We make art in strange places and blog about it.

Iveson Ranch Writings 2016 Pt. 1

The wind is a good metaphor for change. This year started with strong metaphorical gusts back in Reno. I’m single again. And now here I sit at a ranch with horses outside my door as I compile an essay from my journaling.

Wifi doesn’t reach my cabin and that is how i would have it. Sunday I touched up the pink on the cabin I’m staying in. I’m under two giant cottonwood trees along the creek at the horse fence. The frogs are better entertainment than wifi but loud.

It’s like a dude ranch here I guess but we’re all working. Many people can stay here. More and more. We’re building housing. I’m painting pictures on the side of the housing. I’ve been painting at Iveson Ranch for like 6 years now.

The first couple days I took my mule to the pasture. The mule is a vehicle with one forward and one reverse gear. It’s made by Kawasaki. This one’s mine, Eddie the ranch foreman tells me, designated for the artist. Someone called it my art car. It has a roof and a bed for hauling stuff. Round rubber wheels get me around the ranch quickly and efficiently and I love my mule but it’s loud to start.

We sat together alone out in this pasture of desert sage vegetation. Maybe I should name this mule. This is work–it’s research. A friend called this my paintcation.

Sage is more like 5 kinds of plants we call sagebrush. Some are hops, some are rabbit brush and then there are grasses like cheat grass and Great Basin Wild Rye which is very tall. There’s bitter brush which features the little cottony yellow buds and then spiny brush. There’s moisture saved in some. It’s the desert but it makes me wonder how much moisture there is in these plants.

Grey and brown are handsome backdrops to the valley’s floor with the spring greens dominating in wide variety. Green can be grey, brown, yellow or blue. The desert is dusty and dust makes things look grey. My mural on the container is the subject of sagebrush. To warm up I painted a canvas in oils on the easel beside my steering wheel.

In the valley where I sit a patch of pale sunlight inches along. Wind moves light, sound, temperature and moisture. Almost no blue cracks through the silver. Apparently the sun patch has found me but the wind pushes it away in a rustle.

I’m here because I’m an artist. Appreciation is what I do. My purpose is one of preservation. There’s sense of purpose out here. At the ranch everything has purpose. Conserving this place, this environment’s protection is priority. Water is king, our leader. We serve water. It’s not the other way around. This vegetation feeds deer and wildlife. Interested in how conservation works? Talk with these ranchers. The chain of causation continues to feed and the vegetation is crucial.

Did I mention dogs? The dogs here are one black dog and three white ones. Buddy is not a resident here but a visitor and young and with blond peaking thru the white. Mara is fluffy and slow moving sweet, big. Her leg is hurt so she moves slow. Blue is Australian shepherd and I love them. She’s pretty damn chill with David Bowie eyes of course and with grey fur. The black one is Jessie. She’s old and tweaked with a crooked neck and bad eyesight, no hearing. She’s still happy though. She makes due. Loves life, doesn’t wanna miss a thing.

The hierarchy is challenged with the interloper, the pup, Buddy coming to energize things. Blue is right there though, she’s on top of things. Everyone knows their place and things work even when the youngbud comes to knock around but with good spirits of play and companion love. They chase the cat up the fences which are rail road ties stood on end and up around the pond at the front yard the cat sat there all morning the other a.m.

Attention to detail is a championship sport around here. Six years of it has me in pretty good practice but I still get heckled once in awhile by Eddie.

The mix of people here churns up interesting moments. Everything here is interesting. An artist might get special treatment but it’s not about better and worse, it’s about different. An artist is unique in his position in the world. We soak it up. We’re here to reflect.

I sit on my mule on the ridge after dinner over looking the ranch.

The sun went down like an hour ago. The frogs started up just then. I engulfed bratwurst which is like my favorite. I’m listening to Elvis Costello and the sunset has become a yellow ochre or sienna color like mustard it seems. Dark yellow is an interesting thing.

I left dinner abruptly and sped up the hill to this spot and they can see me from the dinner table on the front porch. I’m up the hill and possibly they even get a hint of my music echoing down. The wind has kicked up from behind me, due east, which is where the Black Rock sits. The heat collects there. The wind blows through on its curved path. Here the valley collects the wind and the heat gets sucked up and out.

I’m stuck with green minded thoughts. every thought it seems like I’m seeing green. My thoughts are green. That’s a strange thought.

The purpose here is I make beauty. I’m grateful for the way I make money. I hope to effect people with what I’m leaving here on the surfaces of these cabins. I hope to inspire. I hope the vision I share strikes a nerve with observers. I’ve heard great comments so far. I can’t wait to see this one. It’s a challenging thing painting so big. I simply have to wait patiently until its finished. It takes time. It’s a workout. It’s not a simple. This thing is huge. It’s fucking huge. It’s over 100 linear feet, this mural. Each box is longer than my Victorian Square mural.That’s 70 feet long.

I’m thinking of sneaking to bed. That’s probably what I’ll do. Now it’s silent other than my laptop speakers so I turned the music off. Earlier it was the frog battling the generator for sound from this elevated point. Down at the house you don’t hear it much but up here it’s a different sound point and the two sounds are predominant over people’s voices. It’s raining. I should go home and go to bed.

Their croaking started up slowly tonight with just a few kicking it off at dusk.

What would Mark Twain do?

The Rain Sheen and the Heartmind

The rain sheen across the street causes an emotion in me. Something about nostalgia, scenes in movies, hopefully it’s not nostalgic thoughts of movies. Either way this is what I experience crossing the street by the 7-11, these thoughts about an emotion. The heart, the mind, but the heartmind?

If logic is the height of the human mind is it the best we can do with our brains? If one’s logic should be exercised & challenged continually, the grasp of logic gets better, right? Illogic is combatted by a good sense of logic through practice.

But non-logic, now that’s something else. Outside of logic. We could call that feeling.

Logic and Feeling are two aspects of a balanced self. The heartmind.

These aspects of life, the thoughts and the feelings, we might see them in duality, a polarity perhaps as they need eachother, but I wonder if I can gain more by accepting that feeling on the rainy street’s crosswalk without a logical soundtrack of analysis.

NadaDada -Inspire The Self

Someone who needs no help inspires no assistants. We hope to shine as examples of how we can help our selves as artists co-succeeding. We’re all moving in the same direction wherever we’re at. But how are we helping others by helping ourselves?

We’re all in the same boat.  But maybe the lesson is in seeing how we might hurt ourselves if we were to close down and isolate. Our art has nothing to do with how we deal with others. The art is independent but hopefully the artist appreciates interdependence.

I observe events and projects–group movements–and the most unfortunate aspect is when there is a lack of selflessness on the part of organizers and participants. With each looking at the other to provide. Consequently alot of energy gets wasted and unused. Responsibility can be pushed onto the shoulders of others instead of the self. Autonomy becomes non-existent. From multiple perspectives, this is counter-productive.

There are too many that don’t know how to help others. Consequently they hurt themselves that way.

We could talk about charity but that’s not quite it. To my mind, being selfless is a tall order to ask of others and it’s not really a correct request to be made.

It is an internal attitude to work toward selflessness. It’s a personal endeavor for someone but the value of selflessness doesn’t mix well with a corporate-minded American trying to scratch out a living. So we have this challenge. In NadaDada we want each other to succeed because there’s always overflow and intermingling and the better someone in our event does, the better our event does.

Is it a proper sales pitch to say we’re bringing you culture? Dwelling on who it is that benefits most will bring us to the realization that this is a win/win from most any direction. We’re hurting no one. We’re only helping by bringing money and thought to the public in motel rooms. The inspirers inspire.

NadaDada needs your help and I need your assistance. Talk about this show. We have 16 articles in Reno News and Review and the New York Times wrote about us on 6/22/96. 10 years ago NadaDada was birthed by 6 artists and now we’re 300 strong. We’ve had two museum exhibitions and shown individually in multiple countries.

Get motels on board for hosting us. Walk in and tell them the good news you have memorized of NadaDada. Get your foot in the door and show them that artists bring good publicity.

Check out time is 11.

Here’s our event page for tonight (Wednesday’s) get together, NadaNite. We talk.

See you tonight?

But in the mean time, this meeting went quick. It was our first. See how quick?

