My Way to Cope

I guess it seems like I went back into hiding, didn’t it? Well, I’ll do that sometimes, but I’ve recently been up to my ears preparing a clearer path for 2017. Even though it’s probably not going to be easy, I think it’s important to keep busy, or be creative, or something. It’s a good way to cope I guess.

There’s been a lot going on around here. I have a bunch of news and I usually hoard it all up and save that stuff for a newsletter, but I don’t foresee putting one out before the holidays. I’ll be sending out a winter newsletter around the end of January I think. At least that’s the plan. In the meantime, I’m going to spill the beans about the latest goings on in this blog entry.

First of all, on November 28th, I dropped off the final, final draft of Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley to my editor and friend, Lisa Teasley. Not only that, as luck would have it, I was awarded a small grant from Asylum-Arts to defer the editing costs. I am really so honored for that. I’m very grateful because it really is a gigantic help.

Well, some days later, I got the idea to stretch the whole book writing thing into a kind of project about process and reflection. So I created this website that will document my thoughts in retrospect on the years it took to finish such an endeavor. Writing a life story like mine wasn’t exactly easy, and I plan to continue to write too. I’d like to learn and get better at it. I’ll be pulling some of the things I’ve already said on “Carol’s Bloggie” (here) about the book, and examining how I feel about all of those anxieties now – now that they’re gone (right?). I also think there might be people out there that may want to write their own memoirs. Maybe they can glean something from my travels. I still have a ways to go with this too ya know. Perhaps the “easy” part is over?

So books, books, books! Gah. Now that Shrapnel is out of my hands (and out of my head), and in someone else’s for a while, I’ve been invited into an book arts show at the Craft and Folk Art Museum called, Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California. So now I have my head a bit in the Artist’s book world. That show runs from January 29 to May 7, 2017.

Being invited into that show definitely got me thinking about making books again, and so of course I gots me an idea, which I’ll tell you about in a minute, but first…something you may or may not know is that I have a couple of other shows coming up next year and I’m not talking about them here for promotion sake exactly. This is a story. One of the shows is at the El Camino College Art Gallery and it’s called, Personal Matters and I’ll be showing some of my Joshua Tree paintings and the Up to Now movie. That show runs from February 13 to March 9, 2017, with a reception on the 23rd.

Now, the Up to Now movie has the big news. Because very soon I am going start working on a new little Artists’ book edition. Twenty mini books! I’ll be releasing a limited edition flash drive of the movie in high definition that will come with a little handmade book. It will also have other original mini art inside of it. Check out the Up to Now page in the coming months. For now, the Artist’s Proof edition of 10 is still available for 75 bucks. Jonathan, Susan and I have also agreed to post the movie to YouTube and Vimeo in higher definition too – without a TV set framing it. We’ll get that going by next week.

So, back to the story, in May, I’m having a solo show at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, where I’ll be showing the whole Camp Up to Now installation, along with some wall-hanging pieces…but, a funny thing happened to me on the way to trying to think up a title for this show. Since I’ve exhibited it before in a similar fashion, I began to think to myself, Self, what if the entire Exodus in Joshua Tree thing became a larger theme – like a big umbrella where variations of the project mutated and continued on? 

What a great idea, my self thought.

What happened then was me tinkering and tinkering – more than a few sleepless nights in a row – just to revamp the old ExodusJoshuaTree.com website to create, The Exodus Project. There. Now I had a title for my solo show every time I show a piece of that project. Viola! Now it’s limitless.

It should be time to rest now, since I’ve been sitting at this computer for far too long. I haven’t made any art in so long, I forgot what it was like. But, I really haven’t felt up to it either. I only feel like sitting in this chair to tell you the truth. I haven’t been walking well. I haven’t been steady. My mind has been a mess too. Seems like writing is the only time when I can keep my head on straight, so I’m trying to be creative in whatever ways I can manage. This is what I can manage for now, so please visit my new sites. I worked hard.

As for the photo above, believe it or not, that is me at the far right, my mother at the far left, and Dawn, my ex sister-in-law, in the middle. The big shadowy figure taking the picture is my father, and this was taken somewhere in the San Fernando Valley when I was visiting my parents at age 25 or so.

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