Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Christine’s Tune

Terry DeWald

I've been waiting for this!

Mailbag and this and that...

Shawn in Thailand sends this over, printing photographs on plants.

*

They used to think oxygen could only be produced by photosynthesis underwater. They were wrong.

*


Shawn also sends pictures of catfish on a stick. Bangkok?




*


Speaking of fish, BigDave is in New York City eating at one of my favorite places, Barney Greengrass, the Sturgeon King, with his friend Dave Winer.

I am trying to convince him to go to the met and see the arms and armor show, my favorite.

*

Ricardo in Thailand wants us to know that the tide doesn't really ebb and flow...

*

Terry Schurmeier reminds me that the 25th annual Great Southwestern Show is fast approaching. I will try and show up.

*


We had a lowrider show in Fallbrook Sunday. They left trash everywhere, worst I have ever seen.

*

Terry D sends a note from Tucson.



Luckily with no swimming pool maintenance fees or chlorine bills.


Just have to share it all with the tad poles and frogs, which is just fine.

Kermit The Frog

*

My sister Liz sent this - Trump and Martyrdom

*


Village News put a pic of yours truly in the local paper this week, with arborist and pal Roger Boeddart. 

Thanks to Kent for telling me  about it.

*

I deleted the post about getting ghosted. My friend saw it and said it was nothing I had done, they needed space.

I took it offline.

*

Pete Buttigieg on what makes Vance tick? Simple really, $.

*

Terry DeWald sent me the following:


So true!
*

Renee lets us know about a blooming corpse flower.

*

Ted Fleming sends some beautiful pics from Kauai.






Great job, Ted!

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

John Mayall

I've Got A New Road Under My Wheels


Jerry Miller, one of the founders and fine guitar players in Moby Grape, has passed. Moby Grape never got their just due but they were great musicians and had vocals that rivaled anybody, including CSNY. Really one of the earliest country rock bands, which they get no credit for whatsoever.

I once asked my buddy John Morris (Woodstock, Fillmore East and Rainbow Theater) why the Grape never made it bigger than they did and he said that their manager was a pain in the ass. But they sure could sing.

Santa Barbara Show

How the Devil came to Reverend Hill - Clare Leighton

I am back from my show in Santa Barbara. While it was not what I had hoped for it was not a disaster either. I will live to fight another day.

Long trip up, in traffic. 

I met an old client in the parking lot and bought my painting back for what she paid, the one I sold her twelve years ago.

I was happy to see it again, one of the best and most powerful canvases I have ever sold.

Cleveland Museum tag on the back, Rolf Stoll, 1932, Two nudes.

I set up my lights and brought my boxes in and then set up my case, something I rarely do on the first day.

But I had time and what else was I going to do? Sit in one way traffic back to Carpenteria?

I think the booth looked good, a bit more modern than usual, aways a guessing game trying to figure out what people will want.






I sold some stuff off the wall but nothing expensive. 

People were not in the mood to spend big money on art or at least not with me.

A few art sharpies came by that liked my Santa Barbara material but they won't buy unless they can steal.

I did sell a lot of native material, baskets, my chumash mortero, my acoma olla. 

All the stuff I should have saved for Santa Fe in two weeks.

But hey, if they want it I have to sell it. 

Will be interesting to see what I fill the booth with in New Mexico.

But it is pretty tiny and it won't be much of a problem.

I did buy well. I bought a Paul Landacre woodcut for a client and sold it.

I bought a nice Maria and Santana blackware pot. I bought a pretty three color galle vase.

Hurricane in a cornfield

Lovers

And I bought an incredible collection of wood engravings by the English American artist Clare Leighton (1898-1989). 

Twenty seven of them, to be exact. 

Supposedly I was offered the collection twenty years ago, I have a vague recollection.

The time must not have been right.

She came to America in the 1920’s and created lovely regionalist works that depicted life in rural America. 

Works in the same league and proficiency as Benton, Wood and Landacre.

My pieces were from her time in North Carolina in the 1930's and 40's. 

Small editions, impeccable. 

I absolutely love her work and got some amazing examples. 

This collection was assembled prior to 1949 and I have all the letters and documentation. 

Some of the works are quite rare and are only found in museum collections.

It will be fun to sell.

Landing

tobacco loopers

If you have a chance to see these, please give me a call and stop by.

Not much else to report. 

Lots of meals at Esau's cafe, a prime rib and greyhound at the Tee Off that knocked me on my ass.


A nice walk on the bluffs in Carpenteria.

All in all, a good trip, as I said. 

It started out strong Friday and then slowed to a crawl but you never really know how things will go these days. 

I usually stay over, being exhausted from  a long week and packing out but I had to meet a client first thing Monday morning and was forced to do the midnight slog.

It hasn't stopped since. I am hoping to get a day off to relax and chill before the hamster wheel starts spinning again.

We will see.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Jeff Tweedy - Simple Twist of Fate

YouTube feeds

I recently heard that more people watch YouTube every day than television. I know I certainly do. 

YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, after Google.

Launched in 2005, it is also owned by Google.

There are 3.7 thousand videos launched to the platform every day. It is a populist forum, mostly unfiltered. I love the fact that I get such diverse feeds on my algorithm as rural Pakistanis struggling to survive in remote canyon villages, Indonesian fisherwomen going about their lives on the delta and Vietnamese pimple miners. So much random material.

I thought that I would share with you some of my favorite channels.

Xiaoma. The remarkable polyglot from Chicago has done an incredible job learning arcane languages and becoming a global ambassador.


Eric Rosen. My favorite chess streamer. Brilliant guy, great teacher. Quiet, gentle, humble.


Vegas Matt. A zany Las Vegas gambler that lets me cathartically scratch my gambling itch and it doesn't cost me a dime.


Drumeo.  A channel dedicated to drumming that asks drummers to drum on pieces that they are not familiar with. I really enjoy this channel.


NDYak Angler. The most calming voice on YouTube, a very chill North Dakota based kayak angler. I love watching Matt fish for Muskie.


Cactus Quest. A new channel for me but very cool.  From Lophophera to Opuntia. These botanists are crazed.


Chef Jean Pierre. My favorite YouTube chef, have learned a lot from this guy. Classically trained but doesn't take himself too seriously.


There are many more. Brad Owen for poker, Chad Zuber for survival skills, a variety of Africa Cams, Chinese martial arts movies, Stan Mills for hiking around Yellowstone. What are you hooked on?

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts

Simply Twisting Fate

I have said it a million times but the most spiteful musician in the world has to be Joni Mitchell. Not sure if it is simply insecurity but this woman has lashed out at so many other artists it is pathetic. She obviously thinks that she is the greatest musician who has ever walked on god's green earth.

Who has she attacked? Who hasn't would be a smaller list. But let's see, Judy Collins, Neil Young, Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Madonna, John Lennon, Taylor Swift, who have I left out? She has had her bullseye on all these people.

Anyway I was reading this article from American Songwriter the other day and it got me to thinking, Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue” Was Inspired by This Unimpressed Musician.

Joni Mitchell is evidently taking some somewhat deserved credit for the album that I consider my desert island disk numero uno, Blood on the Tracks. My favorite album of all time, no question.

Bob Dylan might have told Ron Rosenbaum that Joni Mitchell helped inspire “Tangled Up In Blue,” but Mitchell didn’t feel like her inspiration was a welcome interpretation of the album. Never one to mince words about music or artists she doesn’t like, Mitchell recalled hearing a bootleg version of ‘Blood on the Tracks’ in the mid-1970s. “It was really good,” Mitchell said in David Yaffe’s Reckless Daughter.

“But people said, ‘Oh, it’s like a Joni Mitchell album,’ so he went and recut it with his brother in Minnesota,” Mitchell continued. “They butchered it all up. They stomped all over it. But originally, the writing was different. It was more vulnerable, and the orchestration was subtle, very like when I was using just a little of that stuff to my performances. It was beautiful.” Mitchell loved it so much that she played the bootleg version for parties she held at her Laurel Canyon bungalow—including one Bob Dylan crashed.

Mitchell said that when Dylan arrived at the party, someone told her he wanted to see her. “The bootleg was still playing, and I said, ‘Why didn’t you put that out?’ And he said, ‘Somebody stole the tape.’ Which was not true. He chickened out. People said it was like a Joni Mitchell album. He took the vulnerability out of it, and in the process, he took the depth out. The New York sessions were touching. The Minnesota sessions were not touching at all.

First of all, I have listened to the New York tapes as well as the Minnesota tapes and I happen to disagree. While the New York material was good, it was in no way, at least to my ear, as magnificent or musically beautiful as the later finished product, created by a bunch of unknown draftee musicians in St. Paul, something I have written about previously.

Blue Heron Blast - 2010


The album is plenty raw and vulnerable, so much so that Dylan refused to play many of the cuts for years. It was post divorce and the pain is palbable. No depth? Give me a break Joni, you didn't invent depth or vulnerability or creativity for that matter. Blood on the Tracks is a masterpiece. And it is offputting the way she takes credit for the album as if Bob Dylan needed to be inspired by her in order to create this crown jewel.

Joni Mitchell needs to either s.t.f.u. or lay on a therapist's couch and find out why she is such a nasty person who has to continually denigrate her peers, some of them whose musical contributions far outshine her own and will be remembered and celebrated long after she is gone.

Bobby's Apple Cobbler


Not much happening in our world, I decided to bake last night. Renée gave us some organic Anna apples and I decided to turn them into something while they were still crisp and precious.

I decided to make a cobbler.

And I cobbled two recipes together, like I often do and came up with my own take. And I was an apple short and added a Cosmo from Leslie's stash.

My pals told me not to cook the apples down, that they would get too mushy, I did anyway but only for five minutes.

They were fine, still super crisp.

With vanilla, lemon juice, brown sugar, molasses sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, corn starch, a bit of flour, butter and water.

I made a batter, using both all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and baking soda and cut in my frozen butter.

I used half and half instead of buttermilk and after adding it to my mixture I poured the batter over the top of my fruit.

Sprinkled a little cinnamon and sugar on top.

I did a forty minute convection bake at 375°. 

The last ten minutes I put foil over the top so it wouldn't burn.

This was the best cobbler I have ever made, if I can say that with all humility.

Admittedly I have not made that many but this batter rocked, so light and moist.

I hope that I can do the exact same thing again!


Alison

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Saturday bloviation

I received a very chiding text from a conservative friend, Bruce, who says that the blog is a bore lately, not enough politics. He surmises that I am depressed. Well, I am depressed, as should be every American with an i.q. over 75 that is paying attention. Have at it, Bruce, push my buttons.

Look at the choice we face. A current President, clearly slipping cognitively and an ex President whose policies represent everything I abhor in this country. I said it before, I would vote for Biden's cold corpse over Trump and I mean that.

I believe in our country and I believe in the constitution. I believe in choice and reproductive freedom and freedom of people to love whomever they choose to, regardless of gender. I treasure clean water, clean air and a clean earth. I think people should be allowed to vote and not in artificially gerrymandered districts that takes away their political power.

Trump and the Supreme Court Majority that was hijacked by double dealing McConnell chicanery is a clear threat to all of the things that I cherish.

The GOP could not give a shit about the environment and the last GOP figure that did, Christine Whitman, was purged. They care about one thing, money, and that is enough for a lot of people. So if I am sick of thinking about the prospect of a second Trump term, well, that is my right. I'll write about whatever I want to write about and you don't have to read it.

How about that?

*

“My point is, God's still up there,” Inhofe said during a 2012 interview during promotion for his book focusing on global warming as “a conspiracy”. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is, to me, outrageous.”

Senator James Inhofe died last week. This buffoon Senator from Oklahoma is a perfect representation of how Republicans feel about the environment. The guy was an ardent climate change denier.

Why?  From his obit:

“With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people?” Mr. Inhofe said in a 2003 speech on the Senate floor. “It sure sounds like it.”

A self-described “one-man truth squad” on the subject, Mr. Inhofe published a 2012 book called “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.”

He argued that only God could change the climate, writing that “God is still up there, and He promised to maintain the seasons and that cold and heat would never cease as long as the earth remains.” It was arrogant of human beings to suppose otherwise, Mr. Inhofe contended.

Seriously? Are we still living in the dark ages?  Are the priests and deacons now running the show? So what did Republicans do? They made the buffoon the head of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee. He called the EPA the Gestapo. Personally I find people like this very dangerous. 

And we live in a dangerous time, with PFAS and all sorts of other pollutants coursing through our bodies and water plants and a political party and  a Scotus majority and their base constituency totally content to look the other way. Fake electors, Insurrectionists, lovers of dictators, downstream pollution, Dobbs, Russian sycophants... You want more of the same? Go ahead, vote for the felon.

Yes, I'm depressed. You should be too.

*

Inside Ziklag - ProPublica

A network of ultrawealthy Christian donors is spending nearly $12 million to mobilize Republican-leaning voters and purge more than a million people from the rolls in key swing states, aiming to tilt the 2024 election in favor of former President Donald Trump.

These previously unreported plans are the work of a group named Ziklag, a little-known charity whose donors have included some of the wealthiest conservative Christian families in the nation, including the billionaire Uihlein family, who made a fortune in office supplies, the Greens, who run Hobby Lobby, and the Wallers, who own the Jockey apparel corporation. Recipients of Ziklag’s largesse include Alliance Defending Freedom, which is the Christian legal group that led the overturning of Roe v. Wade, plus the national pro-Trump group Turning Point USA and a constellation of right-of-center advocacy groups.

Three Rings


This moving testament came to my attention on Linked-In. Danusia "Dana" Schwartz passed away in May. As most of you know, only one other of my paternal grandmother's eleven brothers and sisters, Malka, did not perish at Auschwitz, with the sole exception of Rachel who was bombed in the Vistula Forest, sustained a brain injury and died soon after.  This strikes home for me. My personal future fate hung from a very slender thread. My family was from Wyszkove, Poland, hers from Lvov. 

May her memory and light live for eternity.


Here is her story from the Holocaust Memorial Museum archives:
Dana Schwartz (born Danuta Schapira) is the daughter of Ignacy and Ludwika Schapira. She was born January 30, 1935 in Lvov, where her parents worked for the National Lottery. In the fall of 1941 German officers confiscated the Schapira home. The family was given 30 minutes to leave and find new housing in the ghetto. They moved into an unheated, one-room apartment that they shared with Danuta's uncle, grandmother and another older woman. During a deportation action in 1942 they all hid in various parts of the apartment house. The two older women were discovered, however, and were sent to the Janowska concentration camp, and from there to Belzec. Soon after, Danuta's father paid a local farmer to hide her and her mother. They departed only two weeks before the June 1942 liquidation of the ghetto. The farmer took Danuta and her mother to the home of another farmer named Gotner in the village of Zaklikow, who was not informed of their Jewish identity. As an educated, urban woman, Ludwika was not obligated to be a practicing Catholic, but Danuta regularly attended church with the farmer. She had some familiarity with Christian rituals having gone to church with her nanny before the war. Gotner rented out his barn to Ludwika and Danuta to sleep in. Ludwika had to trade her clothing, watch and engagement ring to a local baker for a daily ration of bread and whey. Danuta befriended the baker's daughters and was allowed to play with them. Once a former Jewish neighbor of Gotner knocked on the door seeking medical help for his injured son. Gotner promised to find a doctor but instead informed on him to the Germans in exchange for 2 kilos of sugar. While living in Zaklilow, Danuta and Ludwika also witnessed the round-up of the Jewish community. The Jews were locked up without provisions in the synagogue prior to their deportation to the Majdanek death camp. Towards the end of the war Ludwika found new housing near the edge of the village. After their liberation by Soviet troops, Danuta and her mother returned to Lvov, where they learned that Danuta's father had been shot to death in Janowska and her uncle had died of exhaustion after being forced to run from one end of the camp to the other until he collapsed. Danuta and Ludwika stayed in Poland for a year before going to Sweden. From there they applied for visas to the U.S. While waiting for their papers to come through Ludwika worked in a post office in Stockholm and Danuta attended school for the first time in her life. In 1949 they immigrated to the United States. Three years later Ludwika died, leaving Danuta bereft of family. She was then taken in by a Mr. Safier, who had been the owner of the Polish National Lottery where her parents had worked before the war. Danuta returned to Zaklikow as an adult and repurchased her mother's ring.
Another interview with Schwartz.
“Don’t hug him. Don’t kiss him. Say goodbye like you hardly know him,” Lusia Schapira instructed her 7-year-old daughter, Dana (then Danusia), as they re-entered the ghetto in Lvov, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine), from which the two had recently escaped.

