiment in a PREDICTABLE or UNPREDICTABLE way."

"Sounds like every word that leaves your mouth is history."

"Or history repeating itself, ha! Besides none of these words are leaving my mouth. I am typing." I pop her a good lickin' with that hit, I think. She's a slammer, alright.

"You're a funny man," she counters.

"Not only that," I type. "I paint pictures few can decipher, or even try. So I guess perfection is not as funny as math."

"But just as confusing."

"Just to be clear, said Confucius, before boarding the train, I have no seeds..."

"Where ever you go, that is where you will be, young grasshopper"

"Oh, that one's old, must be history repeating itself." We are both wearing thin, obviously, nervously fingering our crayons and our last few consonants in the stack we kept near the water tea glass, and Vitamin D pills I took because I never left the terminal long enough to get any sun.

"Or I haven't gotten there yet, wink wink." Another stinker, we're falling out of love with the words that brought us this far, now mere alphabet slaves to routine and obligation. I wonder if there will be a resurgence of energy, of creativity, of probing, thrusting, bouncing unfettered words strung out on string, made for you, played for me. I wonder.

"Oh, you're there alright." You're a buttercup solo in a runaway dandelion field, I murmur to myself, now, as I consider that night when we were living at the Farm. Those were good days. Too bad the old man had no vision. Being an old stuffy government lawyer got the best of him, so I add the next lines to deflect. "And that's me in the corner, losing my virginity. But only because I'm a Libra. And there is no way a Libra can be a free spirit. Am often called one, but they just don't understand the conflicted soul the way us Librans do."

"Thats funny most people say I'm not there, or home, either."

"Silly wabbits. Home is there."

"In a Westinghouse."

"Such an illustrious past, the Westinghouse name." And brand. Surely Alex is too young to remember that tagline from the days of black & white television. She's an inspiration, quick and rich in symbolic references that have specific meaning to me, even this reference to Westinghouse. I give her that. But of what long term use is she to me, or I to her? But I don't have the opportunity to follow up the Westinghouse gem, as she is flagged as offline. Ah, she's back.

"Sorry to flee momentarily but Ive been on this silly FB for a bit too long for one day. I have some serious thinking to do if I am to reply to my friend Gabe and discover Suess' dark side. Dream Grand."

"Okay, thanks for chirping in..."

"Chat tomorrow?"

"Most likely. Bye, and hang tough..."

"Which is safer than Hang 10."

"Especially when you've only got eight."

"Just know I'm smiling."

"Skipping all the way to the building that never falls down...somewhere...and it ain't over some ephemeral rainbow. Just so you know."

"The vision of you skipping with "Skip to the Loo" (haha) is well, well, worthy of some angry art. You are such an inspiration."

"Guess my work is done, he smirks." And I meant it. That was a playful exchange. It's getting late, but not too late to keep the lights on for the honey pot to catch the next fly...

"Meanwhile back at the homestead..."

Are you still here?

"No. Gone home. Clocked out and gone home." I presume Alex Roehner, the girl with the most curious hair I know (with nod to D.F.W.) is working from home. A minute has passed...

"Can't pull yourself away from the little screen?" I tease.

"Busted again," she types. But actually I was the busted one the first time these words were used tonight, or so I'd originally thought, busted for peeping her in her hip boots. But I carry on.

"Home is where my laptop is, tiny dancer..."

"Like a candle in the wind" To have both tapped Elton John was a subtle move, but I realize that in saying that I have be giving people the wrong impression. I can live with that. But, I was just a big fan for a string of four or so albums.

"Caught between the bull and his Picasso. The taxi girl and the sneaker in the rye. Forty secrets the Dali Lama failed to mention on his way down the mountain. Anyways. I'm gone. You take it away. We'll meet up again tomorrow." That's should up the ante. Can't wait to see her next move.

"I have a suspicious feeling this banter could be documented."

"Copy and paste into a text doc. Only way I've found."

