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May 18, 2011

Evening run-down from a couple of days worth of activities.

Desperately trying not to purchase this: http://www.brooklynrail.org/2011/05/art_books/painting-dead-and-loving-it

More streaming from Netflix: In Art City, Making It in Manhattan, dated, 1996, Neil Jenny talks about his impetus for bad painting as a reaction against photo-realism. Elisabeth Murray talks about working and solitude, and quips, When was the last time you got a great idea at a cocktail party? And Louise Bourgeois is Louise Bourgeois. Greater LA hit New York with over 50 artists presenting an idiosyncratic rather than comprehensive view of cultural production coming out of LA, and in a statistic from a recent survey conducted by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), it appears the median income of art school graduates, no matter what field they choose to support themselves, be it fine art, farming, health care, or food prep is 30 grand. Go team Go.

In local news, I recently heard the saying, "If people can afford to buy art, they can afford to fly to New York." A bit sardonic, but years ago when I lived in Chicago, I heard the same thing expressed less wittily, so I'll assume every town has their version. I don’t know the collectors here. I mentioned this to another artist who said, "Really?" Well, yeah, really. I've been here 9 months and divide my time between two isolated studios, which is why the Elizabeth Murray remark was funny to me. Once at an opening of mine in LA, I had some guy corner me and pull press clippings out of his pocket attesting to his status as a collector. I had been in LA maybe a year or two at the time and must not have recognized his name upon introduction. I don't imagine that will happen here. I mean, you never know, but LA was special like that. High energy and all.

You know what I'm excited about right now? Tomatoes at the local produce stand, white bread and mayo.

Yesterday was a studio day. It's been freezing at 56 degrees, but at least there was a moment of sun. The day before was an office day until I got a call from a local charity about picking up some donations. I took a break, hit one of the childhood closets and came up with 2 bags of all my required reading from middle school: Taming of the Shrew, The Odyssey, The Scarlet Letter, etc. I also came across a few boxes that set me back for a few: random letters from my mom to her mother, Christmas cards and postcards from the 60's, a painted rock that was a paperweight, and a letter I had apparently dictated as a toddler because it was a sentence written in my mother's perfectionist handwriting that said something like, "I had a very nice time and miss you." It was written inside quotes and followed by lines of nonsensical child scribble with the occasional crudely drawn flower thrown in for good measure.

Eventually I will have to adhere to a schedule and delve into the closets and such. I've got two different projects going on: one, the need to clear the house of stuff, and two, the need to make art out of clearing the house of stuff, which is where the small paintings are headed now. Three, would be some sort of cash flow as a result of the previous two projects. Four, would be a sigh of relief from having large open space once again and very few possessions. Considering the state of affairs, I'm calm for the most part. I sleep well at night. I'm not frazzled during the day. I don't snap at people. If I haven't had a nervous breakdown or thrown in the towel yet, I think it's safe to say, I'm in the clear. I'm still dreadfully impatient and I worry about stuff for about 10 minutes a day, possibly more, and occasionally spiral into a Harold and Maude-like tailspin of existential ennui, but thankfully don't feel bitter or neglected. It probably helps that I'm self-centered and too consumed with my own life to be looking for paybacks and pats on the head. And I love what I do. And I'm not a martyr. And my dog smells like fish. It all adds up.

I finally (7 years later) broke out my Belgium linen I purchased over in Rotterdam. For some reason, I've held onto this as special linen. It's not. It's very nice linen, of course, but it's just material. When I unrolled it, I was hit with the smell of primed linen. Pause and take that in. It was nice. Much better than the fish smelling dog smell mentioned above. Stretching primed linen is always a bit tough to do. I tried stretching one, but it didn't pass the quality control test. (Standards, yes, I do have them.) My solution was to glue the linen onto cradled wood panels. I don't particularly like painting on panels. The sides always throw me. For some reason, wood panels seem like they should have pristine sides and I am not a pristine side person. I primed the sides, but even then, it's disturbing. Painting the sides is not an option. I'll try and forget about the sides and just paint like normal. I like linen. I just bought some more on sale. Just a little. Just enough to get me through a summer of smaller paintings.


Posted by the Progress Report group on FB- Cezanne's Doubt by Maurice Merleau-Ponty. I'm going to read it at after dinner tonight. Oh look, the time. 

1 comment :

Carla said...

Mmmm, linen. I bought some in Jan, and just pulled it out earlier this week. I ordered some PVA size and started fantasizing about stretcher bar sizes.