August 30, 2009

No, I'm even slower than molasses, but we're getting somewhere.

Seriously. It's been 6 days so far. Granted, I have fed and walked the dog, bathed, practiced basic hygiene, taken care of some other pressing matters, and even managed to leave the house for some things, but overall, I have been working on the application for 6 days. Is there a grant out there which will cover the time it takes to apply for a grant? A Paypal donation button hanging out in cyberspace, something, anything that provides immediate gratification for this type of work? There are probably boilerplate examples out there, but even if I wanted to have a nonchalant non-interest in the process, I'd end up tweaking it until it wasn't boilerplate anymore, so what would be the point?

The breakthrough news though is this. I banged out, literally, tap tap tap tap, an updated statemtn about the new work, not bothering to spellcheck or figre out thether the snestebes were acutally speleld wrie or made esne I knew what i was siting,but since i'm a 4 finger tuper, indecl tand kmiddle finerhn,mon both hand, somethings if y keys are nont in the right pace, it looks something like this. Better cutally since I was going slightly slower.

Then after I got the ideas in place, I spell-checked and added some punctuation. Total flow. I still need to figure out some wording and sentence structure. Some it it would only makes sense to me. For instance, I've misused a few words, but they're placeholders until I can get back in there and overall I was pleased at how the ideas presented themselves somewhat effortlessly.

I leave for Nashville on Wednesday for a long weekend. My goal is to have it in the mail BEFORE I go.

August 28, 2009

A vat of molasses I tell you.

I'll spare the details, but while working on a grant app which requires detail financial stuff, I had to re-enter and re-reconcile 4 months and 4 accounts worth of statements. And I know they had previously been entered and reconciled because after a statement is reconciled, I make an "R" on the statement, and not just any "R." No, I make an "R" that looks the the "S" on Superman's cape.

So I'm going just a little nuts from being on the computer for all sorts of things. My office is in the corner of my studio, so I've been able to sneak away a bit and work on a painting, but for all practical purposes, I'm in office mode for a while or at least until the winds of fate shift.

August 25, 2009

Ok, this is the post in which I confess that I am a perfectionist and need some balanced feedback.

Tentatively titled, Overlooking the Clouds Sea, (Fang Corners a Crow in the Backyard) 1817/2009, 2009
oil on linen
7" x 5"

It's almost an exact copy of the Caspar David Friedrich painting, Le Voyageur au-dessus de la mer de nuages, translated as The Traveller over the Clouds Sea, according to the back of the souvenir card I bought in a museum store. Fog, Clouds Sea, same diff.

Bottom line: Do I need to use macro or am I going to drive myself crazy trying to capture minute detail that the naked eye can't see anyway?

Seriously, it's ludicrous. The painting is 7" x 5". The pixel dimension of the original tiff is 1757 x 2466. At 100% view on the computer screen, a detailed section that is about 1 inch in real life is blown up to be the size of the whole painting. It's freaking me out, man. I can't deal with the appearance of verisimilitude.

I'm not going to post all 18, some of which you've seen, but I'm getting picky about shooting these in order to apply for a grant app. (The jpg I've posted is only at 72dpi, not the required 300-400dpi.) I know I'm over thinking this and getting ready to spin in hyper mode, but still. Am I expecting too much? Does it smell like turpentine and linseed oil yet? Will it ever?

Nevermind. Carry on. Nothing to see here. I was just hyper-analyzing pixels.

August 22, 2009

Let's see.

In a nutshell:
  • Open house at Otis tomorrow- I give a 10-minute presentation on Drawing Fundamentals.
  • In the wake of the budget cuts, I cleared out my office at El Camino yesterday. 7 years. Poof. Ran into 2 people who I apparently needed to run into. As an adjunct, teaching weekends and evenings can be isolating with no other faculty around, but there's always at least one person in an administrative position who is amazing and I'm always lucky enough to get to know them a bit.
  • Am going to brush up my my editorial skills.
  • I queried the brilliant mind of Steven LaRose for suggestions on portable objects for observational drawing. I've been lucky enough to work at colleges with ample thrift store-esque props. This fall I have to supply my own and transport them in 5 cubic feet of cargo space. I'm beginning to think my life is an art project. And yes, I've read Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life and Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees.
  • I made a damn good spinach eggless quiche yesterday substituting tofu for egg. Dee-lish.
  • Finished a covert collaborative painting, which I think turned out quite well. Am waiting to hear from the initial collaborator.
  • 3 small paintings in various stages in the studio.
  • Worked on version 2 of my resume.
  • Time to apply for grants.
  • This week's Netflix bounty: Flash of Genius, Revolver.

