paintprogramdoodle

paintprogramdoodle
trying out hp paint.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

FABIAN MANDRAKE SCHAAD (MARCH 30TH-ish, 2002 - JANUARY 15, 2015) RIP. ABOUT A CAT...

An exceptional cat has left the Earthly building. This was an handsome gentleman, able to effortlessly win over countless human female hearts (female cats--not so much from I had observed), but also won admiration from cat non-fanciers. They had to admit it. He was big, elegant and sophisticated.

Anyway, ten years earlier, at the local animal shelter, I had been looking for a replacement cat. It was less than two weeks since my PREVIOUS (capitalized for the memory impaired) cat Macguffin had died suddenly in the middle of the night. I also, at one time had a cat named Courageous. He was not courageous by any stretch, and fled the coop. Macguffin and I had an unusual relationship in that he was a grouch, and did nothing to hide it. He dealt out affection sparingly, as if it was only being dangled before us humans in order to secure favors, treats, or maintenance. I had it in mind that I wanted to get a black cat...mainly because they look so cool (bad luck be damned) and they go with everything. They make any piece of furniture that they sit on look cooler, and they evoke a sense of mystery, etc.

When I inquired if any black cats were to be had/adopted, someone there showed me a cage, isolated from the other cats. Inside it contained a striped cat, and what looked like several black cats curled up together. I was told that there was only one black cat in there. I took a quick look, couldn't decide and went home. The next day (I think), I called up and went back to take another look at the black cat, with the plan to adopt him. He was somewhat reluctantly pulled out of the cage and held out towards me. The TEMPORARY name they had for him was Mushball, because he was so mellow. That moniker had to go. Well, he bit my hand very gently (no pressure at all on the bite) and looked up at me as if to say..."Uh-oh. Is that frowned upon?" It was then that I decided on the spot to bring him home. He had attitude!

At home, he was very well-behaved, as one might expect (or hope) any houseguest would be. At one point, I let him know that this was his home, and that he could relax and be himself. Apparently, that could be likened to flipping a lightswitch inside him, because within minutes he was racing around, barreling into doors, taking flying leaps, doing cartwheels (ok, maybe not cartwheels) and all sorts of tomcatfoolery. Eventually, he settled in and we became best pals. His name was determined by reading off a list of names for a male cat in an even tone of voice. When I said "Fabian", he lit up. And Fabian you shall be.

He averaged around 18 pounds, so when he jumped up on your lap, you knew it. Spoiled? Of course. When he walked around in here, he looked like a panther. He had a slow and elegant way of walking.

Everything was going great until about 5+ years ago, when Fabian began to have seizures. Seizures in animals, not unlike an epileptic seizure in an human I suppose, are horrific to witness. The cause was unknown, but the medication proved miraculous. He slowed down a little bit, but still liked to run the length of the place (usually post-poop), as well as all manner of playing (cat owners will know).

Fabian and I had telepathy, and I would test it every now and then. Without saying anything, knowing full well he was asleep or just in another part of my place, I would ask him to come and hang out. Might take a minute or two...sometimes less than that, and he would jump up, or at least come up to me. When I was out for an extended period of time, he would sometimes greet me at the door, and in his way, be very talkative...as if he had lots to fill me in on.

He was a great companion, and would snuggle up and generate a lot of warmth. He would also jump up on my chest and do the kneading/massage/purring thing for at least 10-15 minutes, which often relaxed me to the point of passing out. Maybe it was all part of a plan...

Here then, some choice Fabian moments:

Once, I was running late for a doctor's appointment, and Fabian was insistent on playing and acting silly. In the way people speak to pets, I said, "Not now. I've got to find this form." He gave me a sarcastic look, walked immediately over to a stack of same size unopened envelopes, took a swing at the middle of the stack, and the EXACT envelope with the referral slip fell onto the floor before me.
"You're good!" I told him.

Another time, I was feeling rather depressed about any number of things and went into the bathroom. As I glanced into his litter box, there was a perfectly pooped-out smiley face. I burst out laughing. Such hidden talent!! Sorry, no photos.

