Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yesterday was a huge day.

After ten hours at the office I immediately rushed down to the studio where I spent almost five hours working. I walked into my home after 8, peeled off my clothes and crawled into bed.

It was a highly productive time. With the assistance of a beautiful boy, I was able to work on a few problem paintings while he prepped 12 finished canvases with hanging wire for a show next week. From there I was able to sign the backs of the completed paintings.

The works in progress are still a mess but due to yesterday's accomplishment I woke with a clearer mind. I had put an immense amount of pressure on myself by attempting to complete two new paintings in 5 days. For me, with the more abstract pieces, it's a nearly impossible task. I can't rush these paintings. They come together because of the process. It's an accumulation of layers...the history. Even if the canvas gets entirely covered with new paint there is a character that emerges because of what came beforehand. The surface from the past speaks to the future of the painting.

But if I'm painting more realistically and from observation, I can paint quickly. It dawned on me this morning that the two paintings don't need to be part of the "Bleeding Vessels" series. So on Monday after they've dried, I will return to those pieces with a new direction and paint from life.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One more from Montana. Really swamped for the next few days.

Monday, June 28, 2010

(photo by SGN)

For the first time in history, the Space Needle, known to fly various flags throughout the year, raised the Pride Flag on Friday morning. Our Director of Granting was one of the invited guests.

At the corner of my street, I have a direct view of the Needle, the Sound and the Olympics. Each evening, I'd walk to the corner to see the flag flying. It was a huge warm, fuzzy.

Article and photos found here.

For those who would like to show their appreciation to the Space Needle folks, you can send your love to: community It only takes a minute to email a thank you.


...and more boots.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bill modeling his new shirt...

Bill pondering "will this shirt make my butt look fat?"

Happy Pride everyone!

Because of a few deadlines, I will be spending the afternoon in the studio painting instead of hitting the parade, but did have the opportunity to enjoy a taste of Pride yesterday at Pride Fest on the Hill.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It was a lovely day in the park...

...everyone relaxing in their own way.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blast from the past while walking down Main St in Kalispell...

Last night was a perfect summer evening in the park.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another Montana shot...

The little I saw of Montana was gorgeous. I've bookmarked the location because I'd like to return for 3 or 4 days and really dig into that region a little deeper.

But it's Tuesday and back to my daily life. After a full do nothing but rest Monday, it's time to immerse myself in obligations. I have about 12 paintings to prep for a show the second week of July, and then I still need to dive in and complete the final 5 book illustrations. There are play events 3 of the next 4 weekends which although I look forward to, cuts into my energy. Art walk is next week and I haven't enough new paintings. And my plate at work is quite full.

Sometimes it feels like there are not enough hours in a day.

I'm feeling quite blessed and strapped at the same time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Montana Pride~

From what I can tell, the first event was held in Missoula in 2004, Helena in 2005 & 2006, Billings in 2007 & 2008, and Kalispell in 2009 & 2010. In 2011 it will be in Bozeman. There was a march route and after folks trekked over to the fairgrounds where there was a rally and festivities. At the last minute a Monster Truck rally was also scheduled the same weekend in another part of the fairgrounds. Yup. The queers and monster trucks in the same area. It reminded me of last year's weekend retreat where we were in Skagit County, WA and shared the hotel with the Skagit Valley NRA group.

While doing a little research I found an article mentioning that white supremacist activity has been increasing. In October 2009, Kalispell was the location of a demonstration by white supremacists. The article is found here.

It was a brilliant, joyful and sobering weekend, filled with reminders that the majority of the country isn't Boston, NYC, SF, Seattle, Chicago and LA. The organizers of Pride weekend included a Friday evening safety workshop to prepare attendees for possible conflict. Flathead County brought in the Sheriff's posse to offer extra protection if needed. There wasn't a sense of fear, but of prudence.

I met many passionate activists who really are in the trenches. On Saturday afternoon we listened to a panel made up of some of these powerful people, from Montana Two Spirit Society, Montana Human Rights Commission, to one working with Safe Schools, a philanthropist, and an out lesbian democrat who represents the 95th district in the Montana House of Representatives. We were engrossed in their stories and their struggles. Interestingly, and what was noted by a coworker during the panel discussion, none of the 5 brought up marriage equality. Although important, they are focused on basic equal rights that really touch daily survival.

We can get complacent in our comfort and in that, take safety for granted.


Now on to the march. You can click on the photos to see them in a larger format.

This is the front of the march lineup. No dykes on bikes but they had a really groovy hot pink convertible VW bug. The Grand Marshall was Dawn Prince-Hughes, an anthropologist and author. Fascinating person. Here is a wiki article on her.

Behind the pink bug was the "Giant Ass Drum Corps" who travelled from Spokane, WA for the march.

Prepping the large gay pride flag...

These guys were great...and I loved their t-shirts.

The only protestors I did see on the march route. They were on the left.

A few steps later I saw this guy on the right and his simple sign brought smiles.

The constituencies weren't always large, but they were visible.

A few onlookers/supporters.

The Missoula Gay Men's Chorus...

The Montana Two Spirit Society...

...end of the march route. From here you just needed to walk to the silos, hang a right and head down the road to the fairgrounds.

Some of Flathead County Sheriff's posse in Kalispell. They are kinda sexy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Other than my coworkers, this is the only wildlife I had the chance to see in my 50 hours in Montana.

Here's one more before I hit the sack.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

When I have extra time, I'll be posting more photos of Pride day here in Montana. But for now, here's a quickie.

In the '80's, I was at NH's very first Pride Day. Held in Concord, the first year it was only a rally at the State House steps. The second year, we marched around the block.

It was powerful. And scary.

This, although not scary, was just as powerful. Maybe because it's been years since I've been to an actual Pride march. A few folks said "it's going to be weird not to have lots of folks watching on the sidelines." I responded "this is a difference between a march and a parade." Parades are about performing. Marches are about making a statement.

Yesterday at Norm's News...