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may be created in any medium for any commercial or nonprofit use without specific written permission from the artist.

Please note that some of the events written about below as being in the future have since drifted ineffably into the present and even bumped into the somewhat distant past since this page was first posted in the Members-Only pages. I've tried to update the tense, but it gets too tense sometimes...

October 2002

   Last Updated  Friday, 03-Jun-2011 15:04:05 PDT

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I've been needing to write this for awhile now, but I've got caught up in a case of cultural ennui. It happens every once in awhile. I just get bored with art, arting and everything to do with those things.

It's a good thing disguised as a pain. If I was 'on' all the time, besides being even more unbearable to be around than I already am, I'd bore myself silly. When I'm off art, I rest up, recharge the batteries, watch a bunch of DVDs (I saw 6 yester and today), think about, and if I'm lucky, get involved in something else, for a change.

So every once in a while -- sometimes it takes years between; sometimes it catches up with me in just a few weeks. But most of the time it takes six or so months to build into another time of just not caring much anymore. For awhile.

That's where I am finding myself right now -- using my spiritu-intuitional GPS. There are things I know I'd normally want to be doing, to be involved in and with, to be obsessing over and under, around and through.

But, at the moment, I think, so what?

I used to spend hours every day updating and rewriting the DARts calendar. Now there's two of those things, and the one I want to be much better is only seen by about thirty people. About a thousand people a month see the one I care less about.

I'm at an impasse.

A couple months ago, I was all excited about making this site -- my baby -- pay for itself. Now, it doesn't look like there'll ever be more than the handfull of DARts Subscribers we have now.

I know. Looks are deceiving.

Supporting Members keep showing up, adding to the list. And for that I'm truly greatful. But even many of those are making zero progress toward getting their pages up.

I'm offerring free photo services again, to make it easier.

Maybe new Supporting Members just want to support DARts in a bigger way than as a mere subscriber. Maybe they like seeing their name on a list. Maybe they don't want to hassle together a web page of their art.

I sure don't understand not grabbing at the best bargain of DARts Supporting Membership. I mean, it's such a good deal, even I have taken me up on it.

But I worry.

Because as much as I appreciate the financial support, I am even more interested in presenting their art. So readers will see new pages of art, and think that they've been just thinking about joining long enough, now finally they should do something about it.

When several people do get it together to put up their pages, more people join.

  

Something Else,
for a change...

Lately, my most important something else has been a serious remake of the Creative Arts Center web pages, which had been seriously neglected.

All but one of the spare few pictures on the official CAC site showed broken links. There was no color anywhere -- for an art center??? Type treatments were indifferent and variable. Intra- site navigation was nearly nonexistant. It's a mess.

Kathy had hoped I'd get involved and redo their printed material, but I don't do paper and ink anymore. That's last century's, ancient history media. But I did thought I could help with their website.

Now, four days later, I know I could. I did.

You can check out my official, new version, if you like. Kick the tires. See if anything breaks. Some of you teach there and could probably add information -- Please do, the more info, the better, and I'm open to it. Feed me back about the design, the navbar (I liked it dark blue, but it's black now), my audacity, anything....

Once I got going on this CAC sidetrip, it was very difficult to come roaring back into DallasArtsRevue. So I've been laxing out lately.

And sorta just getting lost.

I should note that:

The Ceative Arts Center is DARt's most recent new Supporting Member.

And that Jim Dolan's brand new page has a special offer for DARts readers.
 

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I didn't plan it that way, but I think that's how it happens. Consciously or not. But even all that is not the biggest monkey weighing me down right now.

 

What I most procrastinate is 1026 Tranquilla.

The house is closing in December, and I haven't made any moves lately toward making that dream happen.

This is a preliminary version of what I've been thinking about doing for several weeks. These are the artists I'm pretty certain have voiced assent to participate. It's set only in pixels, and can easily be changed...
 

Invitation design. Names final. Black & white only, and
members will share the cost of printing.
 

 
I'm affraid that if it's left entirely to me, it might not happen.

If we work on it together, however, I think it could still be pretty neat.

What needs happening is a meeting, probably at the space. Soon. This weekend. Or maybe Sunday November 3 at 3? Where we'll talk about making this show and sale happen. And where, several someones else will shoulder some of the responsibility.

See the Exhibition page for the latest info, including the "minutes" of the Sunday meeting.

I was charging ahead, certain it'd happen, when gradually I realized that somebody's gotta be there all the time the art is in place in that house. Morning, noon and night. I imagined taking my comforter over there and crashing the night, to keep all the art safe.

Then, gradually I figured out that I didn't want control everything, and I certainly did not want to have to do everything. We need a committee of the people who want to be involved.

Okay? 
 

Kathy, who brought this whole idea into my consciousness, is willing to just hang some of her works in the house in the hopes that whoever buys the hosue will like her work enough to buy it, too.

 

As always, any other feedback is appreciated, too. Like the two calendars. Is that working for anybody?

