Saturday, September 30, 2006


Tonight I am very tired.

I've essentially caught up on my work, in spite of the fact that I didn't have my reading glasses. It was a long, mostly focused day, made at least three times more efficient because the office was quiet. No interruptions, no phones, no chatter.

There hasn't been an opportunity to really slow down in over two weeks.

The remainder of the weekend I'll tend to such things as unpacking from my trip and doing laundry. A walk is in order as well.

It was a wonderfully cool, grey day. I've taken a long, hot bath and will be curling up with a blanket and season 4 of the West Wing.

Someone has their wood stove going. It's such a comforting smell. So was the ginger chicken I had for dinner from the Thai place around the corner.

I look forward to tomorrow.
Getting old...

I grabbed my bag to head to work this morning. Then I realized I didn't need to lug it with me, so I put it down. In my pockets...keys, ID, keycard to access the building, camera, money. All set.

Then I walked out of the house knowing I was forgetting something.
Stopped. Returned.
Couldn't figure it out.
Left again.
It nagged...the whole walk to work.

As soon as I sat down at my desk, I knew.
My reading glasses.

If I had my car I would have returned home, but I didn't want to take another full 40 minutes to walk back and forth.

This work is proceeding much slower with massive squinting and straining.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Want to see some photos of my hangout?

I spent a wonderful almost 3 hours at Septieme with Phil and D. We hung out, ate, flirted with the new server who happens to have great service skills (rare among those in the service industry), and drank. Phil mentioned to him that it was my public living room, and I jumped in saying I had been away for a week.
The server's response?
"Welcome home."


Good service rocks.

Anyway, here are a few shots. Inside and out.

The following photo makes me cranky. I think there was too much tequila involved and therefore the blurriness. I'll have to go back and do it again. But...the light was great at the time. Aargh.

The sign I see across the street, from my booth. I've always liked this sign. The whole building actually. But it was too contrasty to shoot the whole thing. Another day.

Tomorrow is Museum Day.

From the website:

"On September 30, 2006, for one day only, museums across the country will join the Smithsonian Institution in its long-standing tradition of offering free admission to visitors."

You must have a Museum Day card, which can be downloaded from the website.
List of participating museums also on the site.

It feels as if it's been a while since I've just chatted in my blog. A few times this morning, and even during the week, I've attempted to sit and write out my thoughts and it is near impossible. The reason being, there have been recent dramatic changes and the newness is filling my body. It hasn't really made it's way to my head yet.

So...maybe a list will work.
Gotta dump some.

~Focus is very difficult for me lately. Sensation and memory is master right now and comes to me without notice, pouring into my space.

~I'm very much in love with my new camera. It will be a while before I really learn how to use it to its utmost potential...but that's okay.

~It has been about 10 years since I've taken photos. I didn't realize how much I missed it until this week. It is informing my drawing hand. Very exciting.

~Another way to inform my drawing hand is to...well...draw, dammit. I can't wait to get back into drawing. There is a fast moving blur of ideas. Curious to see where it leads and how it manifests itself.

~Unfortunately, drawing needs to wait until my workload is caught up and I've unpacked from my trip. Maybe next week?

~I've tasted home.

~My shrink was right. I have a session with him today and will bring him flowers which he can enjoy while at the same time, watch me eat my words.

~I've worked very hard to live a mindful and present life. Yet yesterday morning I was shocked when I stepped out of my apartment, heading to work. In a flash I was flooded with the sense that I am living in a dream state, sleepwalking. Awake happened while away. All of a sudden I cried because I had experienced what living really was.

~I can't wait to get caught up on my work. Maybe if I play games such as a small rewards system (if you sit and concentrate for one hour, then you get X). And it hasn't escaped my notice that focusing on the task at hand is what is needed the moment.

~I need to be tied to my chair until this is done. Preferably scratchy hemp.
Any volunteer tier-uppers?

~I returned to 80 degree weather in Seattle. WTF? When will fall really happen?

~I came this morning.
It was...interesting.

Watching the chestnut on my desk for these last few weeks.
I love how with time, the nut seems ready to fall right out of its protective shell.

I'll be putting in a few hours here and there over the weekend. There is much to do at work and a quiet office, alone with my paper and thoughts will be welcome.

Yesterday afternoon I became tired and left early. Sat a while and almost napped. But a walk and dinner was needed.

On my walk home from Septieme...

It's fuzzy from being careless in addition to jumping out of the middle of the street because there was a car coming.
"Let this be your rallying cry. Let it be your new hot-button topic, a raw naked condomless blog-ready wildfire underground grassroots crusade, your juiciest of incentive programs, your inspired call to hot naked impregnable sperm-a-riffic action."

That's the opening paragraph of a fun and provocative article from Morford.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

In trying to fit in with the rest of the world, I became small.
Squished. Homogenous.

In body expanded.
Risk led to transformation.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

From Brezsny's weekly email~

Art Lessons:
French Impressionist painter Henri Matisse wanted his art to be "free from unsettling or disturbing subjects...soothing, a cerebral sedative as relaxing as a comfortable armchair."

Spanish painter Pablo Picasso had a different opinion. "Art is offensive," he asserted. "At least, art should be allowed to be offensive. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous."

As you practice the art of pronoia, you will probably get best results if you swing back and forth between Matisse's and Picasso's approaches.

Every once in a while, try out William Butler Yeats' idea, too: "Art that doesn't attempt the impossible is not performing its function."

Here is this week's Freewill Astrology.

As for Morford, in Is Bush Really The Devil? he writes:

"Here is Lucifer, a massive, thunderous hero, subtle and intelligent and enormously articulate, full of passion and red-hot anarchy, the ultimate rebel. He is often seen reclining in his cavernous, rocky lair, lying on his side, all muscled godlike beauty and ruined glory and deep seduction and heat. He is just terribly, wonderfully alluring.

See? Right there, already we're a galaxy away from Dubya. Bush, of course, has no such magnificence. Bush is small and quivery and eats his vanilla pudding with a fork. While Satan orates and philosophizes at great intellectual length, Dubya can't even sit still during an entire State of the Union address without fidgeting and moving his upper body back and forth like a little metronome, twitching and squirming like a child."

I'm hopping a plane this evening, and should be tucked into my own bed by 11pm.

Here are a couple snapshots from a few days ago:

Once, not too long ago...even back a couple weeks, I would have said that this trip was too much, too overwhelming, too essence, believing I didn't deserve such goodness and joy. Now, it is not "too" anything. It is perfect.

My heart is holding so many memories and much kindness and many wonderful experiences and people. To everyone I've spent time with, new and old, thank you.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Here are three more shots from last night. I met Kerry at work a couple hours before dinner and we walked around, down near the water. The light was the kind of light that fills me, therefore the color.

(When you click on each, the image is massive. When I get a chance I'll have to go in, reduce them and repost.)



My last full day in NYC.
That thought is truly strange.

I've said before how glorious it's been, haven't I?

Today, I'm spending the afternoon with Lolita. Lunch and then she suggested we do MOMA. From there, Nayland and I will get together.

Last night was time with Kerry before we headed over to a great little Mexican place...somewhere in Manhattan. Near the Brooklyn Bridge. I can't remember the name right now. Maybe Radio Mexico? Vasts amounts of tequila was consumed. It was one of the better margueritas I've had in a very long time. It didn't have the excessive sweetness that we normally find. Ernie listed all the folks here (I'm feeling lazy this morning). But here's a shot of my dinner companions. It was a wonderful, wonderful evening. Again, slow and easy. Thanks everyone.

I still want to post pix from Saturday night's dinner party as well as some of yesterday afternoon. Not sure when it will happen.

My oh my how the week has flown by.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A big fucking wow.

I don't know how to write about my trip.

As you can see from my lack of blogging, I've been busy. It's a whirlwind of socializing, walking and adventures, interspersed with as much nap and quiet time I can grab. This trip is more about connecting with friends. As I was reminded Saturday night...I have family here as well. And that they are. Clearly. The openness and love is wonderful.

Inside, there is not only a reawakening but something else as well. A birth of a new part of myself?
No words for it right now.

I've grown up knowing there was great possibility yet the barriers felt complicated and great.

My lesson this week is about abundance.

And I am in awe.

Went to Coney Island last night, which ended up being a more laid back and absolutely wonderful evening.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Keeping this short because I'm bushed. Happy and very tired.

Yesterday was incredibly busy. Loads of walking...talking...eating some good food...checking out art...picked up a new portfolio for my drawings, cruised around Soho...and under Nayland's watchful eye, I purchased this (the black one). Very excited about the Leica optics. For interested geeks, here are the specs.

It's a sexy and small camera, considering all the features. Just think, maybe I'll be posting photos soon!

Tonight...dinner party with a bunch of folks at Kerry's. Woohoo!~

Friday, September 22, 2006

I know better.
I know better, I know better, I know better.

And yet, when will I learn?

If I don't eat regularly, my blood sugar drops and I get stupid and sleepy. I know this.
So what the hell was I thinking when I figured I could do an all day plane thing on a banana, 1/2 a muffin and 5 cashews?
Dinner the first night around 8ish. Yesterday I was bad as well...not eating on time.

Between the two days, and an interrupted sleep, it wreaked havoc with my body yesterday.

Oh well. Today it begins. I'll be more strict.

I could feel my sugar dipping all day. Too many up and down swings make my body feel weird. Anyway...that's a long way of saying that I was going to blog earlier...but was too mentally soft to compose anything.

Wednesday night I stayed in Bay Ridge which was wonderful! Kerry and his Papabear were more than perfect hosts and generous with kindness and lovin'. After dinner we walked out to a pier. I don't remember the name. But as each said "we have a 270 degree view!"

View of Manhattan, Staten Island, etc, etc, etc.

The walk was great after being cooped up in a plane all day.

Yesterday morning, with wonderfully explicit directions and two trains, I lugged my stuff over to Matt's. After dumping the luggage, I experienced Tom's Restaurant. One of my coworker's gave me strict orders to go to Tom's...and it's only a block away from where I'm staying.

It's charming, the food is good and the staff is very friendly. I could have sat there for a few hours...soaking in the juju.

From there, I spent a couple hours in the Brooklyn Museum. It's something I've wanted to do for very many years, but never had the chance.

As I was telling Nayland on the phone yesterday, I found my gem at the museum. Each time I step into a museum I keep my eyes and skin open for one thing that strikes me. Just one. With galleries, I do not seek it if I'm only going to one gallery, but if I check out a bunch of them in an afternoon, then I will be sniffing around.

It's my personal treasure hunt.

Today I found it. So much so that it moved me to tears. Here's a bad reproduction: Le Philosophe by Jacques Villon.

(A short derailment. Maybe over a year ago I went off on a tear about the mass production of original paintings into prints. Yeah I know about making it more accessible to everyone but...BUT...I'll say it again. Unless you are up close and personal, you lose out on the magic. You can't soak it in with your pores, you can't smell it, you can't feel it. You miss so much. In buying a print of an original painting, you've purchased wallpaper. It may be pretty wallpaper. The image may make you happy. But, so much is lost compared to looking at original work. Just sayin')

Back to the Villon, just to the left of the head...and you cannot tell from this particular reproduction, is a patch of light in a very dark section. The almost subtle warmth dancing in this greenish brown is glorious. I happened upon the painting, it caught my eye and proceeded to floor me. That one spot made the painting a holy experience.

Then as I allowed myself to be pulled away, I travelled throughout the rest of the painting...until I came to the black drawn lines at his leg. And the flavors of whites that are used...again pushing some great light... was wow.

A few floors later I found another treat. Not as powerful as the first, but it was still delicious.

Frank Deveneck's Portrait of A Man (Richard Creifeld) is gorgeous. (Again another really crummy reproduction. There is no way to see what I saw from this web image.)

I am a sucker for well-painted painterly portraits. There's a sculptural quality that gets me wet. When I can see the way the face was chiseled out...I have no words for it.

It's a simple painting and yet because of the hand of the painter, it is complex. The man is not typically beautiful and yet, because it feels as if the subject was captured with affection and allows for grace to permeate from the painting.

I did wander throughout the entire museum but most works received only a cursory glance. Feeling what I saw in the Villon painting was more than enough. My sketchbook was out and I did a few quick thumbnails as well as jot notes and names of a few other works that intrigued me.

Last night it was dinner at Junior's with Matt and Nayland. It's an upscale diner with great food and known for their cheesecakes. And so much food! A few times, I found myself dancing in my seat from the flavors. There was no way I could finish or even half finish everything. Vast amounts of food.
So much for my first day.

I've walked to the corner for a coffee this morning. Sat, enjoying it in front of the building I'm staying in and chatted up a sweet 73 year old man who was also sitting, enjoying the day. And to do a few things before I get on with the remainder of today.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Last Friday, I had the absolute pleasure of finally meeting and spending the day with Bitterlawngnome. We hung out, walked, talked, ate, looked at art and he spent much time taking photos. Of me.

Wanna see?
I have a few minutes before packing up my computer. Morford is back with today's column Dog Water, Tastes Like Chicken.

He begins with:

"Oh my God do I love dogs. Love-love-love them like Jesus loves chocolate and I happily admit that I am and will forever be a Dog Person despite how I don't yet have one of my own, and I adore the large sleek breeds to such a degree that I deeply respect their innate, you know, dogness, and hence I hereby vow to treat them exactly like dogs and let them romp and lick each other and eat random stuff they find in the park without me knowing about it.

Thusly respectful and attuned, I also vow to take it one step further: to not overindulge my future dogs, feed them well and train them solidly and set strong behavioral boundaries. Translation: I vow to avoid the increasingly common, rather insufferable practice of naively anthropomorphizing them to the point of abject nausea.

You know that point? Have you seen it all around? It's that juncture where people somehow let their canine adoration combine with the fact that they have no children, thus inducing the bizarre mutation of perspective whereby these lovely small-brained scavenger-beasts with soft eyes and limited emotional range and thick coats of furfy hair actually transmogrify into oversheltered spoiled-rotten human babies."

To read the whole thing.
It came up early (which I had hoped). Because I don't know what time I'll have for blogging tomorrow, this is therefore posting early. This week's Freewill Astrology by Rob Brezsny.

I'm mostly packed, although I may have to switch everything from one bag to another.

At 5:30 I left for dinner with friends. A wonderful evening. Upon my return, half hour ago, there was a notice on all our doors. They are changing the outside gate locks on Friday, and we need to pick up keys Wednesday or Thursday. Considering I leave the house at 6am tomorrow and won't return until about 11pm the following Wednesday, I panicked. And I freaked. For about 5 minutes.

My mind went into overdrive and I quickly came up with a contingency plan. I would call the manager from NYC and recruit a friend (the one who's picking me up from the airport) to pick up the key for me. Then, I decided to try the manager's number tonight, assuming I'd get the machine.


He was there...ran down, already had the keys made, and now I have my new key so I can let myself into my apartment next week. A last minute almost catatrophic but really mini crisis averted.
Now I can relax.

I will be bringing my laptop on vacation, so depending on time, I will be checking in and posting. My coworkers have informed me that I better write because they plan on checking the blog every day. So bossy they are!

Talk with you soon.

NYC'ers...see you soon!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Looking at my list...

I think I'm in good shape. Other than packing and one load of laundry, which I'll do tomorrow, all I've left to do today is vote in our primaries (by mail in ballot) and go out at lunchtime to pick up the cell (yeah, yeah, I'm still procrastinating).

For those in WA State, regarding mail in ballots, make sure you declare a party affiliation on the form, otherwise your votes for specific candidates are nullified.

I'm putting in a long day today so tomorrow I can leave work by 11 am.
And, I'm diving into one of my busiest seasons. My return from NYC will find stacks upon stacks of papers on my desk. It'll be a few weeks before I can clear it out. But it's all good. And worth it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I had only one definite plan for this weekend of rest. Afternoon drinks with a friend at Septieme. He and I get together maybe once a month, or once every couple. After sharing a plate of nachos, 3 margueritas each, dessert and some powerful conversation....well....I have a lot to think about.

He called me a hedgehog.

I laughed and told him my chestnut story I blogged from a few weeks back.

He is one of my oldest friends here in Seattle. He knows me better than almost anyone else. And we know how to piss each other off. With this, comes a refreshing bluntness that we can safely engage in with each other.

We don't spend a lot of time together because I think we'd drive each other crazy. But these infrequent dates are good.
I'm awake.

Sometimes it would be better not to be. Sometimes, I don't know what I want.

I have no idea who I am or how to do this thing called life.
"Just take the next step that appears"
Not much decision in there.

I saw a studio space for rent, downtown for 265/m. Right on the art walk. Comes with gallery space.
My mouth watered.

And...I can't do it now.
Lack of money.

But it's coming closer. I can feel it.

Bill asked me if I always explore an image in such a manner.
Over and over and over.

Yes and no.

This is a first though. I'm sticking to the same images.
In my thesis I'd rearrange.

Many times I hop. If there are many ideas, I have no qualms about jumping all over the map.
You have to fuck the muse that appears.
From a classicl piece, to an abstract.

Last year someone looked at the pile of paintings in my little space.
"You couldn't show these together, They aren't a series."

"Yes they are. They all have one thing in common. Me."
My hand.

It's funny how we are so quick to create and jump into rules.
We like to sort and separate.
This goes here, and that there.

It keeps deceptive solid earth under my toes.
But not really.

We are each standing with one foot on either side of a large fault line.
Maybe it's better if we keep dancing. There's no place to go that way.
No destination but movement.
Because, as we really know and hate to admit. life moves.
It shifts. It changes.

I was listening to my niece the other day. Singing.
Her voice. I can swim in that voice.

She makes me happy because it's a sign of hope.

The Lusty Lady will stay.
This makes me happy as well.
The wealthy lady has agreed.
The papers publicizing her approval pissed me off.

Again, it's about the wealthy.

Yes, I'm classist. I don't trust the rich.
Many are well-meaning. Good intentions do not translate to empathy.
Empathy gets lost in bank accounts and designer accessories.

Sex and art belong together. Many blue blooded biddies may disagree.
The rich white people buying 4 million dollar condos aren't going to be happy stepping out of their clean shiny home, keeping their heads down and not sully themselves with sweat and piss and sex.

Here is some anti-bacterial soap.
Make sure you use it.

I eat yogurt to replace the bacteria that gets wiped out by modern science.

Clean. We must all be clean.

It's sad. I don't know how to live in this world sometimes.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It feels like a perfect fall day:
Kinda cloudy.
Peeking sun.

~I'm still waking up

~Spoke with rogueboi this morning. He's going to meet me at JFK next week.
I love being met at the airport.

~Bitterlawngnome is in Seattle. In a few hours we are going to meet and spend the day together. Looking forward to it. If we have time, I want to take him to a certain photo exhibit near my house.

~This weekend will be another one of rest, drawing and finally pick up the damned cell phone that I've been procrastinating over. Talk about resistance.

~Technology doesn't always improve life in the sense of freeing up your time to enjoy it. Many times it makes you speed up, focus more on the technology and diverts your attention from the simplicity and beauty found in the ordinary. It seems to shortened our attention spans as well.
It's easy to lose balance. I want to own it, not have it own me.

