Visual art news, views & reviews in Dallas, Texas, USA

Home  Index  Calendar  Member art  Join  Ops  Resources  Feedback  Contact us  Reviews  Google My Sites

THEDsBLOG:   Always The Latest + Index of   1st ThEdblog    2nd ThEd   
ThEdblog #3
    an earlier attempt  +  Amateur Birder's Journal

ThEdblog 004

Stories + Photographs by J R Compton

It's almost not fair

to continue this same ThEdblog page this much later in the history of the world. Months have gone by since I last addressed anything here. Mostly I've been dealing with something called fierce. As I write this artists are emailing me asking when pick up is for that show, so it's truly winding down after wrapping up all my time and energies for too long a time. I still have unfulfilled promises in regard to that show, and maybe I always will.

Lately, I've been thinking about a Five-year plan. Every time I've ever done one of those, it's worked out to my great advantage. I generally know what I want and often even how to get it, but by stating those obviosities, it seems to happen more easily than when I don't.

Eventually, DallasArtsRevue will stop. I'm old. Not so much wizened, but certainly old. I'll be 64 next time I have a birthday, and that's coming up much faster than I'll be able to clean my house thoroughly up for to celebrate it properly. Some time after that, I'll be 70, and all I'll want to do is photograph and learn more about birds.

Fuck art, let's dance. Or photo birds.

I'd love to be out photographing birds right now, but the fact is I'm typing this with words the size of the subheads on this page, just so I can see them. The text-sized text here bleeds together in lines of mush. I had an eye test today, and both the nurses, then the doctor flushed my eyes with so much liquid whatever, that I can still barely see more than three hours later.

Before I post this page online, I'll make this type as small as the nearly invisible lines I see below. But it brings up a point. There will be a time when I get so decrepid I won't be able to add my steady stream of invective to this site.

What I've been thinking lately to do is to just stop. Quietly retire from this happy horseshit and take my life back again. Take the site offline, and go off someplace to enjoy what I can still enjoy. My, that does seem appetizing. Not sure what I'd do with all the invective that flows through these worn-out veins, but it'be interesting to find out.


Today I updated the Feedback page, finally separating a 2007 page from the The Current One one. Added to and subtracted from both my recent stories linked below. Completely redesigned and reformatted our page of 2003 stories from a lecture at UTD about graduate art education by former Fort Worth critic Dave Hickey - Emotionally abused and battered, Grad students see hope!


Maybe I should be carefuller about what I write. I said the Latino Culture Center was less than up on technology in a story recently. Have to track it down to link it here. (Oh, it was on the ops page, where they violated nearly every rule I got.) That day I got two emails from them telling me the same thing the last two emails from me told me.

Day after I got a copy of ALL the names of their email list, plus two more copies of the same old email. I replied, thanking them for all the artists' email addresses and wished them luck on their new job. I just today, this evening, deleted two more copies of that same email. They must be bucking for Spammer of the Year. They may not update their website every month, but they're in there spamming day in and day out.

I had complained that I couldn't get on their email list a couple months ago. I shoulda known, especially since so few of their events have anything to do with visual art.

writing again

It'd got to the point I wondered if I could write about art anymore. Again. Keep going through that cycle. This week I've already written two major stories. Both of which are linked from the cover. A.k.a. Home page. Sunday evening working on the first of them, I was watching a story on PBS about how learning new things stimulates our minds and helps stave off Alzheimer and dementia. I was wishing I could learn something new when I realized that's just what I was doing.

I rarely write logically. I keep having to move thoughts around till in the end I just give up and post links to the latest from the cover. I don't stop writing and rewriting then, either. I keep changing them, albeit less and less often for the first week or two that story is up.

Which means I'm still re-writing both my recent stories Tats, Sistahs, 50/50, Verse & Eggs and Brainstorming The Contemp, which I enjoy alternating titles as Barnstorming The Contempt. And I've already written a couple of Amateur Birder's Journal entries with very nice bird photos. I seem to be on a roll.

plagiarizing art

Difficult to fathom, but apparently teachers at local schools assign students to copy artwork by Dallas artists on DallasArtsRevue as they would from Old Masters. Never mind that every image on every web page on every website in America is automatically copyrighted to the owner. Can you imagine the effrontery to teach those who don't understand the copyright laws to copy work by contemporary artists?

Idiots amok.

Teachers should realize that it does not please artists who are copied. Quite the opposite. They've worked hard to create unique art. Having those wholly or in-part ignorant of their motives, methods or executions copy them does not help anybody. It is not homage. It's rip off city.

It also does not please the publisher of this online publication. It pisses me off. Stop. Teach your students instead to understand and obey copyright laws. Lead them to develop their own work.

Now I'm adding a note to the top of new pages reminding the ignorant about copyright. To wit:

Every artwork on this page is copyright 2008 by the originating artist. No reproduction or approximation of these works
may be created in any medium for any commercial or nonprofit use without specific written permission from the artist.

se fini

Kim Cadmus Owen's piece (below) is more convincingly chronicled in Pix2: The Critics' Choices I just uploaded. It jumps from the cover or is in its entirety at the link just above. Although I am still working on it — changing this and that, attempting to make it more direct by ridding prepositional and other excess phrases and words, I usually keep working on a story for about a week — sometimes much longer — after I upload and begin promoting it. Like a work of art, I suppose. It's difficult to determine just exactly when it is finished until I haven't changed it for awhile.

Kim Cadmus Owens -

Kim Cadmus Owens - National, 2007
oil, acrylic on canvas - 60 x 120 inches

i've been writing about Pix2, the show I helped guest curate that ('s copiously writ about in ThEdblog #3) I stupidly minced the opening of, thinking it was Satty, not Friday. Anna and I and Anna's granddaughter, Alice in a stroller, attended last week and I took lots of pictures that probably would have been impossible during what Pix2 Producer John Pomara said was a crowded reception.

The story is coming together. I'm dallying finishing it till I get some titles and dates of art by Kim Cadmus Owens (KCO) that I'd photographed in her studio at the Continental Gin Building over several seasons before choosing her as my under-appreciated rising young artist for Pix2. First I'm writing about the show and the pieces therein, and how those affect me, then I'll delve into why I selected KCO, and so talk about her work more.

Another reason to hold back finishing the Pix2 story is that I've only very recently begun writing about art, not birds, again, and DARts readers are not yet used to tuning in to the cover to see what's shaking, because nothing has shook there in such a long time. At DallasArtsRevue, readers catching on has sometimes been a time-lag between me or anybody else here writing and readers catching on that it's there and might be worth browsing. That lag got short-circuited when I wrote regularly and always posted the latest story on the cover. A success here is a couple hundred hits in the first couple weeks.

Some of my and other writers here stories never make it to a couple hundred.

I'm constantly culling back through old pages seeking something, and some of those pages have accrued amazing hit counts, slowly, over the years. Not quite like my annual photo reportage of The Winter SolstiCelebration which steadily climbs hits to hundreds, even thousands, from the moment the link is posted. Another major recent opus, The Birds of The Rio Grande II (Winter) — is just now climbing past 100 hits; its paltrier predecessor (smaller pix, less variety, more off-topic contents), for no apparent real or imaginary reason, is up in the 17,000 range and climbing. It took its own sweet time, so probably will this one.

It's an interesting exhibition. Not altogether successful due to its multiplicity of interpretations of the show's guidelines and the choices and the fact that UTD (the University of Texas at Dallas in Plano) is so far out of the geographical sphere of Dallas art. Inside Dallas, like at one of our vaulted art centers, probably more likely The MAC than The Contempt, which is off on its own peculiar windmill tilting episode, it could have been an important show.

Out there in "The Black Mountain College of the West," (what early PR and a poster I still have, called UTD near its beginnings) it's a vaguely lost cause, mostly only students will ever see or learn about (because only me of all those arts writers can conscientiously write about it, because they fear writing about a show they're involved in would be proof of non-objectivity. As if they needed proof. At DallasArtsRevue, shared experience is what we're all about.

Anyway. I'm writing about it and the art in it, and I might even steal some of the invective in this story about it for it.



Pix 2 Gallery - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Pix2 at UTD

photographing art at Pix2 I kept getting a reflection of outside (bright and blue) light in the glass over one piece, so I walked across the gallery and asked the young lady inside the room with the open door if I could close it, so I could finish shooting. She looked startled, started to say one thing, backed up then asked me pointedly whether I had permission to photograph the art there.

I didn't. I rarely get permission. Just start shooting. Darned few gallerists bug me anymore. Some recognize me, others don't care. The few who do I don't visit anymore.

She was adamant. Said no one could photograph the art there. I told her I just had. She demanded a name from whom I had permission. I'd just seen teacher (friend and DARE co-founder) Greg Metz walking through the gallery and we'd said hi. So I said
"Greg Metz," because I knew she'd know who he was, and that's the sort of name people like that need.

I don't know if she checked. If she had, Greg would just say, "Yeah, sure." But apparently she only needed to know that I had official authorization. Which I hadn't and didn't and obviously didn't need to.

When Pix producer John Pomara came through the gallery that is that once controversial building's main hallway later he certainly saw my camera but never even asked. He knew who I was and what I was up to, and probably liked the idea.

But part of that woman's identify rested on prohibiting people from photographing art there. I remembered all the people with camera phones at galleries when those were new a couple years ago, and told her anybody could walk into any gallery and photograph almost any art. I've even seen them do it at the museum, and they get all huffy when they catch them.

Unmoved by logic, she'd been told to prohibit photography and did not have or need or want reasons.

But it's a school, and I know it's possible, even likely, that people who photograph art will learn from it. I learn every time I do it, and I do it a lot. Some of those photographs become the framework of my stories. Once I get them in order, my words flow around them. Other times I study them and learn, then throw the image files away. Occasionally, even if I don't publish the image itself, I'll use it as source material to talk about that art without showing it, although I'd much prefer to show what I tell.

Now I'm seriously wondering about the intelligence of prohibiting the photography of art. It's not as easy as it looks. I go to a lot of trouble to get the colors close, the textures right, the shape square when that paradigm obtains. Tracking down the correct title, date, medium(s) and size are a terrific nuisance. The tonalities correct takes gobs of time.

I know somewhere — probably in China — there are factories where people turn photographs of art into eminently salable, unoriginal art. But I wonder whether they'd even want to try to sell this stuff. I just don't know.


Hook, Line & Sinker Gull - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.

Hook, Line and Sinkers Gull

about time for a new ThEd. My horror scope says it's a time for new beginnings. I think it may be correct, for a change. Good (?) time for starts and restarts. Was seriously startled this ayem by an alien cover/home page in putrid yellow-orange or was it green? and a message there from "tha kung-fu masta    kr4ft," continuing, "big upz going out to all the haters in the scene, my dog turtle, 2600 vancouver, and my fam and here's the link to the original webpage admins contact me at [email address deleted] and ill be sure to respond asap on how to secure your sitez." Said it'd taken over my site.

ill, indeed.

Trouble was [joy?] only my site index page — I call it "the cover." What my page top links call Home — of more than 1,100 here was messed with. Don't know how kfm got it there. Struck fear into my heart and veins. Feel them tensing still. The day continued like that. Continues...

I messed with my dear unbeloved NightmareHost [my web host] for couple hours learning how, then implementing the reset passwords and entry permissions. Hope the kung-fool can't do it again. But seems about appropriate for this close to the start of another Mercury Retrograde period of jumbled communications, fried synapses and fear factor foulups.

My strologer tells me, in a personal email, that I am particularly sensitive to these horoscopical retro transitions when I told him my long-held theory about Mercury Whiplash, the sudden changing of apparent movement out around Mercury (It doesn't really go backwards during retros (MRx), just seems to in relation to our own satteliting the sun. Whiplash is the two weeks either side of Retrogrades when my life gets ... whip lashed.

And he doesn't know about DallasArtsRevue or the Bird Blog or those other websites or everything else I do based so unfirmly on communications. Usually based on comm. When my best laid plans gay aft agley [pronounced "a glay," rhymes with a-jay, a line from the first Dylan, Dylan Thomas], it shivers me tenders so deep I have to go off and write me some meaningful words, like here and here, hie me to verbal escape from this mortal coil.

Making almost enough metaphors mix-and-mashed in one day, which went south from the above rollicks, and I know I have the perfect image for this new Thed — that I shot today before I quite realized the tenor of this down-screaming rollercoaster ride.


The latest Index of all things ThEdBlog is at the Bottom of the Latest ThEdBlog



All Contents of this site are Copyright 2008  R Compton.
All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in any medium without specific written permission.
But you're free to link away to your heart's content.



As always, if anyone has corrections, I'd be happy to entertain them. Our latest email address is always on the Contact Us page.