Wednesday, April 27, 2011

White Birch Paralysis

My father raised me to be Niantiquut, a religion which in retrospect he seems to have cobbled together with elements of Wampanoag (local Native American) and Buddhist philosophies.  I took this stuff pretty seriously as a kid, so now even as an adult I find myself making certain decisions based on those teachings, despite having figured out it's not the ancient tradition he told me it was but rather something he pretty much just made up himself.

Over the past few weeks, based on the experiments I've been doing, I've come to suspect it might be beneficial to work primarily on wooden panels instead of canvas.  The most basic reason is that when laying down horizontally with the weight of all the paint I use, a canvas, especially a larger one, has a tendency to sag, which makes the paint do things I don't necessarily want it to do.  A wooden panel won't do that, so I think I'll have a greater level of control over the process.  The other reason why I'm thinking wood panels instead of, say, Masonite, is that the wooden panels at Artist and Craftsman Supply, my very favourite art store (which also happens to share a basement with my building, giving me the opportunity to pick through their sometimes very interesting trash), are mounted to a frame which makes for much more convenient hanging than Masonite, but which also affords me a higher profile, so the paint that drips around the edges can remain a visible and vibrant part of the piece.

So the other day, I bought a couple of wooden panels. One was 11" x 14", which is my sort of standard size lately, and the other is 24" x 36", which is larger than anything I've done in years, because it won't fit in my painting trough.  I bought one that size because I realized I can take my workbench (built by my father 30 or years ago) and build shallow walls around the edges, line the surface with plastic, and create a makeshift trough that will be able to handle the overflow from much larger pieces than my current rig.  And I want to do bigger work.

The smaller panel was pre-primed, so I gave it a little attention with some sandpaper and set it aside.  The original plan was to paint it right away, but I don't want to waste it, and I haven't really felt like painting since that model flaked on me last week. The other, larger panel I hung on the wall to a.) get it out of the way and to b.) shame me into actually converting my workbench into the larger trough I need to paint it.

So these panels have been here a couple of days now.  Just last night, I realized something.  The panels are both made entirely of white birch, which according to the teachings of Niantiquut is the most sacred of all trees.  I'm not sure whether or not some part of my brain made that connection while I was still in the store, before I actually made the purchase, but now that it has, I'm sort of paralyzed for yet another reason.  I was raised to thank the animal brother that died for my meal, and to thank the trees that died to make the paper in my books, and to never ever cause unnecessary death or pain (meaning, death or pain I can't explain satisfactorily to the spirit of the thing I've affected).  Confronted with this birch panel staring at me expectantly from the wall, I am forced to deal with the fact that should whatever I paint on it not be simply amazing, one of the most sacred trees in the world will have been harvested for naught.  I feel like if I fuck this up, I'll be committing a terrible atrocity.  I really need to get over this.  Or simply paint something amazing.  No pressure there, right? 

Monday, April 25, 2011

I haven't painted in a week.

I realized it just now.  I haven't painted a thing in one whole week.  And I didn't even notice.  I'll need to paint something in the morning now that I've noticed or I'm going to feel really guilty by Tuesday. 

So there's that.  Also, I spoke briefly with my dad today on the phone.  He's not connected to the internet up there in Maine, so I hadn't really mentioned the blog before, but it came up today while talking about some of the changes I've made since the accident.  He asked for the URL (my term, not his) to my blog.  So I guess he'll be reading this at some point, perhaps at the library.  I hope that's not too weird, with the warning page and all.  I guess we'll see.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Re-debut

I check the stats page for this blog nearly as obsessively as I check my email, so I know there are a lot of people reading every day, which is heartening, especially on days like the last couple.  Thank you to all the people who bolster my massive, fragile ego by virtue of simply paying attention to me, but especially to those who comment and email and Facebook message me with feedback. It means more to me than you might suspect.

For the past few years, I've been in a relative state of hiding for which I've had a great many rationalizations and excuses.  Well, I'm done with that now.  I currently have 11 paintings on display at the G Studios, at 13 Humphreys Street in Boston.  They'll be hanging there, along with the work of a lot of other very talented artists, for at least the next week and half, but possibly longer. 

On the evening of Saturday, April 30th, there will be some bands playing and I will be there as a "featured artist" to speak briefly about my work.  So mark your calendars and make your way over on the 30th.  The G Studios is one of the cooler alternative art spaces I've encountered over the years and I'd recommend you check the place out even were I not exhibiting there.  I'll post specifics about times and what bands are playing, etc, as soon as I have them, but in the meantime, tell your friends and carve out some time.  I'd love you see each and every one of you there.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stood Up

I am exceptionally angry this morning.  And hurt.  And offended.  But mostly just depressed now.  I had a model named Daisy Rae booked for yesterday at 9am.  She's up in the Northeast from Indiana this week. She and I had agreed upon the date, the time and rate of pay about a month ago.  She reconfirmed with me about a week ago.  And yesterday at 9:04am, she texted me:
"hey its daisy rae sorry for delay I had some problems last night sovi (?) i am running behind so I am just now getting gone so I wanted to let u know we can either shoot later than 9am today or we can move till tomorrow same time I am open still then and other times let me know"

My reply at 9:07am (I'm disappointed, but it sounds like she's on her way already, so...) :
"how far from here are you?  if you think you can be here by 10 then today can work."

Daisy @ 9:08am:
"I am about 30mins or so but no failmair (I guess that's supposed to be "familiar") with area or traffic so not sure if would make by 10am or not"

Me @ 9:14am (I'm starting to get wary now, because I can see the signs- she's a flake):
"let's see how much work we can get done today.  if i need you longer than the time we have, maybe we can schedule a 2nd sitting tomorrow."

Daisy @ 9:19am
"I do prefer to usually shoot all in one time bc of my shudling ("scheduling", I think) and bc I have little free time this trip with travel times and shoots times but I guess I could work that out"

Me @ 9:26am (trying to conceal my growing ire- your time is worth more than mine?):
"i understand entirely. i'm all set up and ready to go and usually paint 10-1 so hopefully today will be enough and you can have fun tomorrow :) "

Me @ 10:30am (because an hour later, she STILL hasn't shown up):
"there's not going to be time today at this point to finish a painting, which is disappointing.  if we reschedule to tomorrow, can i trust that you can get here?"

Daisy @ 10:42am:
"I am sorry and yes traveling sucks sometimes things hardly ever go as planned"

Me @ 10:57am (she's basically saying "oops.  shit happens."  I'm pissed now):
"good luck with the rest of your trip, daisy.  it's a shame i won't be able to paint you."

Daisy @ 10:58am:
"Sorry I have missed typed ealier I can do tommorow sorry for todat"

Me @ 11:06am (after much deliberation):
"i really would like to paint you.  I've been looking forward to it for some time. can i trust you to be here on time tomorrow?  i'll need to plan accordingly."

Daisy @ 11:58am (after, apparently, a whole lot more deliberation):

Me @ 12:03pm: (cautiously):
"9am?  we can do 10am if that's better for you, i just need to plan ahead"

Daisy @ 12:04pm:
"10-2 is better but 9-1 is ok if u want"

Me @ 12:05pm (trying to makes things easier for her but still work within my schedule):
"how about 10am-1pm?  i have to leave by 1:20 for work"

Daisy @ 12:13pm
"I prefer the longer time if we use it up but if u think will be only 3 hours instead of 4 now I guess 10am works ok"

Me @ 12:16pm:
"i prefer the longer session too, i just want to make sure it works for you.  if you can be here @ 9am, i'll be ready.  whatever you can commit to is fine with me."

Daisy @ 12:17pm:
"Ok cool then 9am-1pm I will be there"

Which sounded pretty definite, so I replied at 12:20pm:
"thank you, daisy." to confirm.

So this morning I get up at 7am for the second day in a row (I'm usually asleep until after 9am) and get myself showered and dressed and filled with coffee.  I make sure everything's all ready to go, and sit down to smoke a few cigarettes until she gets here.

Except she never shows up.  And this time, no call, no text- nothing.  The utter lack of professionalism is staggering.  Two days in a row now she's blown me off, after I've scheduled and rescheduled. 

In previous posts, I've mentioned models I like and spoken about why.  It occurred to me today that my accolades don't really count for much unless I also call out models who behave the way Daisy has the past two days.  I not only would never recommend anyone work with her, I would urge artists to avoid this model altogether.

