The Artwork of Michael Divine

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Posts from September, 2006

First, The Dishes

September 27th, 2006

Phew
That happens from time to time. I am going along
in my simple life
and all of a sudden
there is this driving urge to save the world.
it overcomes me and i’m like What can i do? Where do i start?
My heart is exploding and i’m just about overloading.

And a little voice is like, well, you could start by doinf the dishes in the sink.
And a bigger voice in my head is like: WTF: how is that gonna help?
And the little voice is like, you’ll see…
So i wash the dishes.
Then it’s like, well, we might as well water all the plants outside.
And I can’t argue with that, though the bigger voice is like WTF…
Next thing you know, i’ve finally unpacked those last couple of boxes and i am now painting
the very precious
jewel
which resides at
the center of all being.
And next thing you know,
I am at the grocery store, buying an apple.
and the person in front of me is taking forever and the cashier is getting nervous and knows her other customers get impatient and everyhting, to her, seems like it might fall apart at any moment and then she is finally done and it is my turn and she says
“I’m sorry about the wait.”
And i say it is not problem at all
And she knows i mean it, that i really am being sincere in this lip service world.
And it makes her feel good.
And she relaxes a little.
And is a little more open to the next person.
And the little voice in my head says:
See, it starts with the dishes in the sink.

Bringing it to the Masses

September 26th, 2006

I was a younger kid once (i’m still young and oftentimes still a kid), out on the scene, looking for something cool. After my favorite bit of music passed I ended up out again in the night looking for the next spark for my imagination. The nights would pass and some would end better than others. But always I hoped to find some bit of magical inspiration.

Now I’m older, and, I would hope, a bit wiser. I have learned a few things over the years. One of them is that in order to make the magic spark- I have to do it myself. No one else is going to do it for me. However, there have always been those who provided a few fans for the flames, fodder for the fire or bits of actual spark.

Now I take my artwork to some event, some relatively mainstream event- the kids there want to feel they are part of the underground, and maybe, in some ways they are, but nonetheless it is a mainstream event. It is not a party- I go to parties- out in the desert or maybe someone’s land… those are parties- where common intention creates a very safe and funky space. The djs want to be playing not because they want to be superstars but because they like what they do and they like people to dance and they want to have fun, get down, get high, be the light with everyone else- we are all one movement in those times. There is a familial feeling and I love it.

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To Build an Alternative Culture or Convert the Mainstream?

September 26th, 2006

“Is it better,” I was asked, “to focus on building our own “alternative” culture, or is it better to “convert” those in the mainstream to our way of seeing?”

Can you convert dinosaurs?
Can you convert an old, fuel guzzling Cadillac boat of a car into a hybrid?

Can you convert a Catholic into an all-one-god believer?

We converted ourselves, did we not? Once I was an ignorant, fuel guzzling, waste-producing human being. Now… I am actively trying to streamline myself- by changing my mind I change the world I live in. I still create waste, surely, but it is not as thoughtless as it was when I was younger. I still eat, I still buy things, but it is not with as much unconsciousness as it was in the beginning. By changing my actions, I learn to create more life than death. By relating to others in as healthy a manner as possible, a little of me rubs off onto them instead of them rubbing off onto me.

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Mornings these days…

September 26th, 2006

…are not what they used to be.

I lamented to Violet one evening that perhaps this meant i was growing up. But later i decied that was not it and i merely was doing something else. Like waking at six am, but usually quater to seven, after always getting to bed too late and then rushing around to make some lunch, a smoothie, take a shower, get out the door, with violet who is always a few steps behind and get to CLASS. Yes, class. SCHOOL. The very thing i dropped out of nine years ago, i give another shot. Why? To take a figure drawing class, an oil painting class and a yoga class. The figure drawing is to help give me a better sense of human proportion, and i must say, it is helpful, if even just to have a model there to draw from. The oil painting class is to help introduce me to oils. Ever since i tok a trip to NYC last spring and went ga-ga in the MOMA with my agent and all the mind boggling modern art- the Braques and the Picassos, the Boccionis and Delauneys, and and and- and most of all- Monet’s sixty foot long Water Lilies (which i will go into some depth of my experience of late), in the massive atrium, six stories high, next to that wildly clean and precise pyramid with the pencil hovering over it giant and copper, like some kind of heavenly sylus- ever since then the luminosity of the oils, the depth and colors and textures have echoed in my mind. My work is colorful and full of depth but there is always a new height to reach, or new depths to achieve; something else to express.

And then i have to wake and get out the door to eight in the morning yoga class and do standing splits and warrior three balanced on right leg, with left leg back behind me, extended and my arms out straight in front of me as i lean forward and keep my body lengthening, parallel to the floor while my other leg is perpenicular to myself and the floor and i describe a giant H. I don’t know how people do it- leave the house ever morning at the same time, early, and go o the same place, work, day in and day out…. By the time the oil painting class comes around at 12:45 i am ready to take a nap. So i drink hot chocolate or roooibos tea and go back to my study of Bougereau’s Young Girl Defending Herself From Eros, which is perhaps the nicest painting in the entirety of the Getty Musuem, which sits up there on the hillside above Los Angeles. A multimillion dollar museum an the have a handful of sweet paintings. A lot of nice ones, for certain. Monet’s Impresssionistic Sunrice an van Gogh’s Lilies are wonderful, as are some of the other Moderns, but they certaintly don’t have the nicest Degas’ or much that came after- my own personal favorite era of art- the Futurism and Surrealism, Cubism and Unclassifiablisms. There are of course other nice things. It is a museum after all and a very well appointed and beautifully designed one at that. It reminds me a little of what heaven could be like, with it’s white marble facades, clean lines and organic organization.

Three days a week i get to wake up and paint. Three nights a week i can stay up late and paint. And at least one or two of those days are spent painting thru the day. Working on new projects, business prospects, etc… In a few months there will be a new gallery of work posted to the website, new prints available as well as posters and cards and stickers. All at once, a dozen new paintings, more minimal than the last new batch of work. I am in the city, full of stuff and color, full of things and garbage and people and concrete. At this point i end up wanting to paint clean, ordered canvases, compasionately and clearly. With an open heart and mind. Always.

Evening

September 25th, 2006

painting on the easel just begun
and violet taking care of the frog
in the other room
and a glass of wine beside me
almost done
and the nighttime settling in
a book beneath my arm
waiting for me to return
to “Life of Pi”
it is finished more than begun
nice dinner to finish off the day
rolling around on the living room floor
the cat mrow’s at the front door
and we shoo him away and go back for more…

The Artwork of Michael Divine

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