Few others plying the waters of the modern art scene demonstrate a
quality in their works shared with the latent post pointillist personality of
Odd Jim Dotty.  Call it a baffling bubbleishisness or cockleshell
cognizance, but what it is remains an enigmatic quality that arises from
that form of keen perception available only to those who have  perfected
the art of prolonged and dedicated observation.  Dotty’s works exude
mysticism, and a charismatic and magnetic florescence of the
unfathomable, the unknowable, the inexplicable.  This quality is
particularly apparent in
“Starry Night with Shamanic Presence,”  one
hacienda in Van Nuys, California.  Where  patterned earth meets pattered
sky, we see the awesome sacredness of orotund rotundities caressed by
an evanescent and sparkling mysticality, an incipient nebulosity aroused
and potent before our eyes.   
Though it may seem so, we do not live in a chaotic world without pattern or design, Dotty says,  nor do we lack sustenance for
our deepest desires, buried under the detritus of violence, lost hope and unfulfilled dreams.  There is ‘magic’ all around us,
beside us, within us, between us, if we learn to see what is already just before our eyes.  Thus Dotty’s work often transcends
the perceptual capacity of those of us caught in the confines of conflicted perception, trapped by the assumptions and
expectations we bring to observation. "What you see is what you get to see. Don't you see?"  So Dotty does his thing, lays the
landscape, defines the limitations, the restrictions, the borders, the margins, the precincts, the boundaries, the limits.  To bust us
out of the bastion of our bemused and half-baked limitations and the cantonments of our self constructed cocoons, he presents
us with his dance of dazzling dots to lead us beyond the wayward path of periodicity into a new zone of muscular contextual
contradictions defying gravity, common sense notions of rationality, and the dead lumber of institutionalized dogmas degrading
or debilitating our mental sky.            
In "Harold and the Golden Section," we are led to see these themes
repeated and expanded upon.  A ‘herald’ is one who proclaims
significant news or in England an official in charge of genealogies or
heraldic arms.  Why would Odd Jim have provided a Harold for the
Golden Section?  Because there is something significant or
newsworthy to report.  Apparently Dotty believes we must break out
of the Golden Section and see the box for what it truly is, an heraldic
egg shell or cubic boundary from within which we are permitted only
limited sight, understanding or feeling.  But all is not what it seems, for
that shell, that comfortable womb we believe protects us from harm, is
visibly five sided.  There is a way out, through a maze of  boxed
obstacles depicted in the background.  Our task then (as for every
generation in our genealogy) is to crack open the box and liberate
ourselves from the illusion of golden complacency in which we remain
trapped,  in each of us a box within a box, within a box…so crowded
and cramped as to eliminate any possibility of gazing and feeling the
wonder of our birthright:  a marvelous and sacred sky…                  
how the colors of the Golden Section match the colors of
"Ascension Declination." That is not a coincidence.  Dotty
employs his chromatic clairvoyance, his intuitive appreciation for
the ‘correct’ shade of color, to advance his artistic themes.  And
now we have traveled beyond the zone of the 90 degree angle to
enter the domain of Arabesque Angularities, where neither golden
boxes nor self-imposed limitations restrict our point of view any
longer.  ‘Declination’ means deviation from the horizontal and
vertical or an oblique variation from some definite direction, and
ascension, of course, means ‘the act of ascending’ [sometimes as
into heaven, or in other words, the sacred].  Dotty’s delicately
ornamental figures garbed in this nativity scene reveal both a
genealogical as well as a liberational leitmotiv and evoke both
surprise and wonder, their very amorphous formlessness a
reminder of boundless possibilities.  While a tender affection
between mother and child beguiles us, we are bathed in the
provocative and elusive arrangements of linear alignments floating
like precognitive clouds in an unobstructed sky.  And that very sky
itself is part of them, as we see it encircled in cerebral symbolism,
now emptied and devoid of assumptions, limitations, yet open and
optimized, as if driven by some strange vehicular motivation, in a
wheeled endeavor heading west toward the sublimated season of a
newborn sibling…more sensitive, more perceptive, more
What is there left to say?  Call it abstract, call it antiquarian,  call it old fashioned, or trying to connect the dots with just too
many dashes.  Call it what you want to call it.  Call it resourceful but elephantine exegesis; call it pusillanimous persiflage, or
monolithic asocial technocranky, call it adamantine decimal indoctrination, call it a deluge of ditz, sitz, or dots from a dotty dude
monolithic asocial technocranky, call it adamantine decimal indoctrination, call it a deluge of ditz, sitz, or dots from a dotty dude
deluded by dotage ditties composted by an imposter of points posturing with preposterous propositions.  Call it Dotty’s doctrine
dribbled out after dangerous overexposure to hallucinogenic drugs, call it arenicolous twaddle, bilge water passed off as
Champaign,  the last gasp of a gas bag gagging on the blow by arising from the brown scum he is using as a substitute for
paint.  Call it shuck without a lick of sense, a mere common brown bag filled with bilious burble calculated to quantify a series
of zeros, shocking and grossly opportunistic, premeditated obscurantic flapdoodle from the pen of a mad maximal minimalist
intent on grandiose aggrandizement, call it trial by dot during black and blue bubbles syndrome, a de rigor mortis of body joints
and principal pain points with an exceptional explanation attached…ok?       