Warning: The following two vids are the full meeting that took place on Feb. 24th. It’s not the best quality but there’s alot of discussion in there if you need to see what we’re about.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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The Potential

Artists are against all odds, that’s what we’re up against, all odds. It’s easy to be distracted but dedication is what an artist might represent to someone who appreciates drive. Staying on task over the course of decades is an activity that does not go unnoticed. This is the pursuit of an artist’s profession. We hear stories of the art heroes who pop onto the scene as if from nowhere but these successes are the exception, the rarity. To do the job well is the only standard one needs from himself and the truth always comes out. In other words a flash in the pan is not sustainable but a good artist will never die.

If we’re not pure performance artists, we’re still just making stuff. We all gotta’ have a job. It just might be that it’s an alternative currency that we use. We cross borders every time we make art because it’s a piece that is about something. It is representative of other things or thoughts, emotions, evocations, whatever. It is me expressing views, wishes, desires and concerns. I’m manipulating but it’s more than that. The special sauce is in the trying. The challenge itself is the trying. We become more of whatever we are through trying. The output of art might result in either an opening up or a closing in and any variety of subject matter but when a person goes for it fully, that is the art. The material piece of stuff that comes out is a residue from effort.

A boddhisatva is one who delays her own enlightenment for the sake of others. What I like here is that the fact of enlightenment happening is not of issue. The boddhisatva’s goal is in inspiring that potential in others. Potential becomes the object of focus because it is the one thing in a person that can be manipulated although not without one’s own consent. We cultivate from what is available in our own potential. The becoming is already there, we just bring it out.

NadaDada: We Keep You on Your Toes

As if to say “we keep you on your toes”, NadaDada comes together through concerted efforts and often at the last minute. It’s not the usual undertaking, scheduling a date with artists in motel rooms. Those motels, they seem to like the life we bring so we keep going. This is our 10th year.

At this point reservations are being taken:

The Morris

The Wildflower

(call them now.)

TownHouse management says they’ll have 5, maybe 10 rooms. They have “down” rooms, meaning they’re unfinished and I told him some of us like that, as artists (more freedom). That’s Terry and Farrah, the manager family of the 3 motels, Town House, El Ray and Keno 1 up Arlington, across from the Sands. Town House has always hosted our DadaMayor’s balcony speech and last year the courtyard there hosted our garden party during June’s event.

The Sands said no. They don’t want to deal with an event in rooms. It’s ok.

El Cortez also said no today. They just can’t do it right now, renovating for apartments and also full anyway.

It’s a game of timing. We’re up against monthlies and weeklies at these motels.

7/11 motel may be a possibility. They’re very close to Town House  a block down on 2nd St. I stopped in there today and spoke with someone who’s not the manager but I’m to go back down there again soon.

Colonial Apartments is to the East of the El Cortez at West St. They say no way José, even though my name is Chad. It’s ok.

Star Dust Lodge is a really cool place, blue, 2 story U shaped layout with a pool. Up Arlington on the north side of 4th St.

Seasons Inn is 3 stories with parking spaces under rooms which is managed by a guy named Todd who’s a photographer. He said he’d talk with owner who also owns other properties such as the Reno Royal a black away, across from the City Center. They’ve showed interest before. Let’s see about these.

City Center is being pursued by an artist or two of ours. They’ve changed owners there but were happy to host us 2 years ago before the management switch over. We’re good promotion for these places. That’s on West. St. a block East from Arlington.

Bonanza Inn is a 5 story tower of motel rooms at the 200 block of W. 4th St. She remembers us inquiring with them back around the beginning years but seemed reluctant. Nice old lady, hard of hearing.

Here was our meeting the other night at Potentialist Workshop. It’s part 1 of 2. It helps with understanding the dark underbelly of how NadaDada thrives and for 10 years now.

Thanks for reading today’s notes and please join us March 9th @7pm, Potentialist Workshop for a meeting in the round. It’s in the gallery so you’ll be surrounded by our current art show which is Tanya Marquez and Bryce Chisholm which is awe-some, awe inspiring. Let’s talk about ideas and motels & stuff.

