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September 29, 2010

I'm a little slow getting back into the swing of things here.

On the other hand, that's what's so great about being back here. Slowness.

On the bright side, I was very happy to be supported by my L.A. artist friends and some familiar faces at the opening reception. I was also pleasantly surprised to meet someone at the artist talk who had been following my blog for a couple of years. (And just when I was about to go all radio silent.) The gallery recorded my talk, but I have no idea what I said. I sold a painting on opening night, which was an instant mood lifter. All in all, the trip ended pleasantly enough. Show ends October 31st. Huge thanks to my friends Sharon and then Matina for hosting me, and Meg for a great dinner around her abandoned pool. (Meg's pool is dry and makes a good dog run. I, as you may remember, have a small ecosystem.) It was so nice visiting with people. And again, a huge thanks to everyone who came out to the opening and the talk.

It was pretty much hot as f*ck the entire time I was in L.A., and in celebration of being 49 and a half, I bought a skimpy hippie chick dress  on sale, and threw all caution to the wind. No one noticed my mid-life, trampy hot, intellectual art babe look. Meanwhile back in Nashville, I'm digging out old cable knit sweaters and am certain the motorcycle boots will be part of my fall uniform. 

I am tired though, and  was so happy to sleep in my own bed, soak in my own bathtub, and have coffee in my favorite coffee mug while starring out my window. I even cranked up the gas logs today in the fireplace. Yep. It was slightly chilly this morning. I missed The Great Dust Motto. (Dust mop+ Otto= Dust Motto.) I picked him up today. Such a fluffy guy when he's all clean, and his paws no longer look like wookie feet. And thus, life on planet Nashville resumes. I am ready to embrace life here for a while: work, make more paintings, network and meet  with nice people, be open to change, clean house, make repairs, stare at trees, pull weeds, enjoy life. I keep getting inspired by LaRose's plein air paintings and want to do some and hawk them on ebay as well, but so far, I'm all talk. I fear I may have trouble separating my studio practice like that. Still, I am inspired. 



Fluid: Elusive Chapters from the Passage of Time, Vol. 2: Pools and Flowers








Fluid: Elusive Chapters from the Passage of Time, (Vol. 1: The Lost Months)


I anticipate getting installation shots before the show comes down using a real photographer or else I'm so fucked. These are grainy and wouldn't get me the time of day. There are more images from the weekend at my flickr site. The small wall does not photograph well by moi and I suppose I can safely say this work will probably not find it's way into a corporate lobby art collection. But who knows. It does look much better in person and up close. You might have figured that out.

The Lost Monthshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mahackett/sets/72157624572078436
Pools and Flowershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mahackett/sets/72157624435503885

A few people have asked if I will be showing in Nashville or in the vicinity. I need to start working the room, so to speak, and by room, I am referring to this side of the country.

September 24, 2010

Just between you me and the lamp post...

It's pleasant enough being back here, but honestly, I'm already to go home again. Apparently this means I have defined home. I also am at a small crossroad regarding blogging and facebook. Feeling a hibernation coming on. A retreat or withdrawal.  Made it to Steve Roden's show at the Armory today. Very good. Dental appointment followed by studio visit with Mark Dutcher tomorrow. My hostess has suggested I go to the Korean Day Spa. Perhaps I will. I did yoga this evening and fell asleep during shavasana. I rough hung the show this morning. Last night I had sushi with Matt.

9/25/10 Addendum: Bummed to have postponed my studio visit with Mark due to the dental appointment. My face was so numb my friend said I looked like I had botox and Bell's palsy. I'm still hungover from the anesthesia. Lesson learned: Never, EVER, miss the 6-month check-up again.

September 12, 2010

Heads up: save the date alert



The real announcements are apparently still at the printers. I think I like mine better anyway. Plus, it contains the unabridged version of the show title. And if you're paying very special attention, you'll notice it is approximately 7" x 5" and written on a torn out sheet of notebook paper.

I really should have a font made out of my handwriting.  It's been on my to-do list for like 10 years.
Feel free to share or print out your very own copy. I'll be flying in for the reception and artist talk.

September 09, 2010

The Mole People Painters.

Last night I had to implement the emergency studio work trick: I was cranky having self-indulged in fun things like catching up on my accounting, and blissing out in a general state of angst all week, and thus had to force myself to work in the studio before bedtime, even if it was just for a few minutes. Of course I was there a couple of hours, of which the first few minutes involved killing camelback crickets and 2 flying beetles. I need better lighting out there. I thought about the Charles Burchfield photograph, and rationalized that maybe I, too, am a mole painter.

Yesterday I was a bit wrought over some home repairs, like a new roof. I was also misinformed by someone that I had standing water in my crawlspace and possibly mold issues, so natch, I was worried I had a plumbing problem as well as a heating and a/c duct problem. I've been on edge feeling like my house was going to fall apart or at least cost an arm and a leg to keep together and that I should just bail. My a/c/heating guy is the best. He came with the house. His number was in my mom's tattered phone directory. The calendar printed in the back of the directory is dated 1964 and 1965. Los Angeles had one area code. The a/c guy comes around twice a year to replace the filters and check the unit. I was braced for bad news which I would have promptly ignored. During the flood I had water in my duct work. If it had rained a few more hours, the water would have overflowed into my house. I'm just now getting around to calling him. My unit checked out fine. Not only that, but he said there was no standing water, no mold, and that I've got one helleva built house, the joists are the size of telephone poles. I am relieved. I can go back to being a mole painter and relax for a day or two, and go back to stomping on crickets. They're not the lovable crickets- these are creepy, and ever since I was informed they eat mold and dead possum, I've been a little freaked out by them.

September 08, 2010

Labor Day weekend.

Get out your lemon juice and lightbulbs

Today's one of those days where I should keep my mouth shut since I can't say anything nice.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... I feel a huge post-show depression coming on. 


On a brighter note. 

September 06, 2010

A Pumpkin Spice Latte made me sad today.

That is all.

On artist statements, part 2.

I lied.
I've been a bit hasty in my debunking of the artist statement. It's strictly a vendetta against my inner artist statement writer. I had a statement I liked, a statement I was pleased with. I wrote it in 2006. Four years later, most of the overarching concerns are still true. Some are not. For instance the other day, I started a painting that references absolutely nothing. I felt cheap, like I was jumping on a bandwagon of current art world trends from 2007. Physically and process-wise, I did nothing different than I've been doing all-along, except I was diligent in forcing myself not to think about anything outside of the materials, and the application of the paint on the canvas. If a word such as rock, tree, interiorexterior, memory, sadness, happiness, entered my mind while painting, I immediately self-corrected as though I were avoiding a pedestrian that was stepping off the curb too soon. Same went for concept words such as information, communication, etc. I was simply trying to make a non-referential painting. It's difficult. I am working on two of these. I do not know if I can remain that focused on nothing, and if I don't, would the painting then become about NOT being focused, ergo, defaulting to having meaning like my house defaults to having dust? I may never know.

The other two paintings in the studio are about transformation. As I wrote that word, I realized that all the paintings are about transformation. I have written that before somewhere, but it's so obvious. All painting is about transforming raw pigment/materials into something more meaningful.

I am suspicious of beauty and of elegance. I am suspicious of esoteric statements. I am suspicious of dumbed down statements. I am suspicious of pain and hardship. I am suspicious of my palette knife. I am most definitely suspicious of the dog. Sometimes I turn around and he's right there, having appeared silently out of nowhere. It's a tad creepy. I don't like to be pigeon-holed. I'm fickle. A while back I said I was interested in technology and architecture. I haven't noticed much technology or architecture in my work lately. I'd like to say I'm not going to write about the small abstract paintings or the pools and flowers any more, but that might not be true. They too, are about transformation, but what else would I say after that? I have written quite a bit about them, but, they feel so sad. I am ready to move past the sad. I want to keep painting. My work is not project-based. My work isn't addressing a universal need that needs to be addressed, unless looking at art and thinking about meaning is a need, and I believe it is. What triggered my rebuttal, was clicking on the website of someone who didn't have a statement. I had a moment of wondering if the work "meant" anything or if it was superficial. No clues, no hints. I wondered if they had written a statement, would I have suddenly thought that the work was deeper than it appeared. I wondered if I needed the validation of a statement to look at work nowadays. I wondered if people would ask those questions about my work. I looked at someone else's work that was obviously about something. It was made with feminist materials loaded with meaning. I wondered why I will consider conceptual art forever early 90's grad school. I wondered if I considered painting reactionary or radical.

The Wandered above the Sea of Fog, Caspar David Friedrich
UPDATE: There is now a stump in one of the non-referential paintings out in the studio. Stumps are big around here. It's a nice stump too, so I'm leaving it in the painting. Maybe it won't make it in the final painting, but right now it seems kind of expensive to remove and it's not bothering anyone. Just like real life. 

September 04, 2010

On artist statements:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-grant/are-artists-statements-re_b_701604.html
That's it for me. No more statements. All the good ones are taken anyhow:
"Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in that gap between the two.)" -Robert Rauschenberg
Or this one:
“Strange though it may sound, not knowing where one is going—being lost, being a loser reveals the greatest possible faith and optimism. To believe, one must have lost God; to paint, one must have lost art."-Gerhardt Richter, The Daily Practice of Painting
Or this one:
"Do, or do not. There is no try" -Yoda, Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back