Saturday, December 29, 2007

quiet. plus more Fugazi.

it's been snowing quite often lately; seems like more than usual for a midwestern december. we have a rabbit we've seen grow from a little one, and i nicknamed it Fiver - named after my favorite rabbit from the book Watership Down. Fiver was hanging out the other night at about 10:00. it was snowing heavily, and everything was a blanket of white under what seemed to be a full moon. actually, it was christmas. it was christmas, late, i was alone, and little Fiver was hanging out eating some grass in the moonlight. for some ridiculous reason, that struck a bittersweet chord within me.

not much on the art front to post. An old friend Jessica Benjamin has a show up soon at the McLean County Arts Center. Here's her main site here. I still have yet to talk to Tim about his almost-done-with-MFA work (when that phone call happens, I'll probably post some pics if it's cool with him).

here's some Fugazi. "Shut The Door." ...have you ever been free?

by the way, I honestly love brendan tons... but if i ever had a chance to talk to him near his drum set, i think i might drop kick that fucking cowbell into some alternate universe where he could never touch it again.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Finished New One

I finished up tonight, and thought I'd post the update. Studio lights make a world of difference with color down in my studio. here's the main site again:

click on the image below for a larger view.

gold staying (1)
oil on canvas
36 x 36 inches
© matt pulford

Monday, December 17, 2007

new painting soon

an unfinished piece, untitled as of yet. all images © matt pulford.
click on images for a larger view.

detail of piece

if you're a friend and/or happen to follow my work, a new painting will be on the artist site soon. since i've started on this new piece, i've felt so-so about it. however, the process has been extremely fulfilling. i haven't sat and painted like this in a long time - taking my time, pensively thinking and truly looking a lot. paying attention to wetness/dryness. screwing up, re-working, and screwing up again. it's very humbling, and that's good.

aside from the care i'm giving this time around, it's still very loose, like the pushing around of a thin monotype / litho ink. i guess my love of JMW Turner still shines through, even after 10 years of this subject matter and style of mine. ah well. i love the guy.

hopefully i'll be "finished-ly" happy with this in a week or so.

tim emailed a bunch of work from his 3rd year of grad school up at the university of minnesota. if i get his okay, i'll post some pics of a large installation he did in the grad crit space. he's unsure about it; i think it's really progressed a lot since his undergrad days (and even back then his work was interesting).

Thursday, December 13, 2007


-breast cancer. full mastectomy.
-partial hysterectomy
-another biopsy means a partial mastectomy on the other.
-"slight" stroke some time when i'm in college (she kept me in the dark on this one)
-falls in the middle of the night while getting up to go to the bathroom, busts her nose and head. ambulance workers can't get nose to stop bleeding, emergency room.
-has allergic reaction to new medication that contains sulfas. heart races, sweats, and what-not. ambulance to emergency room.
-falls off of a school bus during a field trip. breaks arm.
-while shopping at a major department store, a clothing rack falls on her, which in turn knocks her over into another display that also falls on top of her. bruised up, but nothing broken.
-bad depression for most of her 40s and 50s - pretty much all of my K-12 schooling plus college years. (in a way i could talk about for hours, but don't speak a second of, this probably shaped me as a person more than anything else in my entire life.)
-a "tuck further up inside her" surgery on her bladder and other womanly parts.
-further removal of some organs
-gallbladder removed
-spinal operation for some herniated discs in her neck. gets a partial fusion on (i think)c4 and c5, plus some "cadaver bone" to help strengthen things.

and now the latest...
-another ambulance trip and 2 nights in the hospital due to bad abdominal pains. possibly has liver damage due to prescription for tylenol being to high for her age.

This is the life of my mother.

i want a good stretch of time.

even just a few years with nothing to worry about.

a free pass for my dad's aching heart.

warm smiles and grandkids and no worries.

music: golden smog (jeff tweedy's songwriting and performance).
video: someone else. thank you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

i've been listening to a lot of buddy holly again as of late. out of all the 50s rock and roll, he's my guy. i love the sound of carl perkins, elvis, jerry lee lewis, and johnny cash all together as the "million dollar quartet," but buddy holly always made me think about white t-shirts with cigarette packs rolled up in the sleeves and fast cars with big fins. even though he played clean through a strat, he had a raw, unveiled emotion about him (even if it came across as something held back). but every time you sit and listen to 50s rock(abilly), you can't help but be smacked over the head with the overt sounds of a blues song structure and gospel lyrical cadences. and every time i think of that, i think of Sister Rosetta Tharpe. hell... even the hand-clapping punk rock of The (Young) Pioneers —one of my favorite punk bands, 50 years later — borrows from Rosetta.

watch these videos.

watch her wail on the guitar during her solos.

shit, man... if i were 18 years old in the late 50s, i think i'd want to adopt her as a surrogate grandmother. she's so damn amazing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Romney. Huckabee. Religion. America.

i'm not a skilled writer of politics. forgive me for writing only a tad on this personally, and then linking to a bunch of other sites, where far more intelligent words were typed.

so... Romney gave his speech yesterday. and the extremely religious right of america continues to scare the shit out of me. Mitt - a 2008 presidential candidate - said ""Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone." here is the entire transcript of the speech if you'd like to read more.

here's another quote: "The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation 'Under God' and in God, we do indeed trust."

and another: "Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government.

you get the point. it's the same ol' rhetoric that makes you humorously think about the moronic "go back to Russia, you commie, atheist pinko!" or "there are no atheists in foxholes!" but there is a obviously less funny side to this type of mindset. these types of right-wingers use this nuanced theocratric-speak quite often, and it's listened to en masse. (tis' the season for hearing talking heads go on and on about a fabricated "war on christmas" by the "liberal god-haters." who cares if the reality is that "Happy Holidays” isn’t about eliminating Jesus from public ears, and is simply the all-encompassing greeting during the season when more than one religious holiday is celebrated... the thing is, people EAT THAT STUFF UP. "let's hate some nonbelievers!")

day in, day out, i hear and read news items that show a segment of america creeping closer and closer to a complete distrust and sometimes disgust at agnostics, doubters, and atheists. sometimes it's subtle and comes from sleek politicians, and other times it's in crudely spelled out by some backwards rube; but it always scares me, because i smell a very slippery slope.

so anyways, i'm going to interject other authors' words here, to say some things more eloquently than i can at this moment.
have a good weekend.

Joe Conason, from salon dot com, December 7, 2007:

Phonies like Huckabee and Romney complain constantly about the supposed religious intolerance of secular liberals. But the truth is that liberals -- including agnostics and atheists -- have long been far more tolerant of religious believers in office than the other way around. They helped elect a Southern Baptist named Jimmy Carter to the presidency in 1976, and today they support a Mormon named Harry Reid who is the Senate majority leader -- which makes him the highest-ranking Mormon officeholder in American history. Nobody in the Democratic Party has displayed the slightest prejudice about Reid's religion.

Liberals and progressives have no apologies to make, or at least no more than libertarians and conservatives do. Cherishing the freedoms protected by a secular society need not imply any disrespect for religion. But when candidates like Romney and Huckabee press the boundaries of the Constitution to promote themselves as candidates of faith, it is time to push back.

entire article is here

Kevin Drum, from Washington Monthly, December 6th, 2007:

I can't tell you how much this pisses me off. I'm well aware that this is par for the course among Republican politicians these days, and Romney is doing nothing more than engaging in what's become routine conservative disparagement of those of us who aren't religious. But the cowardice and pandering here is just phenomenal. Not only does Romney not have the guts to toss in even a single passing phrase about the nonreligious, as JFK did, he went out of his way to insist that "freedom requires religion," that no movement of conscience is possible without religion, and that judges had better respect our "foundation of faith" lest our country's entire greatness disappear. And that was just the warmup.

I know, I know. He's just doing what he has to do. Evangelical base and all that. But I'm not religious, and yet, mirabile dictu, I still manage to support freedom, have a conscience, and understand the law. I'm tired of people implying otherwise.

(entire article is here )

and one last one - Joan Walsh, from Salon dot com, December 6, 2007:

I'm with Walter Shapiro on this one: The big headline on Mitt Romney's momentous speech Thursday morning has to be "Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom ... Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone." I happen to be a believer, and I found those words appalling.

Everyone knew Romney couldn't give a "John F. Kennedy speech" because Kennedy made a passionate, historic argument that the separation of church and state should be "absolute." No one quite knew that Romney's speech would represent an "obliteration of the separation of church and state," in the words of the Washington Post's Sally Quinn on MSNBC afterward (a remarkably critical statement from Quinn, given that she's a driving force behind the paper's "On Faith" project). As she noted, Romney's speech laid out a vision of America with no place for atheists, doubters or nonbelievers, and it chilled me.

(entire article is here )

Monday, December 3, 2007


i just realized i've never placed an AVAIL video on here. so... here we go. "scuffletown." the song is 9 years old, but i'm guessing the video is recent since they really seem to slow the song down (and beau beau is not completely skin and bones).

there's kepone in the river
But the river's still flowing east
ethyl dozed the planet
in an attempt to keep the downtown clean
still... it's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day
and the sun is still shining, shining, shining, shining over the James

oregon hill is at end time
V.C.U. crept up and lit the torch
ha - west avenue honkeys,
don't forget that trains still run north
still... it's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day
and the sun is still shining, shining, shining, shining over the James

third per-capita...
third per-capita...
third per-capita...
next year, number one!

Bed Jump, part two.

Chad, Coach and I went to B-N a couple weekends back for the 11th annual coach and jeremy birthday bash. we bedjumped with my halloween costume, and we got on the site again. click here for the official site or just check out the images below. coach is the jumper in the blue side of blinky. i'm the red-sided one. when trying to get a good final shot, i flew forward off the bed and slammed my head into the wall. i couldn't move to get out of the suit, and i guess my feet kicked and kicked. the mental image makes me laugh a bit, but the real thing made chad laugh so much that he actually had to leave the room because he almost shit his pants.