Thursday, March 25, 2010

new abstracts

Thought you might like to see the artistic process at work... in the form of two gradually evolving abstract paintings. ...  for instance, this painting, called Ascending, which I have had "finished" for a few years now, but have grown tired of looking at,

Just got turned on its side and is becoming this: One Theory for How it Began:

                                            .... finished! May 31, 2010

Another one, called "the mouth of the cave" or "arrival of the sentinels"... unfortunately I hadn't taken any photos before it got to this stage.. but you can see the final three tweakings

finished!! also May 31st, 2010, just in time to hang on Wednesday for my new show

things that make me miss San Francisco

California dreaming as of late.......
and I mean that literally -- the other night I dreamt that I was hiking  up in the hills above the city (a somewhat fantastical version of the bay in which it was a combination of Big Sur and Oakland, but with narrow stones paths winding around glittering quartz-like pink and cream rock faces, with the green and mist swirling below, and I just stopped and walked over to the rock wall, and hugged it while I sobbed "I miss California so much!"
Yes, a very mawkish dream. However, as they say, you can take the girl out of California.....

My dream may have been inspired by a recent visit by my dear Philly raised/SF-based friend Nicole, who stopped by on her way to a North Carolina artist retreat. We swung on my porch swing and held each other and reminisced and renewed our ever-present bond, and waxed musingly on the differences between the two seaboards. I think the thing I miss most about the West, that great open chaotic expanse of a place, is the general acceptance- and sometimes exaltation- of the weird and strange. So often out here, I feel like a misfit- never wearing the appropriate types of clothes to the gym, strangely puttering over live cultures in the kitchen- but back home- Damn, I am so normal compared to some of these people! (Whatever normal is anyway).  my old art studio at 17th and Potrero)

Monday, March 15, 2010


I remember, during my recent flush of energy, fresh from the gym and driving home, thinking "damn, I feel so good right now." It seemed impossible that this feeling of abundance and exuberance would go away, because it felt that I was living in actual reality, as if the sadness which sometimes grips me was an illusory veil that had been triumphantly cast aside. But I knew- I knew as I had the thought that I would look back on this exact moment in the car and chuckle nostalgically- that this momentary bliss would come to an end and I would lose my momentum. The rise and the fall is such a fact of my life.

Well, it took about a week. It took about a week, and a 24 hour flu that tackled Jamba and I to the bed for an entire Tuesday, while the snow fell listless and drearily outside (honestly, the last day of snow that my winter-weary soul can possibly stand) and we took turns getting out of bed to take care of an ebullient and decidedly un-sick Sava. That was a bad day. Nausea just sucks the life out of you. A few days later, I yelled at Jamba over a misunderstanding and it took me an entire week to apologize. A week to start going back to the gym regularly. Then, I put my lovely little sprouts outside on the porch to catch some budding sun, and forgot to bring them in at night. Oh, how I cried at the next day's discovery, in a mixture of sadness and self-loathing. My sourdough starter languished cold and hungry in the fridge while I plowed through three pints of b&j's in as many days.

So, we rise and fall. Seeds planted in a rush of promise and hope need to get taken care of in all moments, and not just at their inception. This is a lesson my Aries soul is constantly grappling with (So good at starting things: not so great at finishing them!)

I am currently doing okay- I am not depressed, but not wildly happy either. I am steadfast: disheartened but resolute. I know to do the things that will eventually restore me to well-being, so I do them: I go to the gym, I pick up the house, I feed my starter, I tackle things on my to-do list without thinking about the big picture. I beat the rugs, I paint, I breathe in the smell of Sava's hair. I can't will myself into a state of bliss, but I can. walk. there.

March Paintings

                                           Ladders. 36 x 48 inches. oil on panel

Here is Ali & Sava, finished!!:Really happy with how this turned out, especially the wallpaper on the right wall.

In an effort to get ready for my April show and due to the extremely accomodating natures of husband and roommate, I have set up an ad-hoc studio in our dining room til the studio warms up. Here are some paintings that have come out so far.... one that I started awhile ago and am now just finishing, and another that is still very much in progress. I actually stayed up last night until 12 pm- until the point of absolute exhaustion. It felt good.
This painting, still very much in progress (I have already scrubbed the turquoise off the right wall), was painted over an abstract painting I had no idea what to do with. Here is the abstract that is being covered:

 and the end result... well, who knows. Stay tuned! But here is the source photo I am working from: it was taken in a neighbor's house down in Staunton, of my friend Ali holding baby Sava in his arms.

 At some point I would like to do a painting that is more true to this photo, but for now, I am having fun.

Update: today I played around on photoshop.. this is more where I am hoping to go with it: