THE BOOK OF DAISY is 24x24, acrylic, crayon and graphite on canvas and ready for purchase. Contact me if interested.
Happy to announce that I had been asked to paint something to go with one of seven 'winning' essays for a book to be published by The Wonder Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The essay I painted to is called FOURTEEN and is a wonderful read about a woman's 14 year old daughter. Bright, 'blending' and a competitive swimmer who wears lavendar sunglasses for her 'blending' with other teens. This was a fun thing for me and a privilege to be selected to be one of the artists for painting by director of the Institute, Linda Durham...a wonder in herself.
THE BOOK OF DAISY is 24x24, acrylic, crayon and graphite on canvas and ready for purchase. Contact me if interested.
Next comes GHOSTS OF BEAUTIES. Another 18x18" acrylic, graphite, crayon, charcoal & oil on paper and mounted onto a panel.
Very excited to be having another exhibit at the Blue Dome Gallery in Silver City. The opening reception is Saturday, October 10th during Silver's big art weekend. 4-7pm: Blue Dome Gallery, 307 N. Texas Street in the Downtown area.
THIS SONG'S FOR YOU
BEEN IN THE DARK ALL OF MY LIFE
SOMETIMES THE MUSIC IS BLUE
WE'VE TRADED PLACES TIMES BEFORE
Not the best of pictures, but I'm loving these black and white paintings of mine. Not an easy task to limit oneself so much colorwise. On the left: BUT SHE HAD WINGS, acrylic and crayon on panel, 20 x 40" diptych. To the right of that one: YOU JUST LOOKED UP AT THE STARS, acrylic on panel, 20 x 20" ... to the right of that, some photographs of an artist I don't yet know. This show will be up till mid October so I hope you'll get around to seeing it.
I'm sending this new, small painting out because someone made such an interesting comment to me about it. It is called I KNOW MY LINES. About life, waiting for my cue, wings at the ready....so many things. BUT, this viewer said to me: 'Anyone with two eyes can see it's an elephant.' Took me a moment before my two wyes found that elephant. haha. So, because I love elephants, too.... This is 12x12" acrylic and graphite on panel.
Happy to share that I just finished a commission for this hotel. 3 pieces below. Very happy. They will probably be installed in October or November. So, if you're putting on the Ritz in Sarasota, hope some of you someday see them.
First: SAIL ON, 50x50"...then THREAD THE LIGHT II, 50x50" then GIVE ME THE SEA II, 46x60"
First is the Australian/USofA exchange exhibition: WIDE BAY/HIGH DESERT II. I'll have two canvasses in Bundaberg, Queensland and two in Las Cruces at the Unsettled Gallery. I'll be at this opening reception.
Above: LONG WAY FROM HOME 29x41 acrylic, crayon, graphite on paper.
Below: MAPPING THE DESERT 29x41 acrylic, crayon on paper.
Opening the same night in Santa Fe at Wheelhouse Art Gallery is a large group show where I'll have the two images below. I'll miss the opening reception on August 28th but should be there the next day.
above: BUT SHE HAD WINGS 20x40" acrylic and crayon on wood panels
below: YOU JUST LOOKED UP AT THE STARS 20x20" acrylic on wood panel
So, if you're near Las Cruces or Santa Fe during these exhibitions, please drop into the galleries and have a look. Both shows will be extraordinary. Good artists being shown. O boy!
After that, I'll be working on the final ideas for a solo show in Silver City at The Blue Dome Gallery: COLORS OF MY DAYS is the title of the show and it opens on Oct. 10th. More on that later.
Author, Todd Walton, used yet another of my paintings to illustrate his newspaper and blog article. YES.
“Greece should go back to a national currency to have more autonomous decision-making with regards to it own economy, which it needs if it wants to pave a more sustainable path.” Jennifer Hinton, co-author of How on Earth: Flourishing in a Not-for-Profit World by 2050
Near the top of the list of horrible things I’ve witnessed in my life are the beatings of small weak defenseless people at the hands of big strong brutal people. We had two big vicious bullies at my elementary school, and when I started Third Grade, I was sick with fear for days after I saw those two brutes pummel a little boy. And the more I read about what the international hedge fund criminal banking consortium and their elected lackeys Merkel and Obama are doing to Greece, the more I feel the same disgust and hopelessness I felt when I watched those giants beating that little boy.
