We Need to Re-learn the Past, Adapt, and Strengthen the Things That Remain

Lena Ulanova Incognito

I made a painting this morning—about an hour of my time—took a picture of it, posted on Instagram, Facebook, my ego, and then swept the crumbs and dust up around the house. A turkey bone stock sits simmering on the stove. For several months I have kept to a diet whole foods, plant-based because I wanted to take heart disease out of my life. Yet I am also home-maker to loved ones who never opted for this change (and yet never complain either). So I surprise from time to time with a meat feast such as last night, and now the carcass shares nutrients for future weak moments when I feel responsible for the care of others. That is, human others. Obviously I don’t care a lick for that delectable turkey.

While taking in a thousand joyful memories with the aroma of the stock, I looked around me as I swept. Several of Lena’s paintings still hang and wait for new homes. When another goes I will replace it with my own or the painting of another. I have made our house a salon of sorts, and this has suited me well for several years, but I feel it’s time for some different meat to sustain the spirit of those whom I share this home base with.

On Saturday night Rose and I went to a small dinner party at the lake house of new friends, Jack and Jill. Rose has worked with Jack at the college, and I only recently struck up conversation with the couple when they attended opening night of Lena Ulanova Entrainment. Jill is from Georgia (the country), and Jack from Lithuania, and of course their true names are not Jack and Jill. They loved Lena’s work and purchased the Spirit of the Forest (see below).

I guess our little gallery talk was pleasant since they invited Rose and I to their home for dinner and drinks.

It was hospitality and graciousness and love of life and Greek cognac that I drank like a shot of vodka, embarrassing myself for what I hope was the only time that evening. The food was delicious (I came off the WFPB diet for the second time in four months), and the conversation alive and new, which had better be whenever good people meet and break bread for the first time.

But it was the tour Jill gave of her house that humbled and moved me to a new direction for home decor and life expression. Every single object had meaning and value to the occupants of the home. Memories of a trip to Greece or Spain painted by Jill on a goose egg, a lost language in books treasured like an ancient monk’s manuscript in a library that could only be their library, a loving mother’s pillow-embroidery framed under glass, dinnerware with cherished memories, the food served with its own story, a tapestry from India, a thread-woven landscape from China, a handmade bed Jack made to welcome guests from far away…

And paintings hanging on every wall and up the stairwell! Each with its own story. I was drawn several times to those made by their daughter—a connection that could only make sense because this house was the house of Jack and Jill, and I was their guest, and their daughter was the thing they loved most in the world, and I had better leave knowing this fact…

Finally, in the last room, the ancestor wall—photos of Jill’s grandparents, keepsakes from mothers and fathers, Jill’s own art and craft—beautiful jewelry with haunting patterns in exotic stones and gems, and in the center spot, Lena’s painting, “The Spirit of the Forest”. Jack and Jill have honored Lena with prominent space in their memories.

You too must see this Lena. You are famous in the consciousness of others—a Russian aristocrat of the spirit.

I thought I made a home well. I know how to cook smells into a room to make any one nostalgic for their own past and present. But Jack and Jill expressed their lives to new friends more meaningfully than I have ever been able to do, and I’ve had a long life harboring that pressing desire.

It is time to strengthen the things that remain. I have much to do.

Thank you Jack and Jill for a wonderful meal and delicious quick-gulp cognac. You’ve changed my life with one dinner, and made Lena Ulanova a household name in America.

[More paintings like below, available for your own eternity. I ship framed, under glass carefully wrapped and ready to hang]


5 Minute Break

Acrylic on matte board, 26 x 18. Framed in metal, matted, under glass, 40 x 30″ $250

At present this painting hangs above the fireplace mantel at Fuel Gallery. It borrowed the honor from “Seedlings” by Alexey Stepanov. After it sells, I will give “Badger and Book” by Michael Flanagan winter right of way for the coveted spot.

Late capitalism deems us “consumers” because so many baby boomers and their spawn studied the social sciences in college, and economics sneaked in somehow as a worthy subject of study. The national radio host talks about the “consumer” class as if there is another class not consuming. Ecologically, all humans are tertiary consumers, and that’s how I remember the term from grade school. Like cave people, I ate meat and vegetables whenever they were placed before me. Except boiled spinach from a box. I’d starve in a tar pit before eating that Popeye lie!

Consumption is a biological function that fuels any life worth living, whether dinosaur, fish, or human being existence. It is real fuel, necessary to life, but that’s it. Now live.

The radio host spoke about tariffs on China and the struggle for dollar stores in the United States. A fifteen minute slot for millions of people to be propagandized into thinking that dollar-a-bag outdated pretzels are a necessary convenience to the consumer, like any rotting carcass on the path of a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex—we cannot live without them because we are too stupid to not be dependent on the death of life—which a dollar store most certainly is.

So let’s stop using government words to talk about the stuff we like after acquiring food, shelter, raiment, and fuel. If our parents and guardians were half decent, all the necessaries have been supplied initially, and lessons taught and studied for their future acquisition.

The U.S. and Chinese governments, and their oligarchy swindlers deem you consumer as if these entities were providers, like immortal gods and devils. They don’t want you to spend your labor on a true luxury item, (i.e., a painting for your fireplace mantle). Obsolescence is the factory plan and you are just one in a billion protagonists trading your labor and creativity for their macroeconomic dystopia. I offer a painting today to save you from the T-Rexes. Recent studies show the latter ate their own kind when their own kind was breathing its last breath. So too, the businessmen of Wall Street, and the hyper-masculine greed that marks the dollar store an advancement of the age. They eat us, but only because we’ve pushed art and artist out of our lives, and expect to be fed by a poor mommy and daddy replacement.

Not necessary to be a dancer to appreciate this beautiful painting for a lifetime. More study into economics, on a micro level, can change your tastes and improve society. Let’s say you have thirty years to live, and this painting costs $300 (shipping and handling included). How much does this cost you a day, like a bag of pretzels costs the manufactured consumer class at the ubiquitous dollar store(s)?

x(cost) • 365(30) = 300.00

x = 2.7 cents a day. Let’s round up to 3 cents per day to possess fine art for a lifetime.

Now at death day you can leave it to your progeny, and if they loved you, then the price goes down, more and more, for each future generation that loved its forbears better than a cannibal T-rex could comprehend while crunching through the collar bone of its Aunt Martha.

I will be available all day and over the weekend to take your order(s). Thank you.