November 27, 2010

Script for a One-Act Play

Why I Want to Avoid Parties This Holiday Season 
a play in one act 
by M.A.H. 


Q........The Others

Act I

People are mingling in the background. Everyone is smiling and laughing. There is food and drink.

Q: So, how do you like being back in Nashville?
A: It's fine.

Q: What do you do?
A: I'm an artist. I paint.

Q: What do you paint?
A: Mostly abstract, but with some representational imagery.

Q: Do you use oils?
A: Oils, acrylic, watercolor, whatever. I like paint.

Q: Do you show your work in Nashville?
A: No.

Q: There's a little gallery on Highway 70, maybe you could show your work there, or at one of the high school art galleries.
A: [Nods slowly. Shows no expression. Tries to smile slightly. Nods slowly again.]

Q: Have you thought about teaching high school?
A: Not really. A drawing I have posted on my website contains the word, fucked. I don't think I'd be a good role model to teach a high school art class.

[Awkward silence. Q glances nervously around the room. A remembers she wore a watch specifically so she could look at it in situations like this. A looks at watch. Q failed to make eye contact with anyone. They resume the conversation.]

Q: What are you going to do?
A: I'm really good with removing wallpaper. I call myself "The Wallpaper Whisperer" and have demanded the dog address me as such during business hours. I also make affordable paintings under an alter ego and sell them out of a fake atelier- my version of Jaclyn Smith at Kmart. I've thought about making hand-painted Christmas ornaments, but that idea just came to me today. I'll take orders though; I work fast. A few years ago I invented a company that made one of a kind items upcycled from other items. I made a few prototype billfolds from mailing envelopes and messenger bag from a a couple of T-shirts. There's some handicapable furniture around here that could be modified and given a fresh new look. That would be the high-end stuff. I also invented a left-handed motorcycle glove with a neon orange palm, so that you could wave wildly at some asshole that was veering in your lane. I may pick up on that again.

Q: Are you married? Do you have kids?
A: Not really. No. I mean, Yes, I married a house recently. No kids, just dust bunnies, but you know, they're like kids.

[Awkward silence. Q glances nervously around the room. A remembers she wore a watch specifically so she could look at it in situations like this. A looks at watch. Q failed to make eye contact with anyone. They resume the conversation.]

Q: Do you think you'll stay in Nashville?
A: For now. The house needs me, plus there's a dog that rents out a couple of rooms in exchange for sentry duty. I prepare his meals. When he's not on guard duty, he spends time in group therapy with some rocks and bricks. His best friend is a deflated basketball.

Q: Do you smell vinegar?
A: Yes, It's my new perfume. I discovered it while removing wallpaper. What do you think?

Q: I think I'll freshen up my drink.
A: Go right ahead.

[Fade out.]

November 26, 2010

My Sisyphean chess game, called Home.

In an effort to focus more on art than the tedium of everyday life, I'm going to try and post the art content first. Since my thought process doesn't always flow this way, I'll resort to cut and paste, as demonstrated below.

I needed to dig out some paintings for something next year and discovered a painting which I thought I had either lost or destroyed during the packing and moving of last spring. It was a difficult painting, one of the ones that I classify as being one step away from total demise, but by some stroke of apathy and uncertainty, I don't get around to actually destroying. Sometimes, I like these paintings the absolute most, but usually not until much, much later. Hence, I generally promise myself not to destroy these particular breed of failures.

My run today was so pathetic, I can't even bring myself to report my mileage and/or my pace. I'm certain the restaurant we ate at yesterday slipped MSG into something I ate, because I was headachey and puffyface and feel kind of hungover today.

I've been working on the living room. It's like I live in a large chess game. Today I removed two pieces of furniture. It's not like they're disappearing into thin air either, I simply place them somewhere else. The stereo is still not hooked up, but it's at least off the floor and looking like it could be hooked up. I was going to ditch one of the sofas but since no one has responded to my ad on craigslist,  I threw a dropcloth on top of it, and suddenly felt more at home.

