Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two days ago one of my intentions was to connect more with other artists. Yesterday I bumbled upon a website and discovered that the 619 Western building which houses my studio has an internet presence -

Check out the history. It's fascinating.

Over the last few months, they've been trying to create a more solid artists' community, such as a push to promote the holiday day long art show and monthly meetings which I haven't been able to attend due to conflicts. The website appears fairly new and must be a part of this push. It's still a work in progress. Not all the artists are listed. I've contacted someone to add my name and to get on the email list. And I'll round up my studio mates and get them listed as well.

This came at a good time because of the heavy isolation I've been feeling regarding my work. It's another doorway I can step through and see what lays on the other side.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Working on little watercolors in the studio.
There's only one stick of Yarka charcoal left in the box. I can no longer get it in Seattle and had to order it from Dick Blick's in NYC. It's on backorder for another week. Nothing else will do. I've tried. Yarka has a warmth to it and I've yet to find another brand that matches up.

Yesterday I played with the jpeg of the latest stuck drawing in photoshop. It's something I hadn't considered doing before but it is fun. Burning and dodging shapes, hoping it will jog something and maybe I'll know what to do with the piece.

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment for someone to view my paintings for a potential show in January.
Tomorrow night is the Jim Dine lecture.
Next week is the discussion with the theater on ways to promote two controversial plays.
I've had a few email exchanges with a gallery owner. He's given me some needed and prudent advice.

Life is full and it's well as being incredibly challenging. It's strange and exciting to see how the art is becoming a greater part of my life. Or more accurately, how it was always there and I'm meshing myself into it.

Things are speeding up and it feels like I'm going along for the ride while at the same time trying to mindfully put energy into the work. If that makes any sense.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I began this on Saturday and decided to take it slow instead of my typical fast-paced mode. Also, I haven't a clue where I'm going with it or how to move forward. So it will sit...and I'll mark it as it speaks to me.

Walked past my coworker's office early this morning and noticed an addition to his space.

New employee?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Matt and I went to the Seattle Art Museum and caught the last day of the first half of Japan Envisions the West: 16th-19th Century Japanese Art from Kobe City Museum. Due to the fragile nature of the exhibit, this week they will dismantle the show and put up the second part from Kobe to open next week.

The image is part of a panel from an 18th Japanese screen. It was the only shot I managed to take before being told I wasn't allowed to take pictures. I was a little surprised because not only did I look for signs stating "no photography" and didn't see them but I intentionally walked into the exhibit with camera in hand, past the museum people, assuming they'd let me know when they saw my digital.

Some other favorites can be found here.

Beautiful, and interesting work.

And it gave me a few ideas regarding my own work.

Since August, I've been in the throes of an increasing work frenzy, never even taking time to really stop into galleries or museums even though my studio is in the heart of the art area. The recent tiredness has forced me to slow down and so, like today, had the opportunity to see something else. Get outside of my own head.

The other exhibit which we both were captivated with was Gaylen Hansen: Three Decades of Paintings.

I will definitely be returning a few times to check it out some more.

Here are bunches of his work.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Since Wednesday, I've been exhausted. There's so much I want to do. Ideas abound. New projects. Pieces of writing. Art work. And, it takes everything I have to even get into the studio. When there, I sit. And sit some more. I'll gather strength and work a little, but most of the work seems to be taking place in my head.

Yesterday, I painted for all of 15 minutes in a 3 hour studio stint. One plus was that I now know the next step in an oil painting that's been sitting for a month. The thought alone is exciting. And I'll let it stew some more. It doesn't feel like it's time.

I'm trying to let this all be okay...the not rushing down the tracks at breakneck speed.

In really deeply spending time looking at all the black and white work yesterday, I fell in love with it. To my eyes and gut, the work carries a new maturity. So much so that I was saddened that I don't have a small circle of contacts here more knowledgeable and experienced than I to look at it with me. It is time to share my work with more than the First Thursday events.

This morning I made an appointment for a local coffee shop to see the work. If they accept it, I'll be hanging the work in January. I didn't want to begin this way, but today it felt right. Sometimes, in taking the odd step, it frees up energy to do greater things.

We'll see.

In the meantime...I am so very tired.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

For the first time since Monday evening, I spent time in the studio. Walking in, I was struck by Monday's work. Not that it's good, because I dont' believe it is, but that it changed. Monday morning I had cancelled my body work session. Monday afternoon I again changed my mind and contacted her to keep the appointment.

Looking at the drawings, the black squares and doorways that I'd been creating for weeks had transformed themselves during Monday's studio time. The three images are shown in the order I painted them.