"Naw, that's falling in the misconceived trap that genius is gone for good. DONT DO IT!" she cajoles. Surely she doesn't think I'm going to pay attention to that big fat lie. Documentation no way belittles genius. Nor suffers it lightly. Nor uses up all its eggs. As you see, I kicked against Roehner's grave wishes, for better or worse, and I trust she will be happy to bounce through this moment of time. Hell, that's what writers and painters do. They document. Enter the readers.

"Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word has a dilemma for you. On that topic, have you checked out Goodreads yet? No? Chagrin."

"Not yet. Tiny magnetizing screen remember? Oh, and Structural engineering class and new NY Sunday times x word puzzles. Trés busy á demain."

"Goodreads is simply a space where you post your own favorite literary experiences. You rate them. You critique them, et cetera, yada yada, dada. It's similar to Facebook and the two services actually interact but Goodreads is ALL about books, your books, and other people's lists. Take it or leave it. Wish it were around about fifteen years ago when I was trying to catalogue my personal library, and had few tools worth fussing over. Well, she's off the clock now. Time to turn the lights out, methinks. Bye dark angel..."

Twenty-Five Random Things About Me

31 Jan


Punk Ain't Dead in 1985


Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I used to hang with Ru Paul in Atlanta back when HE played in a band called Wee Wee Pole, mostly at the 688 Club and the Bistro, both now defunct.

2. I was a brilliant child (one of the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging myself through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix…), then I bumped into the lads of 9353, and learned something else about myself.

3. Bob Dylan, Thomas Paine, and Henry Miller, in that order fascinate me to the ends of the intellectual spool, are my heroes, and oddly enough, both the Right and the Left claim them (well, Miller might not make the cut on the Right), and yet all are despised by both the Right and the Left when it suits them.

4. I hitchhiked from Atlanta to NYC to meet Allen Ginsberg with seven cents in my pocket because I had lost my whole $250 paycheck earned working a roofing tar kettle the night before dancing and boozing with a hole in my pocket I had sworn to avoid, all in celebration of my departure. I also met my future wife on that trip. It's a long story.

5. I was a literary poet when I came to DC. I then became a drunk, quit writing poetry in deference to my rocker friends and enemies like Bruce, Boyd, Vance, Gene, Jamie, Rene, Lloyd, Frank, Henry, Andy, Jack and so many more of that squiggle of spit-possessed renegades.

6. I grew up poor among the poor. My five siblings and I often slept in sleeping bags curled up around the only kerosene heater in the house built in 1865, later burned to the ground by an arsonist in 1972, along with many of my childhood treasures. My father collected junk Cadillac & Pontiac hearses and DUIs as if nothing else existed for him.

7. I once told Jesse Jackson I don't stomp the pavement for any cause. And yes, I shook Ronald Reagan's hand as he was leaving the Jacksonville Convention Center in 1972, as a Nixon delegate in the first highschool mock convention of its kind. My particular Florida highschool represented the state of Tennessee. Shirley Chisolm was also there.

8. I recall the Kennedy assassination in full black and white. I was in the third grade. I watched the aftermath at Darwin Gale's house while he was outside playing in the dirt with toy soldiers, our usual connivance.

9. I was married to a Jehovah's Witness twice my age, mother of three, when I was eighteen, four weeks after she smothered my virginity. What a dweeb I was! It lasted three horrific years.

10. With a nod to Yeats, I slouched in the dirty and dangerous coke ovens at Bethlehem Steel on Lake Michigan back when America was strong, though the steel industry was just then beginning to feel the coming shrinkage.

11. My grandfather regularly played chess with King Faisal Ibn Abdul of Saudi Arabia when he was a construction superintendent there in 1966. This king was later assassinated by his own nephew. Spud Woodward, my grandfather, left after six months of his two year tour seriously needing an adult beverage, of course banned over there.

