October 30, 2008


Kristi Engle podcast.

I am posting now becuase I will be too tired later.

I managed to practice yoga this morning for the first time in a loooong time. I am always surprised by how unbendable I become when I stop practicing yoga. I also forget why I stop practicing cause I always feel so good afterward. Always. It would make sense then, to continue my yoga practice uninterrupted.

The studio. Yep. I was there today, but nary a brushstroke did I make. I'm dropping a few smaller paintings off to the gallery tomorrow and decided NOT to rush the other 3 that I think I'm finished with, because I may not be finished with them after all. They need sitting time in the studio. I need to stare. On the way to the gallery, I'm stopping by to do a studio visit with another artist.

I had an impromptu coffee with a consultant friend as I was writing this. She was in the neighborhood. Call me a philistine, but as a producer of art, I am so utterly fascinated by the collector of art side of things- the serious collector side of things, the hardcore, that's-equivalent-to-my-entire-mortgage kind of collector. We discuss this kind of stuff and I secretly think that maybe I should spend more time educating myself as a collector. A few weeks ago when the economy hit the first bottom and WAMU was up for grabs, I thought seriously about cashing it all in on one major painting. I didn't, but that gives you an idea of what kind of collector I'd be. Or not. Maybe it just gives you an idea of how disillusioned I am with traditional investments, such as real estate, 401K's and my FDIC insured savings account. It should come as no surprise that "Masterpiece" was one of my favorite games as a child. Maybe there's an art world version of The Sims version out there. If not, there should be.

I also like the idea of dressing up, coiffing my hair and wearing sexy pumps.

As a reminder, next Tuesday is the studio coffee break at 2 PM PST. Unfortunately, I will not be wearing sexy pumps or coiffed hair in the studio. Maybe one day, but not next Tuesday.

October 29, 2008

Community Outreach Report.

Yesterday I downloaded Skype and from 2-3pm PST, covertly implemented my Tuesday afternoon coffee break with anyone who wanted to participate.

Steven LaRose, who suggested video conferencing via Skype, was my first caller, albeit earlier in the day when I was still setting up, but I'm still counting it. Another woman I know, who is not an artists and who knew nothing of my project, just happen to call during the posted hours and I was able to suggest some resources for her. I'm counting that too. An artist in LA commented that it was a good idea and wanted to know my address.

So, all in all, I think I'm off to a good start. I'll be posting the event on Facebook, seeing as that seems to be the place to reach the most people instantaneously.

For now, I'm committing to being here on Tuesdays, but I may open it up more for the video conferencing thing now that I have that in place.

Currently, a couple of paintings are drying out in the sunshine and I'm going to begin another. I keep hoping to find out that I received a grant I applied for, but when I wait like this, it usually means I didn't get it. I tend to get grants when I forget that I applied for them, which means that I should probably start applying for some more....

October 27, 2008

My Attempt at Community Outreach.

I am a painter. I work in a studio by myself. In a perfect world, I would have a fancier, bigger, studio like I did in Chicago. My present studio is my drywalled garage and I have a patio. My studio is rather small considering the kind of painter I am, so I like to think that what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. If I had a larger studio, I'm pretty sure I'd never want to venture out and I suspect I'd rule the world cause my paintings would be so fantastic from all the daylight and unlimited white space surrounding me. I long for the day when I can have a comfy painter's couch and huge windows in my studio again. I see it. I do.

But I digress. My point is that being a painter who enjoys working alone, I have to make an effort to be social and have meaningful dialogues with others. I thought the patio might be a good place to start. And I thought that since I take a coffee break at 2pm every day, I would open up my studio one day a week, for anyone who wants to stop by and join me for coffee between 2 and 3 pm. In reality, I only take about 15 minutes for my coffee break, but I'm thinking an hour might be more reasonable for someone to stop by for coffee.

This is my idea of community outreach: conversation and coffee. It's art project within a studio practice. I'm instigating it tomorrow. For the time being I'm calling it, Tuesdays at 2 on Tuller. A bit droll, but it contains the necessary info. Not sure if the idea will take, but I figure I'd give it a shot. And who knows, perhaps vegan cupcakes will be served in the future.

AND, since I am no Luddite, if the real world coffee thing is slow to take, I will be open for IM chatting during that hour as well. I have to work out the details, but I'm thinking I might have found a way to make Facebook accountable.

(Feel free to forward this artists, and others interested in art in the LA/Culver City area.) Interested parties may email me and I will post a map.

I will report back.

October 22, 2008

Today's Eureka!

I obsess. I've been obsessing over how I wished I had said this or that in a public forum, and why I get that weird empty feeling when I sometimes talk about the work, and I just figured it out.

It's NOT about an individual painting! Taking about an individual painting doesn't feel right for me, because the work is not about an individual painting; it's about painting as a verb, rather than painting as a noun, and because that's so integrated in the act of painting, talking about the finished painting forces me in an uncomfortable position of speaking about it as a noun.