Art is a very powerful thing.
(A little switch with this entry. It is not my photo. Instead, a good friend of mine posted a photo this morning that I knew would be perfect for a post I was formulating. He generously let me snag his image for this entry. The photographer is Bill Pusztai. Check out his LJ and his website for more of his beautiful work. Thank you Bill.)

My cunt...

It would be the first thing I touched in the morning and the last thing I touched at night. I'm highly sexual…which also led to finding sex in many non-traditional ways. There was an expansiveness in my sex. I would cherish the range and different types of orgasms. I'd immerse myself in various connections with my world…even something as simple as breathing deeply while walking through the leaves on a crisp fall day and in that, feel a heat build up in my loins from kissing the air.

For almost three months my sex has been broken. It's the first time in my life I've wandered through such a dry wasteland.

There has been no desire whatsoever. Over the last few weeks I've been forcing myself to get sexually excited. After much work…the physical excitement would slowly bubble. I'd rise to the beginnings of release, only to feel great heart pain, then fizzle out and burst into tears.

I made the decision a few weeks back to begin working with someone to reclaim and heal my sex. It's been incredibly difficult and challenging. It takes all my strength to not run out of the room, go home and hide under the covers. The one big thing that has come to me in each session…"I am ugly, I am ugly…I am ugly."


I've had a difficult time with simple things such as looking her in the eye. Shyness takes over. Embarrassment overwhelms.
Stripping down hasn't been difficult but expressing with my body is painful. Big, fat tears would fall from the corners of my eyes. My face drenched from such innocent movements. I've been so closed off...protecting myself.

Mindful breathing brought pain.
Touch brought anger.

Accepting her hands, as she slowly moved over and massaged my entire body was incredibly difficult. Conflicted. It was very soothing and at the same time, shame would rise.

By the end of the first session, sexual excitement began to burst through. The tension never released, but I wasn't disappointed. For me, it was enough to allow myself to be touched.

When I arrived home, I did get horny, wanked off and came. Finally came after these many months. And it was sad. There wasn't any joy in it. It was strictly physical release and left me empty.


Last Thursday was interesting. At work, focused totally on the database and the numbers problem at hand. Out of the blue I felt a massive orgasm rise up, from my toes, up through my body. It was a delicious, familiar feeling, connected to another. A sensation I've experienced a few times over the last year. Sitting at my desk and just as I was about to release, I squelched it.

The memories are great and grief follows. I couldn't let myself swim in the sensation.

My second body session was this week. I dreaded it. So much so that I even cancelled the appointment. But in her wisdom, she said she'd trust my decision yet would leave the time available in case I changed my mind. I did.

I slowly approached her home, hoping beyond hope that maybe she wasn't there.

So very terrified.

"What are you afraid of?"

I couldn't respond.

We worked together. And for something that normally would be and currently great and difficult work. But I'm pushing through it. This is something I need to do. And by the end of our time together, I did break through, further than the first time.

I'm stubborn. If nothing else...I am stubborn.
My sex will not be broken forever.

I am grateful and feel very fortunate for the healers in my life. Healers with an amazing capacity for compassion and kindness...wisdom and patience. Healers who have worked through their anger. Healers with something rare in our culture...humbleness. They carry not an arrogance that seems to be applauded in our society yet instead a humility that I hope to model one day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Toothbrush and Tumbler
Jim Dine - 1962
Medium: ink and metal screws on board
Size: 29.4 x 23 in. / 74.7 x 58.4 cm.

Drawing is not an exercise.
Exercise is sitting on a stationary bicycle and going nowhere.
Drawing is being on a bicycle and taking a journey.
For me to succeed in drawing, I must go fast and arrive somewhere.
The quest is to keep the thing alive...
--Jim Dine, 2003

I reserved a seat for a free lecture with Jim Dine next week at the Seattle Art Museum - On Icons and Objects: A Conversation with Jim Dine.
Here's a link to the announcement.
Here is a lithograph of pliers.
And here you can cruise thru a bunch of his work.

The timing of this is perfect because on Friday I was ready to give up on the black and white pieces. I felt, with much doubt, I'd come to a stopping place and it was possibly time to switch gears again and go back to oils. But I continued to slog through over the weekend, to very little satisfaction. By Sunday night, I recommitted myself to the black and whites because I think there's something I need to push through. Break through the wall.

Some drawings from a past National Gallery of Art exhibit. Check them out.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Short studio time tonight. Only worked on a couple. This one is from Sunday. In the last few days, although I've put in much studio time...the work is fairly weak. Many thrown on the floor and a bunch of others have already ended up in the garbage.

It happens.