November 25, 2010

I'm grateful for my skills and talents, my animals, my friends, and my family that's no longer with me.

I'm grateful for more of course. Roof over my head comes to mind. My health is something to be thankful for, especially since I'm in-between health insurance coverage. In order to save money, I gave up the California plan while waiting approval from the Tennessee provider.

I always had this fantasy that as an artist I could work anywhere. Having lived half of my life in 2 major cities, anywhere was always a rural outpost. In my fantastical rural outpost, I would get up, walk to the local post office, say hello to my fellow townspeople at the local diner, and have a show at the local gallery once a year, selling out during the tourist season. I would then kick back and paint like a madwomen in my cabin during the long hard winter. My fantasy town was modeled after Saugatuck, Michigan. It is where Ox-Bow is located. I did a couple of residencies at OxBow in my 20's. The couple of summers I didn't do a residency or work on staff, I  drove up to visit my friends who were working there. At least one or two of the artists I met there, gave up city life and lived out my fantasy. I was so optimistic, so naive. One of my roles models at that time was the likes of Basquiat. This was before I went to grad school.

I confided in a friend today that 1) the miniature paintings were addictive and that 2) I was already over the alter ego- not the paintings of the alter ego, just the alter ego. She suggested schizophrenia might be a alternative.

I think there was MSG in my Thanksgiving meal. I allowed psycho dog on the bed today and napped to the sound of football.

Today was to be a running day, but I'm backing off a couple of days until my achilles tendonitis goes away.

November 23, 2010

Rainy day.

I notice when I can't concentrate, or I want to avoid accounting, or housekeeping, or even the business side of things, I retreat in the studio. I painted almost all day yesterday, but in jags. I worked on (1) 16" x 20" painting, (2) 16" x 20" paintings on paper, and (3 or 4) miniature paintings on gessobord.

It's been awhile since I've worked on paper. If this group show goes through, it will be works on paper. I attempted to channel my alter ego's jouissance for visionary work onto paper, and at a larger size, about 16" x 20". It felt like I was trying too hard, so I washed one out and the other one is waiting for mercy. I had a moment where I wondered if I had forgotten how to make large brushstrokes. This was followed by a moment of wondering if I could ever paint large again. This was followed by an internal debate of whether it's easier to paint large or small and whether my ego was wrapped up into thinking I need to paint large again to prove I could paint large again. The camps are divided on whether it's harder to paint small or large. Having done both, I don't know. Sometimes, I think it's all hard.

Then I went on to paint some miniature paintings incognito. I'm not mocking the outsider art or visionary thing. Other than having 2 fine arts degrees that didn't contribute much to my learning the craft or skill of painting, my painting style has always been naturally a bit more raw than my academy trained peers. For instance, perspective's never been my strong suit, though after teaching it for 10 years, I understand the importance of it and can teach it quite well since I empathize with students who don't get it right away. I think it may have something to do with visual dyslexia and possibly trying to rationalize a mathematical construct that needs no further rationalizing.

But back to the miniature paintings. Believe it or not, most everything, save the abstractions, are taken from objects or things I find around the house. Figurines, painted china- that kind of stuff. It's endless, really. It makes sense for M. Thack Addie, v. to paint these, since most of them are relics from his time period. Commercially, we'll have to iron out the snags. Meanwhile, I'm just letting the paint chips fall where they may. Otto was in the studio with me yesterday, albeit briefly. I caught him licking a very wet oil painting that was leaning against the wall. It was a hard painting day yesterday. Toward the end, I remembered that lots of outsider and visionary art has text written in it, so I made some text paintings. (See yesterday's post.) But then this isn't new either, since in the past, I have been known to make text based work as part of my practice.

I'm forcing myself to work in the office today.
Very wet and rainy.
Run: 1.26 miles during a break in the weather. I stopped when it started raining again. I'm not a wimp. I just didn't want to get my iPhone wet. Later today, I may try and get another mile in.
Pace: 11:00
I can tell I'm getting a little Achilles tendinitis. I think it's the hills. There's only about 1/4 mile of flat surface around here.
* evening run:1.4 mi
I forgot to start the chrono.
Damn you, Achilles tendon.

