Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Some SF photos from the De Young with Robbie and Stephen on Saturday, May 16th. Again, click on each to make bigger.

I think this was about the middle of the tour. We had to rest.

This is the groovy space we were resting in.

Near the entrance was a Frida Kahlo exhibit of art done by kids. Aren't they beautiful?

Shapes that intrigued me...

I call him "penis face".

More shapes that I like. And I've always been a huge fan of primitive art, ever since my first formal drawing class at the museum when I was 12. Our teacher would let us wander through the natural history museum with our drawing pads. Great fun.

It's funny. I didn't shoot any of the pieces that moved me so much that they've inspired me. But even without photos, they've remained behind my eyes. I think of them every day. It's pretty much my modus operandi. I don't even know if I can write about them. The experience felt like wicked and intense intimate sex.

Lately, I've had many art experiences that I've no words for. Maybe that's as it should be. Maybe the words will happen once I've integrated the moments into my own work.

The day was an amazing day. Thank you Stephen, Robbie and Richard (who joined us for a part of it).

I saw a few friends last night...and spoke with another a couple days ago. In addition, J checked in with me Wednesday morning. They all said... "You look tired..."


I've been working through something for about 4 months, each week with increasing intensity. This week, and it's no wonder I became sick, was the worse. Fully discouraged I made an emergency appt with my therapist for Thursday night. It felt like I was experiencing a total meltdown and I needed to make sure this was part of the healing process and not going crazy.

This morning after once again waking in tears, one of the horoscopes I checked said:

Saturday, May 30
If you're honest with yourself, can you feel the pain? If so, conscious healing is taking place. But Mommy, the booboo still hurts. That's the station of Chiron.

That little statement alone was encouraging. And needed.

I'm sitting at the bar up the street. It serves espresso until 4 pm and then cocktails and sushi afterward. They have seriously comfortable leather seating and free wifi. I needed to get out of the house and in another environment, indulging in a tall iced mocha and sorting through photos. This image is another from my SF trip. It's today's method of self care and pleasure.

We found this bear in the tree on last Sunday's walkabout. He was in the fenced-in yard at Crawl Space Gallery.

Since Tuesday night, between the first appt. to repair my tooth, a nasty cold/flu thingy and some life stuff, I've mostly been out of commission. Pretty much no work, and no studio time. I'm finally on the mend although I missed out on an important annual work thing today. It was the scholarship breakfast, where we celebrate and pet our scholars. It's an amazing event and there was no way I could make it there, sharing space with 500 people. This is the first year I've missed it.

Today, even though I am beginning to feel better, it's prudent to take it easy. And yet, I've been truly bored for the last two days. Seeing I'm behind on posting images, maybe I'll go through photos.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I've had these tulips for almost a month.

Tulips are my favorite flower because of their elegance, simplicity and grace. Every once in a while I'll pick some up for my house. They offer beauty each step of the life as well as in their death. So yeah, I'm one who won't throw them out just because they've begun to wilt and fade.

Writing this reminds me of a time in art school. In sculpture class, the current project was exploration of the figure in clay. That day, I was so over the skinny, young model. While observing the model, I took creative license, imagined what she'd look like as an 80 year old woman and proceeded to sculpt her. It ended up being an amazing learning experience in more than one way. I sought to create a piece with inner depth and a history which was reflected in body changes such as wrinkles and sagging skin.

It became a powerful life lesson.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So, the doc returned my call. And yup, not only could I take the Tylenol with Codeine (which I took at bedtime), but she heartedly supported the glass of red wine.

Mouth is better this morning.


How about this week's Freewill Astrology?


And although I'm disappointed and confused by Obama's silence on gay issues, I was incredibly thrilled to see this article about the changes they are making in art for the White House. The pastoral scenes and pretty pictures are disappearing and instead, we'll be seeing works by Kline, Diebenkorn, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson and other more contemporary artists. The Wall Street Journal article includes a few examples as well as explains the process of how works can be chosen for the public areas of the White House. Check out the link.


Another very interesting article from the WSJ, Why Donald Duck Is the Jerry Lewis of Germany - The cartoon character turns philosophical in translation; quoting Goethe. It's the comic books, not the animation, that have elevated Donald into a pop culture icon.


And for a seriously cool treat...from The Slog - This week's New Yorker cover was created by Jorge Colombo using the Brushes app on his iPhone. He did it in an hour while standing in Time Square.

Here is a short, less than a minute, animation of that process:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This morning was the first of two dentist appointments to fix a broken tooth. Gotta say...I am not a woose. There are a few of you who know how high my pain tolerance is. Two years ago, after surgery, the surgeon gave me painkillers. I never took them. It was the second surgery of my life and both times I sailed through the recovery period without pain meds which yes, would surprise the nurses. I wasn't toughing anything out yet honestly didn't feel any pain.

