July 25, 2012

As a painter, I think you shouldn’t expose the public to things they already know, almost as an obligation.  You have to take them beyond where things are easily explained.   I think of myself as a very conventional person, very ordinary person, but I do believe that one of the obligations of an artist is to go toward transcendence, and that seems valuable to me. That’s good enough for me to keep going. -Wolf Kahn

I'm still working on sorting through things in the house: a pile for garbage, a pile for sale, a pile for Goodwill. Endless Summer. It was hectic for a week or so and just when I felt I made some progress, my garage studio flooded while I was out of town-about 4 inches of water according to the water marks left on the studio furniture legs. I didn't have any artwork on the floor. I know better. I'm guessing an electrical cord, the one connecting my battery tender to my motorcycle was submerged in water which caused the breaker to trip. The water eventually drained out, even though I don't have a drain. Since sweeping silt in 90 degree heat is not something I'm willing to spend a solid 8 hours on, I've put in about 2 hours a day cleaning up. I should have it swept up by the weekend. I don't know why I pretend I can work out there. I'm a Romantic, but not that romantic.

I opened up the inside studio again and pulled out some watercolors.
I thought about abstraction. I even called a few times just to hear its voice but hung up before it answered.

Untitled watercolors

July 15, 2012

Rocks and stuff

It is not going as smoothly and guilt-free as the Ministry of Furniture would have liked us to believe. After a few  back-to-back 15-hour work days moving things around and attempting to restore order, I melted. I lost track of the time. The cupboards were almost bare. I had frozen yogurt with my raw oats one morning because I had run out of regular yogurt. I let it melt while I showered. It was fine. A little chilly, but fine. I made some headway, but I was unable to concentrate in the studio. It was raining and the studio felt like a swamp. I finally resurfaced yesterday after playing with my rock collection at breakfast. I made miniature cairns. It helped.
I did not grow up to be a klepto, but I remember stealing that white slab of marble from my Sunday school class when I was 2 or 3. I don't actually remember attending class after that, however. I do remember my mother trying to return it, but obviously I have it still. Later, in kindergarten, I stole a conglomerate at nap time. If that turns up around here, I will be elated. I miss that rock.

Later I painted. I wasn't sure how it was going. I usually don't paint over canvases. I don't think it's a good practice for a number of reasons, but I needed a canvas and there was something about the soon to be destroyed  painting that irked me and it wasn't a good irk. It was a last ditch effort to make an abstract painting when I didn't feel like it kind of irked. This feels better. I'm glad I painted over the other one.
(^ I still need a better shot of this.)

I've been staring at this  for the last 30 years:
It's been in the kitchen cabinet along with a George and Martha washing plate, a beer stein, and an old gourd. It's from 1983/84. I was making paintings of vessels at the time and decided to paint a couple of actual vessels. I would call them vases now and drop the overt essentialist feminist overtone that marked my work as an undergrad.

July 09, 2012

Sigh of relief...

My job as keeper of the furniture is coming to a close. Oh, not immediately, and not all at once, but we're phasing out that the division of guilt and burden. For a reasonable fee, and less bullshit then therapy, I got a bonus track from an appraisal expert who summed up our session by telling me that I needed to get on with my life, let go of the furniture, and make room for my studio. I know this. Other people have said as much, but having a non-partisan professional evaluate the sitch made it seem manageable. I have a plan. I am on a mission. I have research to do, but all is good. I will be implementing a stricter schedule and a manageable division of labor: 1 part day job as a purveyor of antiques and old books studio to 2 parts artist specializing in kick-ass paintings. And pretty soon, voila, the division of guilt and burden will be gone.

editor's note: I made need to tweak that ratio in order to GTD in a timely manner. 

July 08, 2012

Better than drugs, revised

Drawing a thing with a name was calming last night. Today I added some washes. I'm off the laptop for the next 24 hours. I am going to paint things with names today. I had a really hard week on the day job/domestic abode front and I need to focus in the studio. 

July 05, 2012

I had forgotten about quite a bit of stuff, part 2.

Holy crap. 100° in the studio yesterday. Here's how I knew it was too hot:
1. Sweat dripping off my face while in a stationary position.
2. I took a sip of espresso. It was the last sip. But here's the catch. It was yesterday's espresso, or possibly the day before's. I only realized this because it tasted a bit harsh. The cup itself and the liquid were hot, but I remembered that my current cup was on  the palette table.

I came inside to work on sorting through stuff.

I spent a few hours in circa 1984 1894. I came across a scrapbook from my great grandmother's. Most everything was dated between 1984 1894 and the first decade or so of 1900.  It was carefully preserved with tissue wrapped around it and folded inside a paper bag. It was made out of an old textbook. Inside, glued to the pages were poems and scripture, clippings, photographs, births announcements, death announcements, more poems, letters, some locks of hair, dried flowers, some drawings pasted on the pages, and the color, red-orange. I composed myself and kept plowing through. It was a beautiful find. This goes in the keeper pile.

Sometimes, I feel like the only teller at the Bank of Memories.

July 04, 2012

I had forgotten about these paintings, part 1.

I'm spending lot of time working in the house this summer going through things STILL. I am getting stuff done, but it's hard. Yesterday, I got a grip on the table linens. I'm also trying to clean up my digital files and came across these. These are all really tiny paintings.  

Peephole, 2010
Someone bought this for their wife as an anniversary present.  

Trefoil, 2010

Wig, 2010

The Intellectual, 2010

I may have deemed the paintings from this group too whimsical. The curlicue brushstrokes were summoned from a sudden Joan Mitchell craving I had when I first moved here in 2010. I'm still reading her bio. I'm slow. 

I think all this work is under the chop saw covered in sawdust. I'll go check now.... 

...Yes. They were all under the chop saw table covered in sawdust. It's good to be inspired by older work. I remember almost throwing them out. I'm going to paint today. 

July 02, 2012

The Night.

I've been working on my website for 1000 days so far.

No, but I haven't left the computer for several days now.

The nights have been gorgeous here and last night I swore I would paint the night this evening. I took the dog for a walk and it was late and since I've been at the computer all day I was going to bail because I didn't feel like dragging my supplies outside at 9:30 pm and setting up shop. I'm still in my running clothes from this morning. Yes, I worked at the computer all day wearing my sweaty running clothes. So in order not to bail on my commitment to paint the night, I stood outside and attempted to memorize the evening. Then I opened the garage door for reference and pushed some paint around for maybe 10 minutes. (Maybe longer, but my point is that I picked up the paintbrush. A better point of course might have been that I picked up the paintbrush and finished a painting in one session, but that was not in the cards tonight.)

This is the beginning of a night painting.

July 01, 2012

Two years ago this charmer left my life but not my heart. 

❤ ❤ 

I love when I am rewarded for hard work.


...and getting paid for the sale of a painting pretty much capped off my day. And although sea salt caramel gelato may sound tasty, make no mistake- it's to die for.

My new website is up and running, hence the gelato reward. It's not complete- I still need to upload some paintings from the archives, and some basic stats, but I'm really happy with icompendium for designing a clean and simple website platform for artists. Intuitive, fast, easy, and elegant. I'm breaking it down into years, except the pools and flowers paintings get their own heading, as will self-portraits, I don't want to make a distinction between abstract and representational/figurative because that line gets too blurry and is moot. I could edit out some images. Maybe leave some of the really tiny works off? As I go further back in time, I'll keep it lean, though the website offers some really useful features for inventory. I still don't have scans of early, early slides, so at this point it's not functioning as an archive. Thoughts?

I ran today. Yeah, right. I copped out just under 3 miles, and it wasn't even close to noon. Tomorrow.

Addendum: Today's trail run was less than stellar. It's really just too hot.