Friday, February 29, 2008

(watercolor/graphite/charcoal - 20"x25" framed)

This is what I'm showing at the Seattle Erotic Art Gala tomorrow night. A while back I mentioned that I didn't want to show this in an "erotic art" venue...but I've also learned never to say never. Sometimes, something just feels right.

The jpeg doesn't do it justice. When I've shown the piece, and the series, in other venues, this drawing has been a favorite. I currently have no intentions of selling it but when C was visiting last month, after falling for it as well, he mentioned I should get some high quality prints on really nice paper made...a limited edition. It's a wonderful idea and once I can come up with the money, I plan on doing that very thing.

In a couple hours I'm headed to the studio for more painting and then off to the SAM to experience over 50 tons of art on loan from The Louvre (they had to reinforce the floors of our new museum!) as well as Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fuck fear. This morning's awareness showed me I had nothing to lose. Therefore one of my weekend projects is to make good jpegs of the paintings and will submit them to the gallery for their review.

Yesterday's steak and eggs were perfect. I had brought a book, sat quietly, read and thoroughly enjoyed the food.

After food, I returned to the studio. I thought the big one was too wet to work and so began a new smaller painting. The two easels were next to each other. While mixing and then beginning to apply color to the little piece, I saw it was perfect color for the large one. So I worked both, simultaneously. Although wet, the large painting happily accepted new color and therefore was able to rework the entire canvas.

A while later my studio mate walked in to work. I hadn't seen her in about 3 weeks. She came in to prep more canvases and cooked up a pot of rabbit skin glue. Watching her reminded me how much I used to enjoy making new canvases.

I haven't done it while in the studio because when there, I've been impatient to paint. And in the last few months, the primed, stretched canvas sales have been so good that it's been cheaper to buy ready made. But I'll get back to it soon.

There was wonderful energy in the studio yesterday.

Nice little write up on the Seattle Erotic Art Gala today. This is where I'm showing a drawing. Come out if you can.

All in all, it was a good vacation day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Last night I began painting the large 30x40 canvas. It felt so good to paint with more of my body...big arm movements and continual stepping back to see how it was morphing.

This morning, after a couple hours at work, I took the rest of the day as a vacation day because I was hungry to return to the painting. Worked for a couple hours and now home for a bit. Then I'll head down to Septieme because I'm craving their steak and eggs and from there, hit the studio again.

When leaving the studio, I grabbed my guts and walked into a new gallery to see about their submission policy. It's something I've wanted to do for a month but was too nervous. They are accepting submissions. Now, I need to get over greater fear and actually submit something for their consideration. That may take a little time.

You see, I'm very excited about the work from the last month or two. More so with each passing week. But being such a new direction...delving deeper into the unknown...for all I know, I could be painting out of my ass. I'm uncharacteristically squeamish about making a fool out of myself right now.

I can't even come up with an artist statement for the work. There are no words. It simply is.

Speaking of risk...

...I have to say I was quite nervous about posting yesterday's entry. When writing, I really try to be responsible and mindful. Sometimes, confusion sets in because a topic is very sensitive...such as suicide. Therefore I had shared the entry with my shrink , seeking his impressions and advice. His encouragement was welcome.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On death and painting~

The story I linked to on Sunday about Ric Weiland's incredible gift has been in my thoughts for quite a while. It pushed me to look at my own ideas around death.

I live with death every day.

Over the years I've seen how my reasons for not living have changed. For most of my life, suicide would have been an act of revenge - "I'll teach them. Make them feel guilty for ignoring me…not seeing me…abandoning me." In the last year it's changed to "I don't fit in this world, so what's the point?"

I think of suicide quite often. For me, it needs to be expressed. The danger comes in not speaking. When I'm in a very scary place, I will call my shrink and push myself to speak because in allowing the words to come up, it dissolves the secrets which if kept within, would turn poisonous and become toxic to the soul.

With focus on the announcement of Ric's bequest, I've been thinking about him…and my heart breaks.

For such a compassionate, quiet, private person, he chose a very dramatic way to die. Someone brilliant, creative, who affirmed his life with this license plate and yet still struggled.

It doesn't make sense. And at the same time, it makes all the sense in the world. Sometimes, you just can't fight anymore.

I don't know his internal circumstances and will not assume that his thoughts were similar to mine.

As I mentioned to my shrink a week ago,
"I believe the percentage of compassionate people who commit suicide is greater than the percentage of compassionate people still living. This world isn't a good fit for those with such hearts."

In our culture, it is easier to turn away, get caught up in distractions that insidiously deceive and create an illusion of truth.

