February 25, 2009

(drum roll)

I will title this later today
7" x 5'
oil on canvas

I worked on it a bit more. See below. I don't have the painting in my little hand right now, so I'm not sure which is the more accurate color/contrast depiction. They were taken outside in an overcast spot, but about 2 hours apart from each other. You'd never believe how anal I used to be about lighting and documenting work- to the point of hiring a professional to shoot work in batches as I completed it. Now I only use a professional if I need exhibition shots. I should take the time for decent lighting and a tripod though.

I still have not titled it.
7" x 5'
oil on canvas

There. A bona fide small oil painting underway, weighing in at 7" x 5". It might still be in progress, but no matter, I'm documenting it at this stage anyway. I will report back later... in this very post.

Apparently I lied earlier when I said I was about stepping away from murky colors.

I usually don't sand my canvas down smooth, but I think I shall do that for the next one. I'm still warming up to the idea of this scale, period.

[later that day...]
I am now officially enjoying painting this scale. I need to buy some more canvas either tonight or tomorrow. I have another one well under way and 3 more just started.

Life is good right now. Trying to juggle some opportunities. Now through August seems busy. This is good.

February 22, 2009

Weekend round-up

Big weekend. After a six-hour drawing class that kicked my ass— I lecture a lot during the second class, plus explaining sighting skills is an arduous task at times— I trucked out to Kristi Engle to see Suzanne Adelman's painterly photographs.

I also pruned my lemon tree this week. OMG, that seriously wiped me out. I thought my hands were goners and I'd wake up the next day with 100-year old hands. It didn't help when I expressed my fatigue to an artist friend who said, "We have a gardener do the pruning." That's nice. I felt like a poor farm hand, only I have no farm- just a painting studio with one lemon tree on the property. And sorry, but yes, every time I pick lemons I think, "When life gives you lemons..." But nope, I haven't made lemonade yet, though I think I will this evening. 

I started 3 paintings on Friday and feel really great about them. Maybe a mini break-through or just going to another level. I traded website studio visits with Emily Noelle Lambert a few weeks ago and really liked her work. Her work is more figurative than mine, but it got me thinking and that's a good thing every now and then. 

I'm leaving the muddy palette behind and getting back to some brights. I tried to bring in the palette knife again, but it feels so contrived when I rely on that. This thought is immediately followed by, how silly, the whole painting is contrived. I think it has to do with the fact that my paintings go through so many build-ups, tear-downs and transformations, that laying down a thick slab of paint is just too much of a commitment in the beginning.

Some upcoming shows and auctions, which I'll post more about closer to the dates. The next one sprung up rather quickly and is sometime in April. Each artist was invited to have their own apartment and could invite another artist(s) to show with them. I thought it would be fun to invite people I had not shown with and to see if any out-of- town artists I knew either in the real world or blogging world, wanted to show and sell some work. Mixed results for trying my all-inclusive curatorial stance, but all's well that ends well. I'll be showing with a woman I have shown with a couple of times before and another woman I've never met, but her husband shows at a friend of mine's gallery and I like her work too, so it should make for a good show. I'm also terribly excited waiting for my new cheap digital camera to arrive. I have the Nikon D40 for documenting work, (tripod, use the damn tripod) and this will be my little pocket camera, so I don't have to rely on my iphone for everything else. I'm being really patient. It's a Nikon that was on sale for $100 and they're having to ship it from one store to another for me to pick up.

Next Sunday I fly to Nashville to visit my mom for a few days and then back to making the donuts. 

And, as I announced earlier, I've added an abstract painting class to my schedule. If you're in the Los Angeles area and want more information, email me. The schedule is still being worked out but I'll be introducing it with a 6-hour workshop one weekend in March.

February 17, 2009

A good omen.

Yes. Got the class.

How things happen-

Shortly after moving to LA, I quit/left/abandoned/was no longer needed in the high stakes world of commercial film editing. Not having painted in about 7 years, I decided to fritter away 6 months of savings and dive back into painting. After 6 months of being in the studio, I also resumed my slightly non-existent search for teaching positions. (After grad school, I had my proverbial résumé foot walking toward two doors, commercial post-production and academia. The world of post-production hired me first and that was that.) Moving along then, after I left post-production, people with nothing better to do than ask stupid questions would ask me why I left commercial film editing to teach part-time at a community college, since it was assumed my pay would be minuscule compared to the pot of gold and endless rainbows in the post-production world. (Sorry, that was a tangential rant having nothing to do with the story.) I digress. Anyway...

Yawn. I know, like what does this have to do with today? My second studio in LA was in Mar Vista and housed about 10 other artists' studios. And in that studio was a woman who is a classically trained painter, who now runs her own art academy here in LA. And it just so happens that as a classically trained painter, she was looking for an abstract painter to teach an on-going abstract painting class founded on a historical approach to abstract painting. And since I am now a hustler of money and culture, I talked to Cheryl this afternoon and voilá, got the gig. The space is wonderful and I'm thrilled to be working with her. And ding ding ding, it's 2.7 miles from my house, aka 7 minutes, which in LA is a HUGE coup. My work is pretty much the antithesis of her work, and she seems to be thrilled about that as well. (I always think it's funny when people who could literally paint my ass in a corner are enthused about my work.)

It's only one class to start, but she seems terribly excited and is already thinking of expanding to two classes a week.

I now need students. 7-14. Spread the word, peeps.

Timing is good. Yay.

I'm on my way out to an interview-

February 15, 2009

I need to stop drifting.