November 22, 2010


I wasn't very productive today, 2010, acrylic on gessobord, 4" x 8" (diptych)

painting is hard, 2010, a/c

November 21, 2010

I'm tired of thinking.

Shaman, 2010, a/p, 4" x 4"

The title was inspired by a comment Farrell Brickhouse made on a photo I uploaded of Otto on FB. He's in the new den studio looking out a window. In real life, my painting table is to the right. Maybe I should teach him how to paint.

Today was a running day: 2.5 miles
My timing was slow (11:43). I stopped once to answer a question about a lost dog and twice to take pictures of the infernal hills.

A check arrived from the gallery. I was happy.

November 20, 2010

A fine mess. Someone may have to die.

Thank goodness for life on Mars.

Along with several flower images from the pools and flowers series, I recently, like yesterday, submitted one of M. Thack's works to a curator who's putting together a show. Subject: flowers. It's way more interesting than that, but since it's at the proposal stage, that's all I'll say for now. In fact, the painting was created on the fly specifically to sneak in one of M. Thack's works along with my own. I mentioned our complicated relationship in the body of the email, but did not go into detail.

Turns out the painting M. Thack dashed out was selected to represent MY work in the proposal package. Things are a bit awkward here in the studio. I'm watching my back.

To make matters more complicated, heads were rolling at the atelier late last night. Seems that sloppy wench of an assistant didn't notice the scroll down menu and thus M.T.A.,v was categorized as a public figure, not an artist. Uncorrectable, which is pretty lame on facebook's part, I might add. We created a new page, making sure the new assistant wench selected "artist," but for some reason, M.T.A.,v shows up as just "page" now. Whatever. Curse 21st century digital technology.

And while I'm railing about the 21st century, have you noticed it's harder, like nearly impossible to find good 'ole ball point pens? Those damn leaky gel rollerballs that bleed through paper are taking over. I'm going to be stockpiling as many Bic pens as I can.

Today is a running day. 
2.12 miles
11:12 pace. Halfway up a hill, I slowed down and walked for one minute. 

November 19, 2010

Facebook is down.

The last thing I did was send SGL code.

So, seriously, in a painting smackdown, who would you vote for?

Notice the poll in the sidebar.
I'm asking, because in my ongoing effort to expand my empire and spread the gospel of paint, I'm going to be hitting the proverbial road again, knocking on proverbial doors. Depending on the how the votes go, this might mean some restructuring of the original business plan. Maybe a buyout. Depends. 

November 18, 2010

Ladies who lunch. That was me today.

I went to a lunch and lecture today at Cheekwood. The lecture was on portrait miniatures. I did some research a couple of years ago when I first began painting small, but I hit the jackpot today. Collector Raymond White presented a slide lecture and talked about highlights from the collection. Collectors are interesting people. I like them. They're as passionate about collecting, as artists are about making art. A very entertaining speaker, Mr. White talked about the first painting he collected, (a small, but not miniature, maritime painting) his current passion, (shell casing trench art) and of course, his collection of miniature portraits which he and his wife have donated to Cheekwood. Afterward, I trekked up to the mansion to see the collection on display.

I had a veggie wrap with a cookie, and sat at a table with other art enthusiasts. After a few pleasantries were exchanged, I was asked for a business card by my table companions, and embarrassingly enough, had to scribble my name on a scrap piece of paper. It's funny, because one of the first things people ask you after you tell them you're an artist is, "Have you had an exhibition?" Or maybe it's just me, but all of my life, people have asked me this. Maybe I don't look like an artist when I'm dressed in civvies. Maybe I really do look like a lady who lunches or some dilettante.   I said yes, but I'm not sure the scrap piece of paper with my name scribbled on it was too impressive. I have a box of business cards at home. I should just dump a bunch in the bottom of every purse and coat pocket I own. It felt like I was writing a short story by the time I wrote my name and website out. Twice, for 2 different people.
m a r y   a d d i s o n   h a c k e t t

M. Thackston Addie, visionary needs a calling card. I'll see about ordering him some. Script, of course, on nice stock.

Today was a running day.
2 miles. Average pace 11:01.
chilly. hilly, and gray.
One day I'll get tired of listening to The Offspring, Americana, and anything ELO, but so far. so good.

November 16, 2010

I moved the studio. again.

The dining room studio became unbearable. Too much big furniture and I kept tripping over my boxes of paint trying to avoid bumping into the chandelier. My mom told me a story years ago that comes to mind every now and then. Supposedly the reason no one knew my grandmother's real age was because she didn't have a birth certificate. Reason being, was that when her mother died, her sister threw everything out in the backyard and burned it. I've always had a mental image of a bonfire with errant pieces of furniture in a pyre. I don't know exactly how true that story is or to what degree, but it wouldn't surprise me. I think about this often. Like today, for instance, I thought about that story about 5 times. Maybe more.

The den has been fairly barren for a month or so, but it's the first room you walk into and it has terrible light. I never considered it as a studio alternative, but after one week in the dining room chaos, I'm a convert. On the bright side, it's has a ledge around the perimeter so it's a natural for clamp lights. Problem solved. I keep telling myself it's only a winter studio. I can look into a gas forced furnace for the garage next year. I rolled my palette table out of the garage and around to the front door, and into it's new temporary winter home, the den studio. The den studio is classical 50's- built in bookcases, veneer paneled walls and a red linoleum floor. The palette table is my better half. It feels good to be reunited with it. The den has also been the lair of Otto for the last 8 years. Unfortunately because he eats anything that's not locked down and wrapped in steel, for his own safety, he will not have studio privileges when I am not around.

It was super wet, cold and rainy today. I ran when there was a break in the weather.
2 miles, @ roughly 11:00 a mile.

November 15, 2010


Yesterday was Sunday. I spent about 10 hours shooting adequate pictures, setting up paypal buttons, and I forgot what else. Maybe some housekeeping, but mostly computer work for my alter ego. I had my afternoon espresso and went for a run around 3pm and worked some more. It was a productive day, though I had planned on slacking off.

Today I met another artist for coffee at a place called Crema. Hands down, one of the best capps I've ever had. The brew's a little earthy, which normally I'm not into, but they make it work. Afterward I stopped by my local, slightly overpriced, but cheaper than driving 20 miles RT to Jerry's- art store, to pick up some more gessobord.

Later, more wallpaper removal. I'm almost finished with one large wall. I was going to cart a large chair in need of upholstering up to the attic and discovered I had left the lights on up there. I'm guessing the attic has been illuminated for about a week. Two ancient bulbs had finally burnt out in the interim. The chair was too cumbersome and I was too tired to wrangle it, so I replaced the bulbs with compact flo's and called it quits on housework.

Earlier, I received a return call from the fraud division of the USPS. It seems an Allen Z. Wright has decided to use my address for some of his mail. I rec'd the title of his car last week. I called the DMV thinking it might have been a major typo, but then I received a letter from the post office. Mr Wright had now decided to forward his mail from my address. The fraud division said there's not much I can do other than do a return to sender. A couple of weeks ago I rec'd a call from a detective in Northern California. Seems a guy from Lighting Van Lines, the movers I hired last spring, had in his possession my credit card number, my name, address, and a list of all my worldly possessions. So you can see why I'm a little suspicious of Mr. Wright trying to squat on my address. I don't think these two events are related, but I am a tad concerned.

Finally I stepped in the atelier and observed M.T.A.v. at work. I am in awe of his ability to crank on the miniature paintings without getting hung up on overworking them. Maybe I used to be like that years ago, but not to this end. He's doing portraits now. There's a chance he may be a better painter than me. Hey, as long as one of us is working, it's all good.

It's cold and gray here. I made cornbread. Tomorrow's a running day. 

November 13, 2010

Well yes, after 25 years, I suppose in a nutshell, that's what's I do.