12. I became a painter after reading a book.

13. I believe America is in deep shit, and I also believe we haven't a pooper scooper to our name as a nation.

14. If it weren't for money, I'd be a rich man.

15. I lost a 900 page novel manuscript among other fine washables when I accidentally erased it off my computer.

16. As a former Episcopalean acolyte and Eagle scout, well not quite, my family moved to a remote barrier island owned by the Carnegie and Rockefeller families when I was fourteen, effectively ending my scouting career at Life, anyhow, what was my point?

17. My family were among the original band of Scottish Highlanders to found the State of Georgia. Names like Mackintosh, Spalding, Kenan, Woodward, Atwood lead straight to me. Big effing deal some might say; I say it's all in how you present the information. Did I mention one of my ancestors traced my heritage straight to William the Conqueror, the bastard lord of feudalism? Thirty-one generations. I did the math. Lots of people are my cousins.

18. I have never been to college. But I am still a tool of my enemy, and I cannot visualize an escape.

19. Guns. Now that's something William S. Burroughs knew something about.

20. I either secretly or outright despise Marxists because I am right of center and am more generous with my time and my treasure than any "ever so concerned" Marxist I have ever met.

21. I realize that the line is being drawn in the sand even as I write these words and parse these syllables. There is no time left to write poems or paint pretty pictures. Now is the time for all good men and women to rise to the challenges our spineless leaders have injected into our collective bloodstream.

22. Twenty-five years with the same woman. Haplessly married, but unbreachably united. A story for the ages. Check out Abelard and Heloise.

23. I am either supra-confident in public (usually a byproduct of alcohol, of which I rarely partake these days), or timid and tragically neurotic and full of self-doubt. Ask around.

24. In the spirit of jolly old Saint Nix (one of my former namesakes), I am always making a list and checking it twice, determined as hell to discover who is naughty and who is nice.

25. My greatest shame is that few people who call themselves my friends have ever bothered to listen to my Internet radio station, Radio Scenewash, or read, much less respond to any of my blogs in the several years I have operated them. Such is MY life in the fast lane among the self-satisfied and the splendid.

Multiplying By Zero

07 Nov


The Artist As Moneypit


Chased the dream, invested thousands, and I mean tens of thousands on this irrational hope that I was actually investing in and building a business, yes, a small, self-sufficient business charged with the singular duty of making art and selling it. Doing it right, sparing no expense. I did all this, throwing money into advertising materials also, although I loathe and feel inadequate to the self-marketing end of things. Persistent failure does that to a man, even one like me. But now, I have finally awakened from the dream. Yet the situation is worse than ever. The truth is threadbare. Overhead is cost prohibitive. I overreached, and overreachly badly. I listened to those who flattered me. I listened to those who said they had faith in me. I listened to those who said they wanted to support my art, but never did, not where it counted. It is with great consternation that I must admit that I am teetering on the brink of financial ruin. I can either pay for my studio or my tiny apartment. Or rather, my longsuffering, patient, supportive wife can pay for only one of these crucial items. But not both.

(Why does this plea remind me of the one Henry Miller wrote from Big Sur to all the friends and contacts he’d amassed to no avail back in the late 40s a couple of years before he broke big?). Oh, I don’t know. Like my late mother said to me back a few years ago when I mentioned him in some relational way I now forget, “Son, you are NOT Henry Miller.” Thanks Mother, for pointing out the obvious.
My contributions to the family economy have been for far too long a recalcitrant sin, plowing forward along the faultlines of audacious hope and the capital costs of building up a business as the money continued to flow out, out, out, with next to zero in return coming in. The harsh realities of today's economical downturn finally burst my own bubbleheaded optimism. So in terms of dollars and sense, I appear to be and am indeed, a colossal economic failure. I know many of you believe I exaggerate the depth of my hole, but I assure you this is not the case.

My health has been in shambles for the past two years, and I feel debased to the core to have to plead this way, but I MUST liquidate my work.

Deals can be made! And yes, I do accept credit cards. Ah, now THERE is a quaint $30 monthly overhead cost I can drop soon, if things don't change in a hurry. The website is also somewhat outdated, but much of my earlier work is posted there. And serious enquiries will earn access to other much larger work, and receive an invitation to the studio while it still exists (currently exploring and analyzing the four or five options we have available, not sure of next move, but none are pretty).

