Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cooling off after the Seattle Pride Parade...

...this is what bliss looks like.

Happy Pride Day.

Pride weekend...

Saturday afternoon in the park. Blue skies. Quite warm. Everyone was out and about. There was an abundance of daschund walking. Someone was sitting in the shade of a large tree next to us playing his guitar. Tony is breaking in his new whip.

When Matt and I arrived at the picnic area, after the hugs, G. unbuttoned my shirt and I received one strike with a new toy. It's very mean. Nasty. A delicious bite. And it marks very nicely, especially when you consider I don't mark easily. Afterward, he gave me the thin carbon fiber rod as a party favor.

Now it's time to get ready for the parade. I was invited to ride the flatbed with the leather contingent.

Happy Pride everyone!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

One of today's Rose paintings...11x14

It's been a busy week and there are still a full few days coming up. It's Pride weekend. Today's schedule consists of another joyfully anticipated afternoon painting session with Rose. From there, rest for a few hours before dinner with Matt, a friend's art opening and then on to a play party.

The rest of the weekend consists of a leather pride picnic, watching the dyke march while sitting in the sun at a table enjoying drinks and food and then the parade on Sunday. Laundry must get done in there somewhere.

Now it's time to head out the door and go tone some canvases before Rose shows up.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A quickie before heading out the door:

Vacation day today because I'm finishing up some personal paperwork that's been weighing on me for quite a few years. In addition, I'll head down to the studio to work more on the Rose paintings. And then a dinner appointment.

Thanks to Sculp Truth for a link to an interview with Nayland Blake, published today in Art Fag City about the exhibit at the Monya Rowe Gallery.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The artist and the model.

Working with the same model for weeks is a wonderful experience. A fascinating connection. A certain level of intimacy.

I focus my attention on her and she gives of herself...the parts that I need. I'm honored that she shares herself in such a way. And with this, in this, I too am naked.

Yesterday was a rough painting day. I went into it physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. Internal chaos. In addition, there was anxiety because last week's session was so fruitful and almost mystical.

The session was filled with discombobulation. Color felt foreign to me. I couldn't mix it and no longer knew how to work with it. Drawing skills disappeared. Even the photos I took feel subpar. There was much fear and it showed in very tentative paintings. Struggling and attacking the canvases, I worked, and worked...doing 6 small and beginning one larger (18"x36")...wondering, hoping, wishing I could capture something.

Little moments of possibility were brought to the surface. Glimpses.

I felt incredibly vulnerable. It was heightened because another was witness to this part of my creative process. The ugly side. The painful, torturous reality that making art doesn't fly off my fingertips, except in rare cases.

It's one thing when I share the process here in the blog, after the fact. It's an entirely different experience when someone is exposed to my struggle as it is happening. Rose shared the space as my doubts and fears rose to the surface and took over the painting.

Funny. It is the very thing I long for in intimate/lover relationships...being there for each other during the ugly, dark times as well as the light and fun. Yet having been badly scorched in such...and still dealing with shattered trust, it just now dawns on me that here is an opportunity: dipping my toes back in the water. The artist/model relationship is a different partnership, yet can assist with showing the actual possibility of substantial intimate lover connections.

Thank you Rose.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A photo from a few days ago.

Busy, busy!

I don't feel like I've had my regular downtime in a few weeks. It's been a rash of working, painting, figuring out studio construction, deconstructing the old and creating a new plan for my parent's 50th anniversary, dealing with my dad's worsening physical condition, painting sessions with Rose, holding some exciting news regarding my art, creating and shipping the piece to the Monya Rowe Gallery, trying to get together with folks who want time to talk...and some socializing. All this while I'm stuck in crummy sleeping patterns and therefore not getting enough solid sleep.

I'm fried.

Tomorrow is a me day.
No plans.
Some major vegging.
And space.

This is good.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Here is an article about Seattle's longest-running artist model. Robert Treat, 55, has modeled for students and artists for 27 years. His first modeling gig was a painting class, taught by Jacob Lawrence.

From the article, on art students and their first experience with drawing the nude:

He said he's not immune to the uncomfortable reaction from new students who often find Treat the first live nude they've worked with. "They don't know what to expect. It is a little strange to have someone naked in a roomful of people."

But they adjust, he said. They have to.

"Right away, my being naked becomes less of an issue than their own painful art in front of them," he said."


For those of you who couldn't tell which image at the Monya Rowe gallery is mine, here is a direct link to the piece. When I read the words to a coworker yesterday he said, "you should have audio with it so we can hear your voice attached to those words. It's really hot."

My coworkers rock. I know I'm extremely fortunate in working with such a crew.