Well duh!

That, and the existentialist question of whether I paint to record the world around me or whether the world around me is an excuse to paint.

I'm going out to the studio and I'm not coming back until I've accomplished something.

I need to show three paintings some love today. The subject of scale came up the other night and scale is always fascinating to me. I've talked about the different physical aspects of the gesture, wrist vs. arm, but the zero-to-sixty factor is a challenge as well. Painting on a smaller scale is sometimes like being a Ferrari stuck in 5 0'clock traffic. Not that I've ever been a Ferrari, but whenever I see one, they're always, and I do mean always, going under 30 mph cause it's L.A. and there's always traffic.

But back to painting. One of the reasons I went back to painting, was because of the limitations. It's all about navigation.

October 21, 2008

I had a nice time.

I still get nervous speaking in front of a group of people about my art. I always forget what's currently important and try and remember what was important, which comes out kind of flat, cause in a way it's like remembering what it was like being in love with an old boyfriend, but talking about it after you've moved on. I mean I still seriously LOVE the paintings I made last year, and worked really intensely on them, but it always feels rather scientific to discuss them from a distance. Or I could chalk it up to being socially inept, which is a bit closer to the truth.

Kevin spoke about his work,

then I spoke about my work,

then Eric spoke about his work,

then Lester wrapped it up.

Eric said everything about his work that I wished I had said about mine, but Eric managed to actually express it succinctly. I, on the other hand, recall making some obscure point about how in painting I'm trying to come up with the flavor equivalent of peanut butter and sardines rather than peanut butter and chocolate. Plus I always try and pretend It has nothing to do with formalism and paint. So sometimes under pressure, I'm just a blatant liar.

The weirdest thing- and this happens to me occasionally and it creeps me out, but in an okay way-a woman came up to me almost as soon as I got there and told me she recognized me from my paintings. I was a little confused, because they're not many pictures of me AND my paintings floating around, but she went on explain that she "knew" that my paintings belonged to me and she wasn't able to connect the other artists to their paintings. It gets weirder. After I spoke, she came up to me again and told me my paintings were really self-portraits. And she said it in one of those knowing voices like she knew something I didn't know. Very X-file. It's true of course, but like I'd ever admit that in public.

Big thanks to Kristi & Daniel and Chris.

October 20-November 26: “More Than a Feeling”, contemporary abstract paintings by Lester Monzon, Eric Sall, Kevin Wingate, and others.

Also, turns out that I was the "others"- funny.

October 18, 2008

"Why the fck doesn't everybody love me?"

True that.*

More stuff from the Side Street podcast... this time via Jeff Poe. The D.I.Y. thing was brought up again; some Lilliputian ray of hope for older (35 up) and mid-career artists who are still emerging, (a phrase that needs to die now) and a lovely re-quote attributed to Hirsh Pearlman, "Good artists embrace their symptoms."

* I've been watching too many episodes of The Wire.

October 17, 2008

Upcoming show-

More Than a Feeling
Group show of contemporary abstract painting, curated by Chris Acuna-Hansen
Rio Hondo College Art Gallery
3600 Workman Mill Rd., B-13
Whittier 90601-1699
October 20-November 26
Reception and artist talk: Oct 20, 7-8:30 PM

View Larger Map

October 14, 2008

Podcast Synopsis

I'm so into podcasts now.

I linked to Side Street Projects podcast series a few posts ago. Mostly geared toward uber-emerging artists and mostly redundant info if you're over 23, or live and breathe art, but still some interesting POV's. I just listened to Irene Tsatsos, currently, the Director of the Artist's Pension Trust, formerly of LACE, formerly of Whitney Biennial and formerly of N.A.M.E. where I briefly met her through my friend, Mary Claire, who also worked at N.A.M.E., where I did a closed-circuit video performance and received my first review, starting with the great sentence, "My art school training prepared me well for the 'nirvana through monotony, John Cage would approve' style video of Mary Hackett. "Dart Board Maintenance" was the first piece that people got up and walked away from...." Okay, now that I've gotten that 6 degrees of separation out there and relived a minor review from grad school.

Juried shows. I used to tell students that maybe, maybe a juried show was okay just to test the waters, and although I did a few myself, say, when I thought all hope was lost and there was nothing to live for- I think juried shows suck. I am whole-heatedly against artists paying to show their work and I think fees are a big scam. I also think it's mercenary to charge artists for information that can be had for the price of a cup of coffee.

But that's my opinion. And thankfully, Irene and Jon believe this also. The sad thing is that smaller and not so smaller institutions in the hinterlands and people who need to rely on other's opinions seem to place importance on juried shows as if they seriously means something. And in some places, it's the only opportunity for artists. So, I guess it depends on your goals. Or how sad you feel.

D.I.Y. Yes, go D.I.Y! D.I.Y. shows get big points. I am so D.I.Y. at heart. Like, right now, I want to organize a D.I.Y. event! Yes, let's!

