Open Air Gallery

...ok, First. I have written a lot but I am not a Journalist. I'm a painter first so if you please do not inspect the completion of all my i's or peas.

What a day, I started out with a plan to Do this "Open Air Gallery," because I have Wine and Bourbon at home as well as an assortment of cheese but You can't come to my Gallery because Covid - 19 . But mostly because this is an online gallery thus the ExperimentsinArt.Online

Anyway Ingrid, the love of my life as we say had this need to dig holes in the back yard and stick fledgling plants into them for fear that we - meaning America is heading for a great depression. So as I was planning to get sociable & personal which I am terribly bad at doing.

SHE had our free labor, my 3 teens outside gardening, which is a euphemism for being an Okie, if it should come to pass that we would actually have to live off the product of such labor. Especially since it cost more to raise our own vegetables than it costs to buy them from the stores.

But no matter, it's all an Experiment anyway, as I've written I'm not very sociable and as a result I've taken to making images - have done so since I was a child. My mom called it my gift.

I could get into a long story about now but We have a gallery opening to describe. My plan was to place paintings into the hands of my terribly Privileged teens and have them hold the paintings up in the backyard of our home in the heart of Suburbia just outside the Washington D.C. Border and just inside the Beltway.

On this beautiful Sunday we have yet to suffer any personal loss, and although 1/2 of us are now unemployed we have a full larder of food, and are paying our bills. Otherwise I wouldn't be on the internet...almost everybody is on the internet... I'm self employed of course.

First of all putting on this show wasn't hard at all, I was after all the crazed Artist as well as the unapproachable Gallery owner. All I had to do was order about my all too dramatic teens who wanted nothing to do with the enterprise.

The look on my son's face was the pain of being taken from the loving arms of minecraft. And why not, the homework dribbed in from the charter school like they had all gotten an early summer vacation and how dare we expect them to actually bother to try doing what they had been doing mostly- except for the daycare part, that was now our job.

Well how could I blame him, I might of had that same look on my face had my Dad said something as unacceptable as "stand there and hold this while I take a picture", the audacity of being asked to have my picture taken! a smile? Not a chance.

Of Course the pictures where fabulous-just the formula of the times. From actors to Journalist to regular people in their living rooms or dining rooms or where-ever. All of us keeping our distance while still communicating and finding ways to entertain, ways to connect.

This painting is called Father knows Best,...the problem is that we can't see the yummy mint growing in the background. But I trust that The father figure understands a woman's body,...I try not to talk too much about things I find myself trying to communicate about through images.

It was so bright that the pinks and purples got washed out, but then it's posed in front of the clothes line with our wet laundry. That's my son Paris looking like he could just die, as he said in fact, "I might just Die", and Ingrid on the other side wanting to escape the photo session due to her "gardening clothes", the painting, Originally was about this Jesus fish and a beast, it's a sacrifice of love and lust and violence in spring. {Baptism of the Cherry}

As experiments go, painting on the reverse side of a canvas isn't all that original. But it still got me into the Washington Post, eons ago back when I believed having children was such a

Jackson Pollock thing to do. One of my early works in oil, "The Drummer Boy, and the white picket fence".

Some freshly planted potatoes and my peach trees, not to mention two out of the three of my wonderful children, Paris and Iris, posing this painting I made before I went to the Corcoran school of Art. Made by as you might try to imagine, a young artist living very on the edge in an apartment on the second floor, sharing the space with some guy. Who actually let you paint because for some reason he believed he could save you from the demons which turns out was schizophrenia. I was experimenting with Oils and made this drippy crazy magnificent image of a poor child I glimpsed in a doorway,...

"The girl in apt 2"

Seriously entering a period when I read about leda and the swan, a story in art from Greek mythology. Zeus, in the form of a swan, rapes Leda. Here in "My Nigger & Deswan", made when the Aids virus a "global pandemic", was rampant in Washington DC . Incidentally while writing this and checking my spelling I came upon this Video on Youtube Ingrid perhaps not wanting to be seen in her Gardening outfit is behind the image. Considering the subject the long water hose is fitting.

"It's a flag, did you butcher a flag?"

asked Paris.

Politics, flags and Bibles will kill us all. If there's anything that we agree on it's fighting over the proper way to kill each other because of our differing perceptions of the rights and wrongs, due often to trifling differences of the circumstances of one's birth.

David Driskell, whose landmark 1976 show insisted: Black art matters died recently of COVID-19 at the age of 88. I hadn't seen him in years. But when I saw his face in the news it was that moment when another thread tears loose from your life. The people who are now gone. This painting like most all my works is an emotional display, the flag I once argued if worthy is invulnerable to abuse be it wind of storms or the hand of humans. It is perhaps one of the most iconic of images in American Art. Though ripped and threaded it is not destroyed. Though soaked in blood and painted on a bed of cotton burned alive.

I liken it to the scars on the backs of so many people who picked cotton in the very earliest photographs of American life. Like the pictures of family picking cotton that My Dad hung on the wall. {Pins & Needles}

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