Thursday, July 11, 2013

And That's OK

In Pete Jordan's "Dishwasher" he explains that the two best days of work are the first day of work and the last day of work.  Today I am giving my two week notice at the deli.  It is a bittersweet moment, but I realize that I cannot work two kitchen jobs at once, along with teaching and making paintings for three upcoming shows.  I keep shrugging off the shows, saying that they are not a very big deal because they are not in ideal spaces.  This is of course faulty logic, as the shows are whatever I make of them and they will still be in spots that people go to to specifically look at art.  Hence, they matter, and I have a lot of work to do for them.

Socially I have been living in a cascade of ups and downs.  I don't understand the world outside the studio as well as I probably should.  The Facebook, Twitter and texting spheres do not make it any easier traverse.  As a result I have been trying to read more and forget about human interaction, as it happens without any effort.  Extra thought on the subject of being social merely enhances my anxiety powers.  Staying in studio and ignoring the social elements and their 21st century deluge is healthy for me.  I am productive in my own constructed zone, uneasy in others.

I have been working heavily on the 248 piece marathon that I have planned for Zero Station.  I need to spend some time working out the details of the animation that corresponds to the pieces, but at least the pieces are coming along.  I have produced probably 12 in the last week, which is pretty good considering the show is a ways off and I haven't hit the groove for it yet.

Here are a couple shots of different assemblages that I have been working with today.

I am really letting myself edit past work more than I've ever done before in this series.  It is good for me to have to make work that corresponds with old themes rather than just obliterating the old work to cover it up.  The growth as I mentioned in the last post is quite evident.

I will see if I can't get some more work up tomorrow.  I am meeting a fellow about a DJ and visual art collaboration.  It should be really cool.  I'll let you know more about it when I know more about it.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Flow, Bob and Weave.

I haven't had any desire to leave studio lately.  Whether working or napping or reading, it has felt like I belong there more than anywhere else, and it's true.  Over the past year I've questioned my decision to go back to school so many times, I owe a small house in loans, but it has finally hit me.  I've reached that point where I can be a little bit poor and still be completely satisfied with life.  This IS the life that I have tried so hard to obtain and I no longer have to do anything that I don't like.  Cooking is a part of me as much as painting and music is the blood that keeps everything flowing.  And so it's just one step on to the next step on to the next step on to the next.

I have also been re-reading Dishwasher by Pete Jordan.  It is the story of a young slacker who is more engaged by adventuring across the country than with any particular job.  He takes to dishwashing with the goal of working in all 50 states.  It is a sort of zen like experience that Jordan talks about.  He stresses anonymity, a quality which I have often admired and sought.  This zen within non-holy moments really intrigues me.  I feel as though my own work escapades are becoming less and less separate from my "work."  Art is more than just paint and panel, ink and paper, it is me.  It is everything that I do because I make art and I don't shut off that persona when I am washing dishes or making people lunch.  It is easier to tell that I am making art if you see me drawing something, but there is something that happens with daily contact which is unique to me or to you.  I am analyzing those situations and responding with my tongue and body language as brush.  It never shuts off. 

A long time ago my exes dad was telling me about one of the many self-help books that he was reading.  It talked about finding flow and realizing other people had stories.  Essentially everybody lives in the same moment but experiences and sees that moment differently because of their own prior experiences.  We studied this in art as well.  We called it perception and logged it under Roland Barthes "Writerly Reader."  I've been thinking about flow again; how I navigate in and out of my story and other people's stories.  These three pieces have started to serve as the intermediaries between the other panels that I am working on with disparate mechanical bits.  They are the flow that will help me move from one story to the next, an intermission of sorts.

I intend to be as malleable as possible within the self that I have found.  Stick to your guns but roll with the punches.  Bob and weave.  Keep up.

Til next time.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Double Dee and Steinski, Assemblage, and Layers

I am gaining momentum on my show for November.  The work is starting to get to a level that I felt I had last December before I sold a bunch of the six by six panels.  Looking back on it, I wish I had the 700 bucks I made on those panels back so that I could use that same work in the series that I am working on now.  The pieces make so little sense as small salable items.  I would like them back.  And so I am on to a new era in my art making.  I am looking to accumulate a body of work that I am proud of, that I wish to put in a show.  I think that the days of making work purely to fulfill the needs of the rules that I have set up for a given show are beyond me.  I want to show the fruits of my efforts in a more cohesive manner.  I think my idea will more easily come across if it is allowed to grow and change with the ideas of the new work influencing edits in the older work.  As I gain knowledge of what I am doing on newer panels, I still have the old panels to work with.  The cross referencing within these two lines of thinking ultimately lead to a better understanding of what I am doing. 

A friend told me on Friday evening about Double Dee and Steinski's Lessons 1 to 3 for hip-hop.  They are the ultimate in illegal usage of material, referencing endless pop culture and pop music.  I think, upon listening to these lessons, that my work is a visual version of this.  As I let my ideas work back and forth, my emotions tearing me between, cartoon and abstract expressionist-like work, I am able to discuss an entire new genre rather than working in two different means.  This, I think, is what I have been aiming for for years, but by not letting the work accumulate, I have been selling this growth factor short.

Here are a few of the pieces that I have been working on towards the November show.  They are not in their final order, as some of the color tangents are absolutely terrible, but I wanted to quickly show how all of the pieces are evolving together.  I am quite pleased with the work that I have produced over the last week or so.  I hope you like it too.

Now off to bowling.  Hope to have some stuff up for you soon.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Paintings in Progress and Social Distortion

When I last lived in Seattle I would finish every studio night super charged up listening to Social Distortion's Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell album.  I would ride my bike or the bus home to my apartment and blog in the wee hours of the morning.  I was as into my art in 2006 and 2007 as I have ever been.  The last three years, however, have been strange.  Beth and I split up in 2010.  We had been engaged for 3 years.  My work has suffered in one way or another ever since.

There is no blame for this.  I didn't know how to deal with any of it.  I didn't know what I thought or what I wanted, if I was to blame, whether I should be punished or what I could do that mattered any more.  Tonight my roommate pried it all out of me.  It was really by accident, but I can't tell you how much different I feel right now.  I got home at 11 pm and immediately started painting.  The desire was there.  It was that old charge.  I don't know if I will feel the same tomorrow.  I think it is a definite possibility.  It is a strange thing to admit to someone that something hurt you more than any physical pain, ever.  It sucked and I don't want anyone to think otherwise.  I didn't deal with it well and it got in the way, but just saying those things and feeling the enormity of those emotions weighing on me again, crying like I haven't cried since my first grandfather died.  It all needed to happen and now I feel lighter.

I'm listening to King of Fools and my heart feels the flutter that it used to feel in 2007.  I feel ready for tomorrow.  I feel excited to be a teacher.  My life is good.  It is time to stop punishing myself and time to get going.  As Andy said in The Shawshank Redemption, "You gotta get busy living, or get busy dying."  I for one want to live and this is how I do it.

Thanks for sticking with me the whole time.  Wish me luck that tomorrow morning I am still feeling this alive.