Monday, January 30, 2012

01/30/12 - Updates to "Punkt"

I paint best first thing in the morning. For the first few hours of the day, as long as the paint from the day before is dried enough, I can breeze thru just about any painting project. This is what resulted from this morning's work:

My camera's lens is slightly bulbous which gives the top of his head a Chairman Mao shape . In the painting, his head is a bit more retangular. 

Defined a lip to his lower eye lid(s) and color to his iris.

Added pinky purple eye shadow, pouty lip and soft, pillowy, turkey neck.

Opened his lips up just a tad - I want him to feel like he could lick his lips or whisper something naughty.

I want him to feel like he's looking straight into the view and about to whipser "you!".

Next stage is almost the last stage - I'll be filling the background with text. But first, gotta start a few more paintings....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

01/29/12 Settling into the year of the Dragon

We are well into the Year of the Dragon and I am just beginning to find myself fully almost fully moved into my new apartment and studio "Rooms of: this way that,up". By tomorrow I'll have my new drivers license and with my new address. This will be the first time 23 years I haven't been a resident of Massachussets. 23 years ago I lived in Concord NH, before that I lived in Plattsburgh NY and before I was on Cape Cod and 30 years ago I was in Boston.

My dream, 30 plus years ago, was to travel about but it didn't happen. Love, lust, drugs, a complete lack of confidence, a desire to feel safe, a desire to feel dangerous and hurt, and an overwhelming obsession with alcohol kept me from pursuing any type of dream. At my core, I wanted to be in NY and or Washington state but I didn't have the tools to get there. At some point I found myself pregnant, in a horrible relationship (with several inappropriate ones to follow) and wanting to go home - which was both a huge mistake and the best choice, and here we are 23(?), 24(?) years later living in a whole new state and with a whole new life and with the tools to attempt to navigate myself in the unknown.

I was thinking this morning about where I was even 6 years ago and how different my life is - now: I am single, parent less, no longer working for an abusive boss, not working at all as matter of fact, losing my ability to fight back against my own body physically; I've certainly transported my art from expected/average/acceptable images to works that feel like they transcend the painter, and stuck watching my grown son navigate himself from a very, very far distance - an even wider distance than he would allow me to stand and watch 6 years ago... life has changed. Some of the changes have broken my heart and made me into a fearful person, other changes have made me into a stalwart but, I believe,  all of them were somewhat necessary to get me here. Either that or life was unrelentingly cruel and I've learned to adapt. And so there we are and here I am.

Onto the work of the day:

The beginning of "in einem entscheidenden Punkt, aufgeben or Punkt "

Applying thick acrylic on aerosol

Adding oils - my preference is Gamblin paint company colors and materials They're products are sumptuous, rich, creamy and never contain grains - although my work can look like I might not care about the feel of paint, it is, in fact, THE most important determining factor to my work. The wrong paint or material(s) choice can destroy how I feel about a painting or help me transcend time I spend working on a painting. If the products are inferior, I'll spend my time frustrated and trying to make do. If the products are brilliant, I get to focus on my work instead of the struggle between me and my need to control my materials.

My poor little milk glass palette needs a good scrub. I love using milk glass, it's fairly easy to clean, it's weight is substantial which makes the processes in painting feel substantial, and, as it turns out, my favorite American painter, Norman Rockwell, used it as a palette - a  fact I just learned a few years ago!


And oh, those lips! They will be a sumptuous red when I'm done. Trampy, bourlesque, Joel Grey in "Cabaret" red...with a hint of Norbert Leo Butz sexy.

Okay, back to work...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

01/25/12 - blurrrrrrr

Days are just flying by and, unfortunately, I haven't had enough time and energy to put into my work. That's the problem with RSD/CRPS or any chronic illness - you have to choose your battles. The big question everyday is: what am I going to put the energy I have into? What will I be capable of doing and for how long? Yesterday I felt pretty good - walked a couple of miles with Bugsy and without a cane, drove to New Bedford, did errands, went to the RMV, took pics for a friend, visited with another friend in NB, visited with a 3rd in Prov, walked Bugs some more, painted for about 15 minutes and then collapsed. Not a bad day though, not bad at all.

But, there is no mistaking it, the RSD/CRPS is spreading - only now it's raging on thru my fingers. It's taken my legs, my spine, my back, my torso and now it's taking my fingers. It's hard to explain what this feels like but for over 3 months the skin and some of the muscle in my fingers have felt like they're "asleep". While a sharp pain has been resonating from one particular part, just under the cuticle of the thumb on my left hand, the sleepy feeling has spread throughout my hand(s). This one little pain, in my thumb, woke me up from a sound sleep 3 months ago and hasn't stopped - the pain hasn't spread but numbness has. Most of my palm is numb as well as the top of my hand, may pinkie and sections of each finger. And because this illness causes the brain to mirror image damage or symptoms, my right hand has developed the same problem only slightly more intense. My right hand is swollen and has consistently been for about 2 two weeks.

The illness is so bizarre - when I moved from New Bedford and the Cave de la Hermitage to my new digs, Rooms of: this way that, up, I couldn't bend my legs properly. I had HORRIBLE pain running from the base of my spine to my toes and I literally couldn't get my legs to bend. Now they're better, almost fine, but I have pain, burning and numbness radiating from my elbows to the tips of my fingers to the base of my neck - which is feeling particularly sensitive today.

Today, I have several battles that need to be addressed but I also need to figure out which is the most important - do I go to AS220 where I'm scheduled to be in print shop or do I tackle the 2nd stage of getting my truck registered? I want to paint or work on Scootertown but I think working on artwork is going to have to be the reward for getting thru the day today.

Anyway, here's another piece I'm working on:

Aerosol on 4' x 4' masonite

Recently added acrylic.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

01/22 - The little bit I've gotten done

Been moving the rest of my stuff from storage, sorting the house, organizing and trying to get some things in place so I can put my head into working on work. In the breaks I've taken from setting up the house/studios here's what I've gotten done:

Acrylic and aerosol define the base movement.

Added acrylic.

The 2 panels together.

Close up.

The colors are lost in next set of pics - it could be the lighting, could be the camera but I'm hoping I can learn to get it right and be able to capture the greens, yellows and oranges along side the reds, browns and blacks.

One panel in the two panel work. Again, the colors aren't showing up in the photos for some reason...what a shame because it's far more vibrant than this!

The 2nd panel in this two panel piece.

I have to take a break from this particular painting and, to clear my head, switch over to other 3 paintings I have going on as well as the color pages for Scootertown, the illustrated book I'm working on. Follow my Scootertown adventures thru my other blog: http://storiesfromscootertown

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

01/17 - Rut roh

Well, my camera finally crapped out. That's a bummer because I figured how to to colour the map pages last night. Here are the map pages in black and white line:

Yesterday I worked my tail off trying to find colors that worked but, unfortunately, I looked at tried to work the illustration in using obvious color choices which caused an incredible amount of frustration. my biggest mistake was using green to express leaves...which looked fine up close but when I put the pages side by side and stepped back the result was nothing more than a mass of overwhelming greens. So, last night I changed direction and decided to use sepia tones - I'm incredibly happy with the results but can't show you the work - my digital camera finally crapped out.

However, I did find a nice mix of sepias (browns and tans) and greens dabbed here and there so the color work is a bit more subtle and adds to the feeling that the viewer is looking at some place warm and friendly, far away but close to home, and something that requires the use of imagination....hopefully.

It's going to be a few days  or weeks before I can pick up another camera. I apologize but there we are. You'll just have to use your imagination which is 1/2 the point of Scootertown anyway.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

01/15/12 - Half way thru the first month of 2012

YIKES! Time is flying by!!!! Because of the horrible situation at my rental in New Bedford and the  move, I feel like I'm months behind on producing work. I'm frantically playing catch up - hate wasting time...

Here's pics of the work I have going now in their various stages. I tend to keep work moving in an rotation system I set up a few years ago when I was working for Trader Joe's. I start a work, bring it to a certain point, stop start another one, bring that to a certain point, stop start another one and so on. And once I have several pieces started I bring one or two to the next level and then the next level, go back bring a few more up to speed till I have work in each stage of application: start, aerosol, lite acrylic, heavy acrylic, more aerosol; pencil, chalk and ink (if needed), and finally oils and oil pastels. Since my only interest is producing work, I don't care about having a living room, dining room, bedroom, etc and I tend to split my space up into specific stage areas and, luckily, my new digs provides me with enough space that I can assign each room a specific stage and purpose for my work.

The pics below show some of the work I have going now and in it's various stages.
PLEASE excuse the blurry pics - my trusty camera is on it's last legs.

A 4' x 4' protrait on masonite - lite acrylic and aerosol.

A larger view.

Another work in the 2nd stage: thicker acrylic and more aerosol.

A 3rd work on masonite - it's in the midst of it's last acrylic application stage.

I posted this the other day but here it is - the acrylic stage is done and now it's waiting for oils.

A very blurry full view of the portrait.

The absolute beginning of a pen and ink image on acrylic and paper.

I have 3 more (smaller) canvas'  in my start room waiting for an idea or image to be applied. It may seem a bit excessive to work this way, having multiple images and ideas going at once, but I work at my best when I'm not forced to concentrate on one thing in one place for a long period of time - the organization keeps my work flowing, fresh and energetic looking.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

01/14/12 - Can't sleep

Yeh, it's 5:40 and I should be up anyway but I wanna but I can't - I keep thinking about what I could be doing besides sleeping but then I'm so tired I just want to sleep and not do anything but the second I lay down my eyes are wide open. Or kinda wide-ish.

Haven't gotten much (painting) work do this week, winter has been rolling into town and that means pain. Crushing, relentless pain. However, I did get into the AS220 printshop twice this week which has opened me up to thnking about work in whole new directions again. the possibilities for work in print....

I have to say, I feel incredibly fortunate right now. For years I dreamt of living in a place with real artists, not just once in a while weekend painters, and seeing work that really is diverse and here I am. For years I wanted to learn different forms of printmaking, graffitti and urban art and welding and now I live in a city that makes it all possible. I'm learning and adapting, trying and succeeding, failing and trying again but it's all in an atmosphere of inclusion - the people I've met are able to teach and accept different forms of work. I don't have to fit in a little box anymore - that's incredible to me especially after spending most of my life on an island, Cape Cod, and it's conformist art community were I was told I was good but not quite good enough or I don't paint the right lighthouse the right way like all the other good little island artists.

Life beyond the bridges of Cape Cod has brought on friendships and opportunities I only could of dreamt of before. But here I am. It's 6 a.m.and I'm groggy and probably not making much sense. Back to bed for a nap while I make out today's to do list? I think top of the list is:
  • Got to Fall River, pick up photo development equip
  • Go to storage unit, pick up some finished work and find reference material!
  • Clean out truck!!!
  • Start more work
Here's a few pics of what I've been up to:

Setting up in the new drawing room/computer/lounging/staring at the wall room

"My toe points me in an appropriate direction" - acrylic on ink and pencil on paper. Not quite finished

Start of a portrait on masonite

Start of a two panel canvas portrait

Aesrosol and acrylic stage

Heavy acrylic. After this - a few more bits in acrylic and then on to oils.

Got caught in the first big winter (rain) storm. Soaked but happy.

....everyone loves the new digs. So cozy, so comfy. So brother-y.

Also follow Beck on her other blog:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

01/07/12 - Rabbits on fire

Sometimes I write about the illness that I have, RSD/CRPS but today I'm just gonna post a link a friend just shared with me that explains it and other forms of chronic pain:

Friday, January 6, 2012

01/06/12 - "Ik ben, said the little fawn" - not quite done but in it's stages to this point.

The start of another "Ik ben", I am. I am is an important statement even in our current state of look at me social networking and reality tv. "I am" doens't have to be a infereence to be a Snookie type, attention seeking charaxcter. i am can just be statement made in the head of a person who really doezs go unseen or who's been told that they have no right to make themselves obvious.
Black ground, thick black acrylic and aerosol. 


Still just basic acrylics and aerosol.

After the first layer of oils.

After the several layer of oils the painting was put up n a chair and worked on from .a mirror image but I still didn't get it - I forgot to do something.....but regardless I posted the wrok on FB which usually helps me to see the work a little clearer and thru fresh eyes.

After I started posting pics of the work on FB I was able to evaluate what needs tyo be done so I opened up little fawn's forehead and added more red not only to fawn's face but to fawn's suit, hair, neck and the hash marks that run thru the work. I also relaxed the mouth gave fawn a bit of pink eye and am waiting for the work to dry a bit so I can just finish.

It's hard for me to evaluate what's mssing in a project tell I can see it posted somewhere in public - the potential for humiliation  makes the stumbling blocks  abundantly clear and I'm suddenly able to remember what I forgot to do to make the piece pull together. I think putting my work out to by seen and opening myself for public ridicule helps my head to remember and calculate the work's ending pretty quickly

Will post finished work asap but gotta shower and walk Bugsy first.