Most people aren't comfortable discussing death. Then again, most people aren't comfortable discussing or feeling pain and suffering, unless we eroticize and then strip the marrow from it.

Life isn't all about pain. There can be joyous moments as well. I've experienced a few.

But great suffering can come when someone has the capacity to feel all and doesn't have the connections to share it with...intense give and takes. A few people with which to take terrifying risks, and cry on each others shoulders.

There is something despairing about inexplicable loneliness: waking up every day aware that when you reveal yourself, people turn away and run…living with the knowledge that unless you cut off parts of yourself, you aren't palpable.

My shrink told me last week that I'm one of the very few people he knows who can and have had phenomenally intimate experiences. I cried, agreed that I have shared in those and then said that they are rare and in between those times…connections aren't sustained. It becomes a tease…one who is starving and every couple years given a bite of caviar.

The world isn't fit for such a beast.

So what do I do?

I get up. I breathe. I work. I paint. If a connection is there I fuck or submit to a delicious s/m scene.

I live…quietly and mostly alone.
I paint.
I paint.
I paint.

On Saturday, while in the studio, I picked up the Joan Mitchell book, and my eyes fell upon the following:

"Painting and working with colors became an absolute necessity,
nourritur that fed her hunger to live….

…Mitchell saw the act of painting itself as a means of transcending
death. She said, "Painting is the opposite of death, it permits one
to survive, it also permits one to live."

...for Mitchell, "painting is like music - it is beyond life and
death. It is another dimension." (From The Paintings of Joan Mitchell - by Jane Livingston)

Painting is my "Yes I Am".

Monday, February 25, 2008

The morning sunlight from over the weekend...

Busy day...and although very tired, tonight I headed to the studio after work. All I could do was prep canvases. By the time I left, I had 3 18x24's and a 30"x40" toned. Yes, I'm slowly working my way up to my 4'x8' canvas.

This 30x40 canvas is formidable yet not unapproachable. I'm looking forward to working it...and seeing what kind of dance we'll do together.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm in a strange space today...haunted by various things.

Saturday morning at 8 am I was in the studio painting. Working on a new piece from Friday and began another one. Quite productive. Dropped off art work for the Seattle Erotic Art Gala in the afternoon. Enjoyed great sushi last night.

These are my very latest pieces begun on Friday and Saturday morning. Each are 22"x28".

(click each for happier colors)

From this morning's Seattle Times - a phenomenal gift comes from the throes of darkness.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Last week, into the early part of this week, I've been struggling with two different paintings. Each day I'd go into the studio and it was a mess over another mess. By day 5, frustration was growing. Not freaking out, but annoyed.

When mentioning it to someone I confide in, he smiled and said calmly, "I guess you have messes inside that need to come out." Those few words allowed me to return to the studio more relaxed and on Tuesday, each nasty mess began to become less of a mess and instead, something else.

Again, like most of my pieces, I don't know where they are headed. But these have changed once again from what I was doing earlier.

Looking back at my work from the last year, the painting is in continual evolution. Sometimes, that thought makes me uncomfortable because I fear it changes too quickly and I'm not giving myself time to explore in one spot.

But I'm painting from my belly...and the changes in the last year have been almost overwhelming. The shrink tells me I've been doing the work in hyperspeed. Therefore it makes sense that the painting is moving fast.

The first one is 22"x28" and the second is 18"x24".

Friday, February 22, 2008

Although off from work today, I'm at the office for a bit. Rush reports are needed. So much is happening. From there, it's a quick bus downtown and time to hit a few galleries. Then I'll head into the studio.

I'm really trying to stop beating myself up and remind myself that grieving will take as long as it takes. My shrink keeps telling me that the more one opens their heart, the deeper the wound and I should take pride in the fact that my walls aren't such where I need to run yet instead feel all that needs to be felt. Even though it sucks big time.

It still comes in waves and in those moments I struggle for breath.

Days like this are especially difficult for working and yet these are the times I really need to force myself to paint. I can feel the fear bubble up while typing.

So it's sunny out. And warm. Today's salve for my heart will be time outside, walking, seeing art and then working on my own...pushing myself to face a toned, blank canvas.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It was a beautiful sunrise and then the fog slowly rolled in. I stepped outside to watch it blanket the mountains and cover the housetops.

We've been incredibly busy at work the last few weeks. Big stuff happening.

Yesterday I picked up the drawing that will be exhibited in the Seattle Erotic Art Gala from the framer, Gallery Frames. The framing really completes the piece. Now I'm trying to figure out how to save $1,000 to frame 10 smaller black and white drawings that I completed in December.