Prints on demand of images up to 42" wide are available on various papers.

If anyone has been aching to own one or more of my images, now is the time to pounce. Desperate times call for desperate price reductions. I know many of you are no more liquid than I am at the moment. I empathize, but I'm also sure some of you are just holding back. I need your help now, if you can spare. (Why does this plea remind me of the one Henry Miller wrote from Big Sur to all the friends and contacts he'd amassed to no avail back in the late 40s a couple of years before he broke big?). Oh, I don't know. Like my late mother said to me back a few years ago when I mentioned him in some relational way I now forget, "Son, you are NOT Henry Miller." Thanks Mother, for pointing out the obvious. She and a few other people I seem to attract are very very sharp at pointing out this sort of thing to me. I don't know what I would do without them. Apparently they save me from some major social faux pas like running up and down the National Mall screaming at the top of my voice, maybe naked even, I am Henry Miller, I am Henry Miller, or else I might walk into a hospital and starting telling everybody I see there, doctor, nurse, Indian chief, doesn't matter, "I'm a poet, I know it, I hope I don't blow it, I'm a poet, I know it, I hope I don't blow it." True, I hope I will never do that, there or never. I just don't see it happening. One might think, however, I was one to get into automobile collisions or fender bender scrapes all the time, or make wrong turns, drive too fast or too slow, or get lost whenever I drive down these country roads or the Interstate in my Jeep or my motorcycle when I have one, or I will go hungry and explode from gas buildup if I am not reminded by these good people who happen to be aware of the same obvious facts that I am, often in a split instant after I make a move when none of these awkward things happen, never ever, not to me, but to them, oh yes. Okay, maybe I do have trouble with that last one.

          Some men are pansies, some women painters. Cougar roar 
can be dressed up in colors neither'd recognize today,
as the paint can in time be exploded by a handsome bullet,
my name on it and a typewriter's glint.

Fame's not a fruit but lady bug's as beautiful as her core
a nuclear reactionary must bury faith never hypothesize
        nobody hears and nobody's nose, unquestionably 
shoulder to shoulder, the server pushes to spool him, 
but I'd need to check the past, 
reconfiguring absolutely 
every hint.

Thanks to all you snappy folks who took the time to read this awful stench of PR. Bet they didn't teach THIS PARTICULAR APPROACH in art school business ethics. Hope to hear from some of you (gawd, I hate whining!) as we each struggle in giving IT, whatever IT IS, our best. Believe me, I understand.

Multiplying by zero,


Juried Into Studio Gallery

23 Aug


Family Values by Gabriel Thy


In July, I was juried into the Studio Gallery, DC's longest running, artist-owned gallery in the area. Twenty-nine years and running. Featuring contemporary work and located in the prestigious Embassy Row section of the Dupont Circle, thirty-one local, professional artists exhibit in solo and group shows in addition to invitationals or juried exhibitions.

Studio Gallery Website

Gallery Hours
Wednesday and Thursday, 1 - 7pm
Friday, 1 - 8pm
Saturday, 1 - 6pm

My own presence is not yet on the studio website due to a very busy schedule (see previous blog entry) since the jurying process, but I will be represented soon. I look forward to a long and compelling tenure with this very charming collective.

My special thanks to Adah Rose, Marina, Micheline, and Yvette, each for your terrific advocacy during the jury process.


P.S. Adah Rose Bitterbaum told me that I was juried in a unanimous vote, the first time she had seen that happen in her several years as Director there. A 9-7, 10-6 vote pattern was more the norm. I was flattered.Stunned, and suspicious. Why? Adah Rose immediately fled to Paris, which was a great disappointment to me. I wanted very much to work with her. Yvette bought two paintings from me. Marina became Director of the SG for a year until Adah Rose returned, a return which was short-lived, as she soon left to launch her own gallery. Micheline and Yvette remain at Studio Gallery as of this edit in November, 2013. My own membership was cut short in early 2009 for as the economy plunged in liberal chaos. I also left 52 O Street Studios, and landed in Loudoun County where I painted for two year, but have since 2011 taken time to bring other aspects of my artistic presentation and Project Scenewash into view.

