June 28, 2012

I am a reptile and I live in a cave.

It's 102° outside and I haven't turned on the ac on since last night. I experimented last summer with "charging" the house. Meaning, I put the ac on for about 2 hours before bed. The secret is getting the house down to 73° at the beginning of the summer and then never opening the windows or the shades for the remainder of the summer.
I don't think the thermostat is spot on, but it tells me it's around 72 -75 degrees. I watched a vid about installing a programable thermostat. It looks easy enough except for the part where I'm to crawl in my basement and turn off the switch at the boiler plate. I need to do a meet and greet with my basement one day. I have been in it once with a chaperone. It's right up there with putting a sump pump in the bottom of the pool to drain water. Somehow dangling an electrical device in a body of water seems oh I dunno, wrong, but it's also on the list of home maintenance this summer.

I'm building a new website right now. It's going slow since I lost a bunch of software capabilities (Photoshop and Aperture for starters) when I upgraded to Lion. All I needed was the skew and resize feature, but for $79 the panty-waist version of Photoshop does not do this. For a mere $700 I can have the skew function which helps when I missed out on squaring up the art in the camera in real life. I'm holding out. Technology is holding me back right now.

My recent run of shows is winding down. The solo show at the Customs House Museum received a nice review.

 I have a couple of studio visits coming up. Summer is going by fast.

I'm into trail running a couple of days a week. 5 miles today. Woot. Followed by Gatorade and a pecan pie tart. Double woot.

The guys at the hardware store were really excited to get this back into working order:

Turbo, baby. I could probably chop vegetables with those blades. 

June 22, 2012

Last call:
Via SUGAR and Shine NYC Art: Last weekend for Lineup round 4, the final round From the Gut, with Heart. The last exhibition for season 3. July will bring SUGAR's first film, yep contrary to popular belief. A documentary by artist Bill Page on artist Larry Poons with a Q & A hosted by a surprise guest (yes, you guessed it, not lined up yet). August holds a performance artwork by Genevieve White so stay tuned in and spread the good words...SUGAR is forever THE best, most original, thoughtful art space that ever landed in Bushwick! "The alternative to the alternative".

Closing party:
Hot Paint closing reception at WEEKEND, July 1st, 4-6 pm. Cocktails and camaraderie. Speaking of which...

Guilty pleasure: 
Art+Auction's 50 Next Most Collectible Artists
Several LA-based artists on this list including Allison Miller who is concurrently in the Hammer Biennial and the Hot Paint show at Weekend.

Investment tip:
Blueberries. I bought, I froze, I conquered.

June 16, 2012

Cue Dream Sequence

Animated Pies:
Animated pies or pyes were the most popular banquet entertainment. The nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence . . . four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie," refers to such a pie. According to the rhyme, "When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing. Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the King." In all likelihood, those birds not only sang, but flew briskly out at the assembled guests. Rabbits, frogs, turtles, other small animals, and even small people (dwarfs) were also set into pies, either alone or with birds, to be released when the crust was cut. The dwarf would emerge and walk down the length of the table, reciting poetry, sketching the guests, or doing tricks. copyright 2004 by Linda Stradley - United States Copyright TX 5-900-517- All rights reserved. Web site What's Cooking America.

I repeat, "The   dwarf   would   emerge   and   walk   down   the   length   of   the   table,   reciting   poetry,   sketching   the   guests,   or   doing   tricks."  

And in the studio today, I worked more on this one, but I've already been messing with the water since I took this. Usual caveat. iPhone. work in progress etc.  

June 12, 2012

I wake up at 6 am.

I'm one of those people that guesses the time before I look at the clock to see how accurate I am. I was on the money today at 5:58.

The summer studio is coming along. I put a double layer of the anti-fatigue mat in front of my easel yesterday after working a day without it. If you don't think an anti-fatigue mat is a big deal, try this:
Stand and pace around on a concrete floor working on paintings for 6+ hours.
Have a restless night of sleep due to a slight resentment.
Go running the next afternoon to prove you will run, even when you are tired.

My legs felt like splintered toothpicks. I was certain chunks of brittle bone were fracturing into a million shards every time my foot smashed into the pavement. The anti-fatigue mats went down yesterday and today's run was fine.

I should start documenting how many days I am not looking for a day job. i.e., Day 2, I did not look for a day job. Instead I went into the studio and continued work on a painting that in a decent economy with the right audience, will net me honest wages for a week's pay. 

This is how I justify pushing paint around instead of looking for a day job. With any luck, I'll be typing that using my last breath 45 years from now, proving that a) I will have this anxiety all my life, and b) that I have pegged 2057 as my personal end date, give or take a few years.

This will be the last weekend for the show at John Davis Gallery. It's been a successful show for me. Some work sold and my work was introduced to a new audience. I couldn't be happier, especially since the last two years have seen a substantial shift in both scale and direction of the work. A critical review would have been icing on the cake, but I won't get greedy.

I've made some calls. Big changes coming down the pipe this summer. All personal. nothing career-related. The important thing is action.

I'm excited about my natural air purification system: two Peace Lilies and a Gerber Daisy. I had a Peace Lilly that desperately needed thinning. I was able to get two transplants. Is houseplant ownership a sign of being an introverted misanthropic artist? Because for the record, any time I receive an outdoor plant, it dies. The indoor plants frigging love me. 

"Turpentine," 2012, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in. 
★ STILL in progress, though I think I'm ready to wrap it up soon. I need to get a better shot. 

I think someone should confiscate the small brushes from me. They are wrecking havoc with the vision I have of myself as a loose painter. I think I mentioned I tried to be loose lately, but it felt ordinary. I don't know what happened. I'm certain I was a less virtuous painter when I was younger.. Yes, here we go, I posted this last year, but here we have proof:

 "Mutant Springtime," roughly 1989-1990. [Destroyed.]

I'm guessing it's about about 57 x 49, or possibly 60 x 48 inches. Something in that neighborhood. Back then, I didn't realize people made standard stretcher bars sizes for canvases so I just bought wood, mitered the ends and made stretchers. I should buy a little slide scanner. I winnowed away a TON of old slides before I moved, and hopefully kept one of each work. That's a project in and of itself-archiving. I'm actually a bit amazed that I can see a family resemblance between these 2 paintings. I think it's the off-kilterness, combined with the palette. Crazy, right? I imagine myself to be all over the place, and yet... the brush tells all does it not?

I love my life.

June 09, 2012

Post Show Life V2.

Moved into the summer studio yesterday. Spent the morning sweeping dead bugs and silt into a pile. I like it in there. The phrase "I can breathe" comes to mind, but it's really dusty so I'm not being literal. It just felt peaceful and unharried. I'm going to divide some of the indoor peace lilies and take a couple out to the studio to see how they fare. Supposedly peace lilies are good detoxifiers, according to NASA.

Setting up shop. Home is where the Palette Table is.

Speaking of homes, someone had a nice home this winter. Up close it's looks like an igloo made out of insulation. I feel bad now. If only they hadn't tried to trade up. 

I heard a thump.

...and lifted my apron. He is so stealth. I can take a hint. 

And so it goes. 
Note: I still don't know why I am painting so tight. I thought the bigger canvases would mean bigger brushes without needing to worry about the edges so much. I'm kind of irked by this compulsion of mine. 

Nonetheless, it was a good day. 

June 08, 2012

Post show life.

Spent all day yesterday upgrading to Snow Leopard to Lion and then doing the iCloud migration. Got some studio time in during downloads and installs. I am painting somewhat larger. It's fine. You'd think I'd be all like whoa, I'm working bigger again, look at me, but t's not that big of a deal. Neither was the iCloud. For some reason I thought I would be transported to some kind of virtual Xanadu. The bigger brushstrokes feel like I'm cheating. Bigger brushes. Bigger brushstrokes. I missed the small brushes so I pulled them out anyway at the risk of being less brushy and expressionistic. Plus the scale isn't that huge.  Maybe I'm in the doldrums. I love looking at the dog when he's asleep. He always looks lighter, like he might be a rag doll dog. Pretty impressive for 80 pounds of handsome mutt. Lost compatibility with several pre-Cambrian software versions and need to prioritize what is urgent enough to upgrade. Moved into summer studio, aka the garage. High ceilings. Windows. Dust.  My hedge trimmers finally gave out.  I say finally as thought it just happened. No, I think they gave out last year.  I'm sure the neighbors have noticed this. Went on my fourth trail run this evening. And for the record, Mr. iCloud, I would never leave that little piece of torn paper stuck there on a real desk calendar, and I am unable to use an X-acto knife on my monitor.

Headed to the studio now.

June 04, 2012

"Hot Paint" at Weekend, Los Angeles; and then some

So many of my favorite artists, curators, directors, collectors, and all around super art people came to the opening of Hot Paint!!! at Weekend, even though Made in LA opened at the Hammer on the same night. I keep thinking the iphone takes good pictures, but no, it sucks indoors at night. Sucks, I tell you. If you want an image removed, let me know. 

MAH, Mirror Painting (Leitmotif) 

 MAH, Mirror Painting (Obfuscation) hanging out above the bar. Perfect. 

Amy Feldman

Emily Noelle Lambert

Heather Brown

Molly Larkey

Allison Miller

John Mills and Christopher Kuhn

Daniel Brodo and Kristi Engle

Emily Noelle Lambert in from NYC

Chrome polish for me, Emily's hand-painted shoes. Our feet matched our paintings. Shrewd fashion sense at work. 

Alice Clements.
Pam Jorden was a delight to meet. We both did undergrad at UT and studied under Michale Brakke (d.2012), Marcia Goldenstein and Whitney LeLand. 
Amazing Smile by Jay Erker

Meg and Ray and Jay
I'm in the mood for an armband. And huge thanks to Meg and Ray for hosting me. 
Cole Case and John O'Brien. 

Michelle Carla Handel

A bunch of people, including Suzanne Adelman and Keith Walsh

Max Presneill

I visited my storage unit. I was hoping to move into a smaller unit. I forgot I had this much work back in LA, and I also forgot I couldn't move the big painting in the back by myself. I spent about an hour and a half, mentally trying to consolidate this into about 3/4 of the space. I even tried to lift that painting onto a cart. I gave up. Next trip, I will have to unstretch them and roll them up or hire someone to do that. This is one area of my life that I am in denial about. There is another, of course. It is a parallelogram about 120 miles long x 440 miles wide. 

I am a painter who makes work, no matter what. I don't wait until I have a show and then make X number of paintings. Not that anything is wrong with that MO, it's just not how I function. I make a lot of work, sometimes it's with a show in mind, and sometimes it just feeds the larger glom thing of getting up and making work for the greater good. I used to be somewhat embarrassed about this, as though I was the only artist who had works hanging around, but then I visited Charles Arnoldi's studio and even he had rolled up canvases in storage slots. If you're in it for the long haul, I'm guessing you're making work no matter what. 

Available Works, 2001-2010

Recap: The opening was fantastic, but Saturday was a bit of a bust. I spent too much time in traffic. I got trapped on the 405 on the way to a panel discussion that I missed; On my way to a studio visit, I made a wrong turn and got off on the 110 instead of the 10; and my lame-O 3G map program gave out while I was on a circuitous run. I'm sure there were other travesties. That was my Saturday. I had a voracious appetite to see painting this trip. I saw 3 shows in Culver City. I had plans to see, oh, like 200 shows. I was also a bit tired after a convo about location and identity with a well-meaning friend took me down for the count. 

Cars, Cars, Cars!!!
More Cars, Cars, Cars!!!

And even more Cars, Cars, Cars!!!

Onward and upward

Hudson, NY; day two, and then some.

I am behind in posting. I was fortunate to be able to make it to NY and LA for the two openings. I am getting ready to embark on a major spring/summer cleaning around here, so hopefully that will help to support my travel and show expenses. I felt it was necessary to participate in person. This is what I do. It was nice being part of the soup, as they say. 

First up, the show at John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York-

Trying to be one of the center of attentions, I found it difficult to remain poised and play paparazzi simultaneously. And yet...
My work is on the second floor of the carriage house in the small rooms. I was pleased with their presence in the intimate spaces.  

Me, Lucy Mink Covello
Lucy was on an art pilgrimage and stopped in Hudson to see the show. Thanks LMC!

Martin Bromirski

Martin's work is on the second floor too.

 Martin Bromirski, Me

Lucy Mink, Me, My blown out paintings. I love the iPhone camera, but exposure is not it's strong point.

Farrell Brickhouse and Lucy

Hat trick: Heidi Pollard, Lucy Mink and Martin Bromirski

Debra Priestly's sculpture suspended from the ceiling. 

Rosanna Bruno's work in the main gallery

Fabulous smiles on Maureen and John

Some of my small works in the carriage house

Hypothetical questions and mythical answers: 
Q: Do you make small paintings just to sell?
A: No.
Q: Have you ever painted large?
A: Yes, but only for about 20 years or so. 

Whoa there. 14 x 11 inches and  9 x 7 inches
"Southern Exposure"
"Pirate Mask"

The sculpture garden behind the gallery. John Rupert's sculpture.

Next up. LA.