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August 22, 2015

Cause and Effect.


Have I mentioned this summer marked five years since I moved here? I just pulled the wetsuits out of  a storage box to celebrate. 

August 21, 2015

Page six.

Yes, every now and then, I feel the need to tie my name to my projects. Things get lost on the web so easily.  Oh wait, there's no name.



In the world of magical thinking, people have a tendency to believe that documentary films and interviews aren't actually creative endeavors, but yes, dear reader, they are. Part social practice, part documentary, the Studio Visit short films are a series of micro-documentaries I've been working on over the summer. I don't even have an official title for them. I call them micro-documentaries. They focus on conversations I have with contemporary artists and cultural spaces in the South and beyond. They're an extension of my studio practice. 

No one hired me to produce them. Money is not being piped into my Swiss bank account to fund these. I've invited myself over to artists studios and have asked if I could document our conversation. I don't have a refinery where I gas up for free, and so far I've tied these interviews into other necessary and self-financed business trips for the sake of maintaining an art career—doubling up on my work load. I'm delighted and grateful my friends have said yes, and have trusted me to nip and tuck our conversations down to three minutes or thereabouts while keeping the integrity of the conversation intact. 

No one has thrown quarters into my camera case—though Meg provided me with coffee and peaches, Mery Lynn fed me and put me up for the night, and Carla all out hosted me because she commissioned me for another project that took us three days to shoot and a week for me to cut and do copyright and music research. (I'm becoming quite well-versed in legal issues. My ancestors would be proud.) But no, no one paid me to make the micro-documentary films. I'm doing them because I need too. And in full disclosurethey're videos, but for the love of god, I'm versed in experimental and short film culture. Old habits die hard. 

It was nice to be invited by the Nashville Scene to host one of the recent videos on their culture blog. Check back here for updates on the rest of the series.  I'm still painting, but I'm excited to be working with media as an art form again and I'm thrilled to have the support of my friends in this new endeavor. 

editors' note: a previous, less thoughtful version of this post was uploaded yesterday and subsequently deleted. I wasn't sure the irony was coming across s fashionably as I had intended. 
full disclosure: (Based on our correspondence, The Scene may or may not give me a token honorarium, but it's not a work for hire.)

August 12, 2015

Maintenance. Post #1. Roof and Gutters.

I hired someone from Craigslist to patch the roof of my shed that was damaged from the tree falling on it. 

The area needing work was about 18 inches square and the fascia needed to be replaced. The guy from Craigslist came by at 11:30 am to look it over. I gave him some scrap plywood and he gave me a flat bid for the repair. He took a break at noon and came back to work at 1:30 pm. At 4:30 pm I walked out to see how it was going. He was in his van checking his cell phone. At that time only two planks of wood had been painted- on one side.

Around 6 pm I saw another car in the driveway. It was a Buick. It belonged to his girlfriend. She was smoking cigarettes in my backyard watching him work. She brought her dog. 

It's 8:04 pm and dark. His  girlfriend left sometime in the last hour. The flat bid included cleaning my gutters. The gutters have plants growing in them. It's been a year since I had them cleaned, maybe more. I've been remiss. Inertia. There's a sample bottle of fancy under eye cream on my kitchen table. My cousin gave it to me four years ago. It doesn't seem that long ago, until I remember that it's been a long time. It's less than an ounce. I forget to use it. 

He hasn't started on the gutters. It's dark. I closed all my blinds and turned on the eave lights.

At 8:25 pm I went outside to tell him maybe he could come back and finish up in the morning. He still had not started work on the gutters. He had a large halogen light illuminating my shed. The shed needs repainting. It's obvious in the daylight but with a halogen light shining on it, it's more obvious. My neighbor was pulling his car in his driveway. Actually it was stopped, almost pulled in, but not quite. I know this, because the taillights were on. He apologized for not getting the work done on time and said he took him longer than he thought. He mentioned something about the cell phone and forgetting a drill. I said no problem, he could come back first thing in the morning.

It's 8:35pm. I looked out the window and saw him back on the ladder touching up some paint.

8:51pm.  His halogen work lights are still on.
9 pm ..... His halogen work lights are still on.

magic.

It was hellish and wonderful to be back in LA. The hellish part is unspeakable, but the wonderful part was seeing a few friends and basking in the warmth of the SoCal sun and concrete.  I feel fortunate to know both visual artists and film editor friends out there so I could talk shop about about current projects.

I swore I wasn't going to speak about the storage situation. And I can't. It's beyond words. The end result was that out of approximately 60 works, 9 large paintings came back, along with four heavy portfolios of idiosyncratic works on paper that were an installation I did over in Rotterdam while on a two-month residency; another book/portfolio of about 250  cut paper watercolors I did when I first started painting again in LA; some miscellaneous very large format digital prints a gallerist printed for a show he curated; and a few small paintings from each series I had to destroy. Some fascinating things to report. Two paintings from 2008 were still wet to the touch. Gotta love linseed oil. I have made some of my best work on cheapo store bought canvases, but they are not suitable for de-stretching and rolling. Paper is amazing for its durability and longevity. It's also heavy. All in all, I shipped 171 pounds of art. I destroyed about 900 pounds. Again, unspeakable. The good news is that I did it within 15 minutes of my maximum allotted timeline. Monday 12-6:30, Tuesday 9am-6:30, Wednesday 10-5:30. Thursday, I was done by noon.

I could wipe anyone off the island if I were on Survivor. Anyone. I was totally in the Do Not F*ck with Me zone. It took an intense amount of concentration and physical stamina. I met my friend Cole in Playa for dinner Tuesday night. Chris Rusak, a friend from the blogosphere and Twitter universe stopped by with some coffee on Wednesday. Dinner with friends R & J Wednesday night talking shop about editing and post in Venice. Thursday, I hung out with Meg, and went to MoCA. I stayed in a super nice sunny breezy modernist pad out of the likes of Dwell magazine on the west side. My host was an expat from Italy, and served up wonderful espresso.

I love LA with all my heart. If you've never lived there, you won't have a clue what I'm talking about. It's more than just art. It's the chick with the just rolled out of bed, bed sheet wrinkles on her back ordering coffee at Peet's while giving legal counsel to a client at 8:30am,  the $6.99 strip mall fish taco that puts wannabe hipster taco joints to shame, and all the crazy over development. It's inexplicable if you're a tourist. It's warm concrete and chic bungalows, and yes, there's a price to pay for all that. It was excruciating to leave, but I am stronger for having done this trip. Much of the work that came back is not for sale and is part of my private collection.

Upon return, I made a decision to stay in Nashville, do some home improvement, and keep moving along with the work. Having a place for the art is important to me. There's a burden that's been lifted and that's good.

I shot a footage for another short artist doc while I was out there, but I'll save that convo for another post.

July 10, 2015

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

I finally had to let go of something I worked my ass off to improve, but I simply could not work miracles. I'm beaten. Three effing weeks. On the bright side: ***Learning Experience***
yay...rah. But seriously, I'm having second thoughts about being a one-woman band, which is excruciating because I'm also insanely determined.