Rarely, rarely do I have to destroy a canvas. It's not that I'm super-amazing, out of the ballpark 100% of the time, it's just that part of the thrill, my gimmick, if you will, is being stuck and then resurrecting said stuck painting into an acceptable final resting place. So, totally destroying a canvas is like taking my marbles and walking away from my own game- something I don' t do lightly. And the only reason I did it today was because I scraped some layers too hard and the canvas ripped quite noticeably, which is NOT part of my game. The end. I should have stuck with my original plan of working on watercolors, but noooo, had to muck around with the oils when I knew better.  

I have to get my ass in gear. I'm going through some personal stuff which has been weighing me down.  I have a few upcoming events, which I should be balls out excited about and  I'm frigging moping around worrying about what life will be like at 80 and thinking maybe I should have settled for what was behind door number 1, instead of risking it all for door number 3. 

I received an email inviting me to partake in a huge event/show at the end of March. It sounds like a blast and an opportunity to sell some work to a captive audience over the course of a weekend.  Then in May, I've got a nice studio visit scheduled. Point blank, I need to quit worrying and whining and just frigging get back to work.* 

So there. A swift kick in the butt. 

*Now, define work: 

*I caught myself once again getting confused over the difference between work and job when speaking to a civie.  For me, an opportunity to sell art is technically "work." Even more technically, it should very well be considered my damn job, and yet, I guess because I also consider it to be an intellectual pursuit- I tend to discuss it rather inadequately in terms of a real job to the civilian population. It's a problem and I really need to communicate a little better. Otherwise I fear I come across as one of the ladies who lunch and who happens to push paint around. Not that there's anything thing wrong with ladies who lunch, mind you. 

Perhaps I should have a business card that says CEO or owner/operator. I like owner/operator. I am an operator. 


I did not intend to let a whole week go by w/o posting but was not in studio last week except to pretend to clean, replace 4 light bulbs, take one painting further into mud and make aimless strokes on another. Hardly worth posting about. Working in oil is taxing for me right now. I feel like some indolent kid who just wants to make half-ass brush strokes going nowhere- which would be fine if I could conceptually acquiesce to that as a strategy, but apparently I can't. 

I've got the heater on and in about 5 minutes am going to force myself to work on some watercolors I started last year.  Have thought about moving the watercolor station inside the house during the next couple of months so that I can be warm and cozy and cocoon-like. Yes, I believe I will. 

February 07, 2009

Memory jog

Seeing the new direction of Steven's paintings reminded me of some stuff I did in the studio a couple of years ago-

It was just the accidental mixing stuff on my palette that I found so interesting. I thought about trying to do paintings based on the palette, but recreating stuff is not my thing, so I've just enjoyed having the photographs. It's so tempting though. Luscious.

I did do one paintings inspired by the palette, but I think it was more inspired by Richter and a drought that was going on in Tennessee at the time-

Seeing the palette knife in action over at LaRose's, has inspired me again...and it's always nice to be inspired.

February 06, 2009

That took forever.

I finally, finally, finally completed my application for the civic arts RFQ. The process now requires that you use a site called Café. instead of wasting paper and cds. Kudos for that.

It was slightly time-consuming, but I'm on a MacBook and I type with three fingers. Man, though, it is done!!!!!!

I have at least one more obligatory fellowship app to do, but DL is not until March 6th.

I now have to build my ebay empire and tend to hawking my valuables and ephemera.

Also, my inner geek has download this widget in order to a) help me concentrate and b) cheer me self up. It's a dashboard timer I've set to alert every 15 minutes. The cool thing is I've set it to play a song from my iTunes library. So, 4 times every hour, I listen to "I Can See Clearly Now," by Johnny Nash. I started working on the computer at 9am this morning.

February 05, 2009

Let's move along, shall we.

Today's post is brought to you by Choppy Sentences ®. When eloquence doesn't come naturally, you can always depend on Choppy Sentences. ®

Drawing class starts in one week. It's a Saturday class and I hope it fills. They usually need 18-23 to fill. I'm hoping that since it's a Saturday class, they will run it even if it's not maxed out. I have almost finished uploading my app for civic arts RFQ. Like that hasn't taken forever. Multi-tasking has its consequences. 

I'm  getting ready to walk over to my neighbor's house and take an eBay selling class. My neighbor is a power seller and is authorized to teach and train eBay. I'm planning on selling worldly possession that no longer enhance my world. 

Watercolors and thank God, I live in a sunny state. 

February 02, 2009

As promised, but shhh, it's a secret.

I'm 99% sure these are now complete. They're for the SMMoA exhibit and fundraiser to be held in May. This is the 3rd year I've been invited. The reason I say, shhh, is because technically all the work is anonymous until after it's purchased. The point being that one is suppose to trust their instincts and just buy what they like, but really, everyone gets there early to try and score the Ruscha or the Baldessari etc. THEN, after the superstar work is gone, it's a feeding frenzy. Sadly, some work never gets purchased. I arrived late one year and really wanted to buy something- money burning a hole in my pocket, want to buy something. Couldn't do it, and I am a champion of crap and slacker art...

I'm pretty sure no one's going to remember these paintings from this post and then spot them at at the museum 3 months from now, but still, no sense in spoiling the fun. The purchase price at the museum is $300 + $100 to get in the door.

I'm a stickler for detail, especially with the watercolors, but until my glasses come back with their new lenses, I don't want to add any more detail. I was thinking about this as I was painting them, because when laying some lines down, I was surprised how accurate I was. I felt like I was relying on spatial sense rather than actual sight. (The optometrist said I had "textbook eyes" except for the presbyopia, so that made me feel really good.) Then, the next day, I received a link about a blind painter in Turkey, born without eyes, and this confirmed my instinct.

Oh, and how lame is this: I don't want to give them a good title since no one will see the title until after it's purchased, and obviously, then only the purchaser. How truly selfish of me. I will of course give them a fine title, but not right now. I'm laughing at how utterly rude and self-centered I am. Jeesh. grow up.