The post title referred to an anecdote I have since deleted. I sometimes forget that just because civilians ask questions that I consider astounding, it doesn't mean I need to rat them out to the world at large. It was a good anecdote too.

Today is a wallpaper removal day, although it is gorgeous out, so it may be a wallpaper removal night. I will also be jpegging my pretty little paintings and offering them up for sale at Smaller Works later in the day tomorrow. I like them. They're reminding me of my painting a day project I did a few years ago. I have completed 16 so far, experimenting with different surfaces. I think for this particular project, I'll end up sticking with gessoboard, but I'm not sure.

Today is a running day.
Distance: 1.46 miles
Pace: 10:58
I shaved 20 seconds off my time. At first this surprised me, but I cramped up at the end, so yes, I think I may have pushed a little harder today.  

November 12, 2010

Presenting the atelier of Sir M. Thackston Addie, visionary painter.

I went to the art supply store and busted my piggy bank buying some Montana spray paints that were on sale (impulse purchase) along with tiny canvases, panels, and boards. Goal: Make some Cash and Carry paintings this holiday season. I loathe trying to make something with my, let's make something sellable and affordable, cap on. Art shouldn't be about trying to figure out what someone else will buy and for how much. So there I was trying to make blithe little paintings that someone might want to stuff in a stocking and I'm getting more and more anti-paint all the time until finally I'm like, screw it, I don't want to make little holiday paintings; I hate little holiday paintings; I'd rather poke my eye out than make little holiday paintings, and furthermore, I don't even know how to make nice holiday paintings. I am going to make a limited edition of crappy little ugly paintings that make me feel good and sell them for $50 until December 31st, and maybe someone with refined taste for the inexplicably confounding will get lucky this holiday season.
The atelier of M. Thackston Addie, b. Atlanta, Georgia, 1691. 
Sir M. Thackston Addie championed good crap over palatable crap, as seen here in a rare studio daguerreotype. 

November 11, 2010

Still waiting

No painting or wallpaper updates today.

I'm on day 3 of running after a couple few months years of not running. There are hills around here and my timing is nowhere near what it used to be. So far I have had 2 days in a row with an 11:19 minute mile. Not exactly Navy Seal material. Back in 2005, I came in 3rd in my age group for a 5K. My pace was 9:13. Still no Navy Seal, but I was okay with that. I wish I had saved my medal. I could use some motivation, but apparently packing a race medal was one item too many so I ditched it.  Kudos to my playlist, "Let's move and pack ourfucking stuff" for providing great tunes to run by. It was also my playlist for packing and moving last spring, hence the name.

And speaking of country music, I just got back from the taping of the CMA Country Music Christmas Special. I saw Sugarland, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow and a few others perform Christmas music. My neighbor invited me. Her son was one of the Santa Clauses running around while Kelly Pickler sang "Santa Baby." I am so Nashville now. 

Tomorrow: full on studio day. Need to buy some small canvases 1st thing in the morning. 

November 08, 2010


I ran today for the first time in forever. I'm agitated about some business stuff. For the record, here's the flowchart: Make Painting > Sell Painting > Get Paid > Pay Bills > Make Paintings >

When there's a snag in the first three steps of this process, I tend to obsess, sometimes more than others depending on where the snag is and the nature of the snag. That's why it's called a flowchart after all. Hence, running was a good outlet today. Also, after 5 months, I am terribly remiss in applying for my health insurance here, and though I am not in danger of tipping the scales, I haven't been very good with exercise. Something about filling out a health insurance app was a good motivator as well.  Shortly after I first arrived, I bought a package of 10 classes at a yoga studio. For some reason I felt like the awkward 6-year-old I used to be when I took ballet and inadvertently let my class package expire. The difference now would be that I don't hide under the dashboard of the car and scream about not wanting to go to ballet class.

Still working on the wallpaper strip-down. Arduous. I'm also toying with the idea of making some nice abstract paintings that are more universally pleasing to people in universes other than the one in which I reside most of the time. Every time I do something which is against my very nature, I end up learning something and surprising myself, so who knows?

