Monday, October 31, 2005

A Slice

A smile is layered across the horizon
In response to the promised day; a confection
Of goodness atop the earths crust.

The heat of day moves in circular strokes
Leavening the surface in preparation
For the moment; each ring a step;

A walk in pursuit of a purpose unknown.
Even the trees cannot be assured of the height
That is needed to reach their full potential.


A galaxy of halos ring,
Resounding in triumph,
Each movement a designation
Without end; complete… still…

Friday, October 28, 2005


In response to Richard Lawrence Cohens recent and delightful posts that raise questions regarding fanatsy, realism, and dreams I offer the "poem" below.

Etude#1 for Bass Clarinet: Vertical Luz

The melody
of light
passes through

her height

as wind

from the movement
of my fingers

gift sound

to the world
of my fantasies.

each touch
finds entrance

to an opening
of pleasure,

the instruments




as well.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Those of you who visited my blog before I left probably remember that I posted numerous “poems.” I hope to eventually republish some selected ones. One of the poems was entitled “Light Catcher.” Well… I woke up this morning to “ I separated grains of sand with my tongue” a line that stayed in my head throughout the day. I have no idea where it came from but I needed to finish the thought; “Light Catcher:#2 is the result.

Light Catcher: #2

As I separated the grains of sand with my tongue
I categorized each shape according to the hole it fit into;
Saliva, bonding each grain like mortar,
Erecting the house that shaped my life.

While lying…
Face down
On the beach.

Friday, October 21, 2005


In today’s Weekend Art’s section of the New York Times, art critic Michael Kimmelman, begins his review of painter Elizabeth Murray’s upcoming retrospective at the Museum of Modern art with:

“The philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously divided writers and thinkers into foxes and hedgehogs. Foxes are interested in many things. Hedgehogs in one. Foxes move from one problem to another. Hedgehogs dig deep. Dante and Proust were hedgehogs. Moliere and Pushkin were foxes. Einstein was a hedgehog. Shakespeare was a fox..”

“Elizabeth Murray is a hedgehog.”

Kimmelman goes on to describe the chronology of Murray’s hedgehogedness, or digging deep, as I guess Kimmelman would say, in the context of some of the more notable movements in art; cubism, surrealism, comics, minimalism and abstraction.
And in that context I think he does admirable service to a marvelous painter. But…and here I guess I need to dig a little deep…it’s hard for me to accept such a clean and neat division between the motivation behind a work of art and the finished example, especially one that has reacted to so many different approaches to the art process. For in fact, as Kimmelman rightly points out, Murray has moved from one problem to another. I would venture to say just like a “fox.”

However, I’m not interested in a the acrobatics of semantics. I am more interested, in the spirit of a fox-like hedgehog,in what I can glean from a great artist. As I stated in a post previous to this one, I am working my way through a technical dilemma with my art regarding cartoons, minimalism, and abstraction. So when I see examples of imagery and art concerns of the kind pointed out by Kimmelman that appear to be associated with my own dilemma ( “Impulse toward movement, the antithesis of Minimalist stasis,” “cartoonish scenes on canvas,” “Images that at times appear sneakily abstracted,” etc. ) I get excited!

I just now realized that I used the word “technical” in relationship to cartoons, minimalism, and abstraction. I guess I see those components (language?) of my work as something that serves a larger purpose, something deeper in the psyche. Maybe the difference between style and substance? Hmmm. Haven’t quite written about it that way before. Well, maybe that’s a start in the right direction. We’ll see.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005



I’m having a difficult time getting back into the flow of blog writing. I think it’s partly because I always feel a little intimidated by some of the more articulately expressed (written) views on topics more worldly than I feel equipped to handle, issues that usually extend well beyond many of the personal artistic endeavors that I pursue. Nevertheless, I am going to try and pickup where I left off many months ago including some continuing stabs at “poetry.” I won’t be writing much, if at all, on the recent trip to Spain that my pal Richard Cohen and I shared this year. His writings have been exemplary and I share much of his thoughts to date and If there is a difference between us that stands out ( I believe Richard may have hinted at it in the context of the “ Romantic’) it will probably show up more by reading each of our blogs.

So… Having said that…I am having a brain cramp! I have this diploma I received some years ago hanging behind me in my office. It’s from the “Cartoonist’s Exchange,” Pleasant Hill. Ohio. It’s dated November 12th, 1957, the year I completed the correspondence course that it signifies. ( Pic#1) I am finding it very intimidating. I spent hours on end during those early years developing a great love for comic book illustration, something I haven’t looked back on for almost fifty years! But recently, when I began reading Chicago artist Chris Ware’s work, especially Jimmy Corrigan, ( pic#2 ) published by Pantheon Books, I felt a strong pang in my chest to relive some of those early childhood romances with being an artist.

Since my return from working in Spain this summer, and having worked in ceramics, a new medium for me, I have been in a quandary that stems primarily from one of the ceramic pieces. It was the final work in the project and incorporated an idea I had about Goya’s deafness ( Pic#3…the sequence leading up to the final piece. Pic#4.larger version of the final piece ). The image turned out to be more figurative and representational than abstract and I was perplexed. Happily perplexed, since new discoveries are so much of what art-making can be about, but nevertheless, uncomfortable. Not because I didn’t like the result but because it snipped me off from the threads of picture-making that I am more familiar with.

I was told by my gracious host and collabotaor, and a few artists whom I respect, that it sparked of Miro and Dali! Now my work has been described in various ways, but never have I been in a situation that prompted a depiction associated with surrealism! Over the last thirty years I have fought the good fight of disclaiming the pretensions of minimalism (at least as I see it ) as my guiding light, although stylistically it has been the visual language that has brought attention to my work. But Miro and Dali? Too much. Too late. Too old!

However, it brought back to mind that some months ago while working on an image very similar to “La Duquesa de Gallifa.” ( Third image from the left in Pic#3 ) I inserted an image of the nearsighted Mister MaGoo using Photoshop ( Pic#5 and Pic#6… directly related to my interests in “perception” ) ). It was a moment during my play that has constantly been on the back of my mind. Since the very beginning of my trek with painting I have always had a running battle with how “perception” in all its nuances, conceptual ,philosophical, physical (blindness), verbal and visual, affects self-comprehension in art-making. It led to a number of pretentious assertions on my part underpinned with philosophical writings and jargon, much of which I didn’t really comprehend but was able to make “fit” my thinking at the time. It worked……..for awhile. Without listing all the ism’s that tailed off at the end of each of my ventures, suffice to say that the one issue that seemed to determine all my “moves,” was “perception,”, the act of seeing and thinking. Yet after thirty some years I’ve resolved nothing ( Hmmmm… I’ve always told my students that’s the way it should be). So…as I contemplate moving forward from the journey I have been on all summer, cartoons have crept back into my head; especially the nearsighted Mr. Magoo, who, by the way, I have begun to accept as my alter ego.

I should add that their are also some very personal motivations and inspiration that has accompanied my work over the last few years and in fact are directly related to the title of my blog. And in many respects it contributes a larger part to the work than anything else. However, those must remain with me.

So…..Although I would like to be able to bring to my blog a more worldly dialogue in the spirit of social responsibility, I am instead, going to refocus on the very selfish love I have for playing with imagery and writing “ poetry.” I hope you will join me for the ride.
As always I look forward to the wonderful insights your comments have brought forward in the past.


Originally uploaded by lhombre.


Originally uploaded by lhombre.


Originally uploaded by lhombre.


Originally uploaded by lhombre.


Originally uploaded by lhombre.


Originally uploaded by lhombre.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A Summer in Gallifa, Spain, with Goya

“The Duchess of Alba,” is a painting done by Francisc Goya. Goya and the Duchess were reputed to have had a love affair while he was court painter for her husband the Duke. I spent the entire summer working on my own visual interpretations of the painting and the story from the point of view of an abstractionist. During the course of my attempts I floated in and out of figurative and abstract approaches. The painting “La Duquesa de Gallifa,” that I've posted here was the first interpretation. What follows,posted below, “Momento de la Duquesa,” is a photoshop variation and combination of Goya’s painting of a tree just outside my studio in Gallifa. It is the image that came to mind when I read Richard Cohens’s “One Tree.” It is being reproduced at life-size scale. I thought I would share it with you.

Goya's Duchess of Alba

Goya's Duchess of Alba
Originally uploaded by lhombre.

La Duquesa de Gallifa#1

La Duquesa de Gallifa#1
Originally uploaded by lhombre.

Momento de la Duquesa

Momento de la Duquesa
Originally uploaded by lhombre.

Gallifa moment

Gallifa moment
Originally uploaded by lhombre.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Corollary to a friendship...........

Upon reading Richard Cohen's "One Tree" a visual text in my head informed me that I had seen that tree! Indeed! I saw it in Gallifa, Spain while I was working there this summer. "Gallifa moment" is the original version. I think you will recognize it Richard. I have been feeling my way through it for a few weeks. "Momento de la Quesa" is the final transformed version. Thank you Richard for the wonderful story.

Monday, October 10, 2005

When the swallows..............................

Hola mi amigos y mi amigas,

Sorry to have been away so long. Missed everyone! Mucho! As Richard has written we had a great time. I will try and convey a little of it as well as time permits.. I sent him a number of pics but I have others to share as well.

I also have a number of pics of my stay at the art foundation that I hope to share too.

I will be starting my McCormick Place commission in Chicago very soon. I have already shared much of the ideas with you. I will try and convey some of that process as I go along.

I have missed the dialogue but hope to catch up as soon as I get my sea legs again. I caught a very intrusive and annoying cold bug for about ten days during our trip and am just now begining to recover.

Looking forward to hearing what you have all been up to.

I need to figure out how to add pics to my blog again. I'm slow with those kind of things. I even forgot my pin number from my debit card when I got back. Had to pay with..........of all things............CASH!

More later,

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