“The Greek government should nationalize the banks and encourage people to start credit unions.” Jennifer Hinton
Mainstream American media outlets are reporting on the Greek financial crisis in the same way they report on everything: falsely. Yes, the situation is somewhat more complicated than how points are scored in baseball, but not much more. Greece had a corrupt government further corrupted by entanglement with Wall Street bankers and investment firms, specifically Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. Lloyd got the Greek government to borrow billions of dollars to invest in the great stock and toxic asset bubble that burst in 2008. Rather than punish Lloyd or the corrupt Greek bankers and the corrupt government officials for their folly, the international banking system demanded that the Greek government pay off the astronomical debt by cutting pensions, raising taxes on everyone except the rich, selling public property and public utilities to multinational corporations, and forcing Greece to borrow more money to keep paying the interest on the money owed to the criminals who had ruined their economy.
That’s what happened. Today Greece is in a deep economic depression because hundreds of thousands of doctors, computer programmers, engineers, college professors, and other well-educated and employable people fled the country rather than stay there and starve under the heel of the vicious bullies who keep beating the crap out of Greece, though Greece is already supine and literally in its economic death throes.
“Greece should keep for-profit interests from buying up its common wealth.” Jennifer Hinton
Sadly, as Robert Reich reminds us, “People seem to forget that the Greek debt crisis—which is becoming a European and even possibly a world economic crisis—grew out of a deal with Goldman Sachs, engineered by Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein.”
Lloyd Blankfein is the current CEO of Goldman Sachs, an American Wall Street banking and investment firm that is the headquarters of the supranational financial overlords. Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton are the current darlings of Goldman Sachs, which suggests, barring a Bernie Sanders miracle, that Hilary will be the next President of the Unites States. The Republican candidates are so silly and/or terrifying that it should be no great trick to scare the voters of America into voting for Hilary, who will campaign on a platform of…wait for it…helping the beleaguered middle class, never mind about anyone lower than the shrinking middle; they don’t vote much anyway.
We will be told that Hilary will appoint better Supreme Court justices than her Republican opponent, she will be better for women’s rights in general, and that she really cares about the people of America. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you and I’ll give you the name of my very good friend who will build you the tollbooth after your check to me clears. We will not be told that Hilary has been chosen by the international oligarchy currently destroying the earth and forcing the Greeks and anybody else who defies them to suffer and starve and die needlessly for lack of basic human services and decent medical care. And if you don’t believe that, you live in a different dimension than I do.
“The Greek government should encourage not-for-profit enterprise in every sector to prevent the extraction of profits from the real economy and encourage social entrepreneurs and innovators to start up their own not-for-profits. These enterprises would help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Greece, create a more stable economy and keep the financial surplus in the real economy.” Jennifer Hinton
During recess at the beginning of Fifth Grade, I happened upon those two big bullies beating the crap out of a kid who had just skipped Fourth Grade and was now in my class. He was half the size of the bullies and was being badly beaten, while a gaggle of boys and girls stood nearby watching in horror and feeling helpless.
I liked this kid who was getting beaten up. He was funny and smart and he laughed at my jokes. So because I liked him, and maybe because I’d had a recent growth spurt and was feeling cocky, I grabbed one of the bullies by the arm, pulled him away from the kid and said, “Leave him alone,” which inspired the bullies to start pummeling me. I, however, was a fairly large kid and started swinging wildly at those big idiots and one of my swings connected with one of the bully’s cheeks and he yelped like a dog when you accidentally step on his tail, and the next thing I knew four of my pals were fighting the bullies with me, and lo and behold the big meanies ran away.
If only there was some way for us, you and I and a few hundred million other people, to come to the aid of the Greeks against those big greedy sadistic idiot money monsters. I’m not talking about helping Greece pay off the criminally created debt. I’m talking about helping them start anew after the bullies finally leave them alone.
Author, Todd Walton, used one of my paintings to illustrate his newspaper article/blog again. I am honored when he does this.
IF MY HEAD SINKS BENEATH THE SEA. painting by Nolan Winkler
Just OldJune 17th, 2015
(This article appeared in the Anderson Valley Advertiser June 2015)
“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.” Samuel Ullman
A friend suggested that the reason I find contemporary American movies and books and plays and music to be largely junk is that I am just old.
Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, David Crosby, and many other older musicians aver that contemporary popular music today is inferior to the popular music of their day, but that’s just because those guys are old.
Every writer I know over fifty decries the deplorable state of writing and editing today, but that’s just because we’re old. And when older poets recoil at the poetry of younger poets whose verses are rife with clichés, void of subtly, and might be lyrics to rap songs, they are recoiling because they are just old.
If you ask young people about the movies of today, they will name dozens of films they think are light years better than movies we thought were great when we were younger. Young people are certain I cannot see and hear and understand what they are seeing and hearing and understanding because my eyes and ears and mind are just old, and they might be right about that, though I don’t like to think so.
My mother plugged her ears and shouted, “Turn that off!” when she caught nine-year-old me listening to Ray Charles. Maybe Mom was just old. She liked The Mills Brothers and Artie Shaw, and so did I, but she didn’t like Sam and Dave and The Beatles and Buffalo Springfield because she was stuck in the musical aesthetics of Tommy Dorsey and Jack Little.
“Every age has its storytelling form, and video gaming is a huge part of our culture. You can ignore or embrace video games and imbue them with the best artistic quality. People are enthralled with video games in the same way as other people love the cinema or theatre.” Andy Serkis
I am sixty-five-years-old at last count. Depending on your view of things, I am middle-aged, old, or real old. Yes, contemporary cultural aesthetics are in constant flux, and yes, I am not enamored of most of the latest fluctuations. However, my estrangement from American culture did not begin when I qualified for Medicare and Social Security. No, my disaffection began when I was in the prime of my life, otherwise known as my twenties and thirties, and coincided with the lightning-fast conquest of America’s publishing industry by a few massive, politically conservative, morally bankrupt multi-national corporations.
To echo Allen Ginsberg, I saw the best minds in the publishing business fired by soulless corporate operatives and replaced by Yes people who only follow orders from the unimaginative number-crunchers above them, those orders being: publish books exactly like the books we already know sell lots of copies. Do not buy anything that might be too sophisticated for a poorly educated ten-year-old. Buy nothing remotely original. And only consider things sent to you by literary agents who agree to follow these same orders.
That merciless corporate blitzkrieg of America’s publishers began circa 1972 and the conquest was complete by 1980. Call me a conspiracy nut, but I think this takeover was part of a conscious effort by the ruling elite to snuff out the fires started in the counter-culture renaissance known as The Sixties, with the election of Ronald Reagan a direct result of their coup d’état.
Publishing was not the only branch of our cultural tree thoroughly infected by the corporate fungus during that same decade. Record companies, movie studios, magazines, newspapers, radio stations, and television networks were also conquered and gutted by the same multinational consortium, and we have lived in a culture shaped and controlled by this mind-numbing corporatocracy ever since.
I don’t hold this view of history because I am just old, but because I experienced this cultural takeover firsthand when I was a young and successful writer and screenwriter. When I refused to acquiesce to the new cultural guidelines imposed by the recently installed corporate managers, my career was effectively ended.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” Alan Watts
Before I was just old, I founded the Creative Writing Department for the California State Summer School for the Arts. Every summer for five years, my faculty and I would greet the fifty young writers we had selected from many hundreds of applicants, and we would invariably discover that all these bright young people were starving for something to read other than Anne Rice or Stephen King or To Kill A (expletive deleted) Mockingbird. I use the word starving because the nincompoops running our schools in collusion with the corporate overlords intentionally deprived those young people of varied, original, challenging and nourishing literature.
One of our first acts of compassion for these bright young people was to give them long reading lists of our favorite novels, short story collections, plays, and non-fiction works, as well as the names of hundreds of excellent writers and poets, most of those authors dead or just old. And for this simple gift of sharing the names of books and writers we admired, we were looked upon by our young peers as angels descended from heaven to end the vapidity of their cultural experiences.
Now that I am just old, I sometimes delude myself, just for fun, by imagining another totally neato renaissance happening in my lifetime. Or maybe, as a friend who is also just old opined, “The renaissance is always here, but like a whale, she dives deep for food and we can’t see her most of the time unless we happen to be watching when she comes up for air.”
One of my favorite authors, Todd Walton, writes a monthly blog (maybe twice a month) and it also goes out to a newspaper or two. On May 13th, he used one of my paintings, THIS SONG'S FOR YOU to 'illustrate' his article. I am thrilled that he does this with my work now and again when it suits his work. This one is perfect! You'll enjoy reading it and his other blog entries AND hit his website for his wonderful novels. His newest IDA'S PLACE series is smashing!!! I am awaiting the 3rd (and last?) offering in this series. He's also a musician, as you'll read in the blog. A Renaissance kinda guy, he is!
Ladies and Gentlemen: Todd Walton (and me)
StripesMay 13th, 2015
This Song’s For You by Nolan Winkler
(This article appeared in the Anderson Valley Advertiser May 2015)
“The truth you believe in and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” Pema Chödrön
A friend recently sent me a link to a short movie about a high school art teacher in St. Paul Minnesota whose students are recent arrivals from other countries, refugees from military conflicts. Many of the students barely speak English, so this teacher has devised fun and creative ways to explore color theory without needing much language for the learning.
Watching the film reminded me of another short art-related movie made by a friend of mine in 1976 called Stripes, about stripe patterns in paintings and life. Dan Nadaner, now a professor of art and a successful artist, made the three-minute long film in those pre-digital days while doing an internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. For the soundtrack, he wrote a ditty about the stripes that appear in paintings by famous artists, and he asked me to play guitar and sing his lyrics in the way he imagined, a kind of slow-going country song.
I was twenty-six and living in Medford Oregon at the time, working as a landscaper. I had stopped writing and making music entirely for a reason that may sound ridiculous, but which made perfect sense given the accumulation of neuroses characterizing me in those days.
I took up the guitar at the age of twenty when I needed a more mobile instrument than a piano. Three years later I was making a large part of my minimal living playing guitar and singing in pubs and cafés in Santa Cruz, and it was during this time I entered into a relationship with a woman who was studying piano.
My relationship pattern at that time and for much of my life was to choose partners and friends who were openly hostile toward my music and writing. Why would an artist repeatedly get involved with people who despise his art? The short answer is that my parents were contemptuous of my music and writing and violently opposed to my pursuing those art forms as my life’s calling. Thus as a child and teenager I became habituated to abuse and disdain for what I was passionate about, and as I progressed into adulthood I repeatedly and unconsciously chose people reminiscent of my parents to be my mates and friends. This continued into middle age when I finally broke free of that debilitating pattern.
But before breaking free, I spent much of my life enmeshed with people who thrived on disparaging the likes of me, and one of those people was my girlfriend when I was twenty-four and twenty-five and making part of my living as a musician and selling the occasional short story. My girlfriend hated the relative ease with which I made music, and by the end of our relationship she had convinced me that my desire to entertain people with my music and stories was an emotional crutch. She preached at me incessantly that if I ever wanted to become a whole and genuine person, I needed to quit making music and stop writing.
So I gave up writing and music, she and I broke up, I went to work as a landscaper, and I didn’t play a note or write a word for one long year until Dan called me from New York and asked me to play guitar and sing the soundtrack for his movie Stripes.
I clearly remember telling Dan that I no longer played guitar or sang or wrote stories, and I remember Dan calmly suggesting this was a passing phase, that I was a good musician and he was sure I would do a fine job singing his ditty about stripes.
So I borrowed a guitar and played and sang the Stripes song into a cassette recorder and sent the tape to Dan, thinking it would be something he could use to clarify his vision of the soundtrack, but then he called and said, “That’s perfect.”
The next day I woke up with a new song forming and I barely got the words written down and the chords figured out before another song began to emerge. Then the floodgates opened, I purchased the borrowed guitar, wrote dozens of songs, started playing the piano again, and haven’t stopped playing since.
Shortly after I began making music again, I wrote the first short story I’d written in two years and immediately sold it for five hundred dollars. I know this sounds like a fairy tale, but it is entirely true. Dan asking me to play and sing for his movie, and his approval of what I created for him, lifted the curse and turned Toad into a functional writer and musician again.
“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss
More than thirty years later, Dan sent me a DVD of Stripes, and when I watched the movie again after all these years, my gratitude to him was as big as the moon. The film is somewhat rosy now, having lain in a canister for three decades before being transferred to digital format, but I still find it a most beautiful creation. Our web meister Garth has posted Stripes on my web site so you can take a look. Just go to Underthetablebooks.com and click onFilms.
Alas, my resumption of writing and making music way back when did not go hand in hand with an end to relationships with abusive people who hated my music and writing. That blessed day would not come until I was in my mid-fifties and I finally ended the last of those debilitating connections. What took me so long? I guess these kinds of transformations take time.
It's me, Nolan Winkler. Here to keep you up to date.