Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Into the setting sun on Cap Hill...

Considering I'm not one who jumps on the latest shiny thing and instead prefer it to prove itself with time, I saw something yesterday morning and immediate decided I want it.

I've been thinking about some type of digital pen for a few years, and was excited to see it.

The other item I want, but will wait until after I move to Providence, is a printer. The little bit of printing I do tends to happen at Kinko's or UPS store, with my flash drive. In the last year I've been thinking about printing out some of my photos on better quality paper and integrating them (or parts of them) into drawings and paintings. It's a project I've been excited about for a while, but it needs to wait a little longer.

Slowly prepping for the 619's very final art walk in the parking lot tomorrow night. I'll be there with some work.

Am looking forward to beginning some drawings in my home studio. I have many ideas I want to explore but it seems that right now, life is about prepping for this first transition of moving the studio.

And on that note, I believe it's a blessing that I need to move from my studio now instead of at the same time that I'd be moving from Seattle. Deal with one at a time.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Look at what I saw on the side wall of our 619 building. It's a massive....maybe 4 - 5 ft high shirt made entirely of while plastic clothes hangers.

Tonight I spent a few hours in the studio:

~going thru my four them out and sorting. Three now hold completed drawings and the fourth has paper that I'll be able to use once I move out of the studio. It was a trip going thru them because I found a professional photo shoot done of me back in the late '80's, with my guitar and surrounded by paintings. There were also photos I took that were from 1983.

~sorted through my bottles and jars. I now have a pile to be recycled and a pile that I will pack and move.

~brought home almost all the art books that were floating around in the studio.

~placed my mediums, thinners, turpentine, varnish in a box for my studio mate. I'll replace them when I get my new studio.

~collected and organized all the photos that I've been painting from so they are now in one labelled envelope.

Getting started was really difficult. Each step was slow and my heart was heavy. I kept reminding myself that ultimately this is all good because I just know that life will be just as magical on the east coast.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A red pepper and three green chairs.

I saw this a couple houses down from my apartment today. It was there at 7 am when I walked for coffee and still there at 5 pm while headed down the hill to meet a friend for dinner.

It's odd...and it made me smile.

Last night was a lovely evening outdoors, enjoying food and company with other painters and sculptors and poets. Good conversations, music and sharing our work with each other.

I brought some paintings that I haven't publicly talked about and received some pretty sweet insights and ideas. It was a good infusion that has me excited to continue while looking at the work with new eyes. But the experimentation will now need to happen in graphite, ink and acrylic paint because my apartment will be my new work space.

Interestingly, even though I'm excited to begin working on this other series, I'm feeling incredibly vulnerable today in having revealed the work, opening it to constructive critique from artists I admire, because the paintings come from a pretty dark place.

Photo from the backyard.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The place where art walks originated is holding its final art walk in the parking lot next to our 619 building on Thursday evening. I will be out there with some smaller old works for sale as well as showing one of two paintings from the new "studio series". And...although of course I'm feeling a big sadness, I also feel so damned lucky that I was able to spend the last four years in this building and become a part of its rich history.

Today I begin packing the studio. Sort through supplies and decide what will come to my apartment so I can continue to work. I have a large roll of drawing paper that will be torn into smaller sheets so I have stock to work from. I'll make sure to give my brushes a good cleaning before putting them away. They will be packed separately because I am taking them on the plane with me when I move in February.

I keep thinking I'll do one more painting...but when I step into the studio, I know I've completed the final piece in this space. Although I know it's perfect and needed, accepting the idea of not painting in oils for 6-8 months is also tough. I'm seeing it as an exercise in chastity.

This photo is from the back stairwell in the 619.

To all of you headed out to the safe. And have a blast.
To all of you on the east safe. And breathe.

I wish you all well.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm going to have a nice little collection of teeth molds by the time this implant process is complete. These will work perfectly in my unSpoken series. Here is the second mold from another dentist.

