Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For Jeremy

At a gallery reception, last year, I walked into a conversation between two friends. They were arguing over how much longer I would remain in Montana. Finally, one stopped the other and said, “You don’t understand how he works. North is the wind.”

I once believed that place was the source of happiness. I simply kept on the move because I hadn’t found my ideal location. What I failed to notice was that over ten years and six cross-country relocations, I have never been without ideas or compositions for my paintings. Often times, we are too close to the situation to recognize our true self. I move to sustain the muse, and the muse nourishes my work. My home is within the paint and canvas, all else is temporary. - North

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dry Land

From a distance, I’ve seen wild horses; playing at the edge of the squat hills beyond my studio windows. What can the desert offer these lovely beasts? Have I underestimated their capacity to feel and recognize beauty?

In the day, I concentrate upon the earth. This place draws out the playful nature of horses, men and children. The light is different here. Unique not just in how its reflection changes through the hours; but the manner in which it forces beings to adopt its schedule. Force is too strong a word, attraction may be more accurate.

Despite the brush and thorn, there is a magnetism of place. Water is gone. Time of light makes schedules irrelevant. The low-rising trees allow sanctuary to only the humblest of life. In the longest of moments, I desire to meld myself; not with society, not with community – but with the peculiarity of dry land. - North

Monday, September 27, 2010

Night Moves

What does it mean when stars flicker with a bit of hue? In a few hours, the sun will rise and I’ll deliver the last three paintings for my October opening. Two of the three works are of the desert night sky currently reflected in my eyes. The constellations appear remarkably close in the natural composition before me. This little bit of sky and dust that encompasses my entire being; when sleep is something for others.

The moon is higher, now, than when I first ventured back across the mesas. I’m a man obsessed. Obsessed and intrigued by the sight of my shadow across the whitish-grey sand, dirt and rock. Out here, amongst the great empty; shadows glow brighter in the night than the man in the day. My late evening loneliness is the greatest comfort one could ask for in a place of such unequivocal beauty. -North

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sitting Pretty... and Other Southern Terms of Endearment

I’ve stretched the last painting for next week’s opening at Palette Contemporary. Been listening to Mark Knopfler’s album, “Sailing to Philadelphia”; whilst covered in oil paint. I was inspired to rediscover this musical gem as my daughter studied the facts behind the Revolutionary War. She wanted to figure-out the exact extent to which the current crops of tea-baggers were “off-their-nut”. She has completed “1776” by David McCullough, watched the HBO mini-series “John Adams” and is now reading “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine. Despite her best efforts to discover a religious underpinning to our constitution… she has concluded… nope, no theocracy here.

I spent the past month promising myself a brief requiem from the pressure of preparing for solo exhibitions… once I pass the opening of next week’s October show. However, today, as the last painting was set outside to bake in the desert sun, I began my plans for two wall-sized canvases. Although, I’m sure it is nothing more than a tactic to continue to stink of linseed oil from now until the close of winter. -North

Monday, September 20, 2010

Desert Night Sky

Last night, I walked across the mesas, in house slippers, to stay alive. It is amazing how much easier moving across the desert becomes, if someone just turns-out the lights. The sand and white rock cleanly glowed as they radiated the day’s light back toward the night sky. While I have often wondered whether it was the heat or the light that fueled the insanity of such notorious Southwestern figures as Hunter S. Thompson and Edward Abbey; I have little doubt that it was actually the desert night sky that kept them alive through innumerable opportunities for an earlier death.

Between one and three in the morning, time and space seem much more important than commonly recycled myths and irrelevant dogma. Standing at the beginning of emptiness, in nothing more than plaid pajama bottoms and a paint-stained t-shirt; I am immediately aware of the vast potential of the human condition. The illicit and elusive factor known as the soul overtakes my passion in a moment of seamless dharma. I did it without faith, I did it without help. In a single instant, I am at once both lost and found. The phantom has left. - North

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Home is a land beyond my consciousness. Place and time are my interchangeable deities.

I am the unrepentant.

Loss is gain. The purpose of building is to raze to the ground. Institutions must bow to mountains.