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Things Never Happen Unless You Get Started

Today is November 14, 2020. It's mid-morning here on Turquoise Ridge in the Mojave Desert overlooking both the "village" of Joshua Tree and Joshua Tree National Park. Actually, Turquoise Ridge is the official name, even the polite name, for the 15 acres of land that I am fortunate to own in this high altitude desert. Rat Ridge is what I usually call my place. That makes me a desert rat, I guess. I am also a river rat in the summer when I migrate 3500 miles north to my 2 acres on the Kenai River in Alaska. I have been back from Alaska for nearly 2 months now, spending most of that time working on this website. I know the website is so important, but in general, I find the work to be tedious. I'd rather be back in the studio painting and drawing which is what I am doing with all my time these days.

Wix has a 6 part process to complete a fully functioning website. Mine was stuck at 3 parts completed for about 3 years. This Fall I have completed 2 more sections. The 6th section was to make a blog. I have excused that empty, unchecked tab for a long time, thinking I wouldn't really need a blog. Really, I never look at or read blogs, so I figured I would skip that. But I have reconsidered, as I figure I should have a blog just so I know and can say I have a complete website. It's the way things are now, so I won't dismiss that anymore. Besides, I have convinced myself that there is a lot of creativity in writing. And I certainly do like to be creative. And perhaps a bit funny in the process. I am thinking I can make my visual posts at the bottom a touch funny as I have convinced myself that I can be funny. I can tell funny stories.... And funny never is in my painting, well maybe occasionally in my long convoluted titles....

As I thought more and more about it, I realized, at the very least, I could write just for myself. To make a point of having a written record that could provide over time a history that people could read, if they were interested. And most likely that would take a long time, but if I never began, then I wouldn't have a blog record of my perhaps weekly or monthly thoughts. Of course that is an exaggeration, as I have spent considerable time writing and rewriting numerous statements over my now 40 years of being a visual artist. Nearly always I have been aggravated to write statements. God knows I have written so many, too numerous to recall. If you look at my CV, I list 49 solo shows; each one had a written statement. I list about an equal number of group shows and most of them I had to write something for as well. When I was in school I had so many teachers point out how important it was to write well, that people would judge you for this skill. Since I knew I was going to be a visual artist from a very young age I thought I would not have to conform. Wrong...

Funny enough, that when I became a professor, a visual art professor, I made a point of trying to pass on my own excellent education and consequently would point out to all my students that they would be judged by their writing. Not well received. Of course, I knew where they were coming from. So I am relieved, that after all these years, I have fully embraced my own writing. And that is why I have begun this blog.

Another thing I know to be true, is that getting somewhere, anywhere, always takes forever, it seems. But if you don't get started, get "underway" (it's a nautical term when I use this word, and my time as a captain on Alaska rivers will reveal its full importance in future blogs) things never happen. So that is my main strategy to launch this blog. I believe I have lots to offer and that it will take a lot of time to be revealed. So let's get "underway".

This is a mallard mother duck. On Land. I had never seen a mallard duck on land in all the 30 years I have been at Turquoise Bend, my place on the Kenai River in Alaska. Anyway it's a long story, but when I was the DP making documentary videos with Steve Brown, whose PBS TV show "The Real Desert with Steve Brown" showed on KVCR we would cut to "tweety birds" whenever we ended a segment (and did not have anything else to say). It got to be a running joke that I can't resist to re-visit as I write these posts. I see that I can post short videos, so that's an excuse to get out the video with sound gear and start shooting tweety birds again. Maybe I'll hook up my super shotgun mic so we can really hear the tweets...


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