Perhaps I'm oversensitive to this sort of thing.  Models have flaked on me in the past, and I always find it hurtful and insulting.  This is the sort of thing that ruins an entire day, and tends to throw me into a despondent funk for a few days after that.  But I've never had anyone do this to me two days in a row, and I've never had someone not even bother to call.  I'm so fucking upset now I can't even concentrate enough to just paint something else.  I have to leave for work in an hour.  Hopefully I can calm down enough by then to deal with that place.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Few New Experiments

I didn't go to work Friday, due to a massive headache.  A few weeks ago I went to the see the doctor about these resurgent pains in the aftermath of the skull fracture, thinking perhaps I was developing a migraine condition, and was told to keep a journal to monitor the pain and check back in with her in a month.  The idea is that apparently a migraine condition's method of treatment has something to do with having established a pattern to it.  I'm supposed to keep track of when and how much it hurts, where in my head it hurts, what I'd been eating, and any other environmental conditions (stress, bright lights, etc) that may have contributed to the pain.  Friday was the third of these major headaches I've had since I stopped taking the pain medication around the end of February, and each headache has been entirely different.  I can't find any pattern to them at all. 

Anyway, the point of all this is that Friday I wore an eye patch for about the first 4 or 5 hours I was awake, because the daylight in my left eye was unbearable, and I think that may have had something to do with how the painting I did that day turned out.

I need to backtrack again so this makes some kind of sense.  I've never had proper bicameral vision.  This is basically that cool thing that beings with two forward-facing eyes do to create a 3D view of their environment.  Your brain takes the two slightly different images coming from each of your eyes and constructs a feeling a relative depth by combining the two images into one.  My left eye has a pretty severe astigmatism, which means its lens is misshapen, so it can't actually focus on anything.  Normally, because my left eye essentially serves only to widen slightly the peripheral awareness of my right eye, I would have no depth perception at all, because my brain automatically discounts information it receives from the left eye.

Ok, so here's an experiment for you.  Pick an object a few feet away and stare at it directly.  Then quickly put a hand over one eye, being careful not to blink or move your gaze.  If you covered your right eye, you should see the object (and everything around it too) appear to jump slightly to the left, and vice-versa if you covered the other eye.  This only works for me if I cover my right eye.  My brain switches gears and starts paying attention to my left eye.  If I cover my left eye, nothing changes, because my brain is already ignoring it.

So I shouldn't have depth perception, but I do, and this is my theory as to why.  My right eye is fucked up too.  My right eye is technically far-sighted, which means I can focus on things with it that are very far away, but the eye has to work pretty hard to focus on things that are closer.  The miracle (as far as I'm concerned) is that my right eye is very strong, and good at making these adjustments quickly.  Despite the farsightedness, I can see things up close very well.  I suspect that because my right eye has to work a little harder to change focus from near to far and back again, it makes some part of my brain able to make correct assumptions about the relative distances.

Back to the point.  Friday afternoon I found myself wearing an eye patch so I could deal with daylight.  I'd napped nearly the whole morning, having originally woken around 8am to a splitting headache, and thinking some rest would help, but it really hadn't.  I couldn't sleep another wink, and I didn't want to be on the computer all day, so I figured I'd try to paint.  Mostly I think I just wanted to have something other than the pain to focus on. 

Perhaps I was thinking about relative distance in both a physical and metaphysical sense. Some things seem impossibly far away only because I lack the requisite contextual knowledge to accurately gauge my distance from them. 

The photo to the left here was taken with my camera  phone nearly immediately after finishing it.  You can see there are a few things going on here.  It's essentially a landscape.  Rolling hills and towering clouds, all receding to a point just over the horizon.  I was thinking about calling it "Moon Obscured by Clouds." The largest cloud though, running up and to the right from the center of the panel is also the torso of a thin girl stretching and maybe yawning, so I thought maybe I'd call it something less cheesy that "Pre-Dawn Yawn."  I took this photo on the phone so I could send it to Meghan to see, I was so happy with it. 

And it's a damn good thing I did.  This is another photo of the piece taken on my camera phone today so the picture quality would be similar enough to make a fair comparison.  The color is actually a lot truer to life in the first photo, but what I want to draw to your attention in this second photo is the lower left corner, where you can see my hillsides have sunk completely off the canvas, and in the process pulled the sky and clouds down with them.  You may also notice in the lower quarter of the painting, about a third of the way from the right-hand side a new black shape that looks like a ">" symbol where in the first picture there was a pristine white hill.  This is a place where the surface of the paint had dried enough by the time the lower left corner started to pull on it that it actually tore, revealing the paint underneath.

Normally, I would consider this a failure.  When a painting starts to do things I didn't tell it to do when I'm not looking, I get a little offended, but in this case, two very interesting things happened.  Looking at the piece as a landscape, there's a white circle that was originally part of the torso cloud but which now looks to be the moon- initially obscured but now revealed.  Secondly, that little ">" symbol is exactly where I would have put the bend in her knee if that cloud were actually a girl, and the hills were actually sheets pulled up over her legs.  So now I think I'm going to call it "She Dreams the Moon Revealed," and be thankful this time the painting finished itself.

This next experiment I actually painted a couple of weeks ago, just before painting this, during my first session with Jen Catalano.  I didn't really have a plan when it was time to get started. Normally in a first session with a model I sit down and do some sketches, to try to get a feel for the model's shape and personality before scheduling a sitting for a painting.  This time though, I had a feeling that I wanted to do my sketches in the same medium I'd ultimately be painting her in, because the process is so different.  In this piece here I sort of accidentally stumbled across what should have been obvious years ago to me, and started working more subtractively (maybe even sculpturally), which made the process feel much more natural. 

The problem I deal with most often in this work is too much paint, as evidenced by the first painting above I was talking about.  Working this way, I realized I could work on a glossy, pre-painted surface and with my squeegee brushes "draw" a line in the paint which would separate the pool and if the paint was thin enough, pin the edges of that paint down the to the substrate with its own surface tension. 

This creates deep valleys in the paint I can then fill with other colours, which is what I did (among other things) in the painting to which I linked above.  In this particular "paint sketch", I left the process alone at this point to remind myself later on of the possibilities inherently implied by this idea.  Pictured to the left here is a close-up of the painting with enough glare on it to make it easy to see the little valleys I have to work with. This is something I suspect I'll come back to in the not-too-distant future and explore more fully.

This next piece I painted last night.  The idea originally was to prepare a simple background with a dark texture so it would be dry enough to use on Tuesday when I have a session painting another new model.  I wanted to be sure to have substrates ready to go when she gets here so I can explore more the nuances of working subtractively.  What actually happened was obviously very different.
Meghan and I had a really nice weekend together.  Normally I have Jarvis here every weekend, which I love, but one of the things I realized during my leave of absence from work after the skull fracture was that Meghan and I, despite living together for a couple of years now in a single-room studio apartment, really don't spend nearly enough quality time together.  So  we arranged to have this weekend to ourselves.  The headache on Friday was pretty intense for most of the day, but by 7pm or 8pm it was mostly faded and the light sensitivity in my left eye had been gone for an hour or two, so when Meghan asked me if I wanted to attend the world premiere at Harvard of our friend Oliver's newest classical composition, I said yes.  The performance was lovely and then afterward we went out for drinks at Noir, where we got pleasantly drunk before coming home to pass out nice and early, maybe around 11.  Saturday we got up not long before noon and puttered around the house doing chores and so forth before going out late that evening for dinner at Ten Tables, which was fantastic.  Our lovely quirky waitress offered us the chef's tasting menu so we combined that with a bottle of wine for one of the best meals I've had in quite a while. Yesterday was a quiet lazy Sunday at home, playing Catan, watching TV together and just enjoying each other's company. 

I sat there after this calm, relaxing weekend to paint thinking I'd just lay down some simple pattern and be done with it, and since I've been learning to listen to and trust my intuition, I didn't come into it with any other other real preconceptions. 

What I ended up exploring is this sense of churning frustration and pent up sexuality that seems so completely at odds with how I feel about my day to day life.  A serene sky filled with sparks from the conflagration  of an entire landscape.  Lava floes writhing and spitting.  A rift opened up in the sky and smoke streaming to fill it.  The creation of this one was especially cathartic for me.  I exist in a mental space which requires me to keep a tight grip on my sexuality to avoid creating untenable and hurtful situations.  It's stressful.  I used to think that if I felt a need to do a thing that I should just go ahead and do it.  With age I've learnt some measure of restraint, but also that real restraint is anything but passive.