I love the mini baby binder clips. It's the best way for me to hang pieces up so I can look at them without putting holes in the paper. They are each hung off each other. Next week I have to pull them down, decide which one of these are keepers and which get destroyed. From there, I'll apply fixative to the good ones (because of the charcoal), put them away and figure out what I'm going to show for First Thursday and Saturday's day long holiday open studio.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Richard Serra's Wake

I have to return and get the name of this piece...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Some work from two and three days ago~

Monday, the 12th was the first day in over a month where I didn't walk into the studio. My focus needed to be elsewhere at the time. These two are from last night~

For the last few weeks, I've seriously wondered why I've been driven to work every single day and this morning woke with the answer.

The art is the only place where I don't repulse people. It's the only place in the world where it's okay for me to go painfully deep. It's the only place where honesty is not only needed but appreciated. Art doesn't work without authenticity.

It's the only place where my whole self is accepted and can do some good.

In the midst of the greatest challenge, my entire life is continually being replayed behind my eyes. I see and no longer want to see.

At 13, I saw. That's why the house is on the hill. There's quite a view, overlooking a vista. It's "The Lone House" because I saw, and in the seeing, I knew then I would never fit anywhere.

This time has rocked my deepest core and challenged every bit of strength I was garnering in creating a healthier self.

I've returned to my old, diseased beliefs of being untouchable, too intense, too broken and not fit for man or beast. I've seen meanness over 47 years, and in great pain, retaliated. I've struggled daily with the meaning of life because there isn't much of a life left.

In the darkest of these times, it is the art that keeps me going.

I will go into the studio and work. And it's exciting. And I see growth. And I fit. Yet, what good is work when the very essence of who you are, what attracts people to you is the same thing that repels them?

What good is being a skillful painter when it means you are meant to live a life misunderstood and unloved? A life where you don't fit anywhere? A life where people think you're a fucking freak because you can't just lay down and take it? A life where it's unseeming to express who you are? A life where to be a part of something requires you need to be bound in chains and settle for unquestioning blandness?

Yeah I'm low. And yeah, I know I'm being extreme and unreasonable with some of my questions. And yeah, I'm fed up.

This is the biggest crisis of faith I've ever encountered: struggling to find the strength and faith in myself. Faith that life can be filled with joyfulness and intense connections. Peers. Faith that I too can find my place at the table.

Trust. Every day, a little more of my trust in humanity is disappearing.

All I can do is go in and paint. Maybe, just maybe, with diligence to the work, I'll find the strength and begin to see differently.

Photo from tonight~

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Alexander Calder's Eagle at Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park~

Among other things...I've been busy with new work since the last time I posted~

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Samples of some work I've been doing over the last few days.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I haven't painted in oils since last Tuesday. Just can't. But I've been forcing myself, sometimes taking massive amounts of energy, to go into the studio every single day and stay for a minimum of a half hour.

Pushing myself to work.

I'm still working charcoal and black watercolor on large cheap drawing paper. Until tonight. Tonight I opted for better quality paper and worked two drawings.

They are all pretty different from what I've done in the past.

There are no photos of the pieces but this image interestingly carries a likeness.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

After spending most of the day feeling aimless, I finally pushed my ass down to the studio about 3 pm where I worked on big cheap drawing paper. Painting felt too hard but I committed to working. Page after page filled up with charcoal and black watercolor...later to have it all strewn all over the floor of my space where it stayed when I left.

I have a mess to clean up tomorrow.

Once I was over it...Matt and I had made plans to connect. I met him in Pioneer Square and again with no concrete destination we decided to wander up First Ave. to Pike Market. can see Matt in the guitar. Is that like seeing the virgin mary in burnt toast? Can I make money from this?

Our fish throwing market.

Matt pointed out the hotness of the orange overalls, so I changed the camera setting for him.

When they say don't mess with it, they mean it.

At Septieme for dinner. When the conversation flowed to California, Matt drew it out to make a point. From there...he went crazy. Until, that is, he ran out of newsprint. The scary part? It didn't take more than a few minutes for him to draw out and label the map.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Some photos~

Last night's First Thursday. The paintings weren't crooked for the showing but very much so when I walked in this morning.
All new work. The first two on the left were begun before Sept. 28th (when I started the 30 in 30). The others...all within the last week and a half.

Here are three. The first two in progress and the final one is done.

I was in the studio early this morning, waiting for the new owner of one of the masturbation drawings. We would walk over to Gallery Frames together so he could frame the work. While waiting for him, I pulled the equipment out of the storage closet to begin to work. The day after First Thursday is becoming a pleasing ritual. There is something comforting in recreating my work area.

And I began a drawing.

When doing the 30 in 30 I became enamoured with negative space. Considering I used to be primarily a still life painter, it's not the objects that fascinate me now but the edges and everything in between.

This is similar to the piece that left the studio today...another of the masturbation series. Although I won't say never, currently I have no intention of selling this one: