Thursday, May 9, 2013

1969  Dallas, Texas

Joy and Sorrow

Little sis, I can’t hold on to the thought that it’s already been a year since you left us.  Your death is an abstraction that lives in the form of a furtive dove that appears only momentarily by surprise at every thought I have of you, like a magician’s revealing gesture. It’s an illusion, a blur of fluttering wings beating the air madly, escaping this mortal plane, and impossible to grab hold of.  Your absence is excruciatingly hard to understand, I just want to let you know.  But first, before I’m pulled away again by this riptide, let me tell you once more that I love you, always have, since the day we brought you home from Hope Cottage in Dallas.  You were six months old; I was nine years into my life.  Our parents, Bob and Yvonne, were giants in their decision to adopt and change everything for the better.  They were optimists, plain and simple.   On the day you arrived to your new home, my horizons expanded with an instantaneous velocity of exuberance reserved only for astronauts and their rockets.   That combustion of joy, brighter than the sun itself, released a new energy.  It was the flash point of a little boy becoming a brand new big brother.  That moment changed everything and still resonates in me today.  I felt it this morning, in fact, forty four years later, that intensity which holds deep and lives within my core.
I failed you on so many levels and that’s what makes all of this so hard.  I could have done better, but there were too many miles between us and I was raising a family.  I thought our phone calls were enough. Dumb, I know. Now I look back and see that I was wrong.  I could have manned-up, been the big brother that fit the bill, but I became weary after so many years of putting out family fires.  I was worn down between the manic joy and depths of sorrow that were laid before me.  I’m sorry that I did not board a plane to come out, grab you, and get you the help you needed, despite the drama, and the protests. 

I’m still putting the puzzle together and it will take an ocean of time.  Distance is hard whether it’s measured in miles or mortality.  Today I focus on the good that was between us. You’ll never know how happy I am that we had a good laugh together the day before you left, that’s a phone call I'll always cherish.  Maybe you do know.  It’s funny how something as simple as that can make it all just a little better.  I love you.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Dandelion Building concept: a self-regenerating, culture disseminating structure.

When I sleep I often dream of architecture.  In these dreams I’m typically wandering around empty spaces of all types, from run-down theaters to unfamiliar homes, or sometimes it might be a desolate gas station or an abandoned office building.  No two structures are ever alike and I only visit them once.   Rarely do I see other people in these architectural manifestations.  My buildings are vacant (except for my participation and observation) and they all tend to inhabit mysterious landscapes as well. 

Not too long ago, as I descended into my dream world in my bathysphere of sleep, I reached the bottom layers of my dream strata and found myself standing before a tall white tower. It reached as high as any skyscraper, and it breathed and regenerated, as if it were a living thing.  In fact, it was a living thing.  The tower grew from within and layers of glass and stone emerged from its surface, ultimately shedding.  As they dried, the near weightless stone and glass fragments fell lightly into the windy current and were carried away. These “seeds” traveled for miles, eventually landing, taking root, and new buildings (even cities) would sprout again.  To my surprise, these exfoliated parts not only held the physical attributes of the structure itself, but they also contained the ideas, cultures, and human experience of the building’s occupants.  This is the truth; I saw it all with my own sleep-laden eyes. 

Architecture can be defined as the physical definition of space, but without human participation, a building exists only as a shell. In a way, we occupants are the souls of buildings and we do seed the world outside with our grand family histories, our diligent work, and with an accumulation of day-to-day experiences.  Our perceptions are born and nurtured in our homes and in our places of work.  We proclaim our own humanity to the world through our voices, our mobility, and of course, through the internet.  The spaces we inhabit are the incubators of our dreams.  These are the environments we build in which to rejuvenate and contemplate our lives. 

The Dandelion Building model expresses this idea of a self-regenerating building.  Internal layers of the building’s core move toward and breach the surface in flat planes, eventually breaking off, and are then swept away with the wind, disseminating all that comprises that building and its occupants to the far reaches of the globe.  The challenge with this design was to depict a sense of motion on a static form.  The chiseled corner and its adjacent narrow side depict the primary source of the building’s exfoliation and striking point of a head wind. This wind slowly erodes the corner, moving the building’s core fragments down along the broad sides where they break off and are carried away to their new destinations.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

 Home for the Holidays
oil on panel
9" x 12"

For Studio Gallery's consideration...

 A Double Batch of Frosting
oil on panel
14" x 18"

Your Diet is Over
oil on panel
6" x 6"