There are a couple of places in this painting where because I used too much paint in my fervor, it's now pulling apart, ripping the paint on the surface and revealing textures below while obscuring those on top.  But I won't point them out to you, because they've amazingly all happened (again!  rare as this is, again!) in ways that actually improve upon the piece.  I don't have a title yet, but then, it's not completely dry, so who knows how it'll look when I get back from work tonight.

I was talking to my mother yesterday about this.  Since I broke my head, I've been finding it a lot easier to paint in a meaningful, exploratory way.  Perhaps this has something to do with having become slightly more aware of myself throughout the healing process.  It feels good to know I can paint about a feeling I can't always describe articulately and find it just as satisfying as one of my sexual proclivities without the fear of a potential fallout afterward.  The moral of today's story?  There's no such thing as too much paint.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I am not a picky eater

There are very few foods I won't eat (Licorice!  Ew!).  Of course, there are certain things I'll only have if I walk into the experience knowing I'm getting a very high quality version of the dish.  For instance, I don't eat cheap sushi or Mexican fast food.  I've learned from experience that this is a bad idea. But I love sushi and Mexican prepared well. It dawned on me this morning that this selective unpickiness (does that make sense?) is indicative of my general need for experimentation. 

I mean, a lot of people have a single bad experience with a food and then write it off, but I'll keep going back again and again. I make the assumption that if I ate something and didn't like it that the problem was not in my ability to taste but due to a lack of food quality. Then I'll try the dish elsewhere to test that assumption, and often find I was wrong.  I'll admit though, generally nothing as complicated as that all sounds actually happens.  I tend to love nearly everything I eat.  I kind of just love eating.  And food.

Making art is kind of like that for me too.  Bring it on.  Except drawing.  I'd rather eat licorice.  I keep trying, but I've realized I really just hate it. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blue Girl #1

"Blue Girl #1" Jason Burrell 2011 Acrylic on Canvas 11" x 14"
Jen Catalano came over to sit for another painting this morning.  We'd scheduled a 3 hour sitting but she was kind enough to agree to an extra hour when I realized I needed it. 

I think I'm going to keep painting her. 

Next week I'm working with Daisy Rae, a model driving in from Indiana to work with a few artists across New England over the coming weeks.  Whether that session goes well or not, it's unlikely I'll have the opportunity to work with her again anytime soon.  With Jen and Katie on the other hand, I can develop a familiarity over time and hopefully create stronger work.  They've both been fantastic models and I hope to keep working with each of them. 

Which reminds me.  I need to call Katie and schedule a sitting sometime soon.  I want to do a series of Girls in Blue and I think she'd be great for it. 

In other news, I may have a show coming up.  I'm still having discussions with the people there, but there's an art space which seems to be a recording studio with a gallery in it in Dorchester that's expressed an interest in showing my work.  I'll post more as that develops.  It looks like I'll have to speak in front of people if that comes together and I have to decide if I can handle that or not.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spying for future generations

I have this little box that contains a small book and some cards.  These items collectively are called The Observation Deck, which is basically a set of writing exercises for stumped writers.  My son Jarvis and I yesterday were eating lunch and he noticed it on the shelf.  He asked me what it was.  I explained it to him and then he asked me why I had it.  I told him that a friend had given it to me a few years ago because I'd been talking about wanting to write a book but had been having trouble and so of course Jarvis then asked me what the book I wanted to write was going to be about.

I had to consider the question for a moment because I'd quite honestly forgotten ( I never did write that book), but when it came back to me I smiled, struck by the moment.  The book I'd wanted to write, I told him, was a story about my life, addressed to him, to help him understand how I became the person I am and to give him a sense of where he comes from.  Then I told him that I decided not to write the book because I realized that there are a lot of stories from my life that he might not want to know, but that anything he ever does want to know I'll gladly tell him if he asks.  He gave me that little nod he gives when he's filing something away for future reference and went back to his lunch.

I've been thinking about that exchange since yesterday.  I'm leaving tidbits of my life strewn all over the internet and I've sporadically written in journals and diaries and sketchbooks throughout most of my life.  If he ever gets really curious about my past there'll be a wealth of material for him to pore over, but the deepest darkest moments in which I've found my greatest weaknesses and from which I've learnt my hardest lessons are times that I'll likely never discuss in places people might see.  

