Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bud: The Inferno

Bud. I don't know what to say. The minute he begins to talk, I am lost on a meandering odyssey, wishing I could stay listening to him instead of coaching the others through milquetoast drawing experiments. Bud is taking a class on Dante's Inferno, looking at illustrations of it and thinking of doing some himself. Yesterday, his drawing was more placid than usual - a few trees, a fennel flower, other assorted flora, but wait, under the ground was a whole other strata where a dwarfish bearded man sat, covered in a multitude of droopy breasts. He looked up and apologized for including a figure in his assignment (they were supposed to draw a landscape). I said "You fail!!" and he looked like he believed me for a second. Sad Bud. He asked me to look at some of his paintings and I got an interesting mini-lecture on the relationship of Dante's Inferno to Modernist writers, specfically TS Eliot and Ezra Pound. He said that all real artists had to be horrible or tortured somehow. Except for William Carlos Williams...oh yeah but he had lots of affairs, Bud said. He told me one of his paintings was supposed to be about cocktail parties...and then went on to say that he spent most of his childhood trying to figure out what to do with himself during cocktail hour, his family members are alchoholics. I think they must be very rich, eccentric, and problematic. He mentioned something about having been locked in a basement for a long period of time when he was little, and then was taken away to live with his aunt who had a teepee in the backyard. He would sit in the teepee and she would bring him vegetarian meals to soothe him. His mother is far away now and he never sees her. Bud needs love.

63 comments:

postmoderndebunker said...

And he is getting that love from you and your ether friends, MM. Encouragement from a teacher can be a life-altering thing.

mountain man said...

I think so. I think he is loveable to his other teachers too...he told me his Inferno teacher reads to him when he is sad...?? Bud is great. He was worried that he was too pansy, too influenced by the literary things. One of his teachers made a joke about him being gay. He thought that being a literary artist means that you are not so good and people don't take you seriously. NO WAY, I said. Every time someone tells you a way of working is inherently bad - like people did to me in school - expressionism is bad, the decorative is bad - question it. The attributes of any given approach to art-making are never inherently bad. Do your own thing Bud. He likes the big sweeping open ideas. BE YOURSELF!!! THINK OF LIFE AND DEATH!!! WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LOVE?????? I am into it.

I love painting said...

YES! Great advice. Question, question, question.
And what kind of asshole goes around making fun of students--saying they are gay? Wha? Isn't this an art school? Not Christian Scientist COllege. How insensitive and mean.
The literary and visual go hand in hand.

mountain man said...

Sadly he is the only one who I feel I can help. At least there is one. I am trying, I have a big class and feel stretched thin, by the needy ones and the ones who won't work. The ones who don't do their homework, who always have excuses, the ones who don't show up. I just don't get it. Really. I was a bad student in high school, but when it came to my art education and college classes I was so excited. If you want to be an artist you have to work. Somehow they don't get that. Not participating seems to be what they think being an artist is about. I get the desire for alienation as well as anyone out there but please.......NO MORE LAZY BUTTS!

postmoderndebunker said...

I agree about the questioning!!! That really is the only way to learn. Bud is lucky to have your wisdom and experience working for him.

And gay?? Are people still hung up on that stuff? Really. Teachers should not be making jokes like that. If he is gay, it should not be an issue in class. It should be accepted and not made to be an issue.

postmoderndebunker said...

I am off to get some donuts before I turn in my old studio keys.

Slothy has put the donuts in my brain.

mountain man said...

I Love Painting:

I know! I was shocked. Bud laughed it off. But I totally agree with you.

PD - let me know what type of donut you choose. I am drooling.

Fragonard's Pillow said...

Bud should take a rest right here, lay his head down and soothe himself into another era.

Mountain Man said...

I have eye pillowcases. It seems I have forgotten how to sleep. Maybe I don't need to. I would like some powder of the morning to wake me.

Time Warp said...

I am back to taunt you.

sloth said...

MM, you are giving Bud the full-on inspirational teaching treatment, and he is surely going to remember this forevs. He is a lucky Budlet.

I need a crack donut this morning. Eye-satchels.

X's for Eyes said...

Me too.

Mountain Man said...

Jesus Longhorn, what is your meaning? Cut in?

Anonymous said...

Long Horn you are unfathomablish.

Mountain Man said...

Cut out? I have gut pains.

Long Horn said...

