Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Where Might This Dark Road End?"

I painted this last night and finally this morning got the video all edited and so forth (by which I mean I broke up the whole thing into 3 Youtube-uploadable-sized pieces and added titles to them- I haven't edited anything out).

It's about 43 minutes altogether. You've been warned. In the background is music leaking in through the windows and the road crew next to my building being loud at around 10pm.

This piece is about taking advantage of opportunities when presented and hoping they lead to greater purpose, fulfillment and understanding.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Painting tonight

I'll post the video once it's properly edited. Here's what I painted tonight. I'm calling it "Where Might This Dark Road End?"

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A protest? A flood? A RIOT?

I'm curled up in my favourite chair with my coffee and I hear a crowd of what sounds like thousands slowly approaching the square. As the volume grows, so does my curiosity. A protest? A flood? A RIOT?

No. A motorcycle, in traffic slowly coming to a halt for the light, with a kickass sound system cranked to 11 which plays a track recorded live at a stadium now echoing from the storefronts on Mass Ave. Standing there at the window, I am both relieved and disappointed.

Then the light turns green. I return to my seat, listening as the crowd recedes, to finish my coffee. I think, "Wow, this is good coffee."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Light Dawns

Holy shit. I know I mentioned this in passing in my last entry, but I just actually realized- I need to paint 5 or 6 really good pieces in just over a week to get ready for this show. FUCK.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Upcoming Show @ Brookline Lunch in Cambridge

A few years ago, I did a few shows through Out of the Blue Gallery here in Central Square. At the time, I was still down on the South Shore with my mum. Tom Tipton, who runs the gallery, sets up monthly shows at restaurants, coffee shops and bars around the area.

I decided a little while ago that I had to make a real effort to get my work seen, so yesterday I went over to talk to him and set up a show.

On Saturday, September 3rd I'll be bringing a 12 or 14 paintings down to Brookline Lunch on Brookline Street, about a block from my house, and setting up an exhibit of my new work.

There's no reception or anything. It's not that sort of venue. But people will be able to see the work and that's all I really care about at this point.

If you'd like to check it out, head on over to 9 Brookline Street, in Cambridge, MA anytime after the 3rd.

The only potential problem I foresee is that I don't have 12 to 14 paintings with which I'm actually happy right now. Well, I've always thrived on deadlines. I guess there'll be a lot of painting in my immediate future.

But not tonight. Tonight, because I have my evenings to myself again, I'll be headed over to the Cantab for their weekly open mic poetry slam. Not that I'll be reading anything- but I've always liked what they do there, and it's literally been years since I've had a Wednesday night off.

Monday, August 22, 2011

About that painting of Durod

I'm torn. I kind of hate the painting. Then again, I seem to feel that way at some point about nearly everything I paint, so the feeling is immediately suspect. I wanted to get back to the heavy black line that worked so well for my still-favourite painting of Ms. Catalano, but it came out all cartoony.

On the other hand, when Jarvis came to visit this weekend, he was immediately like, "Is that Durod?" So I suppose the likeness isn't too terrible.

Tonight, I'm going to get drunk with another of my favourite artists, Rahkeen Gray (Grey?) I should check that. He has been one of my best friends since I moved to the city, so I should probably make sure I'm certain how to spell his frickin' name.

But yeah, when Rahkeen and I get together, we drink. It's what we do. Hopefully I can squeeze out some of his insights into this painting after a beer or three. I need the opinion of someone I trust.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Cage?

Sometimes, you get that for which you've asked. I suspect occasionally the trick has something to do with how the asking is done.

When I learnt that the company for which (not for whom! I don't care what the law says- corporations are NOT people) I used to work was closing their Boston location, I knew I needed a plan. Frankly, the idea of working for another corporation was rather unappealing but there's a lot to be said for having enough scratch to meet one's responsibilities.

I concocted a two-prong plan. On the one hand, I was going to look for a job. On the other hand, I had this idea for a conceptual art piece requiring I live in a cage for a year, so I was going to try to raise funding for that instead.

I got totally serious about both plans with the intention of doing whichever panned out first. To be perfectly honest, with everything we're all hearing about the job market these days, I think I really thought I had a much better chance of scraping together 40k in donations through Kickstarter than I did of finding employment in the few weeks the company had given me.

The job came through first. I'm two weeks into it now.

And what I'm finding is that it may actually be that both plans have come to fruition in their own way. I now live and work in the same 300 square foot room and only leave during the day to pick up supplies. I've been able to get a certain amount of partying into my evenings though. So that's good.

If you're ever planning to build yourself a cage, be sure it includes a well-stocked bar.