August 19, 2009

I was supposed to go dark, wasn't I?

I've decided to shelve my cutthroat prima donna act and to win fiends friends and influence people the old fashioned way: honey, not vinegar, with just a tad of strychnine, if needed. There. See. All better. Kidding. Just kidding.

I began updating my resume yesterday, the one I use for attracting employment, which is the same one I use for attracting everything else actually, it's just rearranged and the Professional Experience category is fleshed out using action phrases, like, "I designed a syllabus and conducted a class," as opposed to, "The class miraculously taught itself, while I watched in horror."

Then I started thinking about how artists always have pictures of themselves standing in front of their artwork and that I should have something like that as my profile picture. Amazingly enough, my artwork and myself are rarely seen in the same photograph. Suspicious, no? Yes, I thought so too. Anyway, like all my bright ideas, I figured I'd combine one thing with another and I arrived at my new profile pic. It's energy-saving, to-the-point and very efficient. Frida Kahlo meets an Oscar de la Renta dress my mom had when I was a kid. I'm tempted to make more of these while searching for work. The puzzle pieces are coming together.

Good day in the studio too. The joint is cleaned up, most of the floor was repainted and I'm back working on 2 new paintings. I wish I could express how much I love painting. Something new is revealed every single day I pick up a brush. I seriously thought the first batch of these were killer, but 6 months later, I'm wowing myself. I'm not 100% satisfied with how I'm photographing them and that's one of the reasons I'm not uploading them. The other is that I was waiting to debut them for the solo show with Kristi Engle, approximately 394 days away. I may put some of the earlier ones on my website, but I'm not sure. I think I'd like to keep them undercover just a bit longer. Maybe I'll just put a teaser on the website and rotate it out every so often.

Other good news. A check arrived in the mail yesterday as the result of the gallery selling a painting. And since I am now a very positive person, I decided that I would look forward to checks arriving every day in the mail.

August 17, 2009

Why do I loathe shipping & packing so much? I mean, "Damn this was fun!"

There was a major rant associated with this post, true to form for a prima donna like my badass self, but self-censorship got the best of me.

I'm working on publishing a pamphlet to accompany my next show. Perhaps it will find it's way in there.

Prima donna Post No. 1

Shipping & packing is a bitch. Not doing it anymore.

August 16, 2009

Hello, My name is...

I'm going to check out for a bit. I want to reevaluate some things. We're in month 8 of the Gregorian calendar and I'm feeling an urge to reinvent myself. The happy-go-lucky painter shtick is getting old and I'm tired of being nice. First up, cutthroat prima-donna. I'll keep you posted of how many tantrums I pull.

And by the way, summer was way overrated this year. I can't wait for fall.

August 15, 2009

Even though I knew this, somehow seeing it in writing is disturbing.

Due to severe budget cuts to the California Community Colleges, Ms. Hackett’s teaching assignment at El Camino was terminated effective fall 2009.

On the bright side, the art consulting firm that commissioned the recent project loved the painting and approved the shipping & packing fees I inadvertently omitted.

Game face on, people. Game face on.

Rolling tubes and Ethafoam, I love you—not as much as casters, but I love you.