MM, When the cap is bonded, it is easier in not to think needing because of free reinforcement this though may cut out by you in ..it is...

onesock said...

m.m., Geez louise, everything you said about teaching I agree with. I also teach college studio classes and am frustrated by these lame students! I cant beleive it!
You know, I am following the typical path for someone out of grad school. I am adjuncting a few foundation classes. But I really think that I would be more effective teaching grad school courses! I mean, my brain is already there! I have been thinking about advanced issues in art for the last 3 years and now they want me to hang out with these dull ass peeps!? Obviously, I aint got no Bud in my class.

sorry fer the rantin an ravin'.

fairy butler said...

i love bud wise! keep up the encouragement and interest and do what you can. screw the lazy fucks. as pd says "encouragement from a teacher can be a life-altering thing" SO TRUE - at least in the first couple of years of undergraduate school. I feel very lucky that I had some great teachers early on who took some interest in me that made me feel special and that I had something to offer, etc. It is so important. You are giving him great advice - especially about questioning always. It is the only way to find out the path that is right.

fairy butler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fairy butler said...

posted twice, blogger posting time warp confusion. more space dust needed.

Long Horn said...

MM please note not putting when it brings it together later if it doesn't put it one by one. Teaching to support from the inside!

Regi said...

MM I dont want to lecture you but your "you fail" comment to Bud doesn't fit in the positive teaching school of thought. If you said "paint a landscape" and he included figures. He is right, you didn't exclude figures in your directions so he got the assignment right. Bud needs a therapist more than a teacher and you are his choice. All a person has as a resource to work with is their thoughts, skills and emotions. He entered the room with all the things he needs to be successful.

Maybe a little story about how you regreted not accomplishing something during the day might help the lazy ones.

Kids tune out lecturing and adults resent it so I'll stop shooting myself in the foot.

Dont screw the lazy ones because they will destroy the class if allowed to continue.

and another thing... I gotta stop this lesbian thing before it gets real because I know the men in your life will never get you back, lesbianism is that good...

Corny said...

MM, I'm so glad for you that you have Bud. teaching is an amazing thing when there is give and take with the students and you are rewarded for your work with an inspiring lecture on Dante and the modernists. I picture bud like johnny appleseed? it that close.

postmoderndebunker said...

I would not be an artist if it were not for my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Silverman, who called me the "class artist." She sat me at a little table each day and gave me stacks and stacks of paper and boxes of crayons and told me to do my thing. She did not make me sing corny songs (not your songs, Corny) or play ring around the rosey....but just let me be. She knew that my folks knew nothing about art and did not encourage this kind of thing at home. So this was my little haven. When we went on class trips--she asked me to make a visual diary of what I saw and share it with the class.
Anyway, I ramble on...but I think of her often.

Long Horn said...

Regi, please adjust it so that it may come in succession when seeing ahead and the condition is just good because the mark is a standard to the end. Follow!

Regi said...

Long Horn. I am attempting to grok your intriguing thoughts.

long horn said...

Thank you! It is (^-^) because there are no contents that can be offered! However, the image is greatly displayed when clicking.

Corny said...

long horn, is your obscure language that of a unicorn?

The Capt'n said...

How beautiful! How lucky Bud and you are to have eachother.

Mountain Man said...

Regi let it be known that I did not mean that Bud failed and he knew it. Bud always wins. Everyone who does any homework at all even if they get it wrong wins a prize of life. Long Horn, do you agree with me on this? I won't let go of the lazy ones, they are just harder. I am intuiting a fatalism in Long Horn. Please help with more assisting language and symbology. Unite under one nation of upward motion.

Mountain Man said...

PD that is an awesome and inspiring story of your kindergarten days. I really think in order to be an artist someone somewhere had to have told us we were special. Sounds corny (no offense Corns).

sloth said...

MM, if bud was a little bit more bloomed, he would have understood that you were only kidding. As it is, he is a tender bud, so sensitive and fragile. He desperately needs a corrupting influence.

sloth said...

When I was in 2nd grade, my teacher told us to draw a picture of an imaginary planet. Mine had invisible dinosaurs on it; you could see the trees right through their outlines. She took my paper away and told me my drawing was WRONG.

Mom sucker-punched the biatch at parent-teacher conferences, which was very redeeming for lil' sloth.

Mountain Man said...

Sloth - horrendous. No wrong. No.

Bud did get it, please understand, he did know I was kidding right away. He looked up nervous and I said i'm totally kidding!!! And we had this great conversation. Why am I over-explaining this point. It's just that I put so much effort into it, see? Even though I may resent the lazy ones, I am totally trying to connect with them and feel frustrated with myself (as well as them) when it doesn't seem to work.

Sorry. I am weird over-sensitive over-explainer.

Mountain Man said...

Onesock, I appreciate your commiseration, by the way.

Have a nice day sweets. I gotta go work.

Mountain Man said...

Thanks Edna!! I can't follow the link, it doesn't come across right...for some reason.

Edna said...

MM, I plugged your upcoming show:

http://www.observer.com/20060306/20060306_Choire_Sicha_culture_springpreview1.asp

Long Horn said...