That's a prep for what I'm going to say. My mouth fucking hurts. It hasn't eased up. I've taken two Aleve and it is still pounding. I returned to the office after the procedure only to turn around and go home. Felt pretty beaten up.

I even called my doctor an hour ago to see if I could take those leftover painkillers from that last surgery and am waiting for her return call.

In the meanwhile, I've decided to walk two blocks to the little Italian restaurant near my house for a glass of red. That should help. Red wine helps most things.
Some thoughts after yesterday's Prop 8 ruling~

I went to the studio after work. Because I wanted to hit the rally at Westlake, I only had a half hour to work art. So I pulled out an 18x24 drawing pad and a couple sharpies and doodled. Still struggling with a short statement for these paintings, I spent the half hour quickly moving my hand…creating lines and boxes - trying to draw a statement, hoping to get the junk out so maybe something will come to me. Then it was off to Westlake Center.

The rally was good. I think it was important for people to come together in support of their hurt, their anger, and their vision of a better world that doesn't give a flying fuck who you sleep with or what you look like or how much money you have or how famous you are.

I know change takes time. I also believe that as a culture, we have become spoiled and expect things to happen quickly…without pain and suffering. Change does not come from sunny days or because the only activism we do is bitch online.

If I had my way, we'd pull marriage and even partnering out of this entire mess. Why do I need to be partnered to someone to easily have legal access? Why shouldn't every single adult be able to sign one piece of paper that offers those protections? I may want to pass them on to a confidant, or a family member. Why do we need to be in a relationship to be a protected group?

But, having said that, we work with what is. It's a place to start.

What hurt yesterday and at the same time I found titillating, was that there are now 3 classes of people in CA: straight folks, LGBT folks who are married, and the remaining queers who cannot. It's quite the conundrum and one that will change.

I believe the Court made the decision they needed to, despite their beliefs, and they took about 180 pages to say so.

In WA State, they've been working on marriage in steps - a little at a time. Last week, the governor signed the domestic partnership bill, aka the "everything but marriage" bill. It offers ALL domestic partners the same legal protections that Washington state grants to hetero marriages.

Jamie Pedersen, at the rally, made a good point with examples. He said that about 3 years ago, with one bill, he was finally legally able to be there for his partner who needed surgery. Pedersen could access the pharmacy for his partner's meds, etc. The next step, a year later, one of the added benefits meant that now he too would be responsible for those very hospital bills. And now, with the new bill that was signed, if something were to happen to their child, he would be allowed to take time off of work for caretaking, receiving family leave.

Everything is in steps. Sometimes they are excruciating minute ones that we can't even see until later when we turn around and realize how far we've come.

Everyone has a different life experience and therefore our reactions will be all over the map. They are each valid and all need to be honored.

As for me, I need to believe. Coming from the place I do, living the life I lived and live, I HAVE to believe, otherwise there would be no point. I have enough chips on my shoulder from years of discrimination, rejection and abandonment. The struggles are immense and at times feel impossible. Most of my energy is spend in not disappearing into the untouchable-ness that is part of my core belief system, based on years of history. Therefore for me (and I know this will sound odd), the work for social justice and civil rights seems like the easiest. Looking back over decades upon decades, we can actually see movement forward and when I see that kind of change, then it gives me specky bits of hope for my personal life.

Now it is a lifetime struggle. Human nature is what it is and so there will always be some form of discrimination. But, if I can make one aspect of my world a little better, then maybe life really is worth living.

This is why I work where I do and it's also why I paint. It continues to remind me that I am alive and that with toil, change happens.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yesterday's new recipe:

Take one 30"x40" blank, toned canvas.
Add a healthy dose of very loud Stone Temple Pilots and Metallica on your iShuffle.
Move quickly.
Mix paint with brush.
Don't stop the hand.

And this is what comes up. (note - it's a pretty crappy photo)

Who knows where it'll go from here, but it was fun to do. Looking at this again, there is still lots of room for more freedom in paint. It will just take a massive dose of inhibition on my part.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Playing catch up~

This was my wall for May's Art Walk. To give an idea of size...the smallest paintings are 14"x11".

And this was the big painting that was hung in the alcove of our space. It's 36"x60". If you click on it, you get a better sense of the color.

A few details of the big painting...

Again, these images really don't do the work justice.

The big painting, which is the one that's changed every month since December, is the first painting I'm totally in love with. It's strange. Every time I walk into the studio I need to touch it. Each time, I fall a little more in love with it. It's not like I haven't love some of the work before but it's different with this one. It feels like new relationship energy - the excitement and giddiness that keeps building with each encounter.
Last Friday morning at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art~

As soon as I entered the exhibit on the second floor my heart filled with anticipation and joy. Wandering from room to room, the feeling in my body was increasing...a slow orgasm build.

I didn't know what, but knew something wonderful was coming.

Then, I stepped into a room. The room. And immediately I was surrounded, encased in examples of such boldness and power. Tears began to fall.