I'm trying to find a flight home for August. The days of cheap airfare are gone. It seems the best rate I can get is to fly into JFK and then take a train to western MA. What I could do last year for about $250 roundtrip to Hartford is now going to be between $600 - $1300, unless I fly into JFK for $400 and then take the rails.


Tonight I plan on beginning a larger painting of Rose from this photograph that I shot during our first session. We are still going to have our weekly live sessions, which will continue to inform the larger piece.


My heart has really been hurting. But even when it does, I always look for something special. Each time, it tends to be a quiet little thing. The way the light hits a leaf...or the color of the petals that have blanketed the sidewalk. Sometimes, it's a smile or a chat with someone, many times a stranger, who seem to be hurting more than I...and sometimes homeless. At times, it's a quirky thing that catches my eye.

Regardless of what I'm feeling...I never want to not be present to surprises around me. And the more it hurts, the greater my concentration to find beauty.


For the last week I've been thinking about doing some paintings in a square format. And since yesterday, my tendency has been to crop my photos in such a fashion. Guess it's time to pick up more canvas.


This morning's breakfast consists of rosemary crackers spread with some fabulous goat cheese and slices of peppered salami. These were leftovers in our work refrigerator from a meeting two nights ago.


Sleep peacefully Edith. I admired how you stood firm in your belief that there are more important things than money.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I was going to head down to the studio this evening. Yet, it didn't feel right. I knew, like most evenings, I could push myself to go. But...something nagged at me. So I sat. And waited. About a half hour later I knew where I needed to be.


I have not spent alone time at Septieme in eons. With friends, but not alone. So I grabbed my laptop, my camera, a notebook/drawing book and a pen and walked to the cafe. Just the thought of a quiet dinner of soup, salad and a glass of merlot while working on my computer is total heaven. Going to the studio after work has prevented regular private slow time in what I consider my public living room. There is some type of french music quietly playing in the background, I greeted a few of the other regulars and now I'm typing away.

Today's electric news:

The brilliant Nayland Blake curated an exhibit at the Monya Rowe Gallery in Chelsea. Going to the website this morning, I notice they received my artwork. Some of you, especially Seattle folks, may recognize the image. You can click on all the images to see them in a larger format.

It was a fun, and extremely sexy project to take part in. It also thrills me because it's art for the masses, not restricted to massive amounts of disposable income. For more info, click on the press release link on the gallery website.

My piece?
Just look for the eye. Not this eye...but another.

Monday, June 16, 2008

How about some touristy type images taken near my house?

From my house, if you go 4 blocks north on my street, you run smack into the water tower at Volunteer Park. Yesterday, after another very full day of running errands, hitting the studio for a brief bit, and then a string of socializing which culminated at The Cuff for the Father's Day Chili feed, Matt and I ended up at my house and walked over to the park.

We climbed the water tower where you can capture some groovy 360 degree views and then walked down, sat against the Isamo Noguchi sculpture "Black Sun" and talked.

Downtown from the tower~

The Space Needle from the Noguchi sculpture~

Yesterday was a clear, sunny day and our ghost mountain was visible. Here is Rainer from the watertower~

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Once again, another session with Rose. Although I began a large charcoal, 5 minutes into it I stopped, pushed back that easel away from my work area, and pulled out a canvas, throwing it on my second easel. I needed to paint her.

At the end of our session I had 5 paintings. The first 4 are 9x12 and then, I ran out of fresh canvas so I pulled out an old painting, 11x14, and covered it up with Rose. The jpeg of the final painting reproduced the blue in a strange way. It's not at all that bright and light.

These are quick oil studies. It was such a wonderful feeling to be painting the figure from life again. Although I've periodically drawn the form from life, I haven't worked it in paint since 1996. The handful I've done since that time have been from photographs.

For me, working from life beats working from a photo hands down. Always has.

I have a few favorites in these 5, and one that feels quite awkward. But, they are all dear. And as I told Rose, she's become my muse at this point in my life. I look forward to next week's session.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Tomorrow, I'm supposed to work with Rose again in the studio. It's going to be interesting. Our landlord had us clean out our storage closet earlier this week so he could demolish the storage loft space and construct something else that meets fire code. It will actually give us more storage, but in the meantime, our large studio is filled with its contents. Paintings, and cans, and stuff upon stuff. I haven't been able to work in the space this week and tonight I'll go in and attempt to make a cozy area for Rose and a workable space for me.

Also, I'm working on a new art project that I hope to finish this weekend.

Yesterday, I remembered that it's time to get moving on the illustrations I've agreed to create for a friend's book. And yesterday, a 120 page draft of another friend's book to read hit my in box.

It's all doable. Feeling a tad stretched but it's good.


Last Saturday I had a play date and received a powerful flogging. It assisted with beginning to break through a few walls I've constructed due to broken trust that sadly, has affected pretty much all of my relationships other than my therapist and my confidant. This scene was one of the connections I wrote about a few days ago. And although I desire to express what manifested internally for me, I still don't have the words.

In time.


This week I ended up with two therapy appointments - my regular one on Tuesday and then we booked another for Wednesday morning. It was perfect. Wednesday's appointment provided additional healing. My shrink gave me an amazing gift. It was the simplest thing and at the same time, huge. I love my shrink.

I've been falling for him in a fabulous way. Not romantically, yet our relationship, within the confines of an analyst/client arena, is incredibly intimate. I'm aware it comes because, with time, I've been able to open to him freely.

The harder or the more terrified or even incredibly embarrassed I am to share something (no matter how trivial it may appear) is the very time I NEED to reveal myself. Those are the moments that build trust, intimacy and actually allow work to be done…growth and healing. It's nothing I've shirked from yet have noticed that the deeper we delve into the darkened closet, the more difficult it was to remain open. When greater resistance is felt, I am granted increased awareness which highlights that I've reached a pivotal decisive moment which offers further cleansing.

So how can I not dive in?


And most importantly, dark chocolate covered cranberries totally rock.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

I wasn't scheduled to see my therapist last week but for a few days was nagged by the fact I had to see if I could get in for an appointment. There would be much hesitation, thinking it would dissipate. But it wasn't going anywhere. So I emailed and quickly, he responded with an available session on Wednesday morning, just a couple hours later. It was good.

In his space I cried and let more of the crap come out. He was witness to my grief and it was needed. Before leaving the office I asked him to hold me, needing to draw on his strength because in that moment...I couldn't access my own.

So much has happened since the appointment.

I've tried a few times to write about it and can't. Not now. Since the session with my shrink, there have been potent connections...a different person each day. It's been a time of many gifts.

Throughout all this, are still the big emotions...the anger, the underlying pain. I've been further ripped apart. But the grief hasn't prevented surprises from unfolding.

There have been snippets of Abundance.

One of the unexpected moments I will share. Remember this painting? It's now gone, sold on Saturday to someone who fell in love with it during the First Thursday art walk. The oddest thing is I even informed the buyer about my doubts as to whether or not it was complete. I hadn't worked on it anymore because I was too fuzzy-headed to decide where it needed to go. This gentleman told me he felt it was done and he was captivated by it.

It's the first time I've ever let a painting go so quickly. Just ask my friends.

It went to a perfect home.

And life goes on...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sunday farmers market on Broadway

Friday, June 06, 2008

This photo I took of Rose during our modeling/drawing session is one I look forward to painting. She's kindly allowed me to share it here.

Today I had the pleasure to draw from life. It's been almost exactly a year since the last time I worked the figure in real time instead of from a photo. Someone I've known for a while, although more as an aquaintance, graciously agreed to come into the studio so I work a few quick drawings and take some photos that will lead to a painting.

The drawings - charcoal on 20x24 paper. Honestly, I was nervous. Between not having worked the figure from life in eons combined with the fact that I've never worked alone with a model. It was always either classes or open figure drawing sessions. I could simply keep to myself, make no decisions and draw away. This time, I carried responsibility. It made me kind of shy. And so, these drawings are tentative. But I'm pleased. And the model was wonderful to work with.

The jpegs are a tad underexposed but I was anxious to capture something. Rose Algren is gorgeously pregnant, due in 7 weeks. So we'll do this again at least one more time, hopefully a few more, before she has her baby.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Busy, busy, busy.

For the last couple days, and the next few, I am slammed.

~Big deadlines at work that are keeping me going pretty much non-stop.
~After work, painting and prepping for tonight's First Thursday art walk
~Tomorrow someone has graciously agreed to come into the studio and sit for me so I can begin drawings and paintings.
~And on the inside…oh so much.

Yesterday, if I had the time, I would have at least grabbed a camera and done some shooting. But for the last couple days, I've left the house without it. There's only so much I can do.

Hopefully this evening or tomorrow evening.

I'm actually surprised that although I'm juggling big emotions...anger, hurt, distrust, is not fully debillitating. There are new projects and continued greater clarity. And something (for now anyway) has shifted with my energy. There is a little more of it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Some more photos from last Friday~

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

From our office window we watched a large crane tear apart a massive, beautiful tree, and then a house. Within 2 hours there was no sign of either. Only a pile of rubble.

On my way home from the studio there was much traffic. When we finally moved to turn at the intersection, I noticed a man, laying in the middle of the street, next to a car. I wondered if he had been hit. Sirens blaring from all directions. Firetrucks and ambulances approached the scene.

Almost home and the skies ripped open. Torrential rains rarely felt in Seattle, dumped oceans upon us.

It really hurts bad tonight.