NadaDada Sharp Edges

Over 300 creatives have expressed themselves through the freedom of the individual. Our collective is an experimental kind. We ask for expressions of ownership and cooperation through our circles of influence. Our connectivity with the public is of blurred lines and ever expanding. There’s not an agenda or theme and the diversity becomes ruler. We are independents. We’re about disbursing the power structure. It’s what we are not that is important. We’ve set a tone of absurdity, anarchy, and peaceful coexistence that reverberates still after a 10 year old big bang in 2007. The Dada movement is a 100 year old wave this year.

It’s a hard thing to wrap one’s head around, this workable anarchy. Conflicts can be a part of this path and coexistence is not a simple thing to harness. Friction can be creative. NadaDada’s beginning was birthed in friction with some professing a challenge to the establishment which is Artown. Others say we’re just an alternative to that route. From a polarity perspective we are opposed but from a dualist view each and all can exist. Either way a new thing has been created in our town.

The last minute nature of motels always tests us to remain patient and fluid. Instability is life for the many and artists exemplify what can be done without firm assurance. It’s hard to keep things together without a cushion but not impossible. We look at how our pyramids of needs are met. There’s so much to focus on but for those of us fortunate enough we have a responsibility to inspire. Our job is to make desire and we share it.

I’ve started calling it our strange attractor challenge, constant adjustment to our game plan(s) being necessary and to “bring it” is required for anyone taking up a new space, a new motel venue hoping to draw a crowd. They had better bring their A game if they want an audience. Everyone is told to think from the audience’s perspective. Make your venue a solid destination.

With clear thinking we can see that the world is getting co-opted into a unified system, streamlined and at odds with character. There can be no sharp edges, they’ll have us thinking. NadaDada is all sharp edges.

Right now we’re looking for motels. You can help. We need cold callers. Let’s talk to motels, get the word out.

Tuesday March 9th is our next NadaNite at Potentialist Workshop, 836 E. 2nd St. Reno downtown, 7pm–8 or 8:30

The Right Kind of Class Warfare: Workers vs. Looters

just so perfect I had to share, even here on my own blog.

International Liberty

Over the years, I’ve latched on to several images that do a very good job of capturing the essence of an issue.

Here are some of my favorites.

Now I have a new addition to the list.

Here’s an image a reader shared with me and it’s the perfect way to explain why the Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of the class warriors are wrong.

The problem isn’t rich people. It’s looters and moochers, regardless of their income.

What makes this image so helpful is that it’s true. If you look at the “right enemy” part of the image, the rich in the…

View original post 184 more words

Cushion -Potentialist Fishbowler Post 6


It’s a cushion to have it in mind every moment that this could be art. It’s a soft comfort. You just transfer the energies from life into the visuals of a painting. That’s the job, the alchemy.

Or do artists conjure something from nothing? “Creatio ex nihilio”? The energy combines like spines of blue electricity entwined from nowhere. Or maybe it’s more like dithered rays projecting outward from a light house of inspiration? Energy combines in waves, crests and troughs and interference, this is everything.

Every good story needs conflict, I’m told, but it’s the conflict resolution that makes a story rewarding–high resolution. People mix with people bringing new things to life, new life to things. La tee da.

Witness the magnetism of an artist in the depths of obsession when he’s creating. Look on at the intensity of him like a caged animal. It’s all he’s got. It’s all that matters at the moment. Don’t fight his eye of the tiger.

Habitually making pictures is all I’m here to do. It’s not the only aspect of me but it’s my material keystone. My material existence, my creation, is centered on the reflection of daily existence–and the reflection of the reflections. Personal autobiography is my angle. My life with kitchen sink thrown in. Keep watching the vids.

Here’s the sunset live. 11 minutes is a bit surprising how fast it goes bright.

And this one became a favorite instantly. You have to invest a bit of time to get the goods..

Bowie And Art Outliving Me -Potentialist Post 4


I’ve been doing realistic portraits lately. These new canvases are small, eight by ten inches, 9×11, featuring bright solid colored backgrounds behind the heads. I painted Jean Michel Basquiat on a purple grey canvas. Next after him was Georgia O’Keefe on Red and then Pablo Picasso on orange. For now I’ll stick to the artists but I want to do the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky eventually as well.

