My Brain Has Been Hurting, What Else Can be New?

Despite the grim — albeit obviously sarcastic title of this post (you have to point that out to people sometimes), I do have some good news a’brewing. It’s big, so I’ll leave it for later down the post. This also gives me some time to hear back from my contact person as to whether I can speak about it yet. But geez, now I’m making it sound bigger than it is. I swear, this post is not going to be much different than my others. I shouldn’t have said anything. How do I get myself into these pickled predicaments? Gah.

In first news, if you’ve read my other writing blog, you’d have heard about how I haven’t been doing much in the way of ARTing. I haven’t been keeping up on my “responsibilities” of making sure I’m still relevant and all that. It’s hard sometimes. It gets difficult when you’re moody, bipolar, depressed, and want to isolate for a while. At the same time, it seems like the Internet was built just for our kind, right? So I shouldn’t complain, but who would I be if I didn’t complain?

If you must know, I just wish I had a couple of artist friends, or even one friend around that I could trust and bounce ideas off of, as I finish out the work — I’m trying to either mix together, or decide on which path to take on various watercolor and ink drawings for a possible show, and I need a little friendly confirmation. Just someone I can bounce my koo-koo off of. That always helps me. Another artist you trust is so important. They also tend not to get sick of hearing all the meaning and purpose you have behind what you’re doing, why you want to go this way or that way, how many birds you want to kill with one stone, which places challenge you, and which places you do not want to be associated with, etc. It gets involved, it’s very intrinsic. Some of it has meaning, and some doesn’t have any meaning at all. We just want to know how pretty everything is going to look together, or how much of it you can do in the time allotted, or how much of a departure it will be from your last show, etc.

I don’t have that person right now. It’s very sad and very lonely.

I don’t need tissues or anything, I’ve dealt with this most of my career. And I’m grateful for the times when I’m able to get it when I can. Life is short.

These last few weeks I’ve been working out how I’m going to include ink drawings into my book, Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley. They will be simple black pen drawings, most of which I’ve already made, and are either published in other books, or that I just have here. But some I’ll be making specifically for the book. Anyway, all of them will be small and very raw, dispersed throughout the book pages. Nothing fancy. But it does ramp up the page numbers, and that part really sucks. If I wind up self-publishing, this doesn’t matter to me, but if I go with an agent that’s trying to sell my proposal to a major press, or an indie press, they aren’t going to like the high page count. I keep forgetting they don’t like that. I guess smaller books have become a “trend” over the last decade. Or something. What once was considered a novella is practically a mid-sized novel now. I remember when it didn’t matter how long your book was. Long, short, thick, thin, whatever. It was what it was.

Anyway, I digress.

Art-wise, I’m really wanting to draw new “illustrations” for the book. At the same time, I want to work in watercolor. I am trying to figure out how to incorporate both, if possible. The only thing I can think of is to draw these pieces for the book (the new ones anyway) in ink first, scan them in their preliminary state for the book, and then build on them from that point forward in other media. I hope that makes sense?

Yeah…the more I think about it, but not for much longer (I’m nodding off again), I’d also like to work more on a few other small watercolor series I’ve started on and never got going as much as I’d liked to — those Thomas Bros maps, American Rhapsody, and more desert landscapes, only smaller. Or even bigger, I don’t know. This is why I needed a person to listen to me.

I think if I made enough in each series (12?), I could hang them in grids and that may work for a show. Okay, now my brain gears are starting to move I think. They are turning and grinding after a long slumber. I can hear the monster mechanical squeaking of steel. A high-rise about to fall from the wind tilting it back and forth, the grinding of rust chalk between each metal notch of the gears. It comes as it slowly turns, one round, then another. All it needed was a little spritz of oil. Thanks to you. My one reader. Thank you for spraying.

Okay, now that I got that idea square. I wanted to announce, at least what I can about the project I’m involved in up in the Northern California Bay Area. I can say this: my art will be part of a major hospital project that is geared toward helping those with cancer. The only reason I am so excited about getting the okay to announce this officially is because, for me, it’s like finally getting that ball in the hoop, scoring those two points your team needed in the last second of the game. The thing you lived for. The dream you always had. That’s what this is for me. This is something that means more to be than anything else I’ve ever “accomplished” so far in terms of making art. If my work was ever going to have a purpose in this world. Here it is.

It’s nice to have my work in the Getty, to have had someone spend nearly $10,000 on one of my paintings, and winning the Pollock-Kranser Award was out of this world too, but all I ever really wanted to do with my art is have an opportunity to heal someone, and now it will be in an environment where it might connect to someone that needed art like I’ve needed it, and save them. That might be going a bit far, but what are we without our complaints and our dreams?


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