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April 27, 2010

All the good post titles escape me, but you get the picture.







Oh, and see that helicopter in the first photo? That's me traveling again.

******
addendum:
Ok, it probably wasn't that bad, but I'm sure it was a circus act. I called and she answered the phone. I said, "How are you?" She said, "I'm fine, I'm okay. Everybody is here." I said, "Who's everybody?" She said, "The entire Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County government." She would be referring to the paramedic team again. 
At least she still has a sense of humor. 

April 26, 2010

Saved

I know. Like how many in progress shots can one handle. 
Sleight of Hand (2010, possibly finished.)



I tried calling my mom for almost 2 hours and no answer. Had a neighbor go over and knock on the door - still no answer. Called the paramedics and they got in with a key. She was okay. The phone was unplugged. No explanation why she didn't answer the door. Her neighbor said it looked like she wasn't functioning on a daily basis anymore. My mother keeps saying she's okay. She's not. Tomorrow I  will try again to find a caregiver she won't kick out. I'm not sure whether I can last out the end of the semester. before moving. She seemed better last week. I am sad. And kind of full of anger at intangible things. 

April 24, 2010

Déja Vu

Déja Vu

I was trolling through jpegs and came across the middle image as a work in progress. I had a sudden twinge of regret that I continued working on it, even though I like where it wound up. It didn't last long at this stage. I snapped this iphone pic, went inside and within an hour had such a strong urge to "fix" the painting that I couldn't even leave it that way overnight. I'm kind of wishing I had left alone, or I rather I should say, I'm intrigued with the seemingly empty gray-blue space. I'm now questioning why I don't let large expanses of empty space simply be, and wondering if it this is similar to having a hoarding mentality, except that I hoard color and brushstrokes that form things.




And THIS would be why having a separate studio is not for me...

Sleight of Hand, (in progress, again)

I knew I'd perseverate about this painting unless I got back in the studio, so after watching  a movie last night I went in the studio way past my normal bedtime and worked until I got here. I would say, again, but of course, there is no again in painting, not really.

I think it's safe to say that the act of getting back something, recovering something has become not only the meaning of this painting, but it IS this painting.* My only regret now is that I didn't work on linen or on canvas with heavy weight stretcher bars. It's odd, because I was so enamored with the 3rd image for the longest time. I mean, I really believed it was done. No question.

I still have work to do. The fist looks a little too much like a lightbulb, and I've decided the monogram on the cuff should be in cursive with the "H" in the middle.
*hairball  footnote: Why, yes, I did notice that I could have revisited the 90's by spelling re-cover with a hyphen.

I'm off to jury the final round of the NWS this morning.

April 23, 2010

it's too late

I was trolling through jpegs and came across the middle image as a work in progress. I had a sudden twinge of regret that I continued working on it, even though I like where it wound up. It didn't last long at this stage. I snapped this iphone pic, went inside and within an hour had such a strong urge to "fix" the painting that I couldn't even leave it that way overnight. I'm kind of wishing I had left alone, or I rather I should say, I'm intrigued with the seemingly empty gray-blue space. I'm now questioning why I don't let large expanses of empty space simply be, and wondering if it this is similar to having a hoarding mentality, except that I hoard color and brushstrokes that form things.



Sleight of Hand, 2010


It's too bad these are not three separate paintings. That would have been genius had I realized the title beforehand, but alas I did not.

To be continued...

April 19, 2010

April 18, 2010

Round-up

I'm back. Still haven't hooked up Internet in Nashville, so here's a pictorial recap:
The box scoring tool

No, it's not a Flemish still life, not yet, anyway.

It's comforting to know that someone else in my family read Ruskin a long time ago.

Meat products at Kroger

Avon soap dish from the 60's or 70's. I'm going with 60's. 

This was my grandmother's house in East Nashville. I lived here from the age of 3 to 7 or 4 to 6, something like that. I love this house. It's not for sale and I couldn't afford it now even if it were. It's in the hip artsy area of town, which wasn't always the hip artsy area of town. My mom grew up here.


