Saturday, July 30, 2011

Making a Movie

Before I cracked my skull in January, I wasn't painting much but still requiring a creative outlet, I hooked up with my friend Duval Rodrigues (I call him Durod) to act as producer for a series of short films.

Our primary project was about a guy on a bike who simultaneously exists in two separate timelines- one in which he dies in a bike accident of a broken skull and another in which he doesn't. He finished the filming in the fall and had moved on to the editing phase.

After my accident I realized I really needed to get back to my painting and Durod and I had a conversation that was sort of like an artists' breakup. But he's still one of my very best friends.

Anyway, during the editing phase, we realized we needed to re-shoot what's probably the most important scene. It was the very first thing we'd shot and we sort of fucked it up. So we're doing it tomorrow.

My son Jarvis has been in integral character throughout the piece and will be in this scene. I think he's looking forward to it nearly as much as I am. Last year, Saturdays were movie days and I think he misses it. I guess this will be a cool sort of segue into his birthday.

When it's all done and edited, I'll see if I can get some still shots from the final product up here. Durod wants to submit to festivals and so forth, so I won't be able to post the film itself for a while.

Should be fun :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'm a Slave to My Desires

It's interesting though because so many of them seem either mutually exclusive or at the very least at odds with one another. My friend Alex helps me put these internal relationships under a stark light and examine them more closely. Meghan was telling me yesterday about a thing she was reading about how the natural state of a person is extremely narcissistic and so we must all accept responsibility for that and choose constantly to instead do what's right and good.

Father; artist; lover; employee (in order of importance)- how shall I balance these things? I'm not certain of the way, but I am certain of the means. This is going to come down to some serious introspection coupled with enough meaningful socialization to keep me from getting too depressed to address these issues.

So yes, I'm a slave to desire, but I have an escape plan, vague though it may be.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Having nothing and everything to do with my intentions

Jane told me I should read this. She was right. And you should too. Kakfa totally gets me. Too bad he's dead. I imagine we'd have had a wonderful time together.

A Weird and Wonderful Life

For years, I had this sense of surreality surrounding me nearly all the time. This idea that I could measure the quality of my existence by its strangeness. I've been missing it for quite ahile, but lately, shit's getting weird again, and it's wonderful. Makes me feel like I'm coming back to myself.

Even when I'm not bringing paint to panel on a regular basis, I'm always painting in my head. Last night was one of those nights that brought everything into a sort of unreal focus. Today I'm home from work with another headache, but smiling anyway.

There's of course lots I need to do in a practical sense to keep things afloat, but that feeling of floating that makes it all worthwhile and it's returning to me.

There may or may not be a picture of me in an upcoming issue of Stuff @ Night with the beautiful Alex Long on our Davis Square excursion last night. Me looking totally pimp and hopefully not quite as drunk as I was. Later on, I spent a couple hours drinking and smoking on some random person's stoop nearby with this totally cute art student and then took a cab back to Central with one of those cabbies that makes you wonder...

Meghan's back at the apartment for the next two weeks or so while she gears up to move into her new place around the corner. Which is no longer awkward. Pretty nice actually. We make great roommates if not lovers.

I've been sketching out ideas for the My Life in a Cage project (about which I'll go into more detail in another, dedicated post), and researching places to make that happen. As much as I'd prefer not to, I may have to give up my sweet studio in Central to make it work. The pieces slowly coming together, reshuffling, etc.

There's a sense lately of a pending rebirth. Like the universe is pregnant with possibilities meant especially for me. And there was something about that art student last night...

Monday, July 11, 2011

There's a gentleness to her she tries to hide...

But I see it.  I will try to make it real for the rest of you too. My paints seem perhaps too harsh a medium to properly express what I see in her, so I'm going to try with charcoal.  If she'll let me.  Maybe after dinner tonight or maybe months from now or maybe not at all.

7 Rules

I refuse to be intimidated.

I refuse to water the seeds of doubt. 

I refuse to say "yes" when I mean "maybe" and "no" when I mean "please." 

I will be honest and forthright and consistent but I will not be afraid to change my mind.

I will not ignore the naysayers. 

I will embrace them instead and make them see.

I will navigate the gauntlet with love and art in my heart.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


There're a couple of obsessions in my life lately. 