This all ties in with another line of thinking that I've been coming back to over and over again for the past week or so, so please forgive the seemingly incongruous jump.

A love letter
One if my greatest obsessions as a kid was cryptography.  I loved breaking codes. I got a couple of books for kids with code-breaking puzzles and strategies. I started eventually to write messages in simple substitution codes and hide them among my things to be found months later.  By then I'd have forgotten the key I'd chosen and hopefully the message itself as well, so I could make a game out of decoding it.  I started getting into more and more complex ciphers and focusing on memorizing certain ones.  Later still (by 7th grade or so), I had developed a new, entirely memorizable cipher that by any means I'd learned up to that point (which, let's be honest, couldn't have been much), was unbreakable if you were missing certain key points about its construction that I still have yet to see elsewhere.  I like to think it's because of all those years playing with these sorts of puzzles that I'm so hard to beat at Mastermind.

The symbols have changed  slightly over time, but I still use this cipher to waste time and entertain myself to this very day, and I still leave little notes for myself to find later on. 

When I was in high school, if I were sitting in a study hall and unable to think of anything except how very much in love I was with whomever I was in love with that month, I could sometimes do nothing but fill pages of notebooks with line after line on the subject.  Imagining the horror of my classmates peeking over my shoulder and seeing what I wrote I would do it in code.   I could (and still can) write in code as fast as I could in English (although I'll admit it takes much longer to read), so it probably didn't look all that suspicious. 

I've been realizing lately that this proclivity has over time exhibited itself in other ways.  My natural state is to wear my heart on my sleeve.  I can't seem to help it a lot of the time, and this has many times in my life created miserable situations for me.  I've learned to disguise many aspects of myself for safety.  I always look at my clothes as costumery.  On an average day, I usually dress all in black, ideally with sunglasses and a hat.  This is something I sort of consider to be my armor against the world.  Dark, mysterious and unapproachable, the chances of human interaction greatly diminished, I feel capable of dealing with the world.  There was a time when I couldn't do an art show or even go to a bar unless I was in full Halloween-type makeup, complete with stilts and coloured contact lenses.  I needed to disguise myself as thoroughly as possible to even think about being able to speak with another person about something as personal to me as my art. Even now, I find I need to have a pair of headphone jammed securely in my ear canals to comfortably ride the T.

When Jarvis' mother and I first started living together, I stopped painting.  At the time, most of what I painted was dark and involved monsters and violence.  This was for me a way to identify and exorcise personal demons, but we had this big fight once because she felt that this indicated that I was unhappy with our relationship.  I couldn't paint after that.  Any time that I tried to, I was stuck, because all I wanted to do was black out a canvas and paint a contorted, skeletal demon with a giant penis stuck in a box, but knew if I did I'd have to bear the wrath of Jenn.  So I stopped.

I didn't start painting again until I found a way to disguise my intent and the emotions involved.  I started throwing paint.  It was a very kinetic and violent process. I would come home from the studio exhausted but fulfilled and when I'd bring a piece home to hang on the wall that had born in a fit of primal rage, she'd look at it and say how beautiful it was and smile.  And this was even as our life together was crumbling. 

These paintings are a code for me.  For as long as I've been painting them I've been leaving little notes for myself to find and decrypt later on. I'm often left wondering lately if much like the cipher I created in middle school, I'm the only one who can decipher them, but at this point, they may be the best way I have to communicate how I am and how I see the world and why. That book I never wrote?  Perhaps I'm painting it, Jarvis.  And just as I'll teach you to kick your classmates' asses at Mastermind, I can teach you how to read and write my codes, if you ever decide you want to, and maybe then you'll have the tools you need to understand my past and yours. Of course, maybe this blog is the book, and the paintings are simply illustrations. Despite my best efforts, after all, I do seem always to wear my heart on my sleeve.  Those girls I wrote about in study hall?  They probably knew.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A New Naked Girl

At the suggestion to each of us from our mutual friend Katie Marie, I met this morning for the first time with Jen Catalano to work on some art.  Katie had spoken very highly of Jen's modeling ability and professionalism and I did not come away disappointed in any way from this morning's session.

We have another sitting scheduled for next week and I can't wait.  She was an absolutely easy-going joy to work with.  

As soon as I can come up with a title as personally compelling and satisfying as the painting itself, I'll likely put this one up on the website proper.