And now, suddenly, as if from a great height skyward, is revealed
destiny on the planet.  In colors reminiscent of ‘Harold and the
Golden Section’ and the angularities of ‘Ascension Declination’, the
landscape of our lives is distilled, delineated, charted, mapped,
plotted, stratified, and correlated.  Here Dotty says, “There is a
common place from where we must begin; and there is also a  
shared destination about which we should all attend.  The way is
not straight, nor does it lack dead ends.  The maze twists, crosses
enumerable barriers,  leads back upon itself, traverses heights and
valleys, at times winding beside dark prominences.  Not all roads
lead to Rome.  Some roads simply go nowhere, off the map, into
some undefined oblivion beyond.  But the journey itself is
unavoidable; only the outcome remains uncertain…             
Starry Night with Shamanic Presence
Harold and the Golden Section
Ascension Declination
Soul’s Journey
Odd Jim Dotty’s paintings have aroused a surprising amount of
private interest in the brief interim since the publication of a
Edition).  Here, however, we shall not pause to gloat with
exultation over that remarkable story of well deserved applause
but rather intend to proceed further in our analysis of Dotty’s
versatile forms and stylistic elements as we penetrate into an
idiosyncratic world view of soteriology, his study of spiritual
salvation.  In
"The Ego’s Defense," Dotty’s dot work
displays the game plan of a gymnasiarch, an official who
supervised athletic games or contests in ancient Olympian
Greece. Although there are those who would entertain such a
claim with a round of unrestrained Homeric laughter, we here
at Artsy Fartsy do not.  As any budding incunabulist will asset,
there are always the first stages of anything and everything.  
‘Things,’ ideas, images, thoughts do not spring up out of
nowhere, even though they may appear to in the eyes of an ill-
informed observer.  And Dotty is obviously aware that the
notion of the ‘ego’ comes down to us from Latin and meant
‘the self conceived as a spiritual substance on which experience
is superimposed.’  One cannot fail to recognize the obvious,
then, the icons of  Olympian sport in The Ego’s Defense.  Like
the iconographic floor plan of a modern day Ictinus, the Greek
architect who designed the Parthenon, Dotty’s idiomorphic
rendering of the primal ego maneuver to avoid responsibility for
anything is an impressionistic masterpiece.  
Pictographic and Iconographic Elements in the Works of Odd Jim Dotty,  by Eucalyptus Ike
Which brings us to Supernaturals and a Secret Out of
Bounds Play.”
 Nowhere is Dotty as enigmatic as he is
iconographic than in the homiletic idioms of the autochthonic
aborigines of North America (and elsewhere).  The unusually
eclectic design of the work combines sport iconography (top
half) with rock art or sand painted pictographs (bottom half)
thus presenting the epigrapher with an epinephrine epiphany,
calculated to propel him into the rarest atmospherics impulse
of enthusiasm necessary to decipher a landscape of the
sublime.  Only Dotty knows the true nature of the fantastic
fetishes that festoon the floor of the courtly scene we view
from above.  Notice how the fetish figures appear almost to
float around the centered coyote as if dancing and leaping
with unrestrained delight.  Yet if we look closely, we see they
are actually participants in some form of ball game, apparently
dribbling or passing three round basket balls with the intent to
score through the orange hoop in the upper half of the
painting.  And below the coyote figure, his arms spread
outward and festooned with featherlike wings, his legs
positioned to propel him into flight, looms the shamanic
narrator, agog with eager anticipation.  Finally, it is important
to notice that the numbered steps in the diagram of the
“Secret Out of Bounds Play” do not seem rational in any
logical sense.  One can not simply follow the footwork laid
out in order to find his way ‘out of bounds.’  Yes, there is a
game, yes we are all players in it, yes there is a goal, yes there
is a way to reach that goal. But it is not an easy game to play,
the rules are not simple, codified, numbered, etched in ink, or
even necessarily logical…wouldn’t you agree?
