Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wouldn't it be wonderful to sit on that rock?
I needed to get my laptop out of my very hot home and so am sitting at Victrola with an iced decaf something. The powercord was very hot to the touch and I noticed that my battery wasn't recharging. It was times to cool things off. And I figured it would be a good time to work on an ongoing project. Yet...I'm blogging instead.
Last night, at 8 pm it was over 100 degrees in my apartment. I have a little glass soap dish that is used to lay my razor in. I went to pick up the razor yesterday and it was stuck to the dish. The little plastic strip near the blade had melted. The streets and sidewalks were eerily quiet. My neighborhood, especially in summer evenings, is always filled with walkers and runners and dogs and people chatting. Last night it was silent.
Yesterday the Seattle Art Museum reminded people they had a/c and offered discounted parking and free ice tea. Babeland also advertised their a/c and had free lemonade. A friend posted in his blog that he walked into Barnes and Noble last night to get out of the heat and it was filled with people sitting on the floor reading books...doing the same thing. Coffeeshops with a/c and wifi have been packed.
Walking to Victrola tonight I noticed an enterprising little girl at the corner selling lemonade.
There's been one heat related human death so far. Although I wonder how many homeless, if any, have died. My coworker has a chicken coop and lost one last night to the heat. He was misting them, trying to keep them cool. Another coworker saw a dead pigeon, and also a funky weirded out squirrel, suffering heat stroke. And another told me that when he was watering the plants on his deck, a bunch of wrens swooped in to drink as much of the water off the wet leaves. So he's been leaving water out for the birds.
Tonight at 6 it's only about 95. Much more comfortable than last night and that's a statement I never expected to be making. My apartment is much cooler...although still warmer than the outside.
And Friday? I'm going kayaking. We do know how to make our fun regardless of the weather.
My food tastes always change in the summer, craving lighter foods. But this year it's more accentuated. I've been doing many meals of apples, cheese and crackers...or like here, pears. My preferred cracker choice are water crackers. Not greasy, not salty and it allows the fruit and cheese to come to the forefront.
In addition, many, many salads...sometimes twice a day and the dressing is kept to something simple and not heavy.
Breakfast has been an apple, a glass of milk and a handful of almonds. Or a cup of yogurt and a piece of fruit. Yes, I still go out once in a while for steak and eggs, or eggs benedict, but instead of hungering for rich foods all the time, it now comes up as a treat and a surprise.
A big craving that doesn't stop is for grilled foods. Not drenched in oil, but marinated in ligher, refreshing flavors and then grilled or broiled. Veggies, fish, prawns, chicken, pork, fruit. Being able to taste the food without the heavy accessories.
This isn't because of our heatwave, yet the changes began over a month ago. There's so much old gunk in my life I'm sifting through that my emotional self is informing my physical needs.
I've been actively working on simplifying my life...less confusion, less drama, less excess. Immersing myself in joys that are untainted instead of unclean. Whenever I begin to emotionally sink and feel the old tapes of invisibility and isolation, I remind myself of the simple and the joy I always find there.
Speaking of simple, a friend who owns one of the 3 photo galleries in town and exhibits some amazing work, shared the following photo link this morning - New Typologies: Yogurt Containers.
These images titillate me. And it introduced me to a new photo blog - Lens Culture which I then added to my arts link list.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
No Thing Is Forever
What I've been thinking about...
sex painting group mentality compartmentalization intimacy rain impermanence painting dark depths art openness abandonment reality heat water authenticity fruit popularity cunts intimacy seacoast mobs grilled prawns lists painting sex pears thunder storms projects feet intimacy ice cream playing celebrities numbers high school cocks wading pools communication layers sex balsamic vinegar blocks painting boots intimacy walls integration fear cherries merging passion anger being fans battling picnics intimacy
Here is this week's Freewill Astrology.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday night was a wonderful evening at Septieme - a surprise gathering with 5 good friends.
Still very hot and this morning we are all slow-moving. The heat will break in the next few days.
I managed to work in the studio for almost an hour yesterday afternoon. Revamped a larger painting. Because I've become color-stupid over the last week, I decided to remove the brighter colors from 4 paintings. Working with mostly white and a created black from burnt umber and ultramarine blue. Slowly I may add bits of color from the piles on my palette, but it's muted.
Here is a painting begun this week...influenced a wee bit from my painting experiment and one I pulled back on the color that was originally painted. It's about 16x20.
I found this article by Jen Graves a little while after posting the above entry...
Pure Love: Two Hobbit Medicis.
Two people, married, simple means…began collecting art.