There's this one amazing woman in particular.  I suspect she doesn't want me going into too many specifics in this very public forum, so I'll forgo that, but I just want to have the record show that I realize I really should have gotten to know her better when we were sleeping together all those years ago, and now that I am getting to know her better, I can't seem to get enough.  She's bold and brash and beautiful, but at the same time, smart, sensitive and entirely sincere. Entirely lovely.

Another recent obsession is with the cages my parents often housed me in as a kid.  In reality, they were technically pens, but they called them each (jokingly, I see now in retrospect) "the cage."  I've submitted a proposal to Kickstarter for a project in which I will lock myself in a cage for a year (with time allotted, of course, to see my son, Jarvis), and produce 366 paintings and a novel on the topics of my particular imprisonment as a child, again (as part of the project) as an adult, how this has affected nearly every aspect of my life, and how universal I suspect a lot of the feelings and implications of this kind of situation are.  I just got confirmation the other day that they've accepted my proposal so now, while I plan the nuts and bolts of the project, all I can think about is cages.

... and that impossibly beautiful girl, who makes me feel like there are no such things as cages at all.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Birthdays and changes

On my birthday Monday, Jen Catalano came over to visit.  I made a delicious lunch (if I do say so myself), and then she posed for this painting (or rather, what I'm calling a paint sketch).

I was trying to paint fast and loose and not pay too much unnecessary attention to creating a likeness.  The point here was to capture a mood.

When I blend Larcoloid French Blue and Porcelain White, I've noticed, into my ubiquitous swirls, it always conjures for me a feeling of home and comfort.  Reminiscent of open sky and clean water and somehow, warmth.  Instead of trying to capture the subtle smile she wore laying on my bed, I wanted to treat her face as a window to home.  She looked like she was exactly where she belonged.  Or maybe she just really liked my steak and roasted veggies.

I'm getting to the point now where I'm feeling a lot more comfortable with life and therefore with my art.  In a few weeks, Meghan's things will be gone from the studio, and I'll be able to move my painting bench over to the window, at which point I might be ready to do something I've never ever done, and paint landscapes from life, being totally unconcerned with trivialities like superficial reality.  Instead, I want to paint Central Square as I've experienced it over the years.  This painting may prove in retrospect to have been the jumping-off point for that work.

As a side note, I am at this moment smoking what I hope to be the last cigarette I ever allow to touch my mouth.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Haven't felt so good in ages

Went to a great party near my house last night and met some fun people.  My buddy Matt invited me to swing by a friend's place and it turned out to be a group birthday party.  One of the birthday girls was named Sai and she and I had a great conversation about pigments, solvents, and whiskey.  There was this other girl Katie who I thought was cute but whom I may have scared a bit with my enthusiasm about, well, everything.  Oh well- I was in a good mood.  At some point in the night the cops showed up because it was so damn loud, but they were super cool and were basically like "it might be a good idea to close the windows and unplug the guitars, guys."  I fucking love Cambridge.

I drank a lot and think I blacked out on the walk back to my apartment. I woke up around noon with an epic hangover and found that I'd apparently been painting when I got home last night.

Usually when I post pictures of the work I'm doing I like to discuss my processes and motivations, but I only have the vaguest memories of this one.  I had my music on loud (headphones), dancing around my apartment naked at about 3 o'clock in the morning, and at some point, I think I was looking for my paint can opener and instead stumbled across the broken cross piece from a wooden coat hanger and skewered the canvas with it.  Upon further inspection this morning, it seems I had the presence of mind to balance the tip underneath against the stretcher bars, so it would stay in place.  (As a side note, I still can't find my paint can opener).

I have no idea what this painting is about.  Not really the point though.  What matters is I'm painting again, and finding myself able to be free and exploratory.  THAT's what matters.

It'll be my birthday in a couple of days.  For the entirety of the weekend, I'll be celebrating myself.  Today I feel like for the first time in a long time my happiness is in my own hands and not based on being accepted or wanted or getting laid.

Meghan's been kind and understanding enough to be away for the past few days staying with friends and I think the combination of solitude and unfettered socialization has helped me find myself again.  She'll be moving into her new place at the end of the month. 

Things are starting to feel good.  There's this feeling of incredible potential.  Simply the fact that I can ogle guiltlessly has made a huge difference, but being able to paint again (even if the finished product isn't any good) is what's really making everything seem worthwhile.