Yes MM, because the way to fold was a little confusing, it prepared it for the practice through the following. It is painful for a moment, but makes it in feelings through shimmer. Thank you for getting it MM! Bud I'm sure gets into it!
Of the steering wheel, it was taken from pillow word and dragonfly state. The dragonfly (dragonfly) is a snake feeder. It is written the dragonfly to say nothing of the mayfly.
There was a character named ..using a dictionary.. In though it was free to joke.!
Ahya. !

fairy butler said...

i got in trouble for coloring my picture with a white crayon. it was invisible so it liked like i didn't do the assignment. this reminds me of something random. in 7th grade i did an assignment for english class with a pen i found in my mom's sewing basket because it was a nice color/feel. it was disappearing ink used for hems and such. so when i went to hand in it was all faint and disappeared. teacher did not believe my explanation for why the assignment was not done. invisible ink pen? but it really was.

sorry, rambling pointlessly.

sloth, your dinosaur picture sounded great!

sloth said...

The link worked for me... nice plug, Edna!

sloth said...

FB, the disappearing ink sitch sounds possibly more traumatizing than my invisible dinosaur experience. You had an existential crisis when you were a tweenie!

krixfort said...

my nephew J-Rock has an amazing drawing talent, since he was five. Alas, he is stuck in the midwest where many people in his small town believe he should be playing football or ice hockey and not practicing his keyboards or drawing fancy figures for auntie krixfort.

My goal is to get that kid out here so he can see that there is a little more in the world besides 4-H clubs and beer.

sloth said...

I hear ya Krixie, I am secretly plotting to influence my nieces' lives in the most corrupting possible way.

sloth said...

Actually, it's not such a secret... being the crazy auntie is such a satisfying role.

sloth said...

Hi MM, are your facets expanding today?

sloth said...

oops, wormhole alert.

Mountain Man said...

EDNA!!! Thank you so much! I got the link, duh. You are too sweet.

I am loving hearing about everyone's art stories from way back when. Perhaps this should be a post unto itself...tomorrow? I want to hear more. I have to dig into the recesses of my swiss cheese brain and find a tale or two.

Long Horn, you are a mystery with symbolic presence. I am loving your ways.

Mountain Man said...

Krix, I believe the role of corrupting aunt is highly important. Sloth would agree with me on this, I bet?

long horn said...

it returns!

sloth said...

yes, auntie crazy-pants can activate intricate and hidden parts of the brain-bone in the niece and nephew subjects.

sloth said...

It is a Highly Important Role.

pd said...

woo hoo Edna! Very nice nod to MM.

krixfort said...

I think the art stories are a good idea MM. I can tell scary stories of the tiny drawings I made in undergrad. Too intimidated by all the drawers to draw big. I was more comfy in the darkroom.

Edna said...

I hope you don't mind the way I described your paintings.

Can't wait for the show.

Anonymous said...

This is a really sweet story about your student. He sounds amazing.

Regi said...

Bravo Edna, your comments give us hope that our opinions matter in some way.

Regi said...

MM, could you post some photos of your lazy students work so we can all say great things about them and then you can tell them that your esteemed collegues in the art world think they're great and the lazy ones wont be lazy anymore.

The Capt'n said...

Hey mountain man,
I just got here to Gree c's in the Greenpoint. I was telling corny that i'm bummed that I'm gonna miss the whole ridykeulous blowout because i'm only here this weekend, not next. Dang. I would have been really happy and excited to meet you, and her too. I guess the mystery will have to remain....
but The Mrs. will be arriving here the night of the 10th when that party is happening, so I bet she'll be going.
while i have you--I read somewhere that you're having a show soon, and I'd love to see it, so I was wondering when & where, since i cant rem. what i read or where i read it. Long story short, i'll be back here the first weekend in April to hear the Mrs. sing in eileen myles' opera called Hell. Might your show be up at that time, i hope?

sloth said...

There IS a certain OPENING this Sat.... I am assuming we will all be there.

sloth said...

Could present an opportunity for the meets...

Mountain Man said...

Oh sweetest Capt'n, my show will be up from May 11 onward into July sometime. Sadly not April. But I am definitely curious about the Eileen Myles production and hope you will provide details. And Sloth is right, there is an opening we will all attend, I do believe, on Saturday night at 303 Gallery - Ms. Inka Essenhigh. Will you and Gree C. be going to openings? Please give Gree C. my finest regards.

sloth said...

Can I say? I am really looking forward to seeing the divine Miss E's work. She kicks ass.

Mountain Man said...

Me too, I am extremely curious to see her new work. I love how she's been pushing herself into new territory and her card looks wild. So much woozy, rabid energy in the imagery, the lines, and the edges.