And one day, he just snapped…

This post is ill advised at best. No one needs to know. No one cares. I should definitely keep this to myself.

I’m not going to make a good choice here. I can’t. I can’t sit by any longer and allow the current state of affairs to pass without comment.

I hate the word ‘utilize.’ Is hate too strong a word? Loathe? Despise? I hate that it diminishes my esteem for those who deploy it, when they might have just used the word “use.” When did everyone with three years of passing grades in high school English class suddenly decide that the word ‘use’ was somehow deficient?

Does it sound simple somehow? How? Why? When did we decide that three letters was insufficient for one word? (BTW, I am not thrilled with the fact that “bee tee dubs” has also entered the vernacular. At what point does casualness approach total nihilism?)

I typed the phrase “define: utilize” into the Google search engine and came up with, “make practical and effective use of.” Right. You take an honest, active verb and makes it somehow both haughty and passive aggressive.

I had a conversation last 4th of July with a buddy about the rationale for “utilize.” He pointed out that it sounded better to say, “I utilized those developers” than to say, “I used those developers.” Okay. Translation: I effectively made them practically useful. (That’s a much better way to consider your co workers. You didn’t use them for a project, you controlled their utility to own their results.)

It will go on as most really awful new things seem to do. One day, of course, I will stagger out of bed, beaten by the tyranny of three syllables where one would have sufficed, and it will be over. The world will go back to using the word “use.”




In this year’s annual meeting at the gallery, someone – was it the owner or your modest and retiring author – came up with the idea of an art “survey” that we would conduct with the aim of getting people to divulge their interests and receive five images based on those interests.  If you are thinking that this sounds suspiciously like the standard conversational dynamic of what goes on inside art galleries, please, Dear Reader, withhold judgement until you see what this idea became.

I wanted to make it a Facebook meme, like this one, that we programmed and launched as an independent web-borne app. Time and budget constraints for such a quixotic idea being what they are, I made, instead, a Rube Goldbergian spreadsheet and used GoogleForms to power the input. The owner wrote the survey, with a tiny bit of input from me. The five images above reflect my first response. (The five images below reflect my second response. Both are quite accurate, in their way.)  You can take the survey too.

I’m working on learning enough of Javascript to program this.  We’ll see how this goes.



Hint Hint

I was just looking over Charles Donelan’s reviews on the Santa Barbara Independent and found this one. In it, I said something about assemblage that Charles (once again!) articulated more clearly and forcefully; namely, he called assemblage “one of our city’s most characteristic indigenous art forms.” I like it Charles.

Hint, hint: I have some sneaky co-conspirators to make a point about that in 2016. You probably didn’t hear it here first.


Please do run screaming…

art-on-the-internet-37The other day, Frank Goss and I gave a little talk to a group of forty-two artists affiliated with Art Without Limits. We were invited by Julie McLeod and found a warm reception in a crowded and historic room downtown.

Frank’s stories were so warm and relatable. I was there, ostensibly, to discuss “Art on the Internet.” (It’s been a hobby of mine for a while…) In any case, I think I delivered the good news with all of the subtlety and gentility of a rusty meat cleaver. THWACK! The internet is “disrupting” the art industry. THWACK! It will probably due to art what it has done to human sexuality. THWACK! Thank you for your kind attention. Please do not run screaming from the room. (There was nothing but sinew left by that point.)

In any case, some people asked for a copy of my presentation. I have put it up here without images(or flippant conclusion slides).


The Family that Blogs Together? is now online! Aren’t you curious about “bluestocking bohemia?”

A bodkin is a:
• a blunt, thick needle with a large eye used especially for drawing tape or cord through a hem
• a long pin used for fastening hair
• a strange metaphor for my sister, Sierra?

We’re planning a new collaborative blogging venture, Bumpkin and Bodkin. (Tagline: It’s all good among kin.) No, she’s online now - in a non-FB capacity, with articles about… crafts, travel… other stuff.