And a place to paint.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tonight I painted a good friend of mine I call Durod. We'll see in a few weeks if I still like the painting, but for now, it feels good to be working again in any meaningful way at all, and overall, I'm happy with it.

I've moved my painting bench to the window which now precludes the possibility of working with a model with my paint trough on the bench. So I've taken an old blanket and am using it as sort of a dropcloth on my bed, put a large piece of Masonite over that and then set up the trough. This allows me to be within easy reach of my materials on the bench and still work facing the model.

Durod's never posed for a painting so I kept it pretty simple and just had him sitting in a chair at the table across from my bed.

Of all the paintings I've done of Jen Catalano (the prospect of whom painting again has significantly increased lately- we've now got two sessions scheduled over the next few upcoming weeks), my very favourite is one that relied heavily on thick black lines, so I decided with this one to revisit that approach. I don't think I was able to achieve the balance I was looking for, but the blockiness is just what I wanted.

I was also able to work in my spider plant, a corner of the painting I did a month or two ago when I was drunk and stabbed the canvas with a wooden dowel, and my very first paint sketch of Jen into the composition. I'm not sure when the last time was I actually paid attention to my living space as potential subject matter. I may explore that more fully later on.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I thought it would all be sorted by now...

... but I can't seem to drag myself up out of this moribund little funk.

I choose to blame myself. Because that's what the media shower tells me to do, and I'm a good little soldier.

And so I will make plans. I will then either follow through on them or not, depending. And if I do not, it will obviously be only squarely on myself that blame will lie.

I will be painting tomorrow night. That's the plan.

Tonight was drinks with Meghan.


I wasn't sure what to do this evening, so I went out with myself on a date. Rendezvous in Central Square has been one of my favourite places since they opened, so I walked over and splurged on gnocchi and roasted chicken. And cocktails. And coffee. And read my book. It was nice. A little too expensive for a guy like me, but then it wouldn't really be splurging otherwise, now would it?

Then I met up with Alexandria and drank more coffee and smoked cigarettes. We walked around a bit and then settled down on my favourite Central Square bench. She's always such a trip. And so socially unabashed. Inspiring, really.

Before I went out I was working on a little project about which I can't really speak right now ( I will when there's something to show for it) which involved some wood carving. I loved whittling as a kid in my dad's sign shop, and it always feels good to get back to that.

An a separate and totally unrelated note, I don't think I've had a migraine in nearly a month, which is awesome. I've been pretty stressed out intermittently lately so it's a little surprising, but perhaps this just goes to show how much difference a little change in one's eating habits can really make.

All in all, today was a good day, even though I didn't do much in the way of making art. I'm in something of a rebuilding phase right now and collecting psychic material with which to work. Spending time chatting with Alexandria always makes me feel like I've been productive, even when (or possibly especially when) I haven't actually done anything at all. She can't help but challenge me intellectually and creatively, so I'm always left with this feeling like I've really accomplished something simply by virtue of having survived the experience- which is probably why I like her so much.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Distracted by tub scum...

Haven't been painting much. A couple sketches here and there, but that's about it. I've been getting distracted.

I'm all alone in this place now. I've always wanted to live alone, but never really had. Now it's happened and on the one hand, I'm really happy about that but on the other, I'm lonely. So that's interesting. Interesting enough to serve as a distraction anyway.

With the new job I'm home all day already and a certain amount of socialization is necessary. Being careful not to become a total hermit, I've been making it a point to either have people over or to go out pretty much every night. That's been fun, but also a distraction.

And then there's also been this weird thing where I've become some kind of compulsive neat-freak. That's a huge distraction, I have to say, since I'm already a compulsive slob.

So yeah, hopefully tomorrow I'll have a picture of something interesting to show you, but for now, I have to go scrub the bathtub. And the walls. Oh god! I just started actually looking at the walls! This is going to take forever.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I'm on Fire

I've been neglecting the blog. Excuses, excuses, blah blah blah.

That's changing now. I've reorganized the studio now that Meghan has moved out, and I've gotten a new job which allows me to work from home, which in turn seems to have somehow turned me into a neurotic clean-freak. There are certainly worse things than having a spotless apartment smelling equally of incense and bleach. I haven't yet decided at what time everyday I'm going to be posting, but that is the intention from this point forward, barring any particularly unusual circumstances. I suppose it will depend on what kind of schedule I create for myself with this new job, but there will be daily posts from this point forward.

New experiment: do you know what happens when you use a tiny squeegee dragged across a puddle of wet acrylic paint to create a channel, fill that channel with lighter fluid, and then set it alight? Well, I didn't either, so I found out.

The paint curdled in a way I hadn't expected, but looked kind of terrible. This will require more experimentation. I'm pretty sure there's something worthwhile to be found in the space between the paint and the flame.