Two years ago, in this very room I was introduced to Joan Mitchell. Her large, luscious works filled the walls. This time, it was an elaborate buffet. One painting or sculpture from:

Joan Mitchell
David Parks
Richard Diebenkorn
Franz Kline
Mark Rothko
Robert Motherwell
Manuel Neri

Most of them were artists I've been actively looking at for the last year...trying to capture my own strength and courage while studying theirs, in attempt to dare put myself on canvas as they have.

Upon entry, I was so overwhelmed that I could only focus on one at a time. I didn't even notice the Neri sculpture until I was headed out of the room. And then...I almost began to cry again. For me, she was another exampled of Sedna, the Inuit myth of the girl whose limbs were cut off by her father and she sank to the bottom of the Artic. In her hell of cold, dark waters...isolation and abandonment, she was able to create life in the form of whales and dolphins.

Sedna has been my meditation throughout these rectangle paintings begun last October.

Sunday Sex...

I needed to return on Sunday to sit in this room. The Kline and the Motherwell were facing each other. I could sit on the bench in the middle and feel each large piece pressing into me...pushing and prodding. Delicious enticement. Taunting me to spread my thighs, wet from desire and anticipation, open wide and allow my muse to fuck me with wild abandon.

Still...a week later, they still call to me.

Robert Motherwell

Franz Kline

Manuel Neri


David Parks

Thursday, May 21, 2009

David Steinberg, a fantastic photographer from San Francisco, wrote up a piece found on on this year's Seattle Erotic Art Festival. It's a good article, showing the growth and immense undertaking of such an event, and this year's astounding success in spite of our troubled economy.

You can read it here.

It's a holiday weekend and it's going to be perfect weather for quite a few days - sunny, high 60's or low 70's. The Seattle International Film Festival begins tomorrow. Saturday, I plan on screening the film Trimpin: The Sound of Invention and then running (or really driving fast)to be at the Lawrimore Project at 4pm for a panel discussion with the artist and a few others. I'm looking forward to the film.

And...I will be returning to my canvases. Between intense work projects at my day gig, the prep for my trip as well as regrouping afterward, it's been a few weeks since I've actually painted.

It didn't help that I broke a tooth sometime between Sunday and Monday. The good thing was I already was scheduled to see the dentist on Tuesday for my regular semi-annual cleaning and thought it was a new big cavity. I found out I've lost a good-sized chunk from one of my molars. Now I have a new crown to look forward to. Until it's fully repaired, no more ice cream for me! The cold is too painful. But, a little red wine helps to dull the sensitivity.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Here is this week's Freewill Astrology.


I'm still mentally sorting and filtering through all I saw and experienced this past weekend in San Francisco. Many memories came up and therapy this morning will make for a good debriefing space.

One of the gifts from that trip was an abundance of visual experiences that have become a bucket of seeds for new work. In painting the rectangles, blocks, doors, windows, self and others, I've wondered if it would be an isolated series. But the more I paint, the more they evolve. It's an ever expanding story.

This weekend, in addition to many other works, I came across a Sean Scully painting, a massive Warhol exhibit that really and truly opened my eyes and the brilliance of William Kentridge. I needed to return to the MOMA to sit with the Kentridge videos a second time. Those three tie together and have given me a larger direction for my current series.

Hopefully I can write about it but right now, the ideas and thoughts are huge in my head and each day, another piece fits into place. I'm in awe of the creative experience. And it works best when I can let go and submit to the process.


There are still photos to sort through.


Monday evening, after dinner with B & D, we went to Molly Moon's for ice cream. She (Molly Moon - and yes it's her real name) opened a second shop on Capitol Hill. It was my third time there. The first two times I went with their Balsamic Strawberry. Simple and extraordinary. And I sampled the salted black licorice. Damn it was good. This time I became a little more adventurous. I like the shop because I can get the kid-sized scoops which is perfect.

So I asked for two small scoops together: pomegranate curry sorbet and ginger ice cream. It's like a fancy creamsicle~!

B had some of the Vivace Coffee which has specks of coffee bean. Each creamy spoonful carries the boldness of munching on coffee beans.

D also did a combo. It's pictured here. I had to shoot it because the color was so very lush. He ordered a scoop of the salted caramel with a scoop of the baby beet sorbet. It was a brilliant combination.

I was intrigued by the beet sorbet but assumed it would have more of a savory than sweet flavor. I was wrong. The sweetness of beets is captured. It's delicate and very delicious. In addition, I tried the beets with a taste of the coffee and the pomegranate with the coffee and those too made for phenomenal couplings.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

From the farmer's market on Saturday...

Monday, May 18, 2009

A bunch of photos from Friday's walkabout in SF. There are also a few museum shots in here. It was a very bright day...hard to shoot at times because of the extreme light contrast.

(Click on each for a bigger image)