Friday, April 9, 2010


It's all relative, of course ... and a question of intent. I have no serious intent here (in this space), just for the record. But there's some interesting "art" out on Ocean Drive at present. I didn't notice it at first — just a few playful cairns on the rocks. I've always liked cairns — and the notion that they might show someone the way. Way back when, Mr. Betty and I had the experience of some cairns' fulfilling the very real need of showing us the way up a rocky mountain trail in pea-soup fog. I like the idea, too, that passersby keep adding to cairns, which gradually become collective/cooperative "art" of a sort. Okay, they're just piles of rocks. Anyway, these particular cairn-ish constructions on Ocean Drive struck me for their use of whatever materials lay at hand and for their shapes akin to slingshots, tipis and oven racks ... my frame of reference being twenty-plus years of child-rearing and domesticity. Cairns are a far (very far) cry from outdoor creation of the sort that adorns the greening front lawn at the Newport Art Museum, of course. I'm so fond of Mike Hansel's art ("sculpture" being the better word); I have no art or sculpture vocabulary whatsoever, but it's just so cool. Even its shadow is cool. And don't get me started on how much I love Wet Paint, a regular August event at the Art Museum in which anyone can participate — not me; I just look. I guess, as with everything, it (art) is all about what you like, what you're looking for, what you know, what you've learned, talent (important), hard work (more important?) ... and intent.