Realism scrutinizes. Practice makes perfect. With these I’m seeing the progress I’ve made. It’s paying off. Each painting progresses often outside of my control. Colors come together as long as you’re methodical about it. I can feel it when it’s right. The brushstrokes dry on their own time usually over the course of a couple days and in between are periods of sticky paint layering. The behavior of paint as the canvas cures is the variable duty action. Get it while it’s hot.

I’ve worked on this one single skill selfishly my whole life and in doing this for me I hope to accomplished something for everyone. To be a painter is to say “I’ve changed. Once again, I’ve changed. Nothing stays the same. We can evolve.”

Bowie’s death inspired a lot in me and still is as I write this. My awareness of ideas felt piqued by his art. These ideas are of the subject of death and transcendence. The Buddhists say we should practice our own death everyday. For me, each portrait is a meditation and this one took me to interesting places as my important figure of creativity passes on early January of 2016.

My meditations with Mr. Bowie’s work has pierced me deeply on the subject of living my art, I kiss it farewell into the world as something I leave behind to outlive me. My art will endure because the paintings cause desire in their audience. Well, I mean they’re supposed to do that and I hope they do. I didn’t give my life to my art, my art has give new life to me, extended, expanded life. Reciprocation. We need each other as creator and audience. And then there’s reinvention like Mr. Bowie. Tune to the flow.

There are the songs which talk of space travel

the courage to move toward the unbound

elaborate on feeling the loneliness of space

being out there all alone in a tin can.

The untethered one gets lost

but at his own command unattached

Left to one’s own device

we create, we build

we fly


Finding fast motion was a godsend. Here’s 2 videos, quickly.

Post 3 Potentialist-Riding Bukowski Bus & Bowie 1

Riding the bus across town today, I’m going for canvases. A book of Charles Bukowski’s letters to editors accompanies me. The letters are so personal it touches nicely a nerve to see how he was. I’m sitting in the back enjoying the sights and soaking up this man’s mind. I’ll need to pick up a pen before the art store.

It matters who my heroes are. Who is more “every man” than Bukowski? It tells me what’s important to me. I study the photos of the writer seated at a humble desk facing a wall with plaques, he’s in his underwear and with a drink. Scotch was it? Sacrificing for the art is an important concept and we’ve seen plenty of examples of the wrong way to carry out that notion. Bukowski is one of those who died younger than he should have because of the drink and the smoke which were the comfort he allowed himself. Other things like wives and lovers could go to hell but these two, they would never leave him and his typewriter.

So many of us want to speak for others but that’s not going to get us to the finish line is it? Riding the bus today has me on the subject of collective action and how does a project get carried out? How do humans do big and good things? The like-minded unite, right? People come together in agreement. Perhaps their agreement is centered on something rejected–something their group dislikes–but their aim is to achieve something. The concerted effort is what reins in the change sought after. Some individuality must be sacrificed for the collective and that is a voluntary action. It’s an agreement entered into.

Is this a gift? Is it altruism to enter into this agreement with a group to collectively enact something? Is there personal gain expected from the agreement? If it makes you happy to help the under-served, then this happiness is a fair outcome. It’s a harmonious goal. This is compassion. Win/wins do happen in life.

The only way to make myself a bigger person is to let go of more ‘self’. Debts and balances can’t overshadow what’s right. “You owe me” is not a mindset cohesive to healthy inter-dependence. Healthy co-existence depends upon a sane level of true compassion and compassion is not keeping track.

So often we see a power battle ensue while objectivity evaporates from existence. It’s a subject important in politics, love, and life. All interactions happen in relation to compassion. Some have no compassion at all.

Even Bukowski’s compassion comes through in these letters of his. Most of them are in regard to rejection letters he’d gotten but you can see that literary imagination and courage light him up and he expects these to light others up as well as he accepts his fate, continually. Such is his craft. It’s his gift to the world. Bukowski sacrificed himself, in ways, to his art. I’m grateful.

At the very end of that one you see my just start to paint Bowie, that was the night I learned of his death and started painting.
The next one is painting Bowie but sped up. It’s so much better in fast motion. There will be a part 2 of that theme.

Here’s the previous post, Part 2:


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