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Nutt Gallery Notes  #5  Apr'16

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Inadequate Perfect

Nature's coherence is indifferent but perfectly imperfect

Audrey and Hector No. 5

Audrey attempts to transfer information to Hector.
Humans are part of nature, yeah, really. So (get ready...) we are not perfect. Statements leave traces of accuracy but remain inaccurate. Take it down to the last detail and then stop; disappear into gray mist or white mist; color it in with orange, red, yellow... you might save it. Color alone works... almost.
Color, difficult to define; deployed, extended, collapsed...  not unusual; transformed as communication, ... refracted light. Red alone, awesome. How did it get here? Light, it approaches and breaks up into poetic fragments of omission. Red being what’s left.
 
 I’m listening to a Mockingbird. The sound, stunningly beautiful, incoherent, mindboggling, irritating. They get it. I hear answers before questions, observations before reasons. “My goodness, this is a fine fence I’m standing on and look at that Sun. Anyone want to have sex?"

 An analogy of hand-eye coordination? Respecting the pearl of information in your hand or the friction that must take place in order to arrive at the perception needed for the concept of creation and the differences of response we must adjust to. As much as we know red, your red is not my red. Or is it a cartoon of red, a symbol of red. How would you ask about it compared to our own definitions? I will impose my red, anyway, in hope of an approximate receiver.
"Bluebird Listening"  [20x20"] Mixed media, pastel and corrugated cardboard, mounted on stretched canvas. Part of the "Earthquake Proof" series  ©2016 Randy B. Nutt
"Bluebird Listening"  [20x20"] Mixed media, pastel and corrugated cardboard, mounted on stretched canvas.
Part of the "Earthquake Proof" series. ©2016 Randy B. Nutt
The thinking comes from a decentralized point. Both narrow and broad; this is not a contradiction. By not pre-determining the ultimate position of my hand, I can be specific, yet see the whole picture. Paradoxically, by thinking everywhere, all times, I can be here, in this one place, in this one moment. That way I don’t have to be in reproduction mode, copying thoughts about what should be, instead of what is.

Now, here is a bird with a voice like a squeaky hinge. A one-way squeaky hinge squeak. Here at the same time is a hole in the pages of my book, made by a pill inserted there. It took fifty pages to arrive, from a dimple to a hole. The tiny tears around the arriving hole look like the up-swept wings of a bird. If I take the pill, will I fly like a bird or like myself? Who put the pill in there anyway? What are its intentions? Is this serendipitous… fate, a trap, a gift?

I’m supposed to put a Bluebird in the upper left corner of my new picture. How do I know this? The Picture told me. It illuminated a flat-blue Bluebird in the corner, like a projection. My mind might have something to do with it, but that’s not what it feels like. It is more like it was already there, waiting for me to see it. I spend a lot of time waiting to see what’s there. I’m not too interested in what I have to plan to say; I am not interested in shoving the pictures around, I mostly choose the materials. Materials for saying what the picture is talking about. I suppose I’m in there somewhere, but it’s more like an agreement.   

The hole eventually became a cross: the tears being equally distanced from one another. Something about tension and release, torque value vs. the paper’s ability to withstand the torque and (maybe) the weight of the book itself and (maybe) the tension of my constant staring at it. The hole then became a five pointed star. Torque value, surface tension: now it is a revolving pinwheel with a rectangular center, a square turning. Other tears appear, page by page. More indentations and tears I hadn’t noticed before. Constellations of tears!
Biologists who work in the scrub often emerge with unintentional charcoal "drawings" on their clothes. I was inspired by a previous visit. I returned to intentionally gather "drawings" made by trees on papers to use them in abstract compositions. The charcoal impressions and folded textures on paper became the basis of rubbings, which were then traced with pastel pencil on paper and then mounted on canvas. The field work was carried out deep within burnt vegetation to gather images with a team of collaborators, scientists and artists.
 "5 Burned Trees" [18 x 24"]. Pastel colored pencil on paper mounted on stretched canvas. Part of the "Summer and Fall" series. ©2015 Randy B. Nutt. Sometimes trees speak to you directly:  In the Florida Scrub, fire is frequent and biologists often emerge with unintentional charcoal "drawings" made by trees on their clothes. I intentionally gathered "drawings" made by trees on paper deep within burnt vegetation. The charcoal impressions and folded textures became the basis of rubbings, which I traced with pastel pencil on paper.
Trees are rustling mid-day. Is it going to be hotter or cooler? Hovering and waiting. Like that point in the tide, where the water stands, slightly churning. A deep space waiting for a decision to be made. They don’t know, we know. We are together at this moment. But we can make a decision, they cannot. However we are at the mercy of our decision. What happens to the trees, happens to us. I sit like a tree for now. It’s like there’s a conversation going on, all jibber jabber leaves, speaking and listening, as if they’re speaking about listening. Stopping and starting again. The squeaky Bird nestled inside.

The mid-day machines sound dreamy. Mid-day dreams about being a machine doing something. "What was it I was doing? Was I flying to Paris? ... drilling a well? driving to Hallandale or was it Kendall?"

"I’m whacking a weed!" What difference does it make? "I’m a gasoline fed whisper, scattering leaf matter in fragmented clouds. I’m a cosmic drone, at one with all the machine drones hovering in space. I answer [to] no one!" 

"Unless I am an answering machine and then I answer [to] everyone. Then, even if no one pushes my magic button for answers, I have still done my job. Even if I’m a weed whacker left on its side until the fuel runs out, I have still performed flawlessly. This is what I live for whether I know it or I don’t."

Even if all the machines worked with self-supplied energy, they would be content, forever, whether they knew it or not. They could even send out their own newsletter. It would be blank but they could do it. Or maybe the news. "There’s an abandoned weed whacker at 5931 who’s as happy as can be." This is not an emergency, for them.
In the future, we’ll probably still have opposable thumbs when we shrink down to become little furry animals, rewriting our history on warped legal pads. Maybe write about all those things we wrote about in children’s books. Underground burrow houses with rocking chairs and rag rugs. Homes in tree stumps with lanterns and tiny windows with curtains. Walking around in slippers with little flannel shirts and lace aprons. I always wanted a lace apron. Maybe the competition won’t be as great, post machine. Can’t have lions gnawing on the wiring, wait, they would be long gone. After failure we can live happily!

On one occasion, the day before, on the surface of an object that had been destroyed, I wrapped a stick to make a handle, that then could have become a weapon but instead became a brush for blessing the world. The functionality of the brush meant to apply to our miracle of existence. I have memories, as a child, of standing, trying to look at the Sun, with a train roaring by. So excited with the radiant light and the very loud noise, waving my arms, screaming with joy! Now, standing in the yard, with the brush I can supplement that memory with an object, waving it over my head and shouting. Directing the Sun. It comes up, it goes down…. Magic.

Randy B. Nutt
April 3, 2016
 
Making Burned Tree Art
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