Busboys & Poets

17 Dec


Living Proof


Sure. We'll swing by. I will also run the idea by Peter. But speaking of energy. I run hot and cold. At 315 pounds, 52 years, and less time in a day than I've got ruthless desire to not only create art but to actually sell it, I am always driven to keep my nose in the paint box, honing skills, building inventory, sweating doubts, forging the vision, while foregoing the frenzied social calendar that many of my more outgoing and accomplished friends keep.

One can never measure the wealth of potential a regular group of talented and focussed artists can inspire, so I will give your planned group a fair shot. I certainly approve, and even insist upon the interdisciplinary approach you've posited, so as I shout out in the agony of the age, I also acknowledge it's high time we blaze some trails, and make them remember who were are and why we came...

Actually, I met Michael Auger briefly this past Friday night via the ArtDC gathering at Dr. Dremos in Arlington. So I look forward to our next rendezvous...

Arainia's song will be placed into a forty-hour no repeat mix. But sure, I'll give you a heads up. To paraphrase Goethe on his deathbed: More ears, more ears...

Thanks for the afternoon ears. Yeah, Wickedbounce by Arainia. Listened to it. Downloaded it. Excellent call. Expect it will slip right into the mix within a few days. And it was truly a pleasure meeting and chatting with you yesterday, Tim.

Blister the paint...


Thanks so much Gabriel. Lyana (Arainia) is ecstatic! Let us know when you get it up and we will send out a notice and get all of our peeps on your sta-shun Yo!! (biiiiig list!)

BY the WAY! Stevens said he can't make dinner Thursday, but I think we should all still meet. There's just too much cool energy to let go of. And I have a couple of people I want to invite to meet you. Michael Auger, Arainia, Corrie Allen et. al.

so...I posted a Post and you can see the other invitees there. Can you, or would you like to invite anyone from your Studio? I'm thinking Peter perhaps? or anyone else? AND...I think these meetings should be regular, monthly whatever.


"Forward the Four Modernizations! Utilize Art!"

Six years later...


Not Yet Titled

The above two rather mundane texts are trapped in a coagulating context. First, this is one of only a handful of notes I swapped with Tim Kenney until years later. Tim, whom fellow painter Marina Reiter had brought with her to the 52 O Street Studios holiday party nearly two weeks prior. This Thursday night outing at 14th & V Street's Busboy & Poet's would be my introduction to the now famous DC eatery and Leftist bookstore. Odd thing though, just a few weeks before this, I had driven Sue by the place, pointing it out to her, saying we needed to check it out someday soon. Established in 2005 by artist and entrepreneur Andy Shallal, BB&P had been a bustling hotspot for hip young urbanites since day one, and I had read of it often, but had never struck a pose long enough to seek it out.

This night would also lead to an invitation to Tim and Arainia's home for their own New Year's Eve party the next week, a spectacle of interesting people packed into their gorgeous place in southern Maryland just off Pike 355. We left rather early that night, as my physical condition was being aggravated by tight quarters, my sobriety, and too much warmth. Tim and Arainia spent most of the night hunkered down in their sunken living room Mac studio console working on their current music project. Sue and I split duties holding court on the threats of Islam gone wild—in the kitchen—and painting and writing with a newly minted friend Joellen Secondo sitting on the stairwell leading up the the bedrooms I presumed. Since I was wearing blue coveralls and a red beard, when a strange bookish-looking woman approached to ask if I were saluting Julian Schnabel when she learned my response to what I do was paint, I was hooked.

"Actually no," said I, "but thanks for the observation. Don't care much for his broken plate work, but love his movie Basquiat. This is my standard issue garb." Of course, I had to explain later as we prepared to leave on how my recent allergies to cotton were eating me alive, but at least I had enough pockets.

Marina wasn't there that night, but one of her paintings was hanging along the wall framing the staircase. Figures, I thought. Girls make pretty art. Girls sell pretty art. Pretty girls sell lots of pretty art. Then there's Matt Sesow. But I digress. Marina makes fascinating metaphorical blobs. Sells well. It's all swell.

Turns out this was the first of four consecutive visits to Busboys & Poets that I came down with that same sinus cold by the end of that night or at latest, the next morning. Sensitivity's a racket, I finally realize.
Thursday night at Busboys was a generous night. I stopped by as I drove my route home from O Street. Peter Harper couldn't make it. Propped on the stool to my immediate right was an exotic witchy woman, whose name escapes me, and I do mean witch, not the other word. Turns out she was Portuguese. Dark, smokey, slender, attractive, buxom, leggy with muscular calves, hovering around fifty I'd guess, addicted to her own airs, but not in a glibe that suggested he was comfortable with her own comportment. Cultural differences and all that mess. After some less than charming exchanges with her, she diverted her attentions to her right. In mysterious ways, she spoke, so mysterious that I have no way of recalling or reproducing her serpentine phrases here. Recall is a but fuzzy, but it seemed she was stationed somewhere in the art world that had nothing to do with painting, so our options were limited. She was quite tight with herself, a demeanor does nothing to soften the glare of my nostrils. She could have been named Esmirelda, or Carlotta. It didn't really matter. We had both moved on. A beer later, she picked herself off the stool and moved around to the end of the table where Stevens stood, beer in hand, proceeding to soak up the rest of the evening with him. He lived to tell about it, thinking she was charming but a waste of time. I agreed. She was looking for a leg up on the competition, and could quickly size up her prey. And Stevens being a painter of national merit himself, had no time for people who could not benefit his own career, and some fifty year old Portuguese woman wishing herself a career heist was baiting the wrong place at the wrong time. Stevens has a surprise visitor. He had been invited but had pleaded work, so I was glad to see him get out for the night. He loves to talk about the painting and art game with true or near peers. Didn't happy that night. The next day he told me, despite his better instincts he was still glad he got out.

I left after a couple of hours but I'd stayed long enough to catch the usual sinus cold I catch when I find myself confined in a crowded place, getting too hot, sweating in my clothes, and feeling all too useless and all. Turns out this was the first of four consecutive visits to Busboys & Poets that I came down with that same sinus cold by the end of that night or at latest, the next morning. Sensitivity's a racket, I finally realize.

Michael Auger is another, a younger artist, primarily working in a gimmick or cartoonist style. Don't quite remember how he is implicated in this story. But I think it was he who issued me the invitation to come down to Busboys & Poets that night. Also met artists Henrik Sundqvist and the delicious Corrie Allen; shook the hand and took the card of the tall but boyishly handsome John Hanshaw, who had just recently been installed as Director of the Washington Film Institute. Needless to say, the Washington art scene was a small but growing community back in 2007. But I was never to meet this group again in the same context as I began to shrink back from the pressures and finances of rolling in it while thinking I was going somewhere other than the poorhouse.

I only a couple of months ago learned that Tim and I share a neurological disorder that is crippling and causing all sort of other handicaps for us. We vow to shove on...

Potential Show At Aroma

07 Dec


Burdens Of Glory


The following note was zipped off to somebody, now I'm thinking Marina Reiter since everyone else I can think it applicable is listed within. The show I hoped to get didn't come through until the following September. I enjoyed the show, had a great crowd of friends at the meet and greet, but sold nothing.

Yes, I mean no. It's not a confirmed done deal, but as we were all standing at the CP Metro, Dana said it was as good as a done deal. She said this with confidence. Late, it was after one when we left. In bed by two. I was up at five. Awoke from bizarre nightmare, couldn't get back to sleep.