This might not look like a hill, but since I'm just getting back to running after a long hiatus, it is. I believe it's roughly a 30' increase in elevation from the bottom to the top of the hill. I walked it in order to be kind to my knees.
And this might not look like a tree a 49-year old grown woman would be tempted to climb, but it is, and no, I didn't. 

November 06, 2010

Letter from a Starving Artist. Read it and weep.

I came across this gem from 1983. I was in college at U.T. After getting bum advice from my high school career counselor who steered me into the education department so that I could get a degree teaching art, I finally made it to the studio arts department. Meanwhile, I had used up all my electives drinking and studying Emerson and Thoreau and fantasizing about Walden. There was also the ROTC class in riflery, in which I was told I was a good shot and would I consider being a recruit. By the time I took my first painting class, I had theoretically been enrolled in college for 4 years. I crammed all my painting classes into my last two years of college and worked day and night in the painting studio. I'm surprised my parents didn't burn these letters.

Oh, and just for the record, about 2 years later, I did get a job working as a window dresser for a department store chain. One day when I'm feeling brave, I'll post my skill bank and plethora of part-time jobs I've had in the past.  

November 04, 2010

I am funny and I don't even try.

Behold, the mesmerizing video of me stripping wallpaper. The video ended when the camera ran out of memory. I strip wallpaper, just like I paint. If you have 7 minutes to kill, watch it. The money shot is at the end, but you have to watch the whole video in real time for the payoff. I can easily call this art because it's almost identical to the videos I did in grad school. Sometimes I miss making video. 

Someone asked for any words of wisdom I had on being full-time working artist. I haven't had a chance to respond thoughtfully. Mostly I sit around and pretend I'm a full-time artist. So far, so good. 

Today's going to be a great day: the dog didn't pee on the floor last night

I love him. I do. And I promised my mom I'd take care of him, so we are stuck with each other, but Otto is not without some serious faults. If he were a person, I'm certain he'd be some backwoods yahoo in an X-file episode or a devious circus performer. Mom trained him as a pup and even gave him a refresher course, but at 8 years old, he should be able to hold it until morning, especially when he hangs outside for two hours prior to bedtime, and even more especially when we go on a short stroll right before lights out. I was so suburban last night it was pathetic. I walked the dog wearing my pajamas. To complete the look, I had a towel wrapped around my freshly shampooed hair and in my free hand, I held the mail I finally retrieved from the mailbox. It was 10:30 pm.

I have a love hate relationship with scale. I wish to obsess about my personal relationship to scale. The subject of viewing distance has triggered this obsession- Carla posted a lovely review of her work where at the end, the reviewer mentioned wishing her paintings were bigger so they could be more thoroughly enjoyed at viewing distance, not just up close. I once had a gallerist say they wanted to see my work much bigger than the 48" x 60" scale I was working in. I also have memories of grad school crits listening to everyone talk about each other's work. There were always a few "what ifs" at nearly all the crits: What if the sculpture was HUGE? What if you made 100 of them? What if you painted the background blue, moved the object in the foreground to the left, and retitled it?

Viewing distance.
Ever since working small, I have been disappointed by installation views of the paintings.  And by installation views, we're talking about views of the work that give the viewer an impression of what it was like to see the work installed, as though they were there in person, which usually they weren't, so it's all they're going to get.

Fortunately, the next photo helps clarify relative viewing distance:

At one point I thought painting a portion of the gallery wall a different color, or perhaps the whole wall, would give definition to the space. I discovered this phenomenon while looking at the work in my living room/viewing studio with the red wall and 8-foot ceiling height. In person, and up close, one looks at the paintings, not the wall. The first impression is taken in, but, and perhaps I speak for myself, I'll scan a show and pick what to cozy up to, big or small. I jump around, examining each work individually, based on what strikes me. That's how I look at work. If I'm particularly engaged in a show, I'll step back and look at the entire show again, this time assuming there might be some method to the madness in how the work is hung. In this viewing, I'll read the show, wall and all. If I'm so enthralled I can't stand it, I'll linger with certain paintings until I'm self-conscious and then I leave.

