Sorting it Out

Happy Hanukkah. Happy belated Christmas, and all the other holidays you might observe, or have observed. By the time I finally publish this blog post it will probably be 2017. It’s taking me forever to write this thing. I’ve been trying to sort it all out the last week or so, but that doesn’t mean I have. I think, though, that’s what’s important; the trying to. Isn’t it? Isn’t that what’s important? MJP says filling the well is what’s important, so I’m doing that too. Or trying to.

I spoke before about me rapid cycling, the sleep deprivation, and even a bit about my health concerns. I’m pretty sure one of my newer medications was contributing to a lot of these problems. Maybe not all of the problems, but a good portion of them. Definitely the mental stuff; the way my brain has been transmitting, and maybe even some of the weird side effects – like my mouth drying out and badly cracking my lips. I mean it’s been serious. Though, the least of my issues really.

So, I decided to slowly step down and wean myself off of that particular pill, especially because I was on a very high dose of it. But then yesterday, I read about some things that can happen to people that try to go off of this drug on their own and it looks like I am experiencing some of those side effects. Oops! Not very wise of me. I was also coming off of them too fast. In any case, I talked to my doctor and we got everything sorted out. Now I’m on some kind of path again. We’ll see how it goes.

For some reason, writing helps me a lot. It’s kind of like making art. Lucky for you – my reader(s) – you get to be exposed to a bit of my craziness. I’d rather some visual art come my way though. And I was thinking about fooling around with some art maybe later today (but that never did happen). That is, if I am physically able. I’m always up for drawing a little. It’s never the same as painting though. I was able to paint for a whole hour and a half last week! I slept for many hours afterward. It totally wiped me out! I was working on the turtle house. I’m a little farther along than this now. I’ve just been too lazy to go out and take a picture of it..

At least with drawing, I can sit instead of stand at the easel. Although, if the canvas or panel is smaller than 24 inches or so, I can lay it flat on one of my tables – usually the tall cutting table where I can lean most of my weight onto. That makes things easier, but a tall comfy chair would be great too. I don’t really have one. However, I may be getting one of these, or apparently I am getting one of these (only a very used one), from my brother – of all people. I just don’t know when he will be able to drive it over here from Burbank.


I don’t think the above picture has a Borco top though, which my brother said his has. Everything I read about Borco says it’s supposed to act like Vyco – like those “self-healing” mats. Yet Mike said that it is no way a “self-healing” mat. That it might be okay for very soft pin points and maybe some Exact-o marks, but believes it would leave permanent marks in the surface. And he would know. He’s been using it for many years. So I’ll have to look at it when it gets here, which may be never. Ha!

Still, I’m going to have to think up something clever to cover the surface with so I can possibly paint on it. An alternative to standing at the easel and leaning over a tall flat surface. It maybe be just what I need. However, I do have to get rid of one of my favorite tables to make room for it – a classic Ikea table that is not made anymore, but it’s highly sought after. It’s a simple Ikea Jerker desk.

I like it so much, I have considered keeping it and getting rid of my large industrial cutting table instead, which almost seems like blasphemy. But it sure could give me more room, maybe even new options in the studio. Dare I say – a patch of wall space??? I’d just have to replace it with some shelves, perhaps something similar, less long, less weighty. Not sure yet. I have a lot of “stuff” underneath the big table. Maybe it’s not possible. I’m just so crammed with paintings and canvases everywhere.

Blah blah blah, I just went through that whole rant and wound up going out to the studio and measured every last bit of space, came back in and ran some numbers, got discouraged and started pricing storage units. While there’s some good deals out there, I realized it’s still something I can’t really afford, so then I started looking at heavy duty sheds. But I don’t know. Why can’t I just donate some of my old work to people who really want it? I don’t mean people that could otherwise afford to buy it, I mean like a non-profits or like a children’s hospital or something of that nature. If anyone knows of a person who has ties into these kinds of art consultants – please send them my way. Maybe I can accommodate their walls somehow. I’m up for negotiating pretty much anything for a charitable cause I believe in.

Okay, enough of that, I have been thinking of doing some new stuff. Not for anything though. I mean, I do have to create the Spark edition, which is a tiny artist’s book that will go with flash drives of the Up to Now movie. I am going to be making 20 of those and will be starting on them very soon, perhaps later this week in fact. In the interim, I’ll slowly try to finish the Turtle House (One day! One day!)…(Keep dreamin’)

Oh yeah, that’s right; I was going to talk about my sketches and how they magically turn into paintings. A friend of mine (a writer/artist), we write a lot of emails to each other and we’ve been talking about drawing exercises, so of course I shared with him Ellie‘s eye-book technique. I noted how I keep my sketches pretty darn rough and raw though, and I don’t usually finish them. And also that the drawings in the eye-book are not supposed to be slated for future paintings. But I’ve been a total cheater on that aspect. I have totally used some of them for paintings. Not a ton, but some. I thought I’d share a few.

This one below was not an eye-book sketch, it was specifically for the painting I wanted to do, and it was even really small – in my pocket sized moleskin, and now the Turtle House painting is a 20 x 24 inch painting on gesso board, or will be when it’s done — one day. So the sketches need not be from the eye-book. They can come from any of my sketchbooks.

This next one is from the Eye-book, left side and all. Now, I don’t usually like showing my crappy, raw sketches because I don’t think anyone but me can SEE what they will become. Honestly, I don’t think they’re crappy. I only think other people may think they’re crappy. Personally, I like them the way they are, but they might not look like anything to people yet (or maybe ever). But I know what they will be, so to me they are these simple, raw, line drawings with bright futures and potential. Potential for all kinds of decisions. That’s what I love about them. I actually try to make my paintings look as close to the original line drawings as possible because there is something in those raw lines that I really like. And I never want to lose the quality of them.

This one (no name yet) is going to be large (40 x 60 inches), and I have a feeling it will be one of my better paintings once I’m done with it (if all goes according to plan – and half according to happenstance):

I’m also still thinking about this one, but not as much as I think about the others:

Often my scribbles become something more than what they looked like at the start, even though I do not change them very much. Here’s just one example off the top of my head. This is when I jotted down, I Waited For You. I penned that into my little moleskin book either the night or the night after my mom died:

It came out really rough, but I knew in the back of my head that I was going to turn it into something like this, and I did:

It became a 36 x 36 inch oil and collage piece (paper and linens with thread) on canvas. I finished it in 2010.

Here are some of the examples of the eye-book sketches that I turned into paintings:

The Notion of Ambiguity Must not be Confused with that of Absurdity, 2012 …(I know it’s a long title, but it’s still my favorite title.)
Oil and pencil on clay board, 16 x 12 inches.

In my Dreams, 2012 …(Strangely, this one originally had two titles. The top half was titled, In My Dreams, I Fall Apart. The bottom half was called, Dick Boat with Feet.)
Oil and pencil on linen, 30 x 30 inches.

The Sander, 2013
Oil and pencil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.

Queer Belfry, 2012
Oil and pencil on clay board, 12 x 9 inches.

I think I’ve shared enough for today. Don’t you think? I was going to show everyone the artwork I made on the inside of the Today’s Quandary. copy I recently sent to Hosho McCreesh, but I don’t think he’s received it in the mail yet, so I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

Okay, that’s it. I’m out. bye.

Oh, maybe next time I’ll show some work that I’d like to find good homes for.

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