Chipping Away

Things are going, going, going. Every time I think I’m getting a lot done, I get a lot more done. It’s like I waved some magic wand over January, but I didn’t. Because, that would mean it was all effortless. And that’s just not true. I’ve been working on those special editions of Shrapnel and each include a small, 5 x 8 inch watercolor painting. I’m making 30 books in all: 26 lettered ones, an Artist Proof, a bon à tirer (B.A.T.), a Hors Commerce (HC) that can be used as a sample for handling, and at least one trial proof. A lot of fancy French terms are used in edition printing…

A trial proof, as you might guess, is just one of the test prints on its way to getting the the printing to perfection, while the bon à tirer, often abbreviated, B.A.T., means “good to print.” The rest of the edition is based on this print. The Hors Commerce, abbreviated, HC or H/C, aren’t usually for sale. It means it’s “pulled from trade” and used as a kind of “show and tell.” This way, you can keep the rest of the edition pristine without putting your grubby hands all over it. So, in essence, I only need to make 27 little paintings: the 26 lettered ones, and one for the Artist’s Proof. Twelve down, 15 to go. Sounds like I did 12 paintings, doesn’t it? I didn’t, I did a few. I was already making those little paintings for my show before I cancelled it. Now I’m using them for the books. What’s been taking a bunch of time is grabbing what text to put beside which drawing from the book. All 27 of those are done now.

As I said before, each lettered book comes with a mix tape. Michael has been generously dubbing each cassette for me on the stereo, one at a time. He is such a sweet and dedicated partner. We went through three old cassette decks already. I’ve also spent a lot of time shopping on Etsy and eBay for vintage stickers. I began obsessing about putting unicorn stickers on the boxes that hold the cassette tapes.

So those special editions of the books are all almost done. What I really have to start focusing on, and fast, is the work for my show! I will admit, I am fucking nervous about pulling it off. I have much of it “mapped” out, no pun intended. Some of the work will be on Thomas Bros. map pages. I’m taking old family photos, did I already talk about this? and cartooning them on top of areas where they took place since I moved around LA so much. I figure I won’t have to duplicate too many pages. However, I bought three 80s versions of the Thomas Bros. Guide off of eBay just in case. So far, I have already drawn up three pieces, I just have to paint and ink them. One is painted and needs to be inked. I wanted to paint them all at the same time, but now the gallery wants some pictures, so I have to finish them up over the weekend.

I have two oil paintings started. One on panel and one on linen. Nothing very big, but the style is new for me.

I have some bigger canvases and I keep thinking about oil pastel drawings for those, but I’m still thinking. It looks like I’ll have the middle gallery area at Craig Krull, not the little room, so I have to think about how to fill it up.


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