, a good website. Some curators would rather look at a website than a disk. I could probably simplify my website. I hate to choose favorites, so I use my website as an archive or an atlas of sorts. If I had to pick just 10 images, I'd go crazy. So sad, because I'm a good editor. I just think the bigger picture is more interesting for me. My website is too big. I know this.

Auctions. Sure, selectively donate to auctions, but set a reserve price.

The usual stuff about networking and getting out to meet and mingle, except us artists over 30 and 40 get a break from traipsing around parties all night long. Thank God.

Kristi's going to be interviewed in a couple of weeks, so that's pretty cool.

October 13, 2008

The Power of Porridge

A hot bowl of oatmeal is the greatest food in the world. Just saying.

I picked up the smaller paintings while in Nashville and on my way home stopped by a friend's restaurant to say hello. Long story short, she hung the work impromptu in the restaurant. So, if you're in Nashville, specifically at the historic Belle Meade Plantation, have lunch, enjoy art. Martha's at the Plantation.

Was supposed to continue working on website for someone this morning, but they've pushed it to this afternoon. The commission piece is almost done, so I'm going to continue tromping around the studio with the latest set of smaller paintings, until I have to shift gears.

October 12, 2008

Gallery Hop

More of a leap, than a hop. I'm such a west-sider.

Made a brief stop at Kristi Engle Gallery for the Karl Erickson & Andrew Falkowski show, Age of Empires, then back to Culver City for a terrible dinner at Natalee Thai. The food was ok. like, o...kay, but the table next to us was a foursome of amazingly obnoxious self-obsessed and apparently shallow, but loud individuals.

And for the record, I officially do not like coconut juice. Yes, on a desert island, I would drink it, but otherwise, nope.

October 10, 2008

I've got to get to work, but first...

Chain of events:

1. Needed to find out how to exchange 3G power adapter with the least amount of effort.

2a. Done √

2b. Intrigued at prospect of seeing a laptop on fire.

3. Saw link for NYT Elizabeth Peyton article

Will report more later, but have to go smog the car and get in the studio.

October 06, 2008

The kitchen sink post from BNA

Good Daughter review:
I am trying to be a good daughter and take care of some things around
tmy mom's house.
Difficulty level: 5

Art review:
a) Art in the Airport programs may not be pushing any envelopes, but I
have a great apprciation for seeing art as I'm departing and art as
I'm arriving. I don't care what your cup of tea is, art is neccessary
and if you can't get to a gallery to see art, let the art come to you.
Difficulty level: 0

b) Since TAG closed its doors, I picked up some unsold work and
dropped it off at a friend's place temporarily. The suitcase sized
works I'll bring back on the plane. I'd like to find homes for The
Tornado Face drawings. Bartering for needed goods and services is an
option. Current needs include landscaping and custom shelving in LA,
and a studio rental for next summer in Nasville.
Difficulty level: 2

c) Got my dander up over the arts incentive program in Chattanooga. In
order to qualify, you need to make your living from your art, and ONLY
your art. Teaching art does not count. On the other hand, if I was a
floral designer, graphic designer, fashion designer, or involved in
one of the other arts that are service-oriented, I would qualify.
Apparently I am not a member of the creative class afterall. Bummer.

Difficulty level: 3

Food review:
a) Mom and I went to the Pancake Pantry for breakfast. The hashbrowns
are vegan. I miss pancakes.
Difficulty level: 3

b) Met a friend for dinner at City House. Very accomadating for vegan
eats. No soy milk in the house. I am spoiled in LA.
Difficulty level: 1

c) Starbucks: here in Nashville, in Green Hills, SBUX wants me to fork
over an additional 40 cents for soymilk. I can buy a whole container
from Trader Joes for 3 bux.
Difficulty level: 3

Campaign review:
Great timing! The debate's tomorrow night at Belmont College University and I'm
going volunteer for one of the shifts. Will report back via Twitter
Difficulty level: 0

Sent from my iPhone

October 01, 2008

The secret is emotion

I may have used that heading before. It's so apropos. 

It's rather tepid in the studio. I made pretty good headway on paintings # 2, but needed some drying time, so took a break. I'm still working as a hired gun, more or less. I gridded out painting #1, and thus knew what it was going to look like, more or less. Everything is more or less around here. 

For painting #2, I played around on Photoshop, cobbled some images together and came up with 3 images and gridded them out, and then for some insane reason, decided to ignore them and just do painting #2 as a response to painting #1. It's going fine, but I realize that for commissioned work of this nature, I think I preferred knowing what I was doing in advance. Or not. I'm just happy to be getting paid to do what I do, more or less. 

Okay. I just "spilled" coffee on painting #2. Whew. Feel better now. 

Artists for Obama

Just a few links. 

The Obama Art Report
Anoka Faruqee's fundraising event
Artists for Obama print portfolio at Gemini G.E.L.
Artists for Obama group