1. Coming Out of the Closet

     

    Yes, it’s finally time. It’s simply unhealthy to lurk in the shadows, lying to yourself and others. And if Tumblr is not the place for people to simply be themselves, is there any such place?

     

    Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is clear to me: Tumblr is NOT the haven of diversity and tolerance that it imagines itself to be. It is a place where nonconformists of a particular stripe congratulate one another by casually reinforcing pop culture opinions with which they already agree:

     

    Do you believe it’s okay to do this? Me, too! Do you think we ought to be ashamed of our culture because it did bad stuff a long time ago? Me, too! Do you think it’s wrong that some people have lots of stuff, and other people don’t have much stuff at all? Me, too!

     

    This is cheap bandwagon morality. It has no depth, no roots in the real world. It reduces complicated issues to slogans and fortune cookie philosophy. It is the intellectual equivalent of masturbation.

     

    I suppose there is a place for this also. If nothing else, it provides entertainment for the grownups.

     

    But I have found—more than once, more than ten times—that the phony tolerance of these people evaporates as soon as somebody dares to say, YOU ARE WRONG. When that happens, they do not seek understanding or enlightenment. They do not even seek debate. First they shun the freethinking offender, and then they seek to destroy or ban him.

     

    When I first signed up here, I was almost driven out several times—not because of anything I said, but because of the terrible things it was ASSUMED I would say. Nobody here would assume that a gay person is a pedophile. Nobody here would assume that a Muslim is a terrorist. Nobody here would assume that a pagan is drinking babies’ blood before the altar of Beelzebub. Nobody here would automatically assume anything so silly about anyone at all—except for somebody who flies the flags above.

     

    Those who have worked with me know that I make every effort at courtesy with everyone. My friends here include every imaginable sexual orientation and lifestyle. They include hardcore leftists and socialists. They include atheists, pagans, Buddhists, mystics and people of all faiths. They also include sex workers, including pornographers. I do not follow them so I can applaud my own virtue. I follow them because they contribute to my life, and to my art. I follow them because I like them.

     

    I disagree with much that these people say and do, but I am not their judge. As long as they are courteous to me, I will be doubly courteous to them. That is the proper meaning of Tumblr’s sacred word: TOLERANCE.

     

    The Tumblr definition of tolerance is this: “Accept and fully embrace whoever I am, and whatever I do, along with whatever social and political agendas are attached to it.”

     

    Sorry, folks. That’s just a candy-coated form of bullying. And it’s all the more repugnant for presenting itself as virtue. Tolerance happens when we think we have justification for attack—but don’t, because we call ourselves civilized.

     

    Anyway, these are my flags. Some of you fly some of these. Some of you hate all of these.

     

    That is not my business. But I will say this: If you are incapable of everyday civility to me—if you are suddenly disgusted by me simply because my tribe is not your tribe—I’d like you to leave. I’d like you to unfollow at once, and I will do likewise for you.

     

    To those who remain, thanks for your maturity.

     

  2. vanfullersublime said: What do you think of Tumblr’s policy of diversity and inclusiveness?

    vanfullersublime:

    Oh, I think it’s great. Are there any plans to extend it to those of us who have unpopular opinions?

     
  3. vanfullersublime:

    Pink and White Azaleas Outside the Artist’s Studio

    I will never be comfortable with impressionism.

    I’m a cartoonist by profession, which means that I like clean lines and flat colors. Impressionism is the antithesis of that, though its most famous proponent (Claude Monet) also began as a cartoonist. 

    How he went from sketching funny faces to covering a canvas with thousands of colorful dabs and dashes, I really cannot say. But here I’ve done the same, and heaven help me.

     
  4. vanfullersublime:

    Jake

    For an astonishing twenty-two years, Jake was the owner of my sister and brother-in-law. A more devoted animal can hardly be imagined.

    Blindness, deafness, loss of mobility—Jake hung on bravely through all of these, living in constant pain with hardly a howl of complaint. But now that pain has ended, and Jake has gone wherever the good dogs go.

    (via vanfullersublime)

     
  5. vanfullersublime:

    View From the Bughouse

    Thomas Hart Benton (one of my idols, mind you) dismissed all modernism as “bughouse painting.” This was in a day when you could make insensitive, boneheaded remarks without being tarred and feathered for political incorrectness. 

    Ironically, Benton was a teacher of Jackson Pollock (also known as Jack the Dripper), who eventually replaced Vincent Van Gogh as the quintessential bughouse artist. Pollock is gone now, but goodness knows there are plenty of modern artists who are just as buggy. 

    I’ve been known to have a quirk or two, myself. 

    (via vanfullersublime)

     
  6. vanfullersublime:

    Just Ella

    This one is as simple as they come: a simple nude (Vietnamese/Thai, I believe) in a symmetrical standing pose, on a solid background. It ought to be a bore, but not with that fascinating face: Is there a hint of mischief behind that pleasant smile? And what—if anything—is behind her back?

    My favorite pictures are the ones that have a story to tell, but would rather keep us guessing.

    Did I mention that this one is life-sized?

    (via vanfullersublime)

     
  7. vanfullersublime:

    Adoration Of the Moon

    Here is a new “dream” piece that falls somewhere between abstractionism and surrealism. As usual with such work, the less said the better.

    (via vanfullersublime)

     
  8. petitemarci:

    vanfullersublime:

    Marci: Green and Gold

    As a condition of my parole, I am required to paint at least two pictures of Marci every week. I am a bit behind, so here’s a new portrait of Tumblr’s most interesting and enigmatic woman. If you don’t follow her at petitemarci.tumblr.com, you are missing out on lots of great photos of glamorous people.

    And goats. She really likes goats.

    <3 <3 <3 <3 I’m delighted and honoured… as always

    (via vanfullersublime)

     
  9. vanfullersublime:

    Sarah On Blue #2

    This is my second collaboration with Sarah Voss.

    The subject matter, composition and tone of quiet melancholy were inspired by Edward Hopper, though the (mostly blue) color scheme steers toward expressionism.

    (via vanfullersublime)

     
  10. vanfullersublime:

    Thea: Two Sketches

    As you might have guessed, these are two sketches of Thea.

    I do hope my commentaries are proving helpful.

    (via vanfullersublime)

     
  11. vanfullersublime:

    Mrs. Fun

    Just between us—and please don’t tell her I said this!—I am not convinced that this is the lady’s real name. Ah, well: A lady is entitled to her secrets, don’t you think?

    The style is naturalistic, though the color is exaggerated and the composition is—a bit weird. But it all works, in its own crazy way.

    I think her real name is Mrs. Looks Pretty Good In this Picture.

     
  12. vanfullersublime:

    Dancin’ Fools

    Well, they’re certainly limber. Must be the absence of bones.

    Don’t even ask about the hunchback.

     
  13. vanfullersublime:

    The Artist’s Studio

    You know the old saying: “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps.”

    This is where I work, though I have taken a few liberties with the color. It’s a work of hardcore Expressionism in the Edvard Munch style.

    What I like about it is that it’s both inviting and vaguely scary.

     
  14. vanfullersublime:

    Hieroglyphs From the Adorable Age

    Almost every child is a better artist than almost every adult.

    I have no hesitation in learning from children. Neither did Picasso, who once remarked that "it took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."

     
  15. vanfullersublime:

    Les Monstres Amicaux

    This is the sort of picture most people overlook or dismiss as looking “like a child did it.” 

    Well, so it does. But the fact is, a really good scribble—I use the term proudly—is extraordinarily difficult to create. I had been drawing for decades before I got the knack of it.

    (via vanfullersublime)