Jen's article begins with:
"A few summers ago, in secret, an oversized moving van worth of art came out of a small one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Then came another huge-van-full, and another, until five of these mega-vans were traveling stealthily from New York to Washington, D.C. This seemed impossible given the size of the apartment, and it has not grown any more believable since it happened, although it is entirely true. This is one of the great legends of American art, like something out of a children's story: the infinitely giving apartment of Herb and Dorothy Vogel."
From the Vogel website where you can check out their collection and read more:
"Civil servants by profession without independent financial means, Dorothy and Herbert Vogel have acquired some 4,000 objects, primarily drawings, since their marriage in 1962. Today these works constitute one of the most remarkable collections of contemporary art in America."
Monday, July 27, 2009
This was right outside of the Seattle Art Museum while waiting for the bus up the hill yesterday. A hot day.
The museum has a couple really great shows right now. I was quite impacted by the Target Practice: Painting Under Attack exhibit. It's given me more to mull over regarding the new painting experiment I began a month ago. I need to immerse myself in it a while longer before it gets put out there. At times there is much anxiety about the project but trying not to let it paralyze me. I am learning so much in the process. That alone, makes the project worthwhile.
And I'm finding it quite sexy. But then again, my idea of sexy tends to veer off course from what most consider sexy.
The heat has me in a mood...
After a weekend of painting and multiple showers, I just noticed that my hand is stained with paint.
Back to the museum~
There is also a Titus Kaphar show at the SAM. I didn't know about him until yesterday. Powerful stuff. Not quite sure how to write about it. He's painting a different view of history...the history that wasn't depicted. The history of those who weren't standing in the limelight. And he doing it with masterful painting skill.
Here is a link to his blog where you can see his work.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
High 80's today and we are looking at mid 90's and blazing sun for the next 5 days. Because I physically don't do well with high heat and sun, I'm planning out the week. What happens is my blood sugar gets all wonky - shakier and light-headed.
Today, I'm headed to the studio for a bit. Being on the water, the building and window placement in the studio means that it tends to be much cooler in there than outside. After that, I'll spend the next few hours at the Seattle Art Museum. Art, air-conditioning and then maybe a gin and tonic in their bar before hopping a hot bus to return home. There will be a few more museum trips during the week in addition to having an air-conditioned office. Friday will be a kayaking day.
Now, time to wash my hair, shave my legs, throw on shorts, a tank and my tevas and out the door.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Overheard in the office 10 minutes ago:
"I love you guys so much it almost feels wrong to get paid."
It came on the heels of our discussion about whether or not Joe, our office mannequin who is sporting a gas mask, needed large fake eyelashes above the mask eyeholes. Yeah, I love my job.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I've been painting an ugly painting. Color is so difficult to work. Most times, I stare at my palette and feel I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't know what color to mix...or if I get a sense of what I want, I fumble with attaining the color. It's all trial and error. And yet, many times it ends up coming together.
Regarding color, the last few painting sessions have been dismal. Yesterday afternoon, I fought with the palette, letting composition go to hell because I was not going to leave the studio until something good began to happen with the color.
It didn't happen. I left a while later with a very wet painting...still ugly. Right now, I'm not discouraged yet more intrigued. It feels like there's something good happening and it is about exploration. It will come. In the meantime, the color really is heinous.
Not America's OZ...
From today's NYTimes:
VOLTERRA, ITALY — As a sound-system blasted a cha-cha-cha, the men began to dance. Wearing outlandish costumes with oversize hats and wigs, and boots with 15-centimeter heels from a Milanese store that caters to drag queens, they strutted and pranced.
From the expressions of sheer pleasure on the men’s faces, a casual onlooker might never guess that they were convicted criminals serving anywhere from five years to life in a maximum-security prison for crimes as varied as armed robbery and murder.
Read the rest of the article here.
And here is this week's Freewill Astroglogy.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
As I was crossing the road this morning, a pigeon took off and I felt it's claws barely graze the top of my head. Creepy.
Three months of essentially no rain. Summer did come early this year.
Projects are moving and rolling. I've finally begun one and have a meeting booked on Thursday afternoon to see about another. It's very exciting.
For the first time in years, I had the hiccups. After a while they ended and I then wondered..."do we ever remember the final hiccup?"
It's been summer for three months now. Hardly any rain.
I'm looking forward to my trip east which will contains about 4 days with my family, two nights in Boston, and importantly a couple days at the ocean. Plans may change, but right now, this is where I plan on staying - walkable to Ogunquit Beach and the Marginal Way.
