Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
had to go, he wasn't earning his keep, not interesting enough for the amount of space he was taking up. He may appear elsewhere in smaller form. I needed another air kiss, in a more conspicuous place, so he got bumped.
I am living a unidimensional life...... nonstop painting, with occasional moments of working on/agonizing over what I am going to wear to the opening next week. Got the email show announcements today.
(click to enlarge), but I will not send them out until I can announce the new website simultaneously.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
A grey, drizzly, matted-wet-leaves day in Burlington. I have a horrific cold, but cannot really afford to stop painting. I juried a student show at Elon University yesterday morning, then canceled a meeting and came home to go to bed. But today, it has been a surprisingly good painting morning, things flowing through an almost fevered delirium.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Forgive me if I am the last person on the planet to know about this, but stumbled upon Vernissage TