WORK: New Studio Space

I moved down the hall from my old studio and love the new setup.

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I hung some of my new scuba series paintings above my desk. They make me so happy because they remind me of diving - one of my favorite things besides painting!

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WORK: studio time

I recently returned from a camping adventure in Wyoming and Montana - total magic. Now it's time to get back to work in the studio!

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WORK: Details From a Large Painting in Progress

I'm working on a 52"x52" painting at the moment in my brand spankin' new studio space.   It's my first time working large in several years (I just haven't had the space for it) and I forgot how the paintings consume my mind when there is so much picture plane to account for. Often I fall in love with certain areas, but then later those areas might have to be changed or obscured for the good of the whole composition. It's very hard to let go sometimes! Anyhow, I'm only halfway done, so I won't reveal the whole thing, but here are two moments that I love... Which may or may not survive the painting process. 

Inspiration: Ira Glass

Deborah and I were talking about This American Life just now and she mentioned that I should look up this Ira Glass quote about creative people.  Every artist should heed these words:

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Projects: Timestamp

As I embark on my next project (Timestamp), I am pondering the notion of time.  It is such a modern thing to be so obsessed with archiving time, down to the minute or even second.  How does the time of day or my time-state affect my art/ meditation?  As an aside, I am purposely differentiating between time of day and my time-state because I have an odd schedule.  I work late at night, so my time-state of "waking up" can happen at 11am or noon, while "mid-day" might be 6pm.  

I read this article in Hyperallergic today about Donald Olsen, a forensic astronomer who pinpointed the exact time that Claude Monet's “The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset” was painted.  Or rather, the moment in time which he sought to capture, since this is of course not a photograph.  It took him much longer than this moment in time to actually create the painting.  It is such a contemporary desire to even pinpoint this moment though, don't you think?  Our everyday interaction with archiving technologies like email, texting and chat has reprogrammed us to be hyperaware of time - when the last text was sent, how long between responses, etc.  If you are wondering, according to Olsen, Monet observed this sunset on Feb. 5, 1883 at 4:53 p.m. local mean time.

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Projects: La Ritualist & What's Next

I just posted the last drawing in my La Ritualist series.  I am sitting here reflecting on the project and want to share two excerpts from my envision book (side note on the envision book - this was a gift from one of my dearest friends.  It is sort of like a journal, but instead of hashing out my day to day, the envision book is filled with goals, visions and things that I want to practice to make my life better... in essence, I envision my future in it).

I made a list while I was in Colombia last winter and I really think these three things were at the core of La Ritualist:

  • Fill yourself with love
  • Live with purpose
  • Give yourself freely

 

This excerpt is from the early fall, when I was halfway through the La Ritualist Project.  

Ritual - practice gratitude to water, especially when you drink it.  Practice  gratitude to your body for it's ability to take you places.  Practice gratitude to your mind for it's powers of logic and reason.  Practice gratitude to your heart for it's openness and love and for it's ability to heal.  Practice gratitude to your gut for it's powers of intuition.  Listen to your gut.  Listen to your heart.  Temper your mind.  Do not allow your mind to stop your heart and gut from your spiritual quest.  Connection is possible.  

 

For me, the ritual of making art quiets my mind to the point where I can leave myself completely.  It is my way to connect with the energy that surrounds us, creates us, and binds us to each other and everything on this planet, in this galaxy, in this universe.  Which brings me to my next project: an exploration of my experience with Time.  I will share more as the project develops.

Event: La Ritualist Project at SARDINE

Last Spring I was working on a drawing on my porch and a quote I had read recently tumbled around in my head: 

“The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.” -unknown. 

As I was following the line on the paper and thinking about this quote, I suddenly realized that it was calling me to start a project.  I would practice the ritual of drawing, every day if possible.  I would give them away.

I feel so much gratitude to this project.  It has helped me find the focus and motivation to draw more often.  My pen feels freer on the paper and the meditative process of drawing brings me calmness.  As of today I have made 128 drawings, which is pretty awesome considering when I first hatched the idea I was proud to reach drawing number 10.

Please join me to celebrate the culmination of this project by taking a drawing.  The project is complete when they all find good homes.

Friday, January 17th 2014

6-9 PM

Sardine

286 Stanhope St, ground floor

Brooklyn, NY 11237 (L train to Dekalb)

Drinks provided by Miles and Cafe Ghia (thank you!!)

After party at Miles (101 Wilson Ave)

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Drawing #92, La Ritualist Project