We then move here.

Mom and I had pancakes for lunch...

and drove around town while I looked for studio space. This is the city cemetery. It dates back to 1822. It's not too far from one of the studio space locations I scoped out. The dogwoods are in bloom. 

My 3rd or 4th trip to the city dump. I thought I had lost my shades, but they were under the car seat. I was happy. 

I have a gift of being able to spot 4-leaf clovers almost immediately. I was taught this as a child. 

I am very good at finding them.

I opened up a medicine cabinet and found a soap carving I did of the Nashville Parthenon as a kid. Charming exhibition, is it not?

 
This is mom's best friend, Otto. I call him Nashville Dog or Big Dog. 

He's pretty cute for a rogue beast.


I made a trip to Jerry's Artarama and bought a tiny set of Lukas oil paints. mmm. creamy. Not sure how I feel about that yet. I started a 8" x 10" painting. I tried painting one of the above scenes outside, but got nowhere. This depressed me because I immediately figured my painting mojo was in a dead zone in Nashville. 

I felt better when I decided to paint the slop sink in the utility room  as a substitute for the swimming pool. 


I left it hanging in Nashville. I'll work on again next month. I installed daylight compact fluorescents. It's not ideal, but this will be my temporary mini studio annex once I can make better use of the space. 






When I got back, I discovered someone was slacking on the job. Maybe he was practicing TM.

April 12, 2010

Mash-up

Open House was yesterday. I've misplaced my camera battery charger in the packing process. Other than that, I'm entertaining the idea of a spartan lifestyle. Note my miniature rock balancing formations in the corner. In the bookcase, the 13 disk audio book of the TLOTR.

It's awkward to tell people why I'm leaving LA and moving to Nashville. I search for euphemisms. I say my mom is having difficulty or she's not doing well as she has been. There has been no official diagnosis. Sometimes I think it's just better to play the eccentric card and leave it at that.

[Addendum: I had posted a headline from a weekly Nashville paper that I thought was a bit overkill and sensational, but I deleted it lest it was misleading. Think twice, post once.]

I fly there today. I wish I could find my battery charger.

April 05, 2010

Hello from a hotel room.

A) The painters wrapped all but the bathroom and utility room in plastic today.
B) The paint fumes were a bit much from Saturday. Fang didn't eat 2 meals in a row and then this morning he was totally Mr. Sicky with a fever, so after a trip to the vet, some antibiotics, and a home cooked meal of rice and ground beef for the furry one, I booked an overnight stay for one adult and one dog at one of the hotels down the road to avoid the fumes.
D) I give you the decor of my environs...






April 03, 2010

Short sentences, possibly comprehensible.

I am waiting for the Salvation Army to pick up a truckload of stuff.
Bison Beige is a lovely exterior house color.
Sukiyaki Western Django is a beautiful film in some regards.
I will miss my neighbors, particularly Susan, across the street. Every so often when we bake something, we make a little plate of goodies to share with one another.
I will miss Culver City.
I've come up with one word of my next show title.
The house is in total disarray once again after clearing out the kitchen for painting. I checked out and went into the studio.
Painting is soothing to me.
I went to yoga yesterday.
I'm in a slump, but am trying not to care about this. I'm also trying to just remember to keep working and not worry about the results. I'm also trying to remember that my mantra is "Do or do not, there is no try."
They are painting the kitchen now. It's really weird to use my microwave while I'm sitting at my desk. For some reason it makes me feel like I'm in the movie, Brazil.

Michael Brakke
Always Be Tough
Lithograph on Waxed Paper
23 1/2"x35"
1980



My undergraduate mentor passed away last week and I just heard the news. Without him crossing my path, I would not be where I am today. I mean this in the most basic chain of events kind of way. At his suggestion I took a summer painting course he and Hollis Sigler taught at OxBow in Saugatuck, MI. I can't put my finger on specifics he told me about art or painting, other than once at OxBow he sent me on a mission to physically find the space I was painting about. I found it. It was a sunken crater on a hill known as "The Crow's Nest." I napped there that afternoon. OxBow is affiliated with SAIC in Chicago. I met my friends Mary Claire, Howard, Jim, and Mary Ruth there. At the time they were SAIC students. A couple years later I went back for the entire summer to do a residency. A year later I moved to Chicago and became close friends with the artists I had met at OxBow. Jim and I roomed together in Chicago for a very brief period of time. I inherited Jim's cat, Onyx as a result. I also lived in a loft in the same building as Michael and his girlfriend. Sometimes I would consider moving to Saugatuck. Jim did. I lost touch with him, but he set up a gallery and a studio there and I visited him once. At Michael's suggestion, I finally applied to grad school at UIC. I lost touch with Michael after he broke up with his girlfriend who lived below me. After grad school Onyx passed away and I inherited Brock's cat, Fife. Eventually I moved to LA. I just talked to Mary Claire a couple of days ago. Rhea sent me an email telling me of Brakke's passing.

I'm sick of putting things in boxes.
I ate an iced bunny cookie today and called it brunch.

April 02, 2010

Box Populi

The alarm goes off, signaling the start of another day at the MAH Fang compound.


Lucky for me, Samy's Camera is right around the corner. Samy's is an excellent source of boxes. I did buy some new boxes, because, well, I was in a hurry and the folks at Samy's were not on my schedule. I'm good now, totally flush with cardboard cubes, rectangles, and hard to find, perfect for packing art-work, sized boxes. 
Fang and I are no longer separate beings. We have merged into a superbeing. He has tethered himself to me, shadowing my every move. Have you ever brushed your teeth with a dog sitting directly beside you? It's a little odd, even for me. 
So why am I blogging as opposed to say, sneaking a stroke in the studio, or packing, you might be asking. Because I am at school giving a test. But you teach drawing, you might be saying. How do you test a drawing? It's called a Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Report. It's also called Why I Don't Believe in Testing, But I Will Comply to Make Everyone Feel Better.
Overall Proportional Frame: 
Measured & Noted. Executed correctly. Frame Included. Very Good. 2 pts. 
Measured & Noted. Executed incorrectly. Frame Included. Good. 1 pt.
Not measured or noted. Frame Missing. Poor.  0 Point.
Etc. 
It's not really about how well they can draw. It's a test so that my colleagues can see how well I can teach a student to draw a circle. When I was told this, I replied that I don't teach my students to draw circles, I teach them how to observe and draw relative proportions and relationships. I stopped short of asking how you teach someone to draw a circle. I think I stopped short, but come to think of it, maybe I did ask that. I was a little grumpy that day. 
Most of my students are drawing these things  (cubes, spheres, cones, cylinders) fairly correctly. Over the years I've seen a weird, odd, if you will, tendency for wide people to err on the side of drawing wide squatty objects, and ectomorphic body types tend to draw things rather elongated, but other than that, everyone is usually within a degree or two of accurate or "correct."
The house painters came today. I chose a new exterior paint. Bison Beige. I picked it from a paint chip. Now I'm freaking out because when I googled it just now it looks more gray than I remember from the paint chip. I know I'm selling the home and therefore should not care, but I do. I loved this house. I want it to have a good life with its new owners. I want it to be happy with its new coat. 
Not much new going on in the studio the last few days. There are at least 2 shows I want to see before they come down- Mark Grotjahn at Blum and Poe, and Kim Dorland at Mark Moore. Whenever I hear Mark Grotjahn's name, I always thinks of a conversation I had with a gallery owner several years ago who told me that someone had told him that Grotjahns' new works in the studio were really bad failures and he didn't get what everyone saw in him. I remember this for 2 reasons: (1) that someone would criticize new works in a studio, calling them failures. (2) because I had that Eureka moment when I realized that even A-list gallery owners make a bad call.
Bedtime. House painter here at 7:30am. I really hope Bison Beige is a winner.