Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Illustration Friday: Poem

Tim Needles Milwaukee Sketchbook Poem

I write a good deal of poetry and short stories (check my website if your interested). This is what a first draft looks like (brainspill). My handwriting isn't always this frantic I was on a bus after 4 cups of coffee.

Tim Needles Milwaukee Sketchbook Poem

Friday, July 13, 2007

Illustration Friday: (re) Discovery
Often the nature of discovery is actually re-discovery.

New England

I traveled on the New London ferry back to Orient Point last night on my trip back from Boston . It was a beautiful trip across the Long Island Sound at sunset. It brought out the nostalgia in me. I love New England: the places, the smells, the food, the people. Living on Long Island can be all suburbs sometimes but some of that New England spirit still resides here and I love it.

Dirty Water
I just returned from a week long trip to Boston. The city has changed a bit from what I remember when I went to school there in the nineties but it was fun to be back. I was working with Adobe on their Youth Voices program and I met a bunch of terrific artists and educators. There were a few visitors from London in the group and one of them actually went swimming in the Charles river. She survived and lives to tell about it.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Illustration Friday: Geek

I always think it's funny when I see people's out of focus photographs.

(P.S. - Sorry to drag you into this Stan, I love your work)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Spalding Grey

Spalding was such a terrific story-teller. I always admire artists such as Spalding who can't be easily defined or labeled. He was a great influence on me as an artist, especially when I began writing.

When I finished my first collection of stories and poems I sent them out to a few friends (and I included Spalding whose name I found in the Yellow Book). I received a 3 page critique from a professor who was a colleague of mine going into specifics of how terrible and immature it was.

I was set to retire as a writer forever. A few weeks later I came home to a voicemail Spalding left on my answering machine letting me know that I should keep it up because the writing was a lot of fun. It was a shot in the dark so I was astonished he made the effort to call me. I'm left forever wondering what it would've been like if I had been home for the call but it really helped me learn how to keep things in perspective.

I was truly saddened by his loss when I heard out about his suicide. I happened to be in a workshop a few months later with Amy Arbus (a photographer who photographed Spalding for the book Monster in a Box) her mother, the photographer Diane Arbus, also committed suicide. She really changed my perspective on suicide a great deal because she expressed the torment that depressed people live with and the struggle their friends and families deal with. There seems to almost be a sense of relief that the pain for these very depressed people is over.

I've always told my students that I don't believe in suicide, I believe in going to Hawaii. I'd always though that the beaches in Hawaii are a better alternative to the severity of death. I mean, the weather is always great so I'd rather just drop out of society and live on the beach all day. I still believe that in some sense, but I now also understand that it's not the same for everyone.

I went to see Stories Left to Tell (the Off-Broadway play based on his last works) a week ago and I found it really moving. I still have the old answering machine with the message on it.


Well the 4th of July was pretty wet in New York. I went food shopping and got some coffee.

Sunday, July 1, 2007