I think this may be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Giant rolling tubes from Ashely Distributors, along with some Ethafoam scraps for buffering. Sheet plastic for wrapping, some tape and I'm good. Materials approximately $120. Out of curiosity I asked how much it would cost to have a pro pack it, and got a rough estimate that it would take a seasoned art handler about an hour to pack it, plus the administrative fee. So I figured it would take me twice as long to pack it at my place, but the guy corrected me and suggested that it might take me 3 hours. I assume this will include untretching the canvas. I also learned that glassine, the archival wonder material is not so archival when it comes to protecting acrylic paintings. Over time, like say, during the transportation of work across states like Texas and Oklahoma in the summertime, glassine may stick to the acrylic paint causing the acrylic paint to peel away when the glassine is removed. Nice. Apparently this is true of kraft paper as well. Hence the plastic sheeting.

The beautiful thing about this method of S&P is that (1) It's relatively inexpensive (2) It's flexible for all sizes of canvas (3) The process will be the same no matter what size canvas or paper (4) I can estimate shipping and packing easily and concisely 5) All my materials come from the same place, and 6) I can carry it myself.

Of course, this is all a relatively moot point since I have sworn off big painting and am concentrating on the small works.

August 13, 2009

It wasn't that bad.

Now that I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm kind of sad I didn't try and enjoy it more. It's a medium-large painting and seeing as I'm a painter, I really do enjoy waking up and going out to the studio to work on a painting that has a warm paycheck attached to it. My bank account appreciates it too.

Of course I still have the shipping and packing drama to look forward to. I so wish I had an assistant. You just don't know.

August 10, 2009

I decided to leak some new images to Kris Chatterson's blog.

Kris Chatterson featured me on his blog KCLOG. Kris is painter based in New York. He is represented by Western Project here in LA. His blog is devoted to featuring other artists and what's on the walls in New York and LA.*

*As opposed to my blog, which was most recently devoted to telling you how many William Orbit tracks it takes to get from Culver City to Glendale and back.

PS. Thanks Kris!

August 09, 2009

Let me introduce you to my new friend, the Los Angeles Freeway System.

Last night I documented a friend's performance at the Brand Library and Art Center. I was hoping to finish up in time to get to an open studio, also on that side of town, but by the time I was done, it was a crapshoot on whether I would have made it. Considering I'm not too good with finding my way around the Los Angeles foothills in the first place, I drove straight home instead. Straight, being the key word. I scored a perfect 100 for not veering toward the wrong freeway exchange at any point during the evening. Embarrassing as it may sound, when I don't pick the wrong exit on the freeway, I am elated. Countless times, I've had to pull off at the next exit, turn around and try it again. Painful. The drive home was nice but bittersweet. LA is beautiful at night with all the city lights twinkling; I'm driving a nice little sports car, and I have William Orbit, Strange Cargo playing. I felt like I was in a David Lynch Film and it made me a little sad. The whole trip was about 50 miles or the entire cd plus track one repeated.

August 07, 2009

It's a two post kind of day

Note to self: If I ever do this again, I want someone to take my bid, mark it up 3 times and tattoo it on my forehead while simultaneously putting duck tape across my mouth. Prior to that I am going to remove the numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 from my keyboard.


I spent most of the day having a ménage à trois with Apple and AT&T. Sadly, I'm still not satisfied.

I've been having a voicemail issue with my cell phone, which I might add, I use as a business phone. I'm so not down with receiving voicemail 24 hours after the fact, but kept postponing the dreaded techsupportphonecalltimesuck. I'm not going to punish myself by looking at my calendar to see if the first time I noticed a delayed voicemail was 28 days ago, because if it had been, I could have walked into an Apple store and walked out with a new or refurbished iPhone, if indeed, the problem was the phone. AT&T is saying it's not on their end, but Apple is suggesting it could be the SIM card. Nonetheless, here I am 27 days after my warranty has expired and so I am troubleshooting EVERYTHING with the nice Apple kid outside of Dallas who at one point told me to "right click" something and I was like, "What? Did you just tell me to right-click?"
1) I've been using a Wacom tablet and pen for about 12 years and 2) I know that's dark side talk.

At this point, it seems like I'm getting voicemail within 10-25 minutes, which, while not exactly bomb squad worthy, is better than 24 hours and acceptable until I have replenished my patience for the next level of troubleshooting.