I just finished my artist bio and paperwork for the Gala show.

Tonight I've been invited to attend a focus group. It's an easy $75 cash for 2 hours of talking and listening.

Last night I went to the studio and prepped two more large canvases by toning them. It wasn't until after I saw my eclipse photo that I realized I had stained my canvases with the color of the moon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


One night I prayed

for beautiful wisdom


I saw the full moon kick the

empty shadows until they bled


-- Niles U. Comer

Thanks to Priya Kale from Planet Waves for highlighting this gorgeous piece of poetry.

(tonight's lunar eclipse shot with my little Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ1)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

While on the bus on the way to the studio, a guy, majorly decked out in goth, fully geared up and on the bus. He got off downtown, and two others also similarly decked out, walking down the street met up with him. I wondered what was up and then put it out of my mind. A few hours later, walking back, I kept seeing more folks gothed out.

Meeting Matt for dinner, I mentioned the sightings. Walking back up the hill from downtown, we came upon the Paramount Theater. A very large line waiting to get in.


It was fun to see a very multi-generational crowd.

And, it explained the jesus freak signs I saw earlier in the day as well. They began spreading their message early, but their destination was the theater. Matt and I had a good chuckle over this one:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's a 4'x8' canvas. Ready to paint on.

When I moved into the studio space, the artist who was leaving needed to sell it because it wouldn't fit in her new studio. I jumped at the chance to buy it.

Since August, I've had it tucked against the wall.

The week before last, I would periodically glance over at the stretched canvas, paying attention to it. Yesterday, while working, I swear it was calling to me. I saw myself working on it....

Thing is, I always imagined having a plan for this large painting, beginning with many thumbnails and small oil sketches leading to an epic dialogue, worthy of its size.

And I don't have an idea.

The way I've been painting is to approach the canvas without a clue. Mark-making and trusting the paint will speak to me. Having faith that one stroke will lead to the next. It's very unsettling because in that I feel my painting is a farce. Unskilled. Unpolished.

A continual step into the unknown.

It's how my painting has evolved.

So the idea of approaching this large canvas in the same way is terrifying to say the least. It's going to be a costly venture...mounds of paint and new larger brushes. Logistically, it will take up my whole wall, which means that until it's done, it will be what is hanging for each First Thursday. And, once done, what the hell do I do with it?

But it's calling to me. Curious.

I will continue to wait...until I can't bear it anymore and am sure it is time. Then we'll see what happens.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

An unfinished portrait of her daughters, begun by mom maybe about 38 years ago. It's a large least 3x4 feet. I found it this past weekend while home, visiting the family.

The color is off because I found the painting in the basement and shot it in strange light.

I'm in the middle. The oldest child. The likeness of me is right on the nose. She was still working on my sisters. There are resemblances of the others but it's not complete. She put down her paint brushes before finishing it and never painted again, except for the rare jesus/religious type picture. It was a conscious choice. She sacrificed her passion for the other parts of her life. At 76 her hands are crippled and malformed by rheumatoid arthritis. The arthritis began about 20 years ago.

While home I had grabbed my sketchbook and was drawing...moving my hand quickly. Mom noticed and asked if I did that often. I said yes. She said she used to as well.

I honestly believe her arthritis is because she stopped moving her hand.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

After a few years of severe procrastination, I finally completed the paperwork to replace my birth certificate at the end of December. The certified copies have arrived. Very speedy. Even speedier, considering we were dealing with two holidays and the mailing time from east coast Canada to the PNW.

Although French was my first language (I didn't learn English until I began school), it's now quite rusty. Despite that, I was able to decipher the cover letter and the instructions on the tear off portion of the certificate.

Now to save up $400 to replace my naturalization papers. From there, I can get a passport. Then, I'll finally be able to travel.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tomorrow night is the First Thursday art walk in Pioneer Square. My studio is at 619 Western Ave, 4th Floor South, in the Sophia Room. I'll be there from 6-9pm.

This time, I'm showing my new paintings, some complete and others in progress. I'm pretty thrilled with them.

Come on by.

Here is this week's Freewill Astrology.

A couple sweet moments this week:

Yesterday going down the road I saw men in trees. Each in their own tree. Side by side. They weren't big trees, still young ones. The top branches were thin and so were swaying with the weight of each guy. I wanted to stop and take photos, but didn't have the time.

It was a fun sight to see.

The night before that, I was standing in the deli line at the grocery store. A man was in front of me and he looked familiar. "Hi, you're the violin man, aren't you?"

