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Sunday, July 25, 2010

THE HUMAN TOUCH

rising moon yin yang



I think of the Fifties movie title, Long Hot Summer. It might do to see that. I looked it up at netflix thinking it was a Tennessee Williams story. Not at all. William Faulkner. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, 1958. Yes, indeed. That could be quite a film. Ran it to the top of the Q, ready to see it right away. In my mind Elizabeth Taylor was in it. So far from "remembering" it, I decided it is time to see it. Director Martin Ritt made Sounder, Hud, and a long list of movies. These are 2 I've seen, and liked them quite a lot. Sounder is a beautiful dog story. Faulkner tells a good Southern tale. This is Newman and Woodward in the time they were discovering each other.



It's been steadily warm this summer like it was steadily cold last winter. I hear a lot of complaining about the heat. In the 80s. Summer. At least it's not in the 90s like it is in Winston-Salem and other places in the flatland. I have no problem with it. I have no air conditioning. The air as it is suits me. I'm comfortable. It's not winter and it isn't costing anything to keep warm. I have known a few people who keep air conditioning cold in the summer and the heat hot in the winter. I think, suppose I enjoy the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter. That way I pay less utility bills. I can't imagine paying for heat all winter and cold all summer. I can see heat for winter, but summer is never too hot for me. May be in a few years, but we're not there yet. A hit song when I was 16 by the Jamies that became the the quintessential summer song of all time. It's still being played on the radio and in my mind.

It's summertime, summertime,
sum, sum, summertime,
summertime, summertime,
sum, sum, summertime....




Today I spent uploading some of yesterday's videos and some from the day before onto Youtube. It's a slow process. Click the button and wait an hour, more or less. Take a nap, whatever. A quiet, slow day of rest. Not much occupying the mind. I follow the mind now like watching a movie. It's slowed down enough that I can witness it in action. Not that anything profound happens, but it is kind of interesting to witness one's own mind working. Whatever is going on in it, it's the most familiar, my own thought, familiar as it gets. The videos I'm uploading to Youtube are all music videos. The place is hobblealong1 . That little camera I'm using picks up sound exceptionally well. Gradually I'm learning how to make moving pictures of a band. Several ways are good. A tripod would make better visuals, but I like the hand-held nature of it, drifting here and there, jerky, but very much alive. The hand-held camera makes it feel like it's happening right now. Like bad acting in Prince's movie, Purple Rain. The acting was so bad it seemed like it was more real than if the acting were good. The bad acting made it seem like a documentary, like it was happening unplanned and spontaneous before our eyes.



The same applies to the radio show. I was told so often and convincingly that when I made mistakes, like played one song after introducing another, poking the button to pick the cd when I mean to pick a track, the mistakes make it seem like I'm right there in the room with the listeners. Brought to life by mistakes. I incorporate the same in my paintings. I'll let a guitar be a little bit off what a guitar is really shaped like, or I'll let the banjo head not be perfectly round, let the fret board not be perfectly straight, allow the imperfections that indicate a human put this together, humans are not perfect, we make mistakes, a lot of mistakes. So I take mistakes to be signs of human life.



A flawless computer generated portrait of somebody on the cover of a glossy magazine makes them look like mannequins or plastic flowers. In my paintings and all my art projects I allow imperfections. Not too many. Too many is too many where anything is concerned. An imperfect circle or a not perfectly straight line are signs of life visually, or so they appear to me. It could be people seeing my pictures zoom in on a mistake and see imperfection. I'm ok with that. Imperfection is the quality of anything human made, but the hand-made quality of something is closer to the heart than a machine made quality. Machine perfection is cold and hard edged. Flaws characterize the man-made with their softer edges. I actually believe allowing flaws visually gives movement to a still picture, if no more than the sense of someone breathing who is standing still. I heard Willard Gayheart tell of a saying among musicians, when you hit the wrong note, hit it again and everyone will think you meant it.

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