And yes, I was supposed to be painting today. Before the techsupportphonecalltimesuck, I grabbed some more paintings from storage and had a studio visit with a friend who is trying to turn a friend of hers onto my work. I say "try." I'm not sure my work would fit above her fireplace. I'm not being snarky, but people who have measurements in mind kind of freak me out anyway. I'm aware not everyone has my any port in a storm hanging mentality.

It will be a late night. This week was kind of chopped up with appointments anyway, so I knew it wouldn't be ideal, but next week, I only have one studio visit/breakfast scheduled and unless something outlandishly fantastic comes my way, I'm implementing bankers hours until this project gets done.

27 days past warranty. I loathe planned obsolescence.

August 06, 2009

ARGH! What have I done?!

Yeah, let's have a little freakout. I'm working on a commissioned project and I'm thinking, "No big deal, I'll grid it out and wham, bam, I'll be done with it." What the hell was I thinking? I abandoned the grid system. It seemed stupid and silly and I deemed it impossible to pencil in a layered wash. I've set the timer, so I can track my hours more accurately, but since chucking the grid, I keep forgetting to turn it on. I'm struggling on this one. Maybe I'm being resilient to order and structure or maybe I'm just being an ornery bad ass.

Tuesday was busy. First off, Kristi came over to pick up a painting that sold and I served her a fine cup of coffee accompanied by 100-year old piece of raisin bread from my freezer. (I HAVE to get to the store.) We chatted about some business stuff. Art world politics are still a mystery to me. I'm not that much into astrology, but as an Aries, I'm on the verge of shooting myself in the foot on a daily basis. There's something that's still bugging me (albeit less and less) and I know there are three choices: I can play nice and let it go or I can speak my mind and never work in this town again. My gut instinct is always the second choice However, the third choice is that I let it go and secretly think, they'll never work in this town again.

After KE left, I had to go on the other side of town to meet my divorce lawyer. I'm lame. I completed most of the paperwork, but the whole stack looked like it was put together by a drunken spider. And then, of all days to be running 5 minutes late and NOT take the motorcycle. Traffic finally came to a standstill downtown. I was stuck in the same place for over a half hour. Cars are jumping the median. I considered it, even went so far as to turn the wheels, but no, I'm in the fancy, impractical car and there's no way in hell I'm gonna jump a curb in that thing, so I wait. My first thought was a traffic accident- it's the freeway after all, but for some odd reason, and I will chalk this up to my psychic powers, I had a flashback of when I first moved to Chicago and was living with a friend in Skokie. They lived just off the 94, aka The Edens expressway. Traffic had come to a standstill and didn't move for about 2-3 hours. Some guy had pulled a gun on himself in the middle of the freeway. I can't remember if anyone was in the car with him or what the deal was, but it was a buzzkill for everyone's evening commute. So I'm sitting in traffic on the 110 North thinking about the suicide guy in Chicago and it turns out there's a bridge jumper less than a mile away from me. Firetrucks, oodles of cops- he jumped and they caught him in the tarpy thing and he lived. I, on the other hand, was an hour late to the lawyer's and missed another appointment altogether. I could hear the sound of the cash register at the lawyer's office. I have no idea what the point of that visit was, yet we had a conversation for which I will be billed. I could have mailed her the paperwork. I had buyer's remorse the whole time I was there. Then to boot, she asks if I am teaching for the fall and I still don't know and she's says, "If it were me, I'd be nervous." No, really, ya think? I missed a 3 o'clock meeting back at my studio, but got back in time to meet a friend and another artist for dinner.

Okay, as amazingly personal and revealing as I am on this blog, I try to not sound totally nuts, but here goes. I think of myself as highly intuitive although I never associated this trait with my art until a secret conversation I had with my advisor in grad school. She brought it up, saying that my work was intuitive and even though it was an incredibly uncool thing to acknowledge, to go with it. But instead of making a connection between art and intuition, I've always associated this trait with my mother. And because of this, I was never gung-ho on being intuitive. In fact, I found it quite annoying. Whenever I told her something she would tell me she had a "feeling" I was going to say that. I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes and yet, I too, have these moments of precog. I assume everyone does, but maybe not. This is all to say, that when someone asks me if I'm nervous about not having a teaching schedule locked down, I feel compelled to reply, well, yes, but really in the back of my head, I'm not. As little as I DO get out and leave my compound, I do meet people and sometimes those meetings result in fortuitous events. Even when I don't leave my studio, I make connections with people. At this point in my life, I'm 90% sure I'm spending a good portion of my time productively going in a forward direction. I was supposed to be in the studio 30 minutes ago, but the extra few minutes it took to write this paragraph may fit into the bigger picture somewhere. That's my theory today.

Now I'm off to the studio to tackle the painting. I have an ice cream break planned around 3 pm and I HAVE to go grocery shopping tonight. Tonight's reward will be The Wire. Season 5: Disk 4

There's also some grant app and job apps I NEED MUST HAVE to apply for and bills to pay. I'm busy, it's all good, but I could really use an assistant this week. This weekend is busy too.

August 02, 2009

Another day, another attempt at orderly conduct.

Non sequitur: Yesterday I was talking to an artist I don't know that well, but at some point they assessed me as being polite. I have conflicted feelings about being referred to as polite. One- of course I am, and two- I'll scorch the earth we walk on within 2 seconds flat if I need to make a point. Nothing personal, I'm an Aries.


The studio is being taken over by a large painting for a corporate client. I have no shame. It's money. Money is good. Mondrian painted flowers for money. Plus, if I were to suddenly be like, "Hey, I'm working on this large painting, y'all, and it's so much fun painting large again, and I'm like all in love with those big brushstrokes and they're rocking my world again," you might wonder what happened to me swearing off large painting. So I tell you up front, I'm being paid to paint. We'll let it go at that. It would be better if there were a waiting list for my large paintings and THAT was why I was being paid to paint. (Anything is possible.) But it is without shame, that I report I love to paint and I consider myself lucky to be paid to do so with a certain amount of freedom. Plus I have this split-brain mentality that I'm able to successfully engage when working on this kind of work and it makes it all very factory-like. Timers, time-sheets, grids. It's all very organized. Eureka, it's Design! Gasp!

August 01, 2009

Whateverness and Other Revelations of Revolution.

Well, I'm slowly shaking off yesterday's oddness. The cause of my discomfort was that I quite suddenly and unexpectedly got the feeling I was being fed excuses about something and that if one excuse was solved, there would be another one in its place. And for better or for worse, obviously worse, it reminded me of my marriage and how at a certain point, there was always going to be some problem that was not fixable: No use working on X, because there would always be Y. If we addressed Y, then there was X. So now that I've identified that unhealthy and slightly, albeit not entirely, irrational connection, I can pretty much dump it in the 'whatever' file and move along. Which is quite funny, because as I was thinking that, someone on FB had posted a link to this video by Liam Lynch which has made me laugh all day. Okay, maybe not ALL day, but it was a good laugh. How did this guy escape my radar?

I'm in the process of pulling some paintings from storage and placing them back in my studio. One, it's just easier to have them here for studio visits. Two, in a perfect world, I could give up my storage space, but three, sadly we still have stuff in a larger storage space and among some of my worldly possessions that I cart from city to city, is an antique Jenny Lind spindle bed frame that belonged to a great aunt or grandmother and I have no room for it at home. It's a tad quaint and unsexy as hell, though it's a four-poster bed, which gives it some sex appeal, I suppose. It would make a nice guest bed. Problem is, I don't have a Victorian era guest room. Or do I? hmmm. [Lightbulb]

Okay, suddenly, it just occurred to me that I could rent out the spare bedroom as a guest room type bed and breakfast thing to maybe other art people types. I'm in Culver City, walking or at least bicycling distance to downtown CC. It's centrally located on the west side. Several restaurants are one block away and the YMCA is one block away. I'm going to seriously look into the legalities of this.

Other news. A smaller, not smallest painting did sell. That's good news. And as soon as I log off, I'm going to begin a day job project, except that it's almost night. I just need to get started.