Another good therapy session. It was less dramatic because it's the first one in a bit where I haven't gotten truly pissed off at my shrink and let him have it. He's been getting some of the brunt of my anger lately. I began to rip into him today when he complimented me and stopped myself. Instead I went on to explain..."See? See how I don't trust people? Even nice words leave me wondering what the hidden agenda is!"
I do feel bad for the people in my life who are being genuine with me. I'm not making it easy for them. Little by little, with time and hard work, I'll regain my equilibrium with trusting my intuition in regards to people.
And here is a great way to win money for your favorite nonprofit. Pride Foundation's Raffle With A Twist is back. You can win $2,500 for a nonprofit located anywhere in the U.S. or $1,000 for one located in each state we fund: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
Check it out here.
And if you have a moment, cruise through the newly designed Pride Foundation website. Personal stories are being highlighted, the layout is a little cleaner and there is an addition of a blog.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Projects, projects, projects.
This is the beginning of one of my latest projects. And yes, it's a wee bit of a tease because I'm not ready to say any more about it for a while. I think the canvas is 18"x24".
I was looking at it earlier this morning and it reminds me of how ideas have been springing up all over the place and although I can't work on everything right now, notes are being made.
What's thrilling about this is that it's another manifestation of how the work my therapist and I have been doing is beginning to pay off. It's happening in various ways. Some were small and unexpected changes such as breaking the nail biting habit and others were problems I was actively working on. Little by little.
Another thing I've noticed is that the bigger the outward development, the greater the internal resistance. It reveals itself through pretty intense emotions.
It's all good.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
...highlighted in the windows of Buffalo Exchange, a used clothing store on Broadway that always has fun windows.
I've seen this for the last few weeks, and finally shot it. If I get back in the morning, when the sun isn't blasting into the windows, I'll try reshooting.
I'm off to the studio soon, before it gets too warm and I melt.
A little retail therapy happened yesterday. First, I broke into a credit card that I haven't used in over a year. I hadn't even activated the new one they sent me last February until yesterday afternoon, when I purchased plane tickets for a week back east in mid-September. A little Boston time, some family time, and a couple days at the NH/ME coast. I can't really afford it, yet, I can't afford not to do it. Especially the shore time. That shore.
It's the place I'd hit whenever I was hurt or felt lost. No matter the season or the time of day, it became my solace. And it's time to touch it again.
Today, a trip to the art store to pick up a few supplies.
Last night, I splurged on a few books after making a vow not to buy any until I've finished the handful of books that are all partially read. I hadn't purchased any new reading books in almost a year. Until yesterday.
What am I reading?
In the studio, on my loveseat, sits "In The City of Shy Hunters" by Tom Spanbauer.
At home, I'm working on "Love Again" by Doris Lessing and "Veronica" by Mary Gaitskill. They are all slow going because for a while now my mind has a tough time focusing on words. But I keep pushing to reclaim my once voracious reading habit.
And a new addition to the home books, which I picked up in the hallway of our apt. building from a box of free books is a novel entitled "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie with art by Ellen Forney. Junior is a burgeoning cartoonist, a young boy on a reservation in Spokane with an abundance of medical problems. It's delightful...and an easy read. So I'm committed to finishing this off in the next day or so. A passage I enjoyed:
I draw all the time.
I draw cartoons of my mother and father; my sister and grandmother; my best friend, Rowdy; and everybody else on the rez.
I draw because words are too unpredictable.
I draw because words are too limited.
If you speak and write in English, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language, then only a certain percentage of human beings will get your meaning.
But when you draw a picture, everybody can understand it.
If I draw a cartoon of a flower, then every man, woman, and child in the world can look at it and say, "That's a flower."
So I draw because I want to talk to the world. And I want the world to pay attention to me.
I feel important with a pen in my hand. I feel like I might grow up to be somebody important. An artist. Maybe a famous artist. Maybe a rich artist.
That's the only way I can become rich and famous.
Just take a look at the world. Almost all of the rich and famous brown people are artists. They're singers and actors and writers and dancers and directors and poets.
So I draw because I feel like it might be my only real chance to escape the reservation.
I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Another photo from last month.
I'm still pretty immersed in work right now. A bunch of big deadlines on big projects.
In addition, I have a couple ideas that are slowly getting worked on...one related to social justice and the other, a new studio project. Although I've shared each with a handful of folks, I'm not yet ready to go public. But throw those on top of my regular job and my art practice...well...it means less time.
Of course I wouldn't be me if I really didn't have the fire going. And so while in the midst of all the above, I also find myself in the throes of some really heavy duty therapy work. Deeper, darker and younger. It's affecting me physically and emotionally in a few ways...one being that I'm choosing to spend more time alone than normal. I'll still hit birthday parties and open houses as I did last weekend, but my stay is shorter. Sadly, last night I missed another birthday event because I've been so tired and so have been in bed before 9pm each night this week.