No longer wearing their Star of David armbands and posing with false papers as Christian Poles, they had come to say farewell to Syd Schapira, their father and husband, under the guise of conducting some small commercial transaction. As they stood with Syd near the guardhouse, Dana politely said goodbye, tensely holding her shoulders and arms and suppressing an urge to scream. “I was very painfully aware that I may never see him again, and I can’t hug him,” she recalled. Syd walked away; Dana and her mother exited the ghetto. It was June 1942.

Billy and the Kids

The incredible sax player on this soullul Jimmy Cliff song, James Casey, passed away about in August of last year, of colon cancer. The wonderful musician played for a long while with Trey Anastasio.

I would rather listen to Billy Kreutzmann's band than either Bobby's or Phil's at this point in time. Billy Strings does a real nice job on vocals. I love Tom Hamilton Jr.'s leads, guy is very underrated.

Sure wish I was on the beach in Hawaii.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Santa Barbara Antique Show

 

The Blue Heron Gallery will be once again exhibiting in Santa Barbara next week, July 19, 20 and 21, 2024. 

I will be showing some great paintings and midcentury works including works by Alexander Harmer, Carl Oscar Borg, Willem DeKooning and prints by Calder Haring, Miro, Picaso and Warhol.

Decorative furnishings include works by Harrison Macintosh, Bob Stocksdale, Natzler pottery, Walter Reiss teapot, an early Edward Bohlin buffalo bolo tie and a large figured tulipwood bowl by Philip Moulthrop.

for more info please visit the following link:

https://sbantiqueshow.com/


Two figures - Lawrence Murphy (1871-1947)

Glen Gruenhagen

A woman called out of the blue yesterday and asked if I wanted to buy a painting or two. She had a rather dreadful canvas by a guy who did four books for Walter Foster in the how to paint series. Dark and gloomy. And then she brought this one over, artist unknown, the signature also somewhat obscured.

It was obvious that it was the old church in Hanalei, one of favorite places in Hawaii, Kauai being my favorite island. I bought it instantly, for a meager sum. The painting came from her father.

Dirty, late for me and rather naive but it had a certain folky, primitive quality that I find appealing. I love the happy brown faces in front of the church!

Jennifer took the painting out of frame and I quickly cleaned both it and the frame liner.  It brightened up considerably. She put a new wire on the back for me. I could now see the signature,  Glen Gruenhagen - 88.


I did a quick search and there were no auction records for the guy. Sort of figures, the whole painting strikes me as being painted by a self taught "outsider" and that adds to its overall charm.

I sent image to a few friends who live or who have lived in Kauai, wondering if the name meant anything and started to do a little research of my own.

I found this. The artist is currently doing time for threatening a County Councilman.

Sixty-seven-year-old Glenn Gruenhagen is facing first-degree terroristic threatening charges, a class C felony, and harassment, a petty misdemeanor, after he brought a document, described by police as a “threatening letter,” to the Historic County Building in Lihuʻe on Jan. 12. The letter was left on DeCostaʻs desk and reported to police on Jan. 16. Gruenhagen reportedly returned to the building on Jan. 17 and Jan. 19 before being arrested. He has been jailed at the Kauaʻi Community Correctional Center since Jan. 25.
He is a little older than I am and looks to have quite an independent streak. 

I was struck by this particular message in the threatening note, henceforth known as exhibit 1:

Hunted me down, like a wild animal, in Kokee for 25 years, couldn't catch me!

Kokee is a very wild area above Waimea Canyon and a favorite place of mine. It is near a place in the Kalalau called the Valley of Lost Tribes. People like Glen have been getting lost out there for years. An idyllic wildland.


Here is a later article on the disposition of the case, Gruenhagen eventually pled guilty but many did not think he got a square deal.

A local Kaua’i artist was sentenced to a year in jail in a Līhu’e courtroom on Tuesday in a plea agreement for a case revolving around an alleged threatening letter left on a County Councilman’s desk in January.

The sentencing raises questions about the fairness of the legal proceeding due to the ambiguity of the document in question, a cited lack of intent to threaten, medical professionals deeming the defendant unfit to proceed, and potential conflicts of interest due to personal relationships between key partiesRoughly a week before the latest hearing, Janice Slomenski, who said she had been Gruenhagen’s landlord for approximately 12 years, contacted Kaua’i Now to share her thoughts on the defendant. “He’s nonconfrontational. Never fights, never argues,” she said. When asked if she had seen the letter, Slomenski stated, “Knowing Glenn, it’s harmless.” 

Adam Killermann, who lives in Hanapēpē, also contacted Kaua’i Now about the case, claiming to have known Gruenhagen for years and initially hiring him for a work release program for a prior conviction, related to a class C felony marijuana charge in 1994, which resulted in him serving five years in prison. “I never, ever saw any violence. And he was never confrontational,” Killermann said.

“Violence is not in his playbook,” he added. “Anyway, he was a very harmless guy. He didn’t bother people. He worked well. He was working well with people.”

I asked my friend W, herself a longtime artist in Hanalei, if she knew the guy?

Only by sight and to say hello.  He painted outside even sometimes in the rain. I admired that.  

I will think of you and Leslie when I am in Hanalei… will actually be helping with an annual Bingo night at the green church which is for the food bank and school backpacks for kids.  Very Lake Woebegone.

When he had no glasses, he painted on location with a prescription snorkel mask.  Gotta love that.

I am starting to like this guy more and more. Whole thing seems way blown out of proportion. Just a crazy artist blowing off steam. And the man he allegedly threatened, Billy De Costa, obviously has his own issues.

*

I had a friend, a long time Hanalei resident, whose name will not be mentioned, who ran afoul of the good old boys network there and basically packed up and fled, fearing for his life. The dynamic for non native Hawaiians or Portuguese can be quite interesting.

*

Ricardo, who was a longtime Kauai resident before moving to Thailand, had this to say:

Lovely painting. Makes me want to see it again partly to see if the bell tower is really leaning like that. Just looked at a bunch of pictures, my impression is that the tower may lean mauka but apparent sideways lean in photos is probably just camera being held not at a horizontal angle. Ironically, one weakness of the painting to me is that it only shows one of the many waterfalls in the background. At the rainiest times I have counted over 20. One time I even saw a vertical flash flood turning into waterfalls!

Now I think my friend is being a bit harsh here. First of all, Gruenhagen painted plein aire in the rain with a scuba mask on, not from a camera. I can forgive a less than perfect representation. That is what cameras are for, not paintings. Straight up and down is overrated.

And perhaps ol' Mt. Waialeale was having a bit of a dry spell that day, one waterfall is sufficient for me.

*



A few examples of his work are out there, not many.

Nothing else came up on the guy but this note from 2022:

Glen Gruenhagen is very difficult to find online, and at most, his works are found on Etsy and vintage art websites. He specializes in oil paintings around Kaua’i, ‘Oahu, and Maui. These works look like real photographs when hung on a wall and are detailed down to the last blade of grass or droplet of water. He began painting at the young age of 8, and it’s truly amazing to see what he could create during the time he was selling his works. I am unsure if he is still around painting today, most of his works are dated in the 90’s. With how rare his original works seems to be, I am grateful to have so many pieces hanging around my apartment.

W sent me a note with a picture of another Gruenhagen piece that a friend of hers owns.

Definitely outsider art. Love the rainbow! Good luck to you, Glen.

2019 photo