But I digress, the show seen at this distance in the first photograph above is hardly inspiring. For all practical purposes, we have small, dark indiscernible rectangles on the wall at viewing distance. (I hung the show myself and I wasn't 100% content with the back wall.) It's hung too horizontal, My other persona or perhaps a professional would have hung it a bit more vertical  to work with the wall, but that of course, would have defeated the purpose of being able to scrutinize the paintings individually. At the time, my goal was to create a sense of flow and narrative, not obsess over viewing distance. I'm not sure how to solve the problem of viewing distance with this work. I'm reluctant to say the problem is with the work itself, because, as much as I can be self-effacing and self-critical, as seen in this very paragraph where I rip my own show to pieces, I'm fairly confident the work is frigging stellar. Nonetheless, installation shots of this work are problematic for me.

In contrast, below we have nearly the same viewpoint from the 2008 show:

The Mabel-09 will hold a canvas up to 451/4" high. I hate forcing my own hand.

I'm trying to figure out how to compress a video shot with my still camera so that I may upload today's progress on the wallpaper. Will hopefully resolve that by tomorrow. 

November 02, 2010

Progress....It was all all day affair to get to this point.

I almost sold this at my yard sale. It's a nice little wire bookshelf, perfect for pulp fiction, but even more perfect for bins of oil paint. 

I started a second new painting today. 

I am messy. It didn't occur to me that I would accidentally splatter paint on the wall. How long have I been at this? Seriously. Did not even occur to me. Afterward, I shrink-wrapped the molding with Press n' Seal. 

Both sides. 

I put plastic over the shutters. They got hit too. 

I found some fake wood vinyl floor remnants at Home Depot. Just to be safe, I'll finish the rest off with cardboard or something. I drop-clothed the dining room table and pushed it to the side. It's a little weird to work in the house after working in either a garage or a loft for the last 24 years. I haven't warmed up to it yet. I feel like a renter with an imaginary, draconian landlord. Accidentally splattering paint on the wall was a step in the right direction. Take that, Superego. On the plus side, I have to walk through the studio every morning on my way to the kitchen, so the odds of me making some brushstrokes no matter what I feel like is pretty darn high. The winter studio is bare bones, suitable for the oil paint purist. No spray paints, very little mediums. 

The OMG, What Possessed Me to Strip the Wallpaper wall to the left of the windows. At approximately 12 sq feet per 3 hours, I should be finished by Christmas. The sideboard makes a good place for brushes and the table easel. It's also the perfect height for standing and working on something flat. And should I ever feel the urge to entertain, presto chango, I'll simply swap out the paint brushes for a tureen of vichyssoise and some tea sandwiches.  I thought to cover it BEFORE painting. Smart move, Fake Bazille. 

"Why, oh why did I start this?" OR "Hey, I just started a new room-size wall installation painting."

Glass half-empty.
Why, oh why did I start this:
It took me approx 2.5 hours to get to this point. Screw Dif gel. What a mess. From the looks of the floor you would have thought I had been carving wood. Fine shavings of what was once wallpaper lay at my feet. The old wallpaper(s) is/are quite beautiful though. I'm almost sorry I took it back to the plaster in some areas. My goal is to strip the whole room down to this stage, at which point I will decide if I need a solid studio wall or if I'll glaze over the remains. Silly me, I thought I would apply the wallpaper stripper and voilá, the paper would peel off in huge slabs just like in the illustration. 

Glass half-full.
Hey, I just started a new room-size wall installation painting:
As I was packing up the fancy decanters and other evidence of the high life, it occurred to me that I could paint some maroon stripes every 14 inches and have a new wallpaper. But let's not stop there, it also occurred to me I could distill some of the motifs and paint large facsimiles of those motifs on top of the wallpaper remains. At which point, this became the beginning of a 4-wall installation painting.