I've been avoiding updating either of them, because so few people get to see the second one that's now M-O. Anybody else have any feelings or ideas about this?

Wasp Sucking Flower - Copyright 2008 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction in Any Medium Without Specific Written Permission.  jrc

Image from JR's New White Rock Lake Journal, my solace and joy.
Even if it's just some lil' ol' wasp-like insect snorking flowers.

{That Journal's still there, but my real solace and joy is now
J R's Amateur Birder's Journal

 

Oh yeah. The one DARts thing

I've been spending the most time on is the cover. I change it up pretty substantially just about every Tuesday, regardless of my current mood. And the stories there get updated or changed or added to, almost every day.

A lot of the energy that I used to put into the Calendar(s) now soaks into the cover. Which is a considerably more popular page. Sometimes I park a quick-load picture that automatically jumps readers to the regular 'Cover page,' and sometimes I greatly simplify the cover page itself. Other times I let it grow outrageously, but...

I try to keep its download time at 56k (I still have just a 56k modem -- no DSL, cable or satellite dish) to less than thirty seconds, preferably around 20-something. So that anybody who arrives there, sees something pretty quickly. As I write this, it downloads in 21 seconds. This page DLs in 12.

And I've been varying the content. A lot. I was all excited about the Inside DallasArtsRevue.com box for awhile, then I sorta lost interest, and now I'm thinking more about it again. It seems there's always either an ACC or Ops Alert. Might as well make that notice permanent.

The M-O Index there recently changed names to 'The Cool Pages' after a comment from Dallas artist CJ Davis, who said he couldn't afford to get to see them.

Kathy's and my social lives seem to revolve around DARts' most current need for fresh print -- er... pixels, although we're still mostly guided by personal interest.

The Alex Coyle story that's there as of this writing (but not no more), probably won't stay long. But it's of interest to me that cover stories are probably the most mutable on DARts...

I post stories there that are topical, timely or of general interest. But, unlike with ink on paper, which is largely unchanging -- I say largely, because, even when I used to publish DARts with laser toner on paper, I used to change... I hoped improving... stories from copy to copy through the run of 150 or so copies. It helped fight the mind-numbing boredom of printing and collating and stapling.

Now, with this new, eminently mutable medium, I change things almost every time I go through them. Not surprisingly, I find that my prose becomes much tighter, more precise and lucid over time. It's just that now, with this newish form, I can. I've even tagged the cover with a Last Updated timestamp, so readers can see how new the cover info is.

It's a fabulous luxury for a writer to change my mind after thinking about something for a couple days. And to cut one story down, or jump the rest of it to another page. This medium is a remarkably maleable one. It's grand fun to play around with it.

So many people still ask about 'my next issue,' deadlines, 'the first page' (which could be any page, since websites are enterable anywhere -- 'the cover' is my own little pre-post-modernist conceit -- and other terms left over from print. I think most people haven't figured out how new and different this web medium is. Maybe by the turn of the next century, our descendants will have.

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... Alex Coyle's project concerned high school boys' greatest fears.

I'm not eager to die or get hurt in another auto accident, that's for sure. But for sheer panicking fear, there's nothing that terrorizes me more than the possibility that I'm not getting better at my various chosen mediums. Or that I won't get to continue to ply a variety of them. I'd sure hate to get stuck just doing one thing all the time.
 

 jrc photo

Joel Cooner Gallery, where I work one afternoon a week, front -- shot in the rain, through my windshield. I suspect he was trying out new colors, but I loved this post-cubist abstrationistic look. It's a photograph about change, about color, and about art, and commerce, too, I suppose. It's gone now... It's all the yuckiest green of the bunch.

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Feedback

Since everybody who's responded so far who wants to meet, can't do it on Satty at noon (and that's really early for me, too), how 'bout Sunday at 3 instead? Or some other time, weekday evening? Name it and claim it, folks.

JRC

 

Sainthood?
Hey JR...
I really didn't think that the CAC website had ever really been up and running, it seemed to always be a work in progress. Your efforts on their behalf is a vast improvement... just simplifying it is sweet.

Art Shirer

 

CAC Site
I am now the official CAC Webguy. My official CAC website will go on the official CAC URL when I get the necessary FTP and password information sometime next week, supposedly.

JRC

 

1026 Tranquilla
JR-
I would like to participate in a show at the 1026 Tranquilla house but cannot make the Saturday meeting as I am teaching at the Creative Art Center. Of course, I would be happy to help however I can.

It is interesting that the carport photo shows the house (with the blue car) I lived in while going to High School. Small world.

Thank you for all of your great work!

Sheila Cunningham

 

do dah
Dear Ennui,
I think a meeting Sat is great. However, I am helping lead an Artist's Way workshop all day Sat.

Kathy Dello Stritto

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1026 Tranquilla
J R,
I'd also forgotten about 1026 Tranquilla til you brought it up again today. When you first wrote about it, December sounded far enough away for it to fit into my life. Now I'm not sure it could.

