The Terribles

I’ve been working on “terrible” paintings lately. I am doing this because I feel I’ve had such fear of making a bad painting, that I over-think my approach. This idea has really been helping me to get back into the swing of things again.I have quite a few pieces in progress and only a couple so far really are terrible.

I got this notion after speaking with a good friend of mine, Robin Cracknell. Robin is an amazing fine art photographer in London. His works are compelling with deep-rooted issues around giving a voice to children that have perhaps not been taken seriously, believed, or otherwise ignored. It speaks volumes, to me especially. His work just continues to resonate with me. And having this inspiring conversation with him has brought new light to my process in making my own work. I don’t know how to thank him, but I hope this new energy lasts a good long while. I’ve needed it.

So here are a few works that are still in progress:


This one is called The Deal and the painting on it is done. Now it needs to be embroidered all over. A time consuming task.

This next one, Ofrenda, I’ve been working on since I moved into my studio and I would say that the painting bits are very close to done. Then I’ll have to wait for it to dry and start on the embroidery.


Now this one is a complete piece of crap that I still don’t know what to do with:


It seems pretty unfinished, but you get the basic gist of what it is mostly looking like.

The following is finished, but it’s, well, I have no idea about it. But it’s called, Have a Beer.


What the hell do you make of it? Actually, nevermind. No comments from the audience, please. I need to make my own decisions, and that’s something that is not so easy for me to do, but I’m learning and getting a bit better at it. I am good at making instinctual decisions, just not conscious ones!

I’m also working on this big square the has a giant red circle on it. I know what I want to do with it, it’s just a little weird. Trying to be weird and allowing yourself to be weird are two very different things, mind you. Giving yourself permission to be free is one thing. Attempting, and trying, to be odd and original does not work. It’s all about listening to your true voice. This is genuine. Letting all the crap from the art world, commercialism, galleries, critics, and other people enter your mind is just suicide. This kind of focus is not easy. “How does this work with my other paintings” is another fucked up thought that tries to sabotage me in my studio. You have to stop thinking in terms of shows, series, bodies of work to really start making art that is true to yourself, and all these tasks are not as easy as one would think because we all want to be loved and we all want success. I guess it’s just a matter of redefining what success is — all the while living in a society that clearly dictates which achievements are successful. Fucken society! Who needs em?

Okay, in other news, artist Jeremy Quinn has featured his studio visit at Moppet on his blog. What a nice treat!

Happy Halloween everybody!

I was going to ramble on about something else, but now I forget, so bye.

Already June

Oh my god, I can’t believe it is already June, can you? How did May slip through my fingers like a slippery little worm? I guess time flies when you’re very busy wasting your time working on a lot of somethings and nothings.

I am known to be hard on myself, but I must to admit I could have been working harder than I have been. I’ve had really productive days, followed by lazy days. It probably evens out to almost normal, yet still with a leaning towards Workaholic Land.

Over the weekend I got Picklebird updated quite a bit. Still don’t have the database running, but at least there’s a presence there now. If you are reading this and go there, please join the mailing list and post comments on the blog. I’m building it all up from scratch again and it will take some time before it gains the same buzz that it once had in all its glory. Glory be to the pickle god, amen, ahh-choo!

Yesterday I found out that I did not get the artist residency I applied for in Joshua Tree. I am so bummed about this. I was so looking forward to carting all my shit out into the quiet desert away from everything, bring my dog and just paint and stare at the stars. I ended up asking the committee if I was even close and they told me I was extremely close and of the finalists. That made me feel both better and worse.

I managed to squeak out another little panel and am almost done with another. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure all the painting is completed on the Lapland piece. It’s finally dry enough to poke the guide holes for the stitching, so I’m finishing that today to get started on sewing my ass off around that thing. It’s not going to be easy. I can’t do it in the garage, and it takes up most of my office/studio. Going behind it/in front of it over and over is going to be a major bitch. But maybe I’ll finish that little panel first so I can move that whole table it’s on out of the room completely. Thinking out loud here, sorry if you are board to death. You wanted to read this far. Blame yourself, not me.

Saturday I went down to San Pedro to visit my friend Andrea Lien and it was weird being at her studio at Angels Gate. Will I ever stop lamenting my old studio? Probably not until I get a really cool studio again. My wish is to get a very small, stand-alone building in the Garvanza area of Highland Park, El Sereno or South Pasadena. I want it to look like a retail space, but make it so you could not see in from the street. I’d paint the building olive green with no signage, but perhaps there would be an inconspicuous name of the studio. I’d have to see the studio to name it. It could be a cool name like, “Studio Wench” or I may name the building “Veronica.” It all depends.

While I was there at Andrea’s, I took some Holga pics of “Loghenge,” a structure built for Native Americans to hold ceremonies on top of the hill in the park. It used to be what I saw out my window everyday.

Sorry no Holga pictures yet. Those will be cross-processed and that will take a few weeks.

Let me go snap a pic of the latest panel and post it. Hold on a sec…

Okay I’m back. Here:

It is 20 by 16 inches: oil, paper, and pencil on birch. No name yet.