April 17, 2011

I guess more than a few of us are thinking like this lately.

I stole this:
“You see I done get too old to get a job. Now I really got to stay with the music.” — Howlin’ Wolf (Chester Burnett)

I stole this too:
"Never give in--never, never, never..."—Churchill

I skimmed this:
-but sometimes I feel like these discussions are written for people who are more concerned with how their obit will read than the present moment.

But what do I know. I'm trying to make peace with a few things.  Either way, it's a strange time. You look back and see all the choices you made. Some good, some not so good. I used to be a firm believer in the Universal Theory of  Self-Correction. I just made that up, but it sounded good so I Googled it and it seems there really is a


though it's a principle on Boolean Algebra and and mine's a theory on life suggesting that whatever unwise, inept, or rash and insane choices you erroneously made would eventually even out for the good. I'm not so sure any more. At this point I am primed to go into an Existentialist rant or a

Huge small digression where I inexplicably rant about academic drawing: 

I still think it's funny and kind of sad that people seem to think that drawing something representational is the true measure of being a good artist. Some well meaning civilians popped in my studio the other day. In progress were the current abstract paintings. I was impressed that my visitor explained my work to her friends by telling them that they're about my day to day life, but I was deimpressed when she quickly added that I could paint things in the real world too, couldn't I? I quickly answered "Yes. It's called a commission and I get paid upfront." I should have said "No," just to be difficult, or see how awkward the conversation would turn, but I liked my guests, and did not feel like being ornery. But really, what was the point of that query? Can I charge double? Imagine the tables are turned. You see a figure drawing and you say to the artist, "But you can make random marks look easy as pie, too, can't you?"

In reality no one has ever asked me to paint anything realistically, so it's kind of a moot point.

[There's a bit of a leap in the plot here, as I deleted a couple of paragraphs where I come across as somewhat grumpy and a malcontent.]
...So after looking back at all the hurdles and congratulating yourself for not giving up because you didn't know any better, you look at how far you've come and think, whoa, if I was doing now, and knew now what I knew then, then like that billboard by the interstate apartment complex, If you lived here, you'd be home by now. * 
*Should I ever have another solo, this is in the running for being a show title. 

(Okay, so the billboard reference, in case you've never been on an interstate and seen one, is a billboard advertising an apartment complex right off an interstate exit. I assume it is aimed at people who are stuck in 5 o'clock traffic, meaning, something like, Hey, you in the car- why waste all your time in traffic when you can live by the freeway?) Obviously it's a memorable piece of advertising, as I have remembered it for more years than I care to remember. Periodically, I also find it useful as a zen metaphor.

[There's a bit of a leap in the plot, here too. Same reason.]
So I came across LaRose's post  and realize that when I get down, I've torture myself with self-doubt and ideas of getting a job doing something I'm ill-qualified for, or going back to school for my PHD or a second masters in something obscure and expensive, but then I draw a blank, and I don't really mean it. If I didn't love painting and working, I could justify it, but I can't justify it. But like the other day for instance I got a quote for framing a tiny painting- $60. That almost did it. I also have to plan ahead and order my supplies online now: Major inconvenience. Hat trick-the gallery representing my work in Los Angeles where I had my last two solo shows has decided to wrap things up at the end of this year and I am located 50 continents away and immeasurable fathoms under water. I exaggerate when I'm surly. My point being is it's time to cowboy up again. 

And yes, I painted twigs and flower petals on a dress the other day. I spilled something on it and was going to make it a studio dress, but suddenly decided to go spring after the recent paintings... Yo Etsy. 


Nomi Lubin said...

Oh, god, sucks that your gallery is closing. Something will happen.

Meanwhile, your dress could sweep the nation.

I know "If you lived here you'd be home now" from the supposed Long Island Levittown billboard. Never saw it, but heard about it as a child and it stuck with me too. I remember thinking over and over, "but...that'd always be true no matter where you are..." Did not think of it as a useful zen metaphor. That is good.

Steven LaRose said...


thanks lady

cowboy up indeed

Elaine Mari said...

I'm sure I saw that billboard near Vancouver.

Like that dress, did you paint it from life? (insert winky smiley face here).

There's just too much crap, that's the problem, too much crap.

Mary Addison Hackett said...

thanks all. I don't mean to whine. I'm just ready for a false sense of security.

I didn't get a pic, but today at the quickie mart, the sign on the door said, "If you worked here, you'd be at work by now." I should go back and snap it.

Nomi Lubin said...

See? One door closes, another opens....

Carla said...

Paint a small line of those dresses and approach Saks. Don't skimp on price.

Mary Addison Hackett said...

I haven't looked up the dress company but I am investigating another organic tshirt company for wholesale tops. I have a machine, but I'm not sweatshop fast and I tend to be a little sloppy with my threads, but I gotta say, this dress isn't exactly made by nimble hands either.

I painted some t-shirts and sold them like in 1985. Why do I feel like this is a regression?

LaRose and I are opening up a gallery. He doesn't know that yet, so it's just rumor now.

Nomi Lubin said...

No such thing as regression. Not possible. Laws of physics.