So why am I saying all this? My blogging and my photography are more sporadic. I'm not abandoning the blog but I'm slowing down. If moved, I'll shoot and/or post. If not, well it means I'm conserving energy for other things on my plate.
All this has led me to feel conflicting things...a little more frayed than usual and at the same time, a little stronger and surer.
It's delicate and quite interesting.
Here is this week's Freewill Astrology...one day late.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
On vacation I rested my painting self by working still lifes instead of the rectangle paintings. But, the rectangles would still make themselves known in some fashion. By the end of the two weeks, I knew there was something to integrating them. In addition, I had deeper direction for the strictly rectangle pieces. So this week, my first week back at work, I've been doing a mishmash...curious to see how it'll all come together. I can't seem to focus strictly on one type yet organically move where I'm called to go when in front of the easel.
In addition, I've been inundated with many ideas. They keep swirling around in my head and that too may be part of why it's tough to pick a direction right now. I'm trusting that it'll all come together sometime in the future.
These are all paintings I've begun this week and none are complete. The photos are quite sad - missing subtle qualities...detail...and in one, the velvety feel to the paint. They are so very tough to photograph well.
This is the painting I began my first day after vacation.
The second a stricter return to my series...
And this one came up because it's been a very busy work week and by Thursday night I was much too tired to work the others. Mentally and physically exhausted. It was one of those painting sessions where I could barely hold up my arm so decided to cheese and do a more realistic little still life. I had to photograph it yesterday because it will drastically change at some point.
Thursday evening I took down most of the paintings that had been up for over a month and replaced them with all the new, in progress work from the last 4 weeks. This photo is missing the two rectangle ones shown above. It felt great to see them all together.
The large one is the 30"x40" I began in May.
This is what it looked like then.
I finally touched it again and feel better about where it's headed. The left side is still pretty weak but it'll all come together at some point. Although you can't see the subtleties due to the image, here's the latest evolution:
For a couple months, whenever I close my eyes, I'm sitting at the ocean. My ocean...in New England. Clearly I'm a few years overdue for some time on the rocks, hearing the waves crash and feeling the spray. Sitting in the sand, listening to the wind whistle thru the beach grasses.
The little espresso cup was in the utility/sink area of our studio floor and it's been calling to me since yesterday.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
It's Wednesday. I'm slowly settling into my regular routine of work, and then an hour or two in the studio and afterwards home to crash. There are paintings in progress on both of my easels and another sitting on the floor waiting for further direction.
Blessedly, it's been cloudy and a little cooler since Monday. I could never be a southern CA person because I tire of bright sun after a few weeks. Variety in the weather feeds me. Our ground is excruciatingly dry and needs to be saturated with a healthy rain.
Making plans with my coworker to go kayaking on Lake Union. It's a great feeling to be gliding on the surface of the water.
While speaking with another painter in the 619 building last week, I was reminded of a link Thomas, a friend from Boston, sent me a while ago. So I dug it up. It's a fun website to do quick 30 second figure gestures. Or 60 second drawings or even 15 second drawings. Check out Posemaniacs. You can hit the link for 30 second drawings and it offers options for shorter and longer poses. Good practice.
I have a sketchbook next to my big, leather comfy chair and am making a habit of spending even 10 minutes regularly working quick figure gestures.
Here is this week's Freewill Astrology by Brezsny.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Full day today. I'll be in the studio by 9ish, tackling two disaster paintings that didn't make much progress last night. Hopefully I can get them in a little better shape before tonight's art walk. There's no room in my storage to put wet paintings and so they need to be out in the space.
Enjoy another photo from the shoot with D last week.
It could be an ad for Utrecht...
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Yesterday was the perfect vacation day...
It's taken 12 days to be rested enough to get to this point.
I woke and actually had the energy and ambition to head over to the studio about 8:30 am, getting off the bus early to pop into Radio Shack for a cable so I could hook my iPod Shuffle up to the cd player in my workspace.
It was a great 4 wonderful hours in the studio, sitting, looking, painting, cleaning, painting, eating, and painting. I was more focused, less fidgety, and even able to dive back into a painting I haven't been able to touch in a month because there was too much fuzzyheadedness.
Home mid afternoon and then a couple hours later met J at Liberty for a couple drinks and sushi. Relaxed and productive.
Art walk tomorrow night. With a change in studio mates and moving times, I'll have two big walls to show work this Thursday for Art Walk.
Here is this week's Freewill Astrology.
And here are a few more painting explorations from the last few days.