~As challenging as my life has been these last few years, I don't want to be anyone other than who I am.

~I love autumn.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Therapy today was the most difficult in four years. Walking home, I felt empty.
Emptier than ever before.

Each time I step into the place of emptiness, I think it will be the last time. Foolish me.
Each time seems to touch the most remote place in the universe. Now I discover it is...until the next time when I reach even further into the abyss.

I had no idea how I was going to draw today. For the first time since I've jumped back into my art, I wanted to throw it all away. There was nothing left of me. The most I could do with the afternoon was let tears fall.

But I knew I needed to find out if that was true. And even if there really was nothing left to create, I still had to move my hand. Stepping to the table I worked. Pulling the drawings from a few days ago, I reworked a couple and then began a new one.

I don't work for a long period of time. It seems I can't yet. Frustrating, yet I think I've figured out why.
Baby steps. If I'm just getting back on my feet, or actually standing for the first time alone, without the assistance of daily assignments and profs looking over my shoulder, it will take me a while to get my creative strength.

Little by little.

With that, I came to the conclusion that it's a good thing I don't have a studio space yet. It would have been wasted. Yes, I'd be there almost every day, but not long enough each day to make it worthwhile. Most times, physically, actively touching the paper doesn't total more than an hour a day. I relish the days when I can go longer.

Maybe soon.

Tonight, after stepping back and washing the black from my fingers, I looked at half of the work.
After doing 30 plus drawings, most large, I believe two are successful. One from the first month, and one from the last week.

This is good.

I like the exploration in almost all of them but two big ones work. I'm almost really sure.
Maybe two little ones as well...but I don't really trust myself yet to make that determination.

I wonder if I'll ever get to the place where I can determine was is really good in my own work.

Whether or not these really are successful, the idea that these all were born not only of sex but of isolation thrills me tremendously.
Last night.

In spite of good intentions, last night didn't go as planned.
But it was perfect.

I ended up at Septieme much earlier because I was hungry and knew I couldn't do any drawing with a growling stomach. I grabbed my laptop, threw on my iPod, cranked it and headed down the hill.

There has been some more private writing that needed to be done. I had been afraid to even put the feelings and ideas on paper or screen. Apprenhensive, the task carried much nervous energy. I couldn't do it at home.

In a quiet cafe, tucked into my favorite booth, surrounded by dark red walls and enveloped by the blues coming from the speakers, 2 glasses of Merlot and 3 hours later, I was done for the evening.

There would be no drawing that night. But this task was far more important.
I've been pushing myself hard to get to this point. And it left me so tired that I crawled into bed at 8pm.

Life is good.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This afternoon:

When I leave in about 5 minutes...I'm going to go home to vacuum, water plants and then draw. Yesterday was a 3 load laundry day and then a drawing.

I enjoy being home in early afternoon. It gives me time and energy to tackle one household chore each day and time to work a piece.

Today, in addition to the drawings and vacuuming, I'm headed down to Septieme for dinner. I want a beet salad, glass of wine, a candle and some peace so I can sit and do some needed writing. It's been a lovely cool, cloudy, low ceiling kind of day. The idea of sitting in the Cafe for a while feels like heaven.
From my Rob Brezsny email:

"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you
will call it fate."

- Carl Jung

Here is this week's Freewill Astrology.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yesterday morning, right after midnight, I woke. I had been asleep since 10pm.

It was odd. I was not consciously troubled by anything. My mind wasn't moving at hyperspeed. And I couldn't return to sleep. Chalking it up to unconscious rumblings, I remained in bed, surrounded by the dark.

Being severely sleep deprived, I was surprised I made it through a full day. Almost full. I took 8 hours of vacation time this week so I can again work four eight hour days. I've been on a roll with drawing and want to continue that before I head out to NYC next week. (I can't wait!)

I haven't created anything fabulous, but am working. Every day I work, in spite of the pain, the grief, the sadness...there is a great sense of awe. I'm still blown away that it is such a part of me, no longer in theory but in practice.

About 20 years ago, I came to the conclusion that, even if I would only work one or two weeks a year, I was an artist. A few times, I'd have a gap of 2 or 3 years between working. A deep fear would arise and I'd run. Run far until the mornings I'd wake and if I didn't get a brush in my hands in the next half hour I knew I would die. I was starving myself. sounds like a creative form of anorexia.

My realization of artist came because of how I view the world. I see in paintings. Shapes, color, space and light continually catch my eye. When I would work, I couldn't always translate that to canvas...but I saw. With this, was a small unsettling feeling. A question....

...if I see and take in with my body...why can't I work?

It took $25,000 plus of fucking therapy to get to the root of it.
A worthwhile investment.

Now yesterday, after work, the lack of sleep hit and my body was tired. Maybe if I rested for a couple hours...
Then the Bear called and needed help with some restaurant stuff. From there he and the bunny treated me to dinner. Upon returning, I was done. There was enough energy to pop in a dvd and then asleep by 9pm.

This morning I feel crummy because I didn't work yesterday. It's a lacking kind of feeling. Granted, I won't always make it to my work table, but even if I had a moment to work quick thumbnails in my small sketchbook...

I think I'll pull out the extra sketchbooks and make sure I leave one in the car, and at work.

The movie? Basquiat. I don't know anything about him and have no idea how accurate the film is, but it pissed me off and depressed me at the same time. By the time the film ended, I felt coated in slime.

Have I said lately how much I detest commercialism and the large need for celebrity hook ups and status?
It doesn't make sense to me. In idolizing or pursuing, it sends the message that our own work, that we, as individuals...aren't good enough. There are very few people throughout history who are worth looking up to in such a sense, although everyone can be a teacher or role model of sorts for each other.

Now Basquiat's paintings, I enjoyed seeing. And at the same time I find them troubling. Troubling because my enjoyment is purely emotional. It makes me wonder about my paintings. What is really good? How can I begin to objectively judge even my own work?

I do envy his expressive freedom.

The idea of "black painter" turns my stomach as the idea of "queer painter", "woman painter", "jewish poet", "kinky writer", "lesbian musician". From the time I was a teen, I detested the adjective that seemed to be a required attachment unless you were a white mainstream male. I understand the need, as a minority, to show others that we can do too...but, still rubs my skin raw.

The greater message, in qualifying, seems to be - We become less than and not good enough to be simply painter, writer, lover...human.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Until about 8 years ago, when I painted, my favorite time to work was early morning. Although still an early bird, I haven't woken with bounce in many years. It takes me a while to mentally wake up.

This morning, for the first time in eons...I have been working. Over the summer, I wouldn't begin before noon, most of the time working after 4 pm.

Lately, I haven't been feeling present while working but something kicked into gear a few hours ago.

Working the larger sheet again, I opted for a dangerously gimmicky method. For the last week I've worked smaller pieces. I'll tape off a 1/2 page into many work areas. Some square, others extreme horizontal or verticals, etc. I lay in light pencil architecture...picking a different subject for each little painting. Then I work them simultaneously. When the paint is too wet in one I hop to another. Moving back and forth between images. It prevents me from getting too precious and thinking too much.

I discovered this was 10 years ago this fall. It just happened. The overall page wasn't larger than 11x14.

An example, watercolor and graphite, from that time which I may have posted before but I can't remember:

Well today, as I said, I pulled out the full page. Taped it up in 5 different sections. The triteness stems from my decision to work the whole image as if the page wasn't divided. In doing so, I'm being very mindful of working the page as one image and yet, at the same time making sure each area works as a whole itself. Once complete, they will be split. I am not keeping it as a large piece.

It's quite challenging because each surface area is an awkward size and I have to keep reminding myself to flip back and forth between the parts as wholes and the larger piece.

This morning, I filled the front of my kitchen cupboards with taped drawings...needing to see these latest ones at the same time. In doing so and studying the work, I can now tell I am slowly discovering or maybe rediscovering my language.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A new blog I'm throwing in my Seattle links.
Check out Seattle Daily Photo.

This town has many eclectic moments, some small and others more obvious. When I first moved here, I was amazed by all the little art touches one can discover, if their eyes are open. I'm happy to have found this new to me blog.
Just returned from HUMP!

It was fun. The film quality was higher than last year although there did seem to be less creativity than last year. I have a few favorites including one I considered brilliant in parts for the sole reason of pushing the pc button. It was a game show story line where the contestant, a woman, would take part in what was in the sealed envelope. It was funny and political. In the first challenge, she is being fucked. No big deal. But the music chosen for that smut scene did it - "Woman Is The Nigger of the World" by Lennon. Ballsy. And considering very little is sacred to me, I loved it.

There was more gay men action this year. No dykes. Apparently no dyke films were submitted. Mostly mainstream sex.

I enjoy attending these because it keeps me tuned in to what the majority is into. It was amusing listening to the nervous laughter when something weirded people out....which this year seemed to be pussy juice. Lots of squirters...and it squicked some.

There were about a dozen films and although I can't remember them all....I had about 3 or 4 favorites, including one that featured sex between a salt shaker and a napkin, as well as the Jack of Jack in the Box having sex with Dick (of Dick's DriveIn) who looked like a Billy doll sort. They were doing it around town.

The top one to me was a great film set up to feel like the films from the 50's that they'd show in school regarding safety or science. It had that appearance, right down to the voice of the narratorl. This short movie was about the do's and don'ts to being safe and avoiding the pitfalls (such as death, general nastiness, etc) while pursuing a career as a porn star. People roared...through every minute of it. Quite imaginative. Very, very funny.

Here's a link from the Slog to a piece written on the screenings which also includes an article from the Seattle PI.

~run downtown to return a purchase.
~purchase the pay as you go phone so I'm accessible during vacation
~have tickets for the 2pm screening of HUMP!
~draw this evening.

It is raining.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Heavy night. It was filled with dream upon strange dream. I no longer remember them but do remember working hard. I woke a few times, including once at 4am with a migraine. It didn't surprise me.

For me, they are a sign of some type of big emotional release.
Got up, took an Imitrex and back to bed.

It feels like the world is doing everything it can to squeeze me out. Everything seems to be closing in on me. In the dark, there was a large sense of that. Again, not surprised. All this discomfort is a good sign of some needed healing.

Today, my day off, is filled with work meetings, beginning at noon and running until about 7pm.

The drawings I've been working are smaller now. Each about a quarter of a page of the big ones. 4"x7" or 7"x7"...or some such thing. They excite me because although I'm still working the same subject matter, there is very little to no sign of the original image. I have no idea where these drawings are coming from...couldn't replicate them again if I tried.

They just are.

The day is cloudy and cool. Low ceiling. Walking back, coffee in hand, I noticed something was missing. The Space Needle. For the first time, I could not see it. At all. Down near the water the clouds are so low that the Needle is fully encased in grey. I stopped and tried to make out some part of it. Futile. It had disappeared. If I had a camera I'd show you where the Needle is supposed to be.


From Morford's column for today:

"Are you writing a novel? Sweating over a short-story collection? Reworking your 10th screenplay? Are you in desperate need of lovable but quirky characters with whom to populate your creation and upon whom you can project all your desires and anxieties and all surrealities of the world?

Or perhaps you're not writing anything and instead merely seek to leap out of your own skin for a moment, transpose realities and see the oddness of this world so you may sit back and sip your vodka and say, Hell, you know what? My life's not so lonely after all.

Look no further. I have your source material. I am, after all, here to help. I am here to point out the gems, offer up the premium crack for your creative jones. Let me be your media filter. Let me be your Calliope. (If you do not know who Calliope is, you should probably not be writing a novel. Consider med school.)"

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pulled from Padacia, the sculpture of Richard Sweeney. It's neater and tidier than what I prefer in art...nonetheless, I'm fascinated.

He also has a Flickr site with more photos of his work.
Peers and soulmates~

"A tall, gentle woman with long dark hair opens the door of the house on a quiet street in Greenwich Village. She is pale and slim and dressed in a man’s black jacket, white shirt and jeans. No shoes. You would never pick her out in a crowd, but if you ever met her, you wouldn’t easily forget her. This is Patti Smith, the legendary rock’n’roll artist, poet and political radical, now 60 years old and undimmed in her creative energies." - Elegy For A Lost Soulmate

In addition to the latest hit which I will not going into, another part of what I've been struggling with for a while and haven't spoken about is the lack of peers in my life. I am blessed with glorious family and friends. But, there is still an emptiness.

Reading Elegy For A Lost Soulmate just made me cry.
Then again, it doesn't take much lately.

The lovers I've had in the past weren't peers. Except for one. The musician. Kinda. Although we were hot together, I was intimidated by her (her talent, her mind) and therefore that intimidation didn't allow for the full comfortableness of peer. The one peer I did have was ten years ago. She was a painter. Not lovers yet we loved each other. I wrote a little about it almost 3 years ago, here.

For me, peer isn't only about art, but in addition to the shared creative spirit, there is an intellectual and spiritual sharing. You each get the other regardless of whether or not you agree with each other. There is an understanding that I can't explain with words yet know it when I smell it.

I have been developing relationships that feel peer-driven with a dose of mentoring but long-distance inhibits.

Many years ago, I remember speaking with another about peers. I had recognized the lack of peers in his life as well. He was surrounded by people, boys, slaves, Tops. He was continually sought out. He enjoyed a large circle of family and friends and yet he admitted to the void. No peers.

The idea that there is such a fractured army of broken artistic warriors, each struggling to find their way, in isolation, hurts like hell. It is difficult enough being artist in this world. There are too many on the edge thinkers and lovers who engage daily in battle to simply do what they were born to do in the face of commercialism and this country's perverted idea of success while hungry for connection with another that encourages, challenges and inspires each to break through limits.

The problem is great and the hurt is vast. I can feel not only my own but the pain of others in similar situations.

For me,there is a growing resolve because it is imperative to fight for creation instead of slipping into a place of victim. In spite of the left-brained nature of our society, in spite of the staggering percentage that special connections are near impossible, in spite of all that stands in the way, we must continue to work.

I must work.

Remember the chestnut?

Walking to work this week, I noticed it was the only chestnut tree in the vicinity.
The chestnut came from the tree that is at the home/temple of my shrink.

It still sits on my desk...a reminder of who I am and am becoming.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I was going to get buzzed tonight, needing a break from some tough stuff.
Hurt heart.