Thirdly, I was on the phone one time, sitting on the floor and hearing something unnerving/depressing and Fabian came over and patted me on the shoulder with his paw as if to imply that it would be all right.

Lastly, and this is miraculous. The other night (Thursday), I got home around 9pm. Fabian was waitng at the door. We hung out for about an hour, and nothing seemed particulary different, as it was hard to gauge his response/reaction to the latest additional medicine, other than he appeared to hate the taste. Then, I decided it was medicine time. I was giving him his nightly medicine dosage(s), and he was laid back and looking up at me. He started to emit very human-like sounds, and  said, I SWEAR (in a very similar sound/human voice approximation as the youtube video of a huskie saying the same thing) "I LOVE YOU." I was taken aback, and said that was very sweet and I loved him too. I set him down gently. He staggered into the living room and emitted 3-4 VERY LOUD guttural yowls. I'd never heard him like this and gently put my hand on his back. Again (I SWEAR I SERIOUSLY HEARD THIS), a very (pained) voice emerged from him. RO-B-ER-R-T!!

I gently scooped him off the floor and held him in my arms/lap while I sat in a chair? "What's wrong, Fabe?" A few more moans, and very deep breaths (he was not maintaining eye contact, but was instead looking skyward) and he seemed to be gone...right in my arms. He went completely limp. Perhaps, re-reading this has made it sink in.

In conclusion, what a magnificent animal. I always told him how lucky I was to have found this particular black cat who was there for me on way too many occasions. Our pets do love us, too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An update of sorts

Well, it's been a while. Who has time anymore...for anything? I am clearly in the midst of my alternate career (look it up), and as such, have been pounding the pavement in a different method (than the job search way). Hand still hurts though.

But you know what? I somehow found a moment to write this. And that, in itself should be indicative...that we can ALL find the time and make the time to do the things we want to. Like painting, animating, socializing, attending events, searching for that special someone or that special bargain or that special little thing that has been misplaced yet again (I have no idea what that is, just being clever).

So go forth...and conquer your little world. And try to be nice to one another.

Tawk soon-like.

ps It's art season in NY, so stay tuned...

Friday, February 21, 2014

2013 wrap-up...not really.

Well, here we are...almost March 2014. Where did 2013 go? Same place as every year. Into the past.

It was a tumultuous year with several ups (greatly appreciated) and quite a few downs (damn you recovering economy...faster, faster). I suppose the big plus from  having so much free time (not by choice) is that you have time to think. What did I do, what have I done, where should I go? So many unanswered questions. Also, I got to indulge the creative aspects of my life in terms of painting (accelerated pace of late). So without getting preachy, I've been humbled, take nothing for granted and look forward to rebounding sooner rather than later.

     One of these days, real soon, I'll post another painting image and semi-explain it. Meanwhile, go get some fresh air.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Before 2013 gets away from me/us

Hello Dear Reader of December 9, 2013 (and beyond):

It has been awhile since I partook in this particular endeavor. Are blogs passé? I'm not sure...nor do I care. It continues to serve (in its vehicular manner) as a means of transporting my thoughts and ideas to you. Whilst I continue to search for "le job" to keep "le cash" flowing inwards and maintaining a residence, this blog has politely taken the back seat in said vehicle.

Just for the record, I continue to be a good boy...er man, and seek out the best in entertainment and fine/modern/contemporary art stimuli. So that I can absorb it into my being and (for lack of a better term) regurgitate it in the form of some painting, drawing, musical noodle (gotta work on those as well) and animated bit (hand-drawn style, thank you very much) for you.

Also, the elusive love muse needs mentioning...as I never set out to make this journey alone.

So, just a quick blog entry to let you know that I still check in, care, and will rev it up again (sooner rather than later).

Cheers. Don't forget to rest and get plenty of fluids.

Over and Out ('til next time),

Your Humbled Warrior for All (Most) Things Good, Proper and Decent,

Robert

Thursday, May 9, 2013

2012. A Year That Was...wrapped up (finally).

All righty. Keeping my word (literally). I promised you a 2012 wrap-up and here it is (almost at 2013's midway point). Well, what happened? What exciting news or info to impart, Robert?

2012 was a year in which a lot more work was done on my paintings (many started, many completed, some framed).

2012 was a year in which I continued to look for work (Apply, apply, apply thyself).

2012 was a year in which I continued to look for love (in all the wrong places. I kid, I kid).

2012 was  a year in which I got to see The Rascals (big for me, as I wanted to see them perform live since I was a small kid).

2012 was a year in which doomsday merchants and fear mongers had predicted Earth's demise (again). The Mayan calendar is continued about a mile away from the known location, and gives us at least an extra 1500 years (and then we'll discover where that one continues...so relax).

2012 was a year in which I was a vendor (1st time) at the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair (see other post).

2012 saw a presidential election, in which I voted (I always vote btw).

Celebrity gossip, record art auction prices and such continued.

Some fine music, animation and films were released (as usual).

But anyway, enough of 2012. It's in the hands of the historians.

Let them rewrite it, and put the revisionist spin on it.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pursuant to a convo...

Okay, the 2012 year end wrap up will have to wait. For now, I'd like to write about something that came up as a result of a posting of an artwork image. Rather than post that image (which might actually distract), I thought it better to stick with words (this time). Let me just say that in general, I do not want my artwork fully explained. By "my artwork" that includes artwork, film, poetry and music (either created by me or someone else). I want there to be some mystery to it. I'll gladly accept or point out certain hints and directions the work is pointing in, but I don't want to know everything from the outset. I want to discover it, place my own interpretation on it, be thrilled and perhaps confused by it. When no meaning is placed upon a work, several can be entertained (often at once).

 A tree is a tree is a tree. But, especially if abstraction is involved, it may be more than a tree, or perhaps not even a tree at all. And isn't that what you want from your abstract art? A little mystery? Isn't that more involving? Make the spectator do a little work.

A big thrill for me is when someone tells me what they think I was getting at or depicting in an artwork. Even if they get it totally wrong (of what I intended to convey), I usually just walk away and let 'em go on thinking what they wanted to. Plus, it's entertaining.

Of course, to be honest, some have gotten it so wrong that I've had to steer them in a clearer direction. So in conclusion, in the same way that song lyrics are often misheard, so too can artwork be misunderstood. And we are better as an abstract society for it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pictures at an Explanation # 3.

Floating Viscos-City. Acrylic on Canvas (34" x 52 1/2"), 2012.
 
 
Should artwork reflect influences? In this case, it does.
 
I always think that my art is so literal and that even a hint of a representational element is easily readable. Not so.
OK...I have paintings depicting a tree, a television set, a building (usually mixed in with more absctracted elements), but they are what they are. Other times, I have depicted a shape that is meant to strongly suggest something, and it has gone completely unnoticed (unless I point it out) or misinterpreted/seen as something other (not necessarily a bad thing).
 
This painting, Floating Viscos-City, is influenced by sci-fi, comic books, architecture, early television, NYC and imagined utopian futures. The title, a play on words, is a reference to the thickness (viscosity) of paints, and to the idea of a floating city. Regarding the imagery of the painting itself, there are hints of pedestrian activity, although many are scientific and information research teams, that are somewhat oblivious to the outside (floating) world. It's a future in which mild decay and traditionalist structures are revered and allowed to co-exist with biomorphic glob structures (that are probably habitable).
 
If you know your modern art and your comic book geniuses, then you should be able to pick out the stylistic influences. If not, then know that even the obvious influences were filtered through me and my sensibilities (a mash-up as it were).
 
And yes, the left side of the painting is supposed to be a techno-inspired version of Ollie aka Oliver J. Dragon (look it up). But only if you want it to be. Otherwise, it's just a space pod-like craft hovering next to a floating city.
 
Detail of Floating Viscos-City.