I too, am energized, given the fact that I am dragging butt. My head feels like it NEEDS to explode for clarity and relief, et cetera. No energy to suffer Georgetown tonight, sorry. Inertia will keep me in studio working, but it's pretty nasty out there. Was sleeting about mid-day. Bought some varnish today, some paint, and a few more canvases.

Hope to hear from Sesow soon. If not, I'll be seeing Dana probably Wednesday to pick up paintings. I can't believe I bought that second one. One for Sue. One for me. Poor for the holidays. Scratch our tentative holiday getaway to Massachusetts.

Oh well, Dana deserves.


There Once Was An Antagonist

24 Sep


Antagonist, NYC 9/07


In New York City, on Thursday September 6, I showed a few antagonistic paintings in a tiny sweltering East Village basement. Highlights included a long chat with a New York poet about the enigmatic state of literature from the perspective of Generation Y still searching for its own voice, networking with a fellow who owns and operates the same image press I've had my eye on for some time now, and the pride of beautiful young felines who flashed this old poet and painter a smile. The heat was nearly unbearable however. This was the first night back into the space after a crisis. The AC was not working, a victim of torrential rains and flooding in the lower areas of New York City, including this East Village basement a few weeks earlier. Made a mess out of me. Sober & sweaty. Thanks, New York.

Shout out to fellow Antagonists Alex, Scott, Tom, Julian, Kari, Ted, Un, Ethan and Liberty Sue, each for your generosity of spirit...

There was some talk of a Berlin gallery which interested me, and I even sold a couple packs of postcards...

Antagonist Show In NYC on September 6

21 Aug


Gabriel Antagonistes


Yes, that's right. Outsider art is antagonist art by default, on purpose, duly recognized, deliberately slammed, boorishly labeled, charmingly considered, who the gasp cares anymore, except word freaks, bibliophiliacs, lexicon compilers, and those of us humble enough to admit we need words and labels and art to describe nouns, persons, places, things, and activities just to make life a bit less boring, and I guess that includes me. To that end, the Antagonist Movement with its roots in the East Village and the 1980s Washington DC punk rock scene has invited me up to the Niagara Club for a one night group show on Thursday, September 6. I have accepted, and eagerly look forward to my first show in New York where I'll show five or six works. Ethan Minsker, one of the groups co-founders, found me on MySpace, and issued my invitation from there. Turns out local DC artists Matt Sesow and Marina Reiter have preceded me at the Antagonist show. That knowledge takes most of the risk out of the invitation, but I've accepted nevertheless.

Here is the Niagara info:
112 Ave A @corner of 7th St. East Village NYC
The gallery is downstairs past the bar.
Tele: 212-420-9517

Show opens at 9 PM. Hang all artwork half hour prior to show. All artwork hangs for the duration of the night until closing time at 2 AM. No exceptions.


The Antagonist Movement creates venues around New York City, and plan to travel to Berlin, Germany next year to scout for venues there. Are you, or have you ever been an antagonista? If you have, or you know someone who has or should be, then check us out. Here are a few venues that may interest you:

  • Thursday night. One night showcases with live music.
  • Two month shows bases around a theme.
  • Public Access show. Tuesday nights on MNN 67 or RCN 110 at 11pm. The show covers the art shows. Its called Antagovision.
  • Writer’s night. The first Sunday of every month.
  • Films. AAM has four films coming out, including two documentaries on the art shows. One narrative featuring punk rock icons from the lower east side, and a documentary that covers female bands in the mid 90s. All of the films have been selected and won a verity of film festivals. To find out more about the release date contact Troma.
  • Fanzines and books. AAM has published a fanzine called Psycho Moto Zine and a book called “Somewhere Between a Punch and A Hand Shake.” Both feature AAM artists and writers.
  • Clothing line. Each year we feature new artists in the designs. All the money goes back into our projects.
  • Over seas art shows. Showing in Berlin October 18th to 26th.
  • Street art. Street Gallery. Sticker Art.
  • In the future AAM plans two books, more clothing lines, and another documentary on the art show in Berlin.
  • S A M P L E X

    "Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""