Sunday, July 31, 2011

Here is another painting begun yesterday...of our utility room on 4th floor south in the 619 Western Arts building. It's a little clunky, but I'm getting ready to work on it. 24"x18", oil on canvas.

I saw it yesterday, a couple blocks from my apartment. It's a sign.
The Lobstah is beckoning. ;-)

I need coffee.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Super early morning in the studio, grabbing coffee on the way. It's a good second to last day of vacation and I spent a full morning painting before walking about six blocks to the Rock/Dement Gallery with four paintings for a show that opens on Thursday. The show is called "619@306" and the blurb is here. Then a leisurely walk through downtown, watching folks claim their spots for tonight's annual Torchlight Parade before hopping a bus up the hill. I opted to do laundry this evening while watching The West Wing season 3 on dvd. So sexy, eh? Although it really was awesomely sexy this morning in the studio.

This is one of the paintings I began this morning of 619 Western, 4th floor south, hallway view (painted from a b&w photo I shot 3 years ago)... 24"x18", oil on canvas.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I apologize for the potential drama in my last post due to lack of information but I couldn't write more at the time.

Yes, the city has deemed the building unsafe. But we, the artists, have known that for years.

The state was evacuating the artists because of the needed viaduct demolition, whether or not a tunnel is built. We are getting relocation expenses.

The city, after seeing recent reports, declared the building unsafe…and it's due to the structural damage the building suffered by the Nisqually quake in 2001. It is not about the hotly debated tunnel. Normally they'd close it off immediately, but because of our upcoming move…although August 1 and October 1 may feel arbitrary, they are trying to give us a little time. Each month we are in there, the chances of disaster are greater. If you want to see a photo of some of the structural damage, check out this blog by Clark Humphrey and scroll down to the last photo.

We will be doing a First Thursday art walk next week and I believe again for September. Although the crowds will no longer be roaming the halls and climbing the stairs, the 619 artists will be outside in the parking lot and the street. We'll have tables set up and folks can still purchase art or simply come hang out.

I'm not angry at the state nor the city. They are both working with us and there are some good things in the works, which, if I were staying in Seattle, I'd truly take advantage of. The news last week simply came as a huge shock…totally unexpected because we were planning a move in early 2012. And seeing the signs yesterday just made everything feel more official.

It's been hard for me to deal with the suddenness of losing my studio. It is only my workspace but it is my home. The surprise announcement last week slashed open some old wounds that were beginning to scab over.

Now having said all that…as I dealt with the initial anger and still feel some frustration and seriously grieve and make plans for the future while attempting to remain truly present to the moment…I know I am definitely blessed.

This is what I saw when I approached the 619 Western building today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Worked on a drawing for the "unSpoken" series this afternoon while munching a salad, organizing labels for the show at Trabant and getting ready for the meeting with the 619 tenants and Seattle's Dept of Planning and Development, WA State DOT, and representatives of the building's owners. WSDOT has increased the number of relocation specialists because of the upped moving out date by the city and they want to make sure that all the interviews and assessments are completed during August.

It looks as if our August art walk will take place outside of the building. We'll have some of the parking lot, as well as spaces around the back to table and show some work. I am going to cherish my remaining time in the old rickety 619.

And so it begins.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One of the paintings I was working on today...still in progress - "Steph's Palette", 18"x24", oil on canvas.

I am so blessed.

Arrived at the studio at 8 am and will be here all day. When I walked up to the front door, there was a homeless man sleeping against the door, wrapped in his sleeping bag. I felt bad about disturbing him but he heard my keys and immediately got up. I apologized to him, and he smiled and said "no problem". Going up to the studio to drop off everything before running down to get coffee, I wanted to give him a dollar but he was gone when I returned downstairs.

After getting my coffee, I bumped into him and handed him a buck. His face broke out in a big grin and he gave me a hug. At first I was surprised, and then had warm fuzzies. I wondered how long it had been since he had received a hug.

Sweet jazz on the radio.

Breakfast date with a friend who I rarely see but fills me with joy whenever we get together. It's like we speak a similar language and I can breathe with her. After we ate she came up to the studio and purchased two paintings.

Then received an email from a gallery owner and they also wanted a few paintings for an August show. So now I have two shows in August and one in September.

In love with my new paintings from this week which are all vignettes of the space…a love letter to my studio.

The bunny is coming by this evening to assist with prepping canvases for hanging. I'll treat him to a decadent dinner for his efforts.

We still don't know what's really going to happen with our 619 building. Things are in the works and there is a big meeting tomorrow evening. It's a good lesson in patience and with living in the unknown.

I really like these full days that mix painting and a little art business, when I have the luxury of time to focus on both.

Monday, July 25, 2011

After a weekend of clear blue skies, slight breezes, no humidity and 70 degree weather, I woke to clouds. I'm one of those odd Seattleites who doesn't mind cloudy, misty days. It's a perfect day to kick back, slow down a little and regroup after a delicious Saturday in the studio and a glorious and slightly drunken Sunday outdoors with friends enjoying the ambiance.

A few minutes ago we were gifted with thunder and lightning. It is an unusual occurrence in Seattle and one I look forward to experiencing more often after my move back east. The sound and power never fails to resound deep within, charging me with an inner force.

This afternoon I'll return to the studio. Honestly, there is a little apprehension because Saturday's experience was a rare and cherished visit with the muse. I can always sense her approach which led me to canceling afternoon plans so there was uninhibited time to submit to her while she guided my hand.

Today although I expect to work the paint, her perfume will be lingering in the workspace and if I'm lucky, she may even grace the canvases with her scent.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

See what one can miss when they throw something away too early?

The last two paintings from today. I'm titillated by these because of the mundane subject matter: old phone jacks in my studio. This was the first one I painted - 18"x24", oil on canvas.

Then I really wanted to try it again and so grabbed another old painting, a little smaller. 11"x14", also oil on canvas.

And now, off to bed. I had planned on going to a play party tonight, but not only am I tired, I'm satiated.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A couple more studio interiors from today:

24"x12", oil on canvas, corner of my studio...still in progress. I like where it's headed although I've been working it for 3 days and have yet to be pleased with the color.

16"x20", oil on canvas...drawing table and view...

Today was a brilliant painting day. Six hours in the studio and an awesome vibe. I worked on five pieces and very excited by three of them. This week I've been concentrating on painting snippets of my studio.

Here is one begun today...22"x28", oil on canvas:

Here is a clearer photo of the extreme cropped version painting I posted earlier this week. I think it's about 24"x18".

(photo taken two days ago, while driving home...getting ready to hop on I-5 for an short bit)

Best laid plans...

So much for my "be lazy, paint and have nothing on my calendar" vacation week. The blow dealt by the city is not only insane but incredibly disruptive. I'm doing my best to find pockets of peace. Thursday night I immersed myself in Audrey Hepburn on the big screen. The Seattle Art Museum is holding a Hepburn film fest and this week they showed "Funny Face".

Yesterday, I spent a wonderful afternoon with an old friend. It was relaxing as we dined outdoors and then walked along the water for two hours before returning to the studio to talk some more. She is the person who pushed me into training. We had an amazing conversation about s/m, and how my play has changed...and some brand new insights I've had in the last 48 hours about my play.

Today I need to be in the studio this morning because I received the list of paintings the curator wants for the August show. She chose seventeen pieces, ranging from 11"x14" up to 48"x48". This weekend I need to make sure they all have hanging wires.

On top of it, some of these will also be in a September show in Ballard. And...a few of them have just sold. Which means I need to mark the backs of the paintings so I know what goes where, when and to whom, being careful not to price work that will be shipped in September or October.

As of yesterday afternoon, it looked like our final art walk was going to be held this upcoming Thursday evening - Last Thursday Art Walk. As of last night, I found out there were more meetings with the city and there is a possibility of more change.

If we have to move by October 1, I'm flying back east on September 23 - Oct 3, and so need to be fully moved out before my flight. Paintings will have to be packed and stored which means renting a climate controlled storage unit. And the 10 paintings in the Ballard show will then need to be packed and stored later (without having a workspace to do so).

I'm debating whether to take a short term small (about 150 sq ft) studio rental for the final six months to paint or simply put the painting to bed until after I move. I would still be able to draw and do water media in my apt...actively work on the ideas I have for new work. If I did that from home, I would save about $2700 in studio rental which is almost exactly what I need to ship my stuff and my car to the east coast in the winter.

So...many decisions to make. And right now yes, it's all confusing.

I'm bringing my laptop into the studio so I can make some kind of chart and track everything that's happening.

Definitely not the best climate to paint in but dammit, I will be painting again today.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yesterday was a rough day after Wednesday's shocking news of the city blindsiding the 619 artists. Last night I arrived at the studio to find this on the wall in front of the elevator.

Yesterday I also received my Nano. It's now filled with music and after I jump into the shower it's coming down to the studio with me. I had it engraved with:

remember the rose...

About three weeks ago I dreamt of the most beautiful rose and it has not only remained in my head, but I call upon it when I can't sleep, or need strength. I had shared the dream with Bill and also had a full therapy session on it. One of the fun gifts I can give my shrink is when I bring my dreams to him. At some point I may write about it here, but currently don't have the headspace to do so. In the meanwhile, even though roses are beautiful, they've never affected me emotionally as other flowers have. Surprisingly my dream rose carries a potent impact and so am honoring it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

(Click on the link to make it bigger. Thanks to Sullivan Giles for the photo of the notice. She's a wonderful artist on my floor)

Well...after a very hard day at work I came home to an email from WA State Dept. of Transportation. They said that even though they haven't quickened the timeline for viaduct demolition, the city stepped in and decided that we need to evacuate the 619 Arts building October 1, 2011 instead of March 1, 2012.

I'm stunned. Shocked. Heartbroken. And it really puts a dent in my plans. But, I figure I'll deal with it.

I go down to the studio and discover letters on the doors of each wing. The one in the photo. Not only are we being evicted 6 months early but the city decided that there will be no more 619 Western art walks. No notice. Nothing. I, as many artists, was planning on having a major clearance art sale for the final two art walks. Less paintings to move. I'm looking at a major loss of income. And how do we get a chance to say goodbye to all of those who we see almost every art walk?

So I can stay in the building until October 1st, but I won't have the vast amount of people to sell work to. We are businesses, not residences. Loss of contact with people. Loss of dollars. Loss of potential for shows from curators who wander the 619 during Art Walk. All with no notice.

I'm thinking that the city can pay my studio rent for August and September.

Yes, I'm furious. And I'm super heartbroken. And it's a goodbye that I wasn't emotionally ready for yet. I don't know if something can be done so we can get one more art walk. I'll keep you all posted.


~Can't wait for Friday to begin my vacation.

~This morning is a 3 cup of coffee morning.

~Many times here at the office, donors will send us notes of appreciation with their donations. This morning we received probably the best comment ever. Love it! The donor wrote:
“You’re so fabulous, I’m sure you all fart glitter.”

~I will miss my job and especially my coworkers.

~Really can't wait for vacation.

I'm still slowly working the Jill paintings, going into them once or twice a week. Here is where they stand after tonight's painting session. Finally...finally...they are beginning to feel better.

Both of these are 30"x40", oil on canvas.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Short entry...much to do at work before I take a week off...

Just booked tickets for my autumn trip in September. Flying in and out of Boston. Staying with a friend for a few days. Then visit Providence. Maybe NYC (up in the air). And time with my family in western MA.

Have to ship out a surprise little package to my mom today...wild yam creme. Great for my hot flashes and may help with hers.

Another studio visit tonight for the August show which is featuring viaduct paintings. The unSpoken series is progressing beautifully. I think that's what I'll be focusing on next week. Very excited.

Bought Bodie a new toy. I chose it because it had a great squeak to it and I was sure he wouldn't be able to rip it apart for at least a week. It lasted a full 10 minutes. He had pieces and stuffing everywhere. Photos in the next few days.

When I had the temporary denture, if I wasn't wearing it, I would lisp. The letter F was really tough to say. My coworker J thought my lisp was incredibly adorable (his words). Yesterday on my way to the dentist my cell rings. It's J:

"Hey, I didn't get a chance to talk with you before you left for the dentist."
What's up?" I ask.
"I want you to say 'fluff fest' one more time."
Laughing, "but I'm going thru this process again next month & you can hear it then."
"No, that's too long."
"okay, just for you - fluff fest fluff fest fluff fest"

I work with freaks.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beats a lollipop!

I'm weird. I really get excited about the free toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste I receive after my twice a year cleanings. I look forward to being able to choose the color of the brush and the flavor of floss. Today I received the best gift ever from my dentist.

He had just completed fitting and placing my new permanent front tooth. It was over an hour of popping the tooth in, checking it, pulling it out, shaving a little down and repeat. A laborious process but I fully appreciated his meticulousness.

When done, his assistant asked me what I was going to do with my temporary denture. I mentioned that I was working on a series of paintings, titled "unSpoken" and had already considered using this denture and the next one I'll get to create some type of sculpture to go along with the paintings. They smiled and she said "would you like the mold?" She grabbed my denture, popped it in the mold and handed it to me. Can you say jazzed?

How cool is this?

So now, instead of going to the studio, I decided to treat myself to a celebratory dinner. I'm sitting in the most comfortable bar stools at the bar near my home and probably will opt for steak and salad, savoring the taste that I've missed while wearing the denture since last February. And at the end of August, I'll begin the process all over again for the final crown.

More research for my text paintings, the "unSpoken Series"...a little graffiti found in a bathroom stall...

This is an EXTREME super cropped version of the painting I was working on that the curator wants for the September show. We had placed all ten paintings on the wall and I had to photograph the entire set and send it to her for reference. Therefore this is pulled up from that image and so it's fuzzy and distorted. I think it's 24"x18", oil on canvas.

Today begins my last work week before vacation. It was supposed to be my "do nothing but what I want to do with nothing on my calendar" week but I'm changing it a little because I so want studio time. And, I want to begin going through my closets and sort clothes as well as go through my papers. I purchased a couple flat plastic containers that will fit my important papers perfectly for moving. Other than that, I still don’t want anything else on my calendar so I can go with the flow as I wake each morning.

Yesterday I ordered the Nano(RED). At the last minute I splurged and chose the 16GB instead of the 8GB. Seeing I was spending $150, it made sense to double the space for an additional $30.

I also sent off the audio files from my camping weekend. A friend who is a music guy is going to play with them and create a ten minute soundtrack for me that I can put on repeat and paint to it. Hopefully I'll have that by next week and so can explore the new paintings influenced by these sounds.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Today was a deliciously lazy day. Other than a few short walks around my neighborhood, all I did was lay around the house.
Read. Wrote. Watched movies.
And indulged in some red velvet cake.


The 619 Arts studio building on the bottom left while riding on the viaduct.


My iShuffle is over four years old. I love it and haven't desired anything bigger until the last few weeks. I've been hankering to have the ability to swap out a few playlists while painting. So, after a little research, it's time for the 8GB Nano (Red).


Yesterday I found a painting I accidentally placed in my storage loft instead of with the large pile of paintings to be reworked. Excited, it was like finding an extra present under the tree. I immediately began working on it. 45 minutes the curator came in to decide on work for the September group show. That very painting was one of the ten she chose!


Tomorrow at noon I go to the dentist and finally get my permanent tooth. I'll take a month long break and then begin the process all over for the second one. It will feel so damned good to not have that damned denture for a month, to be able to go out and eat and actually taste food without having to pull out my temp tooth.


Tuesday is another studio visit with someone else for an August show. I'm fascinated that after I made my decision last August to move back east, the business of art has become super busy. Between sales and shows, things have been buzzing. If I were more concerned about my "art career" I would stay put because I'm building momentum in Seattle. But for me, art is painting, regardless of whether or not I have a sale or a show. The practice is sacred.

I don't know what's going to happen when I relocate to Providence. Slowly, I am becoming part of an art community here, preferring to align myself with those who are passionate about working. Moving east means finding a job, an apartment, painting space, and meeting new people. Essentially starting from scratch at 52 years old. I'd love to find a live/work space in an artist building but that may take time.

All I know is I've been busting with new ideas and want the time, energy, and physical and emotional space to play with all of them. and do it on the east coast. Yes, of course getting noticed is nice. Flattering and on some level, needed. But it's not my raison d'ĂȘtre. If I could make a living painting, it would be pretty awesome. Being realistic, I know it's not very likely and also, I don't want to be the poor starving artist. I want to be somewhat financially comfortable and if it means working another job (not a career) to assist with benefits, paying rent and having a little extra money to enjoy restaurants and buy books, then it is a good life.

Yesterday afternoon I was approached to see if I'd be interested in speaking with college art students about my practice and process. It's exciting because I would love to share my experience, one way of being in this "art world". I believe we do a huge injustice to graduating art students...wooing a few and immediately immersing them in the art scene. I've heard too many speak of their career instead of their practice. I see the mentality of working for a show, a project, to be of greater importance than a discipline of regular practice. Highly talented...but in my opinion, feels backwards.

Graduation, to me, is the beginning of an intense learning experience. There is a new set of skills to learn. How does one juggle life outside of the art school bubble with working on the art? What happens when you essentially only have yourself to answer to in the studio? How do you keep the momentum? How do you retain the discipline when ideas fizzle? How do you keep an excitement in your own work when rejections pile up in your inbox? How do you battle resistance?

About six months ago at an artist discussion with a few graduating art students and a room of practicing artists, I spoke up and mentioned my beliefs. and was silenced by a few students and called idealistic.

It's okay.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't fondly think of my art school days. And yet, I've been doing the greatest learning in the last fifteen years.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today was one of those days that I can envision being a part of my daily life. I wasn't feeling well but was in the studio by 9:30 am, spending the morning packaging 3 paintings for shipment, from 8"x10" up to 30"x40". After carrying two large boxes up to the UPS store, it was noontime and so I sat outdoors at Cafe Paloma for a blissful lunch that included my book, the best falafels I've ever eaten and some fun chatter with the folks at the table next to me. Then it was back to the studio where I worked on a few paintings. That was all perfect in and of itself but there was an added surprise when I arrived home - an inquiry from a curator who would like my paintings for a show in September. Sweet.

It really was a perfect day with greater immersion in my studio than I've had in a very long time. An unhurried, productive and centered around art kind of day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while things are scheduled in a way that works for me. After a truly super busy work day, I buzzed down to Cupcake Royale on Capitol Hill. Jody Hall, the owner of Cupcake Royale was an activist for health care reform for small businesses. She was invited to the White House to speak on the hardship of skyrocketing insurance costs for small businesses. Health insurance for her employees was pretty much her greatest business expense.

In June, she decided to sell special Pride cupcakes that would raise money for the "It Gets Better Project". Those funds raised go to a few different organizations that assist queer youth. Her goal was to raise $5,000 and at the end of June surpassed it by raising $10,000! She was holding a small presentation at the cupcake store where Dan Savage and his partner Terry were there to accept the check. One of our Pride Foundation scholars was also asked to speak on his experience and how things began to get better for him.

From there, I went for drinks and food with our scholarships director and grants director before heading to the big red art wall on Broadway a few blocks away for the unveiling of Gay City Health's large banner commemorating 30 years of HIV/AIDS and the project. Our grants manager was saying a few words and I wanted to support him and the project.

It was really sweet to go from one event to another with some really pretty connecting time in between.

Tonight is Capitol Hill's art walk. And instead of hitting the galleries or going to the studio, I wanted to celebrate another kind of art: the art of compassion and philanthropy.

Dan and I washed my car and he was meticulous about the headlamps.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big news…

…and maybe the worst kept secret around.

I am moving to New England between January and March 2012. Right now, I’m planning on relocating in Providence RI. The cost of living is less than the NH seacoast and it’s close to the coast. I’ve never lived there, and don’t even remember spending much time in Providence, but the town came to me last August, as I was waking one morning. I just knew because I knew it was where I needed to be. The same thing happened when I moved to Seattle. I didn't know anyone there nor had I been there. I just knew it was my next home.

When I moved to Seattle in 1998, I knew it wasn’t forever and would someday return to my beloved New England. I also knew that I would just know when the time is right. A few years ago, I began feeling the pull. With time, it was a more forceful pang and so I decided that it would happen before 2013. Last fall I mentioned to a friend that I was planning a move in the next couple years.

In December when we received the news that the artists of the 619 Western Arts building were to be evacuated by March 2012, that date became my deadline. It made no sense to relocate to a new studio to then move again a year later.

With time, the call to New England was becoming painful and so I decided to up the move to September 2011…all the while leaving it open to the universe. I was being very sensitive to not rush relocation nor move for the wrong reasons. My therapist felt September was a little soon but we were both in a wait and see mode. In January 2011, my crown broke. And my other crown was decaying. Each implant takes about 5 - 6 months, and they could not be done at the same time. There was my answer. I needed to stay until 2012.

The beauty is, the year before I moved to Seattle I broke my two front teeth (passing out from low blood sugar and smashing my face on the concrete). So I had two new crowns for Seattle. My crowns have exceeded their lifespan and now a year before moving back east, I’m getting two permanent front teeth. It’s poetic.

My favorite boss who I’ve had almost the entire time in Seattle left Pride Foundation in May. Last December I told my physician, who I’ve had for the last 12 years, that I was leaving. She mentioned that she was retiring in July. Another goodbye. Because she’s known me my entire Seattle life, and I’ve been quite honest with her, she said…”your experience here has been quite the journey of suffering, bookended by New England.” I hadn’t thought about that until she mentioned it. Seattle has been almost a shamanic passage for me. In addition to learning how little I know, I’ve also learned so much. Grown so much. Loved so much. Hurt so much. And I’m so much stronger for all of it. So very blessed.

For the last year, I’ve been slowly prepping a handful of close friends. Last January, I told my boss that I’d probably be leaving…giving her a big heads up. I’ve intensified the training with my awesome assistant and instead of just “do it this way” or “do it that way”…I’m including “what would you do if I weren’t here?” It gives us a chance to talk about the process and the thinking behind certain decisions.

I am not leaving Seattle because I dislike it. On the contrary. I love this town. Like any other place, it’s not perfect and has its quirks and annoyances but it is a good place to live. I’m currently making a list of all the things I’ll miss and each time I’m walking around, experiencing this town…I’m breathing deeply and taking it in, recording everything and branding it into my heart. Leaving here already feels as bittersweet as when I left Portsmouth, NH - loving my current home and excited to begin a new life.

It is a year of goodbyes.

Last night my studio group ended abruptly because we noticed some excitement outside.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Bunnies...

one from my camping weekend...

...and the other taking a catnap after dinner and before we open the door for art walk.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Until I'm back in a routine, I have to play little games with myself to get into the studio and not feel overwhelmed. Today's trick is that I told myself I only need to spend a half hour in the studio on a work day. It took some of the pressure off and I could just go in and be. Here is the painting I began on Sunday and also worked this evening. It's 36"x18" drawing table and studio window. It's going to have to dry a bit before I can return to it later this week but its direction is encouraging.

From an article I read this morning, Trust In What Is Difficult ...

A riddle: What is one of the most crucial commodities for creative people that's also becoming increasingly difficult to obtain in the 21st century? The answer: Solitude.

I wrote a little about solitude yesterday and my current struggle. It was also the second day of my return to a more disciplined daily practice. When consumed by the busyness/work/fun of life, it's a true challenge for me to return to the quiet of the studio. It's become terrifying and yet, I miss my haven. I only spent two hours yesterday and could feel the beginnings of a heavy pressure weighing on my chest. I wanted to run.

First I sat, looked at the paintings and ate lunch. It was needed sustenance while at the same time, procrastination. I didn't want to approach the easel. The hesitation wasn't from a lack of ideas. I have far more ideas than time. But I was afraid of what would pour from me...or feel disappointment because the fear of not being able to achieve what I envision.

Each stroke opens one more layer of flesh.

A small 11"x14" is waiting for me. I begin to paint a view of a corner of the studio. Paint. Mush. Scrape. Paint. Sigh. Paint. Step back. Paint. Frustration.

Colors are greying. My vision clouded. The painting gets placed to the side.

Flipping through the large pile of paintings that are set aside to be painted over, I deliberate. No...maybe I really like that one and don't want to touch it. Not this one, I want to paint the viaduct over it. Hmmm, in this piece the color is quite exciting and am not feeling strong enough to incorporate it in something new. Ahhh...let's try this one.

I begin again. The same view. This time the canvas is 36"x18". It feels better. Oh look, the previous painting lends itself perfectly for the new scene. I paint. And paint some more.

Step back. Paint again. Squeeze more color onto the palette. Getting excited. Then fear.

Heaviness begins to constrict my chest as tears begin to build. Sometimes painting feels too big for me. This was one of those times. I leave.

Later today I will return. And try again.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Although the last few months have been crazy, wonderful and needed, including a big boom to the art, my painting practice has suffered. I am making an effort to return to daily studio time which includes a certain amount of solitude.

What I have noticed is that it's tough to get back into such a routine. Alone time in the studio, especially when the discipline is blown, can be scary. I feel myself battling Resistance…a nasty beast filled with brilliant excuses that prevents me from doing what I am born to do.

And now, a shower so I can shave my legs, throw on shorts and back into the studio.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas

Walking into the studio this afternoon I was embraced by the powerful scent of grandma's luscious roses, so kindly gifted by Bill and Daniel at art walk on Thursday evening. The petals' edges are now curling and turning brown but their thick perfume demonstrated they weren't going down easy. It added an extra sweet ambiance to my studio time.

Some of today's highlights....

Really good cocktails at Grim's and I swear they are even tastier because they're served in mason jars. The food was pretty awesome as well.

Good company. E and I just wanted to sit in the sun, be lazy, people watch...and imbibe.

Before hitting Grim's I was on the bus home from the studio and lo and was naked biking day. This is a small part of a very large group bicycling First Avenue, past the Market and up Pike.

Heading to the studio and am thinking about the newest series. A week later, still feeling the marks on my back and smile when my fingers graze over them. Received an email this morning about a group show in August. The wheels keep turning. And all the while text is twirling in my head: we had hardly any time at all...

Friday, July 08, 2011

An intentionally very quiet day after a very bustling art walk. It took me over 45 minutes to lock up the studio because people kept coming in. Five hours of nonstop talking makes for one tired me. I finally left the house about 4 pm today to grab dinner with friends, and then I went for a needed walk that resulted in a major splurge at Elliot Bay Books, not buying the book I desired but picked up three others - "Role Models" by John Waters, "A Visit from the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan and "Insignificant Others" by Stephen McCauley. I guess it means I need to hurry up and finish my current one so I can dig into the others.