Note the stack of eight ping pong balls capped with an upward pointing arrow, the incurvate dashed lines like trajectories
trailing off to the right, the waffling grid, the ping pong paddle, the innumerable arrows pointing to abrupt right angle
changes in direction, the curved and dashed lines from the paddle pointing to the waffle.  Yet the symbolism is ultimately
playful, indeed almost Gongoresque with its affected metaphors and strained conceits. Thus we are lead to suppress a
modest giggle at the audacious comedy of an ego so limber, flexible, lithe, and subtle as to portray its defense in terms so
gnomic and pithy, so roguish and picaresque.
The Ego’s Defense
A Tale of Old Man Coyote, Navajo Supernaturals
and a Secret Out of Bounds Play
That Dotty’s work shows a lifelong preoccupation with of
his earlier efforts titled simply
“Illusions.”  Anyone
familiar with perception as a field of study will immediately
recognize items in this collection of classic impressions.  
Note the third item down in the left most column.  One can
see either the white vase for holding flowers or the two
brown faces in outline, but it is almost impossible to see
both points of view simultaneously.  Try it and you will see
that as one fades in the other fades out, and vice versa.  
Such simple examples nevertheless teach us important
principles about the nature of our visual apparatus; that the
eye can be fooled and made to see or not to see as the case
may be; and that multiple points of view offer the greater
opportunity for understanding--and ultimately judging--
what we see.  The arts of camouflage and the skillfully
contrived illusions of the stage magician offer themselves
as additional examples of the ways in which the human eye
and brain can be manipulated by what it ‘thinks’ it sees.  
Which brings us full circle back to Dotty’s raison de’étre,
the motivation for much of his work.
In "Hotplace,"  which Dotty says is “based on a microscopic
slide of the chemical agent that makes chili peppers hot,”  we
return to the magical zone of  “Starry Night with Shamanic
Presence.”  But, night has passed, and now we are bathed in
the presence of a rising sun.  Where patterned earth meets
patterned sky, the eye is enticed once again to look deeply into
the mystery of mammalian existence. The colors convey a
cool, refreshing sky embracing a delicately circumspect sun,
beside (not above) the well tilled fields and orderly browns of
the land. The horizon line has been turned on its side in order
to offer us the benefit of an altered perspective.  This is an
image of peace, tranquility and repose, where all the elements
are set in perfect balance, and the design is both
complimentary and harmonious.  The senses are soothed,
softened with solace, satisfied,  because there is order and
symmetry, sunrise (and sunset), pattern and purpose, passage
and return.  Thus we are left with a fitting reminder of where
we have been, what we have learned, and what remains to be
seen.  The game is not over, nor will it ever be.  But we can
learn to live more humanly where we are, where we must, in
greater harmony than we now know, if we have the will and if
we make the effort  Has Dotty connected all the dots?  Has he
himself made progress in the quest?  I for one believe so, and
I suspect others will as well when the work of this patient and
quiet personality is received, eventually,  by the general
The Paintings of Odd Jim Dotty: Part I:  A preview by Eucalyptus Ike
Read introductory "Letters from the Asylum"
Dotty Foundation Archival Photos from the "Collected F-art-Works of Eucalyptus Ike"
Ayotollah of Rock 'n Rolla: two versions
Bi-Polar Coordinates of Retro-Dotty
Descriptive Geometric Desquamation of Dotty Distilled
Hypothetical G-String Theory of Dotty Digitized
Extreme Pinch of Dotty Gastro-Fractized
Ghost in the Dark Master of Winds
Alien Aspects of Dotty's Demonic Descendence
Flatulent Bean Dip of Dotty
Two Versions of  "Post-Prandial Epi-Colonic Intrusions by The Magus of the Immaculate Perceptions"
Neon Glow of Dotty
Myth of Death Valley Dotty with Ike
Ink Spatter of Dotty
Jig Saw Dribble of Drastic Dotty
Evolution of a Dot Master Sequence
From Bust to Crust
To Mythic Mask
And Cryptic Past
Portrait of a Dot Master
Rosh Shamanic Dotty
Progression Number One
Progression Number Two
Progression Stage Three
Evil Woman Stalks Rosh Shamanic Dotty
Final Warp To Wind Cloud Ascension
Dotty's Dot Paintings; The Artsy Fartsy Collection
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