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It's gotta be about the simplest piece of art I ever made, and one of the quickest from concept to completion.


In the end, while making its tag, I called it "Healing Feather - White Rock Lake Pelican.

I knew it was magic, all along.


managed to stay alive all the way through Tranquilla, then drove home and haven't stopped coughing since. I shoulda taken pictures of some art by now, to put here, on the esteemed cover.

But now I'll just have to wait till I deliver my Blue Yule Ormanent to The MAC this aft. Maybe they'll have some easy access art just lying around...

Ha! Has anyone else noticed that, since the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art (which shall always be known as the D-Art it truly is) decided it should be called "The Contemporary," the other Contemporary across town on McKinney has been delving further and further into the past?

Strange behavior for a Contemporary. But maybe, that's where the big grant bucks are these days. Apparently, The MAC's huggy connection with Pillsbury Peters and other big name, big money, commercial galleries has finally run out. We seem to be off the far end of a too long series of work by local artists who made it big and moved somewhere else.

Should I even try to remind the crew there that DARE was founded to exhibit local Dallas artists of merit — and not just in the annual membership show?

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f course, I waited till nearly past the deadline to deliver my my ormanent (sic) — yesterday, Kathy told me it was today. I am, after all, a deadline driven artist. In my fevered spasms of coughing, I kept scheming more and more ornate uses of my photographs to hang on a tree.

I wanted to wad up a ball of clear tape with bits of my Monet Leaf Float Pond Scum Blues photo inlaid all though, but the tape wouldn't wad or stay in a ball, and I couldn't figure how to take the photo apart without ripping — or get it back together in any coherent form.

I wanted to glue a cube of it to the outside of a insulin bottle box (just to personalize it a bit), but I couldn't get the geometry anywhere near correct. I wanted to wrap the photo circularly around the box, glued only at the corners, but what would plug the bottom and top?

ast the end of my ingenuity, staring off into space, absently dinging the small brass bell I'd hoped to counterweight my ormanent, I flashed on one of the pelican feathers I found at White Rock last winter, after our annual infestation. Immediately, I saw it'd go more elegantly with the red yarn and brass bell than anything I could scheme together photographically.

It might be something I could be proud of, instead of some cheesy photo sandwich, ever popping up at the edges. I even let myself let go of the notion of adding a small photo of the ungainly birds in their graceful flight.

Uh... Is this too easy? Or is my idea just too stupid?

The eternal artist's lament...


Turns out a staffer grabbed it before the public ever even saw it. I felt odd about that till the next year when my creation did not even sell. Got a membership anyway, but gotta be careful what I worry about, lest worse happens.

-JR Compton

See also JR's Personal Reflections Before the Big Show — about issues that arose just before DARt's first exhibition — for more personal artist's insights into the business and philosophy of making art.

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