Yesterday was my second implant...and my final one. Once again, it's four months without a tooth and wearing a temporary denture. Although, I'm toothless for the first week while the surgical spot heals.

I am so relieved that this part is now all done. Last February I had a rough time after surgery. Between my low blood sugar and the massive nausea that lasted two days, which of course dropped my blood sugar even more due to not being able to keep food down, I was worried about yesterday's surgery.

This time, I prepped differently. I made sure to have an Odwalla protein drink in the car and so once I left the surgeon, immediately began to drink it. That small act made a big difference. And I was better prepared with soft foods and liquids so I wasn't taking the pain killer on an empty stomach.

No nausea...and today I feel great. I had planned for a day indoors, doing nothing. But I'm feeling well enough to probably get into the studio this afternoon.

And...I have the awesome-est coworkers. One took me to the surgeon and I was able to leave my extra home keys at the office so if I was really sick, they wanted me to call so they could bring me what I needed.

Yeah...I am so going to miss my peeps when I move. We are the best sense of the word.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wonderful evening in the studio with my studio mate. I didn't think I'd paint, but did want to spend time with her. It truly feels as if I'm done painting in this space. Instead I helped her create her inventory list for WA State DOT and then we sat and chatted, each comfortably settled into a chair near the large open window. We shared a bottle of wine while feeling the gentle breeze of a Seattle summer evening. It was poignant. Bittersweet.

The roses were dropping petals near my palette.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I so love Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It’s a personal way to support creative endeavors. Because I just supported a project yesterday, 619 Western: The Documentary, I can't do this one until next month but it’s an exciting project.

It's called Stripped: The Comics Documentary

From the Kickstarter page:

"Hi, fellow comics fans! We're Dave Kellett & Fred Schroeder, creators of the comics documentary STRIPPED. This film is our love-letter to the art form: Bringing together 60 of the world's best cartoonists into one extraordinary, feature-length documentary. The film sits down with creators to talk about how cartooning works, why it's so loved, and how as artists they're navigating this dicey period between print and digital options...when neither path works perfectly. We want this film to capture the extraordinary people behind the comics you love, to show how they work...and ask the question: "Where does the art form go from here?"

Set to an *original* score by Stefan Lessard of "Dave Matthews Band," this should be a really special film. It's been a two-year labor-of-love for us, and we can not wait for you to see it. But the post-production phase is the super expensive phase...and we need your help to finish it."

Go here to see the short video and learn more about the project.


Yesterday was my 11th year anniversary at Pride Foundation.


Last Tuesday evening I dropped off two paintings to an art buyer. We spent a little time chatting, sharing some wine and smoked salmon, and I gave his dog (a Lhasa Apso) much love. The buyer mentioned he had never before seen his dog so calm. Before leaving, he and I then decided where the work was going to be hung.
Last Wednesday evening, he pulled down old work from both walls, and hung a painting on each.
On Thursday I received a phone call. “Marie, I came home for lunch and the dog wasn’t waiting for me at the door. I wandering the house, calling for him and he never came. Getting worried, I walked into the final room...the bedroom. What I saw gave me the chills. Sophocles was smack in the center of the bed, sitting up, head looking up at one of your paintings. Even though I was calling his name, he never turned toward me or even moved at all until I was standing right next to him. He was engrossed in your painting.”

I was quite touched by the story. And intrigued. It would be great to be able to see what that pup was seeing.


Just found out my niece has a gig in NYC while I’m there and so I'll get to hear her perform some jazz in the West Village.


I wrote the final rent check for my studio. It was a sad act.


The New Yorker has a fun music play list for yesterday’s earthquake, Shaken, Not Stirred.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

(photo shot a few weeks back...5th floor of the 619 building)

I'm slowly scheduling my east coast whirlwind tour. The bulk of the time will be spent with my family in western MA. I just found out my niece has a gig the evening I'm in NYC and so I'll get to hear her sing. In addition I plan on hitting galleries, maybe a museum, and hope to do some drawing at Spring St. studio.

Here is the latest project I'm supporting via Indiegogo, a company similar to Kickstarter. Brian Nunes, a filmmaker, is creating a documentary on the 619 Western Arts building...historically significant, culturally rich, and the beginning of art walks that now happen nationally.

Click here for more info and the opportunity to support this endeavor.

Please take a few moments to view this beautiful 619 Documentary Awareness video, and if possible, any funding you can provide this important project would be appreciated. Thanks!

619 Western Documentary awareness video from Brian Nunes on Vimeo.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"When you take a risk, you may lose. When you don't take a risk, you always lose." (from "Joueuse")

Yesterday, after brunch, we walked through Occidental and noticed not only the games with large chess pieces, which also happens in Westlake and sometimes at Cal Anderson park but many tables set up with chess boards. There was a nice feel in the park.

It surprised me (in a good way) a little because I've been thinking a lot about chess. I used to play all the time when I was around 10 years old. I stopped playing about 12 because it came to a point where my head wanted to explode from visualizing so many possible moves.

Before hiring my wonderful assistant, I told my boss that I wasn't so concerned with experience but instead interested in skills. And I mentioned to her that it would be a huge bonus if the candidate played chess. Being able to see the entire picture and looking at potential scenario and thinking logically are required to be successful at this job.

Recently, I've been mulling the idea of playing chess again.

A couple days ago I rented a French film, not knowing what it was about but intrigued by the dvd jacket. It is called Joueuse (Queen To Play) with Sandrine Bonnaire and Kevin Kline.

While watching, I smiled because chess seemed to be coming into my life again.

In IMDB it is listed as a romantic comedy, but definitely not what we'd expect from what we in the states consider a romantic comedy. Set in Corsica, Ms. Bonnaire plays a maid/house cleaner who becomes intrigued by chess and is taught by Kevin Kline. It's a beautiful film, subtle and quiet. Powerful. And sexy. Near the end of the film is one of the most erotic scenes I've experienced. The two of them are verbally playing chess, each taking turns uttering chess moves. You can feel the electricity between them and I, while watching, could feel an orgasm building.

I've never seen Sandrine Bonnaire until this film and she has become one of my favorite actors. So subtle are her movements. She says so much with barely a gesture or a slight movement.

The film speaks of class. A maid who doesn't consider herself smart and yet becomes intrigued with what is considered the game of kings. It speaks of someone who lives life not feeling inspired and suddenly their life begins to change when she submits to her curiousity. As she learns to play, her internal world begins to blossom which of course throws her exterior world in flux.

After watching, I caught the clip on how the film was made. What I loved was that the story was an unpublished novel written by Bertina Henrichs. She shared her work with Caroline Bottero who directed the film. Caroline immediately said that it would make a wonderful movie and wanted to do it, knowing it was a risk because it would be the first full feature film she directed.

The hotel in Corsica which was used in the film is owned by another woman who also began working as a chambermaid. When interviewed, she said that she went from job to job...saving money until she could afford to purchase this particular hotel. Everyone thought she was crazy because it needed so many renovations. She said nobody understood her choice. From the inception of the film to the message within the film, it speaks of risk.

And here are a few quotes from the film:

"Rules are less important than exceptions." (I love how this speaks of context. It's always all about context.)

"Better to play a lousy plan logically than no plan at all."

"The threat is always stronger than the execution."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's the last day of my vacation week and I was at the studio by 7:30 this morning desiring to take advantage of a full day in the Sophia Room.

It was busy all around the building.

Out front, the street was closed off because a music video was being filmed in front of the building. I had signed up to take part until I realized that this may be my final full weekend painting...and so pulled out.

On the side of the building in the parking lot, Artoleptic, the annual art festival, was beginning. Folks were still setting up while others were beginning work.