He smiled a quiet smile. "Yes. Where have you seen me?"

"For years I've enjoyed your music on the sidewalk in front of Bank of America and then up here on 15th. Thank you so much!"

We then spoke of music and art. And practice.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My work desktop after 8 days. Until then, it was all clear except for the perimeter and a couple other docs. I grabbed this screen shot last Thursday. As of today, the desktop is completely full.

I save reports to the desktop because once they've been emailed to the appropriate person I can trash it in about a month. That way, it doesn't clutter up my files nor do I have to hunt them down to trash them.

Although I am responsible for creating queries and developing reports (which I love to do), and it's a fairly consistent demand...I don't know what's happened these last couple weeks. Everything is happening all at once.

Half of them became incredibly complex due to new nonprofit auditing standards that we are trying to meet. My mind gets going on a logical method and beware to the person who walks in and interrupts that train of thought. I've been leaving work often during the day for 10 minutes or think. It's the best time for me to solve puzzles.

The downside of all this fun-ness is that it is leaving me more tired than usual. So I haven't been in the studio every single day as I was doing in the past. The other symptom has been, because my mind is churning away on intense problems, there is a forgetfulness for basic simple things...such as:

where are my keys?
did I lock the door?
what happened to my glasses?
what bills are due now?
was I meeting someone?

And the real biggie...many mornings I have no idea what day it is. It's unsettling to wake in the morning and not know whether it's a Wednesday or Saturday. And by evening, I couldn't tell you the date.

It should be lightening up soon. And we've resolved some issues by customizing the system which has left me quite pleased. Problems that seemed impossible, with time and focus, fell into place. Surprising solutions would materialize.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I am thrilled to be part of a group show being held on March 1st as part of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival Gala. Check the link for details.

Here is the list of some of the other visual artists who will be exhibiting.

This photo, taken by Bitterlawngnome of the drawing, was shot the day I began it. He had come over to take photos and said..."draw". I remember being so nervous. It ended up being my favorite piece in the series of drawings.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


I did return to the studio yesterday afternoon. More painting. This morning, upon waking, a big insight came to me.

A few hours later, I was watching Sunday Morning, the CBS tv show. Normally they showcase one artist. Today, there were three. Two that surprisingly struck me were Julian Schnabel, painter and director of the film "Diving Bell And The Butterfly", and kd lang.

Schnabel said that the intuition he can bring to his film making come from all his years of painting.

Later, kd lang mentioned that she does most of her music creation in her LA art studio. She too paints. Although she allowed the interviewer into the studio, the paintings weren't shown. For lang, they are private...her way of working through the puzzles. She made a comment along the lines of "you wouldn't want us to film your sock drawer."

She spoke of spending much time painting and sitting. She has a certain chair she think. And there is a piano in the space.

Both were a nice confirmation of my own process...a small way of not feeling alone. What is especially nice is it came after the insight.

There is still much unknown, including to how the very near future will resolve itself. But I'll continue to sit back, paint and let life unfold.

Regarding painting...

I began this painting on September 11th. Didn't touch it again until a couple weeks ago when I worked on it for a little bit.

Friday, after working on another piece, still surrounded by confusion and pain, I looked at that painting from September and knew I needed to continue to push through it.

Thus far...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I have never been more confused in my entire life. Nothing makes sense. In this, I no longer know what the best way is...the best thing to do. I'm truly scared.

So...I do the only thing I can...paint. Time in the studio yesterday. This morning I was there at 7:30...working for almost three hours.

Seeking solace in the work. Staring at the palette for a half hour, no clue of color or mixing. Staring at the canvas...with no idea of composition...

Blank. My skills are hiding. Nothing.
It matches my internal state.

Picking up the brush I force myself to make a mark. It too is unsure. Knowing I can mess up the canvas yet I've even forgotten how to do that.

In front of the canvas, I'm crying and painting...talking out loud to myself "you can figure this can figure this out. The paint will show you the way. There is truth in art..." Over and over.

Holding onto the words of my therapist... "just go thru it...don't fight it..."

And spent.
And confused.

So very confused.

I've lost my way and can't discern between intuition and fear. I'll go back into the studio this afternoon and work some more. I'll find my way through paint.

I have to find my way...


Speaking of art...for those of you in NYC, do yourself a favor and go see Nayland Blake's new show that opened last night at Matthew Marks Gallery.

Spend time, unrushed time, in front of his work. Listen to it. See how it speaks to you.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Busy day~

Found this while working in the studio today. to get my haircut and then to an event this evening.