Tuesday, April 28, 2009

painting faces

I wrote a book. Fictionalized biography. called it August Travels but plan to do a final version and may change the name.

It took a year to write, every Friday i worked on it for 9 or 10 hours.

Then i painted faces, and wondered - are they all me? self portraits? some look like me, some don't. but some of me in each one. Everyone we meet enters our life, enters a bit of who we are. So i am all the folks i have ever met?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Kiwi, meet Kiki

I must be really losing it but i find this just hysterical. And all day i have been giggling about my silliness. a lovely young woman i know has the newly minted nickname of Kiwi - like the fruit, or maybe the bird. well it's actually the fruit.

When i was a little boy, i had a charm collection - all things miniature, plastic, metal, wooden or ceramic. A very small cat was one of my prize tiny items and it was female and i named her Kiki. Not long ago i retrieved Kiki, whom i still own and have kept track of for 50 some years, and placed Kiki in my medicine cabinet. This gesture was in compliment to Matt having a childhood ceramic miniature Scottie, called Tish, in his medicine cabinet. Tish was named after a real dog he and bro, Ricky, owned and played with growing up. the symmetry of our 2 sinks and 2 cabinets with tiny childhood ceramic pets was appealing.

it so happened that when Kiki moved into my medicine cabinet, i had just opened some novelty - translates children's - band aids. A tin for Matt contained black ones w/ scull and cross bones. Mine were yellow with pictures of a monkey wearing a fez. Definitely a Curious George sort of monkey, like the great children's books, that i suffered by since my first name is George. Within our respective band aid cans were tokens!, like in Cracker Jack. I got a little plastic monkey, George, with fez and Matt got a black duck with an eye patch and bandanna on his head. So Kiki had a curious monkey and Tish got a pirate duck.

When i heard about the Kiwi nickname the other day, i immediately thought of my Kiki. I kept saying the 2 names in my head and visualized their spelling. And then i suddenly wanted to say,"Kiwi, meet Kiki." I got tickled and remembered "Uma, meet Oprah," ala David Letterman pathetically hosting the Oscars. It's all very silly but guess what? I took pictures and emailed them to Kiwi. She'll probably never reply.

besides, i wanted to show off my medicine cabinet.
i dare you photograph your medicine cabinet.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

that kid in my facebook

Of course he's cute. And he is beefy - but almost too beefy. And it's made all the better by the aqua tint to his shirt, the background, and even his hair. I really like aqua. His name is Jeremy Mulkey, dime a dozen male models we see everywhere. Well at least everywhere i am looking. One can image google his name for more photos.

Every day in Facebook, there he is in the right-hand ads column. Workout Secrets, Etc, like from Hugo Ramsey and his Get Your Six Pack blog. Bless his heart i hope Hugo's ads in FB are worth it, and he is getting customers. enough to cover his future legal fees.

All American Guys owns this shot. That's easy to know since they put their name on him. How it got cropped into an ad on Facebook is unknown. Copyright, copyright!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

busy, busy

sick & not sick:
oh my Wow - they kicked her out of Hospice! I have five women friends and family who are battling cancer this year. some are fairing better than others. but they all are doing well with the fight itself. the one friend, with end stage cancer who is not up for surgery and chemo since it has spread so extensively - well she has gotten stronger. she not losing weight and must find assisted living. After 8 or 10 weeks in Hospice, they're throwing her out.

baby, baby, baby:
This year five women we know are having babies. I did a list of really the very best baby names ever. I then sent it to them all. Last night Minda gave birth to Lucille Dali and so now, four more new ones to come. I don't think Lucille was on my list.

internet domain registration, oh my;

I have maintained a web site for "me as artist" since 1999. Last Friday i heard that my web host for alexnorwood.com was going out of business. I'm digging around to stay the course. messy internet domain, registrars and hosts - and guess what? nothing is free. And then our internet access at home is kaput...gone bye bye for now and wasting lots of our energy.

one single painting;

This painting is the only picture i made after September 11, 2001. it took me a couple of months before i could even consider "making art." it all seemed too trivial.

This painting in oil was about 32 x 32. The name, Evil Quarters came quickly. Only produced this one painting that year - I moved to writing a book of my fictionalized memoirs. After about 12 months, when i finished the book, my paintings of faces began. The faces were all faces from the book, people i've know. Or sometimes, maybe, the faces were also self-portraits.

Evil Quarters, was in some shows, then stretchers warped and i cut it off the frame, and rolled it up. Later it got grommeted in the top corners, and hung that way for awhile. Then i was re-stretching it - smaller now, and ended up cutting it too small. I decided i didn't really like it anyway and was done with it - or maybe it was that i had ruined it, and was pissed off. In any case i destroyed it, so it's gone. Artists get to destroy artwork, our own stuff anyway. Most of us give ourselves permission to do that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

night meditation

Love my little Russian Lomo LC-A camera, with no flash - lens just stays open as long as you "need" - so - lots of messy dreamy, sometimes lively, color streaks. These shots of mine were well after sunset and look at the shade of blue in the sky!

So atmospheric. so hard to load the film...

This is the humongous Stephansdom Gothic cathedral in the middle of Vienna, with Matt. That is Anna's shoulder passing to the right. Coming by this massive structure was awing. I was stunned and enthralled by is scale, stark yet detailed, silent but tingling with a 1000 years of human activity. I dream about our first night in Vienna and passing this church.

And i meditate twice a day, doing the TM ala Transendental Meditation, and have done so for the past 5 years. As i've said, it does some good. The 1990s saw sporadic regular meditation, mostly oriented around Buddhism thanks to Mr. Smith's influence. He is shuddering to hear that he influenced anyone. All those good poems too.

Also in the 1990s i spent some years "with" Mother Meera - her influence and her devotees. At that time was a young German medical student devotee that i dated, the year before i met Matt. I will save her story for later.

Eastern traditions started with Maharishi and TM. I was initiated in VCU's old English building in Richmond's Fan district on a cold, rainy night in December 1970. It cost $35 dollars and the prettiest young man named Kennedy was my teacher. He was killed 4 years later in a plane crash over North Carolina mountains. later in the 70s Sri Chinmoy was a potent influence albeit a short one. I was a disciple of his less than a year. After Chinmoy, i became an Episcopalian and then started drinking a lot and did not want to belong to anything.

The church was not to blame.

going forward, dreamily

heloo heloo;

After lamely admitting i'm not sure where opla plaza is going, i decided it is going forward and going just fine. review of art and photography. sexual identity and diversity. spiritual experience. cultural trivia and observations.

This fella in a very full posing strap from the 1950s is a favorite of mine. A bit of male barbie doll, and a lot of brand new man-ness. Love the hair cut and the composition. Sepia seems perfect.

I wonder what he's looking at.

And before i drift off too far, i want to offer my other now sepia-colored film work from VCU 1971. This surrealistic epic, starring Lew Lott, is a dreamy -and for me - satisfying trip. I like how it documents our neighborhoods in Richmond from 38 years ago.


Rest & Activity was a big theme of the Maharishi. I learned TM (Transcendental Meditation) in Richmond in 1970. i meditate every day, and it helps. I didn't meditate for lots of years, it was off and on. Life is off and on, rest and action.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

dream on baby !

I should mention i am not sure where this web log is going...pretty pictures i find & paintings i have made will continue for sure. Thoughts and philosophy, clever observations and positive encouragement will play a role. Maureen's 2 blogs are a great example of doing it right. (Archetypal Angels and Maureen Donegal)

Laura Lashley has had a blog for years (Laura Lashley) that has been fun and seems more updated than her web site. Same deal for me - i keep looking for something easier than a dot com. (alex norwood artwork) And more Internet 2.0 -interactive -easy - free- like my facebook and myspace which i have found interesting for years.

I have to admit i am not a blog reader per se. But i do like to look at the pictures...an Andy Warholism of mine. He was the giant influence in art school in the late 60s. So, here's to Warholian dreams, my film work from senior year, 1971, starring Maureen McCarron and Emily Wicker.

Dream on...

Friday, April 3, 2009

opla plaza lounge

We love to sleep, and we think about sex a lot. Although not as much as we once did. then this black and white photo was the first picture that turned up. Not my shot - i will look for the rightful credit.

So opla plaza is a state of mind, not a place on the planet. And the opla plaza lounge is somewhere within the plaza - it is a place to dream and relax and re-create.

And i keep thinking about this painting i did 6 years ago, that belongs to Millicent & Peter. This face is a dreamer for sure. The title is Mother Era.

cheerios from alex