Thing is, instead of drinking, I chose work.
4 drawings.

My heart still hurts. And yet, I'm fucking pleased with myself.
I'm not feeling very chatty this morning.

Yesterday evening I received some news that I'm still dealing with. It's not bad, but is bringing up lots of old grief.

It's all good.

Here is this week's Freewill Astrology

Morford begins his latest column with:

"It would be just like porn.

See, in the porn world, as you surely know, as I think I read somewhere just before heading off to church, there are more genres and fetishes and wondrously illicit perversions than your average political convention. In Bangkok."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'm back.

When I wrote that I was going to take time and rest, I honestly didn't think it would be from blogging yet it did feel good to step back for a specky bit.
Although I don't have words at this moment, I'm sure it'll come back soon.

Hope you all had a good weekend.

I did.

Friday, September 01, 2006

There is a time for everything~

After this week, which culminated in a very powerful therapy session yesterday that began with reading the chestnut entry to my shrink, I went home and crashed. It was the first day in seven that found no energy whatsoever to draw.

Doing errands after work yesterday was difficult. While walking, my whole body was dragging. I literally was struggling not to fall asleep at 7pm last night. It's fine. Today I recognize the great need to bask in relaxation for the weekend. Nothing difficult.

Like last weekend, yesterday I stocked up on fruit for the next few days. Strawberrries, plums, pears. Today, I am indulging in a matinee at the Egyptian, Factotum.

Tomorrow night, dinner with a friend in town from Portland, and then a play party where I have a few dates to get beat. It will be good. Again, needed. Other than I plan on drawing each day, but I'm not pushing myself to explore anything new. I just want my hand to move. Maybe even nothing more than exercises. Pencil work.

I envision a few hours spent at a sidewalk table enjoying a glass of a fat red wine and a book. In addition, I'll bring my little sketchbook.

This weekend is a mini vacation. The most emotional I expect to get is at the hands of a sadist.
It's an entry of run on sentences~

Some links for today, including Morford and an article by Dan Savage on his experience of bringing pot cookies and sharing them at city hall to make a point regarding a stupid ass proposal to regulate and effectively shut down nightclubs by our mayor with who I am SO over.

And, for those of you who are part of our 43rd district looking at the race...although Jamie Pedersen is the "anointed prince of Capitol Hill" as I've heard accurately portrayed, due to being the openly gay candidate,...that is not nor should it be THE reason to vote for him.

This queer will not.

The Stranger has posted its endorsements for our upcoming primary. Although I don't always agree with them, this one is a good read.
They are endorsing Stephanie Pure, and even though I need to research it further, from what I've read here and other places, she's one who has actively worked for not only tenants rights but other seemingly invisible groups in this town of gross wealth and greediness.

Yes, I love Seattle and at the same time loathe the capitalistic, selfish mindset that over the years has become more entrenched in city politics.

The buzz words for platforms are gay marriage, education and health insurance. All needed, important and more than worthy. Yet very few, in this town of developers including our mayor as one of those developers, want to fight for tenants. Rare is the politician in this town who will go up against the giant Microsoft co-creator, Paul Allen and the great ball of energy fueled by talk of prettying the town and turning it into a city just like the big boys (San Francisco, New York, etc). I am not a one issue voter, but whoever I vote for better include the issue that affects me most directly, in addition to others.

My vote is for the one who believes in social justice the most.

I've had my doubts since Pedersen first began his campaign. Being backed by powerful real estate developers, this man cannot begin to represent me. He has no clue. Considering the precarious position of renters in Seattle, and especially the Hill, they have no idea what affordable housing is. In their minds, it's offering a condo for $300,000 or rent at $1,000/m. "Affordable live/work spaces" for artists run about $2,500 a month. Right. Affordable in whose reality?

Although I will and do fight for gay marriage when the issue lands on my desk even though I believe our federal government needs to get out of the marriage business and simply offer the same legal contracts made available to all. Gay marriage, when given many other issues to consider, is a luxury. I do work for it because it is also a critical fight due to hitting the core of the "so-called sacredness' ritual in defining heterosexist relationships. It is about equality.

But...I cannot in good conscious vote for someone, especially in queer friendly Seattle, simply because he is gay and happens to be one of the attorneys personally working for the gay marriage battle with our State Supreme Court. Yes, still working because they recently asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.

When one worries about basic needs such as housing, gay marriage drops down on the list. In this district, it seems gay marriage is a classist issue. I've watched those who support Pedersen tend to be coupled gay home owners, or dual household relationships with combined incomes over 50K. When I brought up the idea of affordable housing to a few others who support Pedersen...I watched them become embarrassed because they hadn't considered the tenuousness of many living situations -- solid, hard working people who wake up wondering every morning if this is the day they will be required to leave their home and settle for less than, because of gentrification and pretty urbanization and shiny new condos.

Wonder why my 2nd rent increase in 6 months pissed me off so much? I was already raw from watching area politics.