And...this may have been one of the last few oil paintings that I may be able to work on before moving to the east coast. It's a third painting of the old 619 sign. I need to begin packing everything in the studio within the next couple weeks. Next Thursday is my second dental surgery and I don't know what condition I'll be in over the weekend. Knowing the end of this time is close made for a super difficult day in my space. I was flipping between painting and crying...with a break for a very delicious brunch with E. at McCoy's Firehouse.

It wasn't a magical painting day and I'm not thrilled by the canvas but in spite of the feeling of loss...I friggin' painted.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

I am currently working two paintings of the front of our 619 building. It's from a photo I took about 3 years ago, with the old sign. They've since changed the sign to have the design include the infamous crack that runs through the spine of the building.

This one is 16"x12"...

And this one is 24"x12"


Aubrey Sparks wrote an article that was recently published on the Leatherati website.  I read it and had tears in my eyes because I've always enjoyed his words and it's been far too long since I've read something new by him. You can read it here - Why I Stopped Wearing Leathers.

In a community that prides itself on being a band of freaks, it's odd when those who choose to live against the grain of tribal freakdom are looked down upon.

Some of you know I don't understand how what is considered radical sex can become commodified. It becomes about stuff and clothing and performance instead of connections. Back in 2003 or 2004 I wrote about how I believe the most radical sex is learning to become intimate with yourself. In that, the play is more powerful, the connections, even momentary ones, are rich and alive.

A long time ago I stopped being impressed by how heavy a player is or the wardrobe or how well known they are or how many courses they teach or how many rituals they engage in or or what titles they win or how many boys they have. What impresses me, actually what turns me on is how they handle the bad stuff that life throws our way. What is their level of kindness with others, not only people they like or lust after? How present do they attempt to be? How strong are their personal boundaries? How well do they apply the ideas of respect, consent, and negotiation to all of life and not only in the square footage of a play space

Last year I was telling my friend Bill that my big fetish is intimacy with self. It's not about being perfect but it's a continual striving toward deeper awareness while at the same times owning our imperfections. Strength of character. It includes a curiosity that I find super sexy. Seeing that light in others turns me on and not only makes sex pretty fucking awesome but opens my pores to the greater possibility of truly big sex.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Busy day. Very early morning therapy appointment and then headed down to the studio right after my session.

Shipped a framed drawing to Denver. Delivering two paintings later this afternoon. I'm slowly clearing the studio of sold work that I've been holding onto for folks. And worked on two pieces today.

Here is one of the pieces I've been working interior of my studio. Good size, 60"x36", oil on canvas. I may tilt the room even more. And now that I'm looking at it on my computer, it reminds me of this.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I shot this photo of stuff on my drawing table back in December and have been attempting to paint it for the last few weeks. Super tough going.

This is the first one I worked, 18"x24", oil on canvas. I'm finally pleased with it.

I wanted to paint it a little larger, here it is on a 22"x28" canvas. I like where it's going but it's not yet ready. It should be dry enough to rework today.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Because the clock is ticking on my time in the Sophia Room, I've noticed it has become really difficult to go in and paint. But I'm pushing myself in because I don't want to have any regrets about not enjoying my last few weeks painting in this wonderful space.

Here's a painting I'm working on. I need to make the chair smaller and play with a few other parts, but I really like the crazy bursts of colored light. It's 22"x28", oil on canvas.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A few photos from yesterday, while at the Center for Wooden Boats. It was on my list of things I'd like to see before moving and seeing we bagged on the kayaking, hit this.

These are photos of the Arthur Foss, a wooden hulled diesel powered tug, built in the late 1890's that not only tugged boats but carted folked to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush.

I so very much heart boats.

Before leaving the east coast, I was making plans to learn how to sail but went west first. When I return to the east, it is high on my list. I am so going to learn to sail. I want to be out in a little cat boat, like a Sunfish. Nothing fancy. One mast and one sail would make me happy.

As you can tell, I didn't make it to the studio today. I was up most of the night, tossing and turning because of work stuff. After doing some cleaning, I decided to hit the little place around the corner, work on resizing about 200 images of paintings, and slowly begin an inventory list. The task comes with wine, pretty decent cheeseburgers and today, some really great blues.

Tonight, I'm looking forward to a play party in a friend's new space.

At Gasworks Park yesterday with C. The day began cool and cloudy and so we put our kayaking on hold for another day. Instead, we spent time at the park and then around the Lake Union waterfront. The clouds broke away and the sun finally came through while we were at the park.

Today I'm tending to my home before heading to the studio. It's gotten out of control over the last few months and I'll enjoy my vacation week much more if I'm stepping into a space with less clutter.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Last night I walked into the studio feeling a sadness at my upcoming departure. Not only was the loss of the building weighing on me but also my move from Seattle. I'm in love with this place...and the people. Nothing is perfect, but it all has a big part of my heart.

I've been in this very same emotional place back in 1998 when I knew I was leaving the NH seacoast. So bittersweet, holding sadness at the loss and excitement for my move.

My studio mate S came in with her joyful nature, and her energy was balm. We spent a wonderful 3 hours together, catching up, painting, advising each other on our work. Because she's in the middle of closing on a new home, and moving in the next week or so, we then realized that last night may have been the final time we'd be actually painting together in our magical space. Between her move, and an upcoming vacation, our next shared studio session may involve packing and one final open studio in mid-september.

That realization brought the complexity of a little melancholy into a space filled with color and light and paint and turp.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

(A few folks asked for context for yesterday's tree photo. Here is a photo I took that same day, in color. It's in Occidental Park.)

Now,here is a tidbit from this morning - Overheard in the office:

Only four of us were in the office earlier this morning and we were chatting over the short walls. One of our topics was the stupid petition to marry Ernie and Bert. Yes, everyone should have the same legal rights as straight couples, but marriage isn’t a be all and end all for a relationship. On top of it, they are fuckin’ puppets.

me: seriously??? a petition for them to marry? Stupid.
then reading the end of the article and quoting: "Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics ... they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation." As Sesame Workshop president and CEO Gary Knell said in 2007, "They do not exist below the waist."

coworker 1: really? they don’t exist below the waist?

me: head and chest only. hand goes up the rest.

coworker 2: yeah…and that’s not gay.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I saw a tree with wings and a knitted sock around its trunk. Lucky tree.
I wish that for all of us.

Invigorating conversation in studio group last night. It's assisting with articulating a general statement.

Received delightful snail mail that contained a business card for a potential New England gallery contact from a thoughtful friend on the east coast.

To prevent being overwhelmed, I'm constantly reminding myself that August is for painting and enjoying the studio, September is for packing the studio and putting things in storage, and in October I can begin researching moving companies to ship my stuff and my car. It's a plan. One thing at a time.

Trying to come up with a clean way to inventory over 200 paintings, and about 100 drawings. Hopefully I can work on that next week while on vacation.

Looking forward to spending Friday kayaking on Lake Union with a good friend and a play party on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Some linky goodness...

pretty awesome business cards

and some groovy resumes that landed jobs at Google, etc

I heart, heart, heart this comic featured on Drawn Blog. And you can find more Anne Emond comics here on her tumblr at It's a simple description of us who are introverts.

Monday, August 08, 2011

More images from Mad Homes, the art installation in 5 homes that are set to be demolished.

The work week began with a 6:30am appointment with the dentist who is making my flipper (my temporary denture). Yup, I'm beginning the final implant process on the second crown and it will all be completed in January, just in time for my move to Providence.

With over 150 hours of vacation time to use or lose by December, I've decided to take advantage of studio time and so am taking next week off. I want to immerse myself in painting right now because I need to pack up the studio in September.

So much to do and every aspect of my life is in some form of upheaval. On the plus side, I'm sleeping through the night again. Trying to take it all one step at a time and breathe.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Vignettes from Mad Homes, an art installation in a group of homes slated for demolition. Today was the final day of the exhibit and I finally managed to walk down this afternoon.