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Thursday, October 27, 2011


I'm back home now. Missed my family. I missed Matt when I was at a hotel, because we enjoy hotels together very well. I missed Roxanne when I was looking at the art, because she enjoys art with me very well. And I missed Rocket at the Venice Beach Freakshow, because he enjoys weird things with me very well.

Notice me on top of the "V"

But that trip, to California, it's left me just way too inspired. I'm overwhelmed with this feeling of inspiration now. I wish I could have rationed out the experiences to have occurred over the course of a year. That way they would have a chance of being utilized more efficiently. But, now, it's like if you shot a big ole moose somewhere out in the wilderness, and you can't possibly eat all of the meat before most of it rots. That's what too much inspiration is like- I can't possibly materialize all of it before some of it rots. And you can't put inspiration in a deep freezer.

I get obsessed with things sometimes. I don't know why. But usually just it's short term obsession. Like a month or so ago, I read that book by OJ Simpson "If I did it", and then I became totally obsessed with the OJ Simpson case- constantly googling it so I could educate myself about every tiny detail of the case. I probably wasted a lot of time. But typically after a couple days, I'm totally over it (thankfully). I often get obsessed with murder cases I see on "48 Hours Mystery", and google them to death (haha... I didn't notice this pun until I was rereading it, so the pun really was unintended). And I end up trying to find the murderers and victims and reporters on facebook, and other useless stuff. But, there's other things I get obsessed about, not just murder cases- mainly things that have to do with art. So... basically things that have to do with art or murder. I think getting obsessed with things is one of the traits of a great artist. But it also has to be accompanied by sticktoitiveness, so that you have to ability to stick to it after the obsession has worn off. Leonard must have had a whole lot of sticktoitiveness (commitment) in order to keep going when he wasn't so obsessed with building a mountain anymore.

At this point, I've got way too many things to be obsessed about. I just don't have enough time to google all the things I want to. I sat in McDonalds today for about an hour, reading every account of Salvation Mountain that anyone's ever posted on the internet. Then I remembered the first time I ever heard about Salvation Mountain- when I watched the movie "Into the Wild" many many years ago. But I don't remember it very well, because I was drunk when I watched it. So I decided to pick it up from the library so I could watch it again. But I didn't want my obsession to keep me from being productive (that happens a lot), so I stretched and primed my canvas while I watched. This is the Youtube link to the scene from the movie when they visit Salvation Mountain. The two kids are actors, but Leonard is just playing himself... perfectly. (you got to watch it- it's less than two and a half minutes)

I really like his quote: "Everybody in the whole world is just loving me, and I want to have the wisdom to love them back". That quote amazes me even so much more now that I've been to the mountain, because I can see that he really is using his big piece of art to love people back. As soon as people arrive he says "Hello, just make yourself at home." (I heard him say this about 5 times). And he wants to make sure you get a chance to climb to the top and explore inside. He doesn't just want you to read the words "God is love", he wants you to walk all over them. He wants you to experience it- in a tangible, colorful, beautiful way. And that's a great way to love people. And it is inspiring me to figure out a way that my art can actually love people too- not just be something nice to look at. I want to transform my obsession into commitment, and my commitment into love. Starting with this canvas right here. The one I stretched today.

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