June 29, 2013

Some days I'm more grateful to make it home than others

People in Tennessee cannot drive. I'll refrain from name-calling.

One of my goals this summer is to:
1. maintain my gold star status from Starbucks.
2. do a sketch each time I get a coffee.

I left the house on my motorcycle wearing a fluorescent orange shirt and a safety vest, and yet- a woman coming from the opposite direction tried to make a left turn in front of me. Fortunately, at the same time I was screaming at the top of my lungs, she stopped and actually made the, you go on motion to me, as if we were at a 4-way stop having a civil no, you go... no, after you mind meld. I was not close to being stopped. I was probably still going 40mph. I had tried to slow down, but, and at this point, it's murky because it was one of those split second things where I simultaneously saw her try to turn in front of me but I also saw her suddenly stopped and already waving. I know it was sudden because her face was near the windshield as though her physical body were making the turn with her car trailing behind. After that, I was paranoid that everyone would be texting or drunk. I continued on my journey but I had second thoughts about taking the 2-lane highway. I made it to my Starbucks destination, had my afternoon Americano, (I'm cutting corners, it's usually a double soy capp) did a sketch, and made it back home. As part of a dedicated practitioner's class, I've been thinking about The Nine Contemplations of Atisha. You could argue that riding a bike raises the odds a bit, but not really. Riding is just another opportunity to practice being present. It's possibly an opportunity to practice not yelling obscenities inside my motorcycle helmet, but that's way down on the list.

And yes, I've leaked a detail of a painting from one of the upcoming shows up there in the background. Surprise.

June 26, 2013

Holy crap, no wonder I'm tired.

Okay, so the real reason I'm tired is because I ate soy ice cream with caramel sauce before bed last night and I woke up  a couple hours later with a sugar-induced insomnia and read all the tweets about Wendy Davis's filibuster until I got the one where SB5 was officially pronounced dead after the interwebs caught them cheating.

But also, I might be tired because I was updating my cv and decided to count how many shows I've been in since (temporarily) setting up a studio in Nashville 3 years ago.

22 *

* counting 2 solos this September...

This might be the reason I've had trouble finishing what I came here to do, and why I haven't had much of a social life. 

Come this fall, I'm prioritizing in order to streamline the process. Out with the old.

June 25, 2013

Captain's log:

8:03 pm

the last painting from the recent group is slowly killing me... I saw some blue flowers...something went terribly wrong... I heard the sander...dust everywhere...the water bucket was murky....I'm...I'm...

To Live and Paint in...


I'm 2 months out from 2 shows that will happen concurrently here in Nashville and I am elated to report that I have tied together most of the paintings, almost in spite of myself. So elated that I took a short break from the studio and lolly-gagged most of Monday. Not all of Monday, just most. And part of today. Thanks to listening to the same mashups for like 500 hours, I have completed 8 of 9 painting for one show and can go back to concentrating on the other show. It's been great to work this way, and just about everyday I either curse or congratulate myself on knowing how to paint myself out of a dark and messy corner. I fancy that I'd be a good candidate for a Survivor type show. On the other hand, I'm vowing never to tape my edges or sand my panels to perfection again. 

June 18, 2013

Carrion my wayward son.

My friend's daughter told me there was a rotting leg outside my studio window, but there is still some fur on what looks like a tail, so I'm going with what was once a full-grown squirrel, maybe a rabbit. Not sure really. The skull disappeared within the last couple of hours. According to Wikipedia, I'd say it's at the advanced decay stage. I find it a little unsettling that it keeps changing positions, with some help.

Not pictured:

June 14, 2013

One down...

√ Show title for fall solo #1 logged
Story Statement about fall solo #1 drafted
˚ Angst over title and statement for fall solo #1

√ completed
˚ in progress

I finally was able to catch up and shoot some work with clarity and detail.
Still in the groove.

June 09, 2013


Not sure why it's taking me this long to cut grooves.
When the student is ready, the table saw blade will lower. -Zen Master Mike. in the house. 

June 08, 2013

Studio Update: A shot of angst straight up with a joy chaser.

I'm currently working on a few different things in the studio. In corner number one, the most arduous group of paintings to date. I'm not gloating about this. No, instead, I have transcribed an old interview with John Currin where he talks about his work and on becoming a figurative artist, and I am making a sign of this to hang in the studio as some sort of beacon of hope, the light at the end of the tunnel, a reminder. In corner number two, the figurative work. Praise be.

John Currin on becoming a figurative artist:

Jeffery Brown: Do you remember what exactly happened when you realized that was the right path?
John Currin: That it (x3) was somewhat embarrassing, but that it was easy, and beautiful, and that I didn't feel angst, I actually felt joy rather than tremendous angst and I realized that's the way an artist should feel when they paint. 

editor's note: Let me repeat that:
 I actually felt joy rather than tremendous angst and I realized that's the way an artist should feel when they paint. 

One the future of figurative painting:
[10: 07] It was never particularly progressive. 
[10:30] One of the joys of figurative painting is that it's kind of hopelessly retrograde and reactionary and it can't really carry a message about the doesn't seem to have that burden.

I love painting and I'm certain there are other factors contributing to the angst. In fact, it very well could be entirely the other factors. Nonetheless, a banner of the above text goes up on the studio wall stat.

June 07, 2013

June 06, 2013

Process is NOT on Summer Hiatus...

Process will be taking a summer hiatus. The staff is out smarting themselves. 

We're back. I decided life in the studio would be incomplete without the textual counterpart.

I was going to remain in hiding until the fall, but since essentially I have been in hiding for almost 3 years, it seemed moot. For whatever reason, I enjoyed the anonymity of writing from my garage studio in Culver City. Now I am just enjoying anonymity. Kidding.

And so I write this in support of artists working on their own thing and sticking to their vision in spite of it not being part of last year's zeitgeist. I write this in support of those artists who don't try to fit it, and either do, or do not through no fault of their own. I mean eventually, you are bound to be one or the other at any given time. And I write this for artists like myself, who sometimes question everything- not out of a lack of confidence or faith, but precisely because of that faith. 

Thanks to Philip Buntin for posting this:
On May 23, 1947 Wallace Stevens wrote to Rodríguez Feo:

I did not see Time magazine, but from what you say gather that someone has taken a crack at [T.S.] Eliot. Someone takes a crack at everybody sooner or later: not only at everybody but at everything. In the long run, as Poe said in one of his essays which nobody reads, the generous man comes to be regarded as the stingy man; the beautiful woman comes to be regarded as an old witch; the scholar becomes the ignoramus. The hell with all this. For my own part I like to live in a classic atmosphere, full of my own gods and be true to them until I have some better authority than a merely contrary opinion for not being true to them. We have all to learn to hold fast. Yours very truly,
Wallace Stevens*