I'm getting married the weekend before Thanksgiving, then the Continental Gin artists have decided to have an Open Studios two weeks after that. If I'm going to participate in a show, it should probably be that one.

Sorry, but at this point, I think it's unrealistic for me to promise my
support or involvement.

James Michael

 

Sunday at 3
Hi JR,
Just read your ramble and I had wondered about the show -- I can meet at 3 on Sunday -- I think we need to really consider whether this will be more trouble than its worth. I have framed stuff ready to go, but I don't think I will have time to sit with the show -- and how many people will actually wander in?

We may want to consider another venue-maybe put more of our efforts into the BathHouse gig, or maybe a home that is occupied and exhibit our work 1 or 2 days -- like David McCullough did at Annie's house last year.

Lemme know if the meeting is a go-I think we should have an exhibition committee work on ideas, even if this one doesn't work out. Time for another co-op, maybe?

Thanks and hang in there-we all get the low-down-I-don-wanna-blues from time to time!

Carol

 

(no subject)
J.R.:
Took the time to look at your White Rock Lake Park photographs. They really are beautiful. Have you thought about selling copies? Making postcards?

I will participate in the sale but can't attend the meeting on Sunday.

Paul

PS: I have printed your latest Midnight Ramble to read and will wait to respond; however, I would hope that you will not make any changes in a "What-the-hell?" downer period.

 

1026 Tranquilla
JR-
Sunday at three would not work for me as I am also teaching at CAC Sunday -- until 4pm -- then dropping artwork off at Bath House. I would be able to make it after that if everyone is still there.

Sheila

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Feedback on "two calendars" question
I think you should seriously consider returning to one, non-Member Only calendar for two reasons:

1. (the "heart" thing) As I think you'd agree, anyone is going to be more successful doing those things that resonate within them, the things they really get excited about doing. And even if they are not successful in the way that most of our culture measures success, they will be successful at living passionately, which in my book is an essential part of true success ­- a prerequisite, actually.

In your latest ramble, you point out that you really enjoy doing the calendar. But in a completely understandable move to make the site pay for itself so that you can afford to keep doing it, it has been transformed it into something you don't enjoy as much.

And I think the reason you don't enjoy it as much is this: You have a gift for communication. And by making the better calendar only available to Members, you've been shut off from being able to influence and communicate with the larger group of people, which frustrates your gift.

I believe the good news is that you can possibly have both, which leads me to this:

2. (the "head" thing) Setting aside the "things of the heart" for the moment and looking only at making the site pay for itself, I think some of the marketing people I used to work with in my advertising career would tell you this: it doesn't necessarily follow that you should charge for one of your most popular features. I think they might tell you that you should investigate using the Calendar as the gateway that gets everybody into the site, gets them acquainted with the environment and hooked on all the depth it offers.

And I've always felt the calendar was your most marketable feature ­- it's the thing that clearly appeals to a larger group than just artists. I realize that in one way of thinking, that could lead you to think that it should be the first thing that people should pay for, because it represents the thing that they might most likely be willing to pay for. But I don't think it works that way. I could be wrong (it happens every day), but I wonder if charging for it just makes them want to go elsewhere to get the information, because they possibly haven't had the opportunity to dig deeper into the site to discover all the other things they might be interested in.

It might also be that artists are not going to be the biggest part of your support. I think we'd all agree that any population is going to be made up more of people that are interested in art than people that are making art. You may already be thinking this way. But at the point you find yourself now, I wonder if it's time to consider a larger audience ­- one that may not be willing to pay as much for a membership, but one that has larger numbers and could thus end up netting more income. Risky, I know, but maybe worth examining.

James Michael

 

The Calendars Question In Question Answer, Prequel
When Kathy E-mailed to remind me that depression was anger turned inward, I realized that I had, indeed, been depressed (I really thought it was just a little ennui), and that one of the reasons I was pissed at me was about the Calendar Question in question. So, the day (or more likely the middle of the night) before I got the above letter, I liberated Page Two of the Calendar.

JRC

 

1026 Tranquilla meeting is Sunday at 3
JR,
Sun at 3 we will be at my sister's in Arlington, so cannot be there to meet.

Any weekend, I can help with an installation, I can type labels (if needed) and Richard and I could each take some timeslots during week with the exhibit - I could "sit" with exhibit on some Sat. or Sun. Richard could take a day of the week if needed.

Sorry, we can't make it this Sun. I just now read the e-mail or I would have told you last evening at the Mud show! I sure am glad that show is up and will run for a long time so maybe many people will get to come see what we "dirt dobbers" do for recreation.

Keep us posted about Tranquilla.

Marty and Richard

 

JR's Midnight Ramble at 4:37 pm
Sunday 3:00 is good.

K

 

1026 Tranquilla
I will drive by after the Bath House drop off to see if anyone is still there.

Sheila

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DARts' Members Only Index describes all password protected pages.
But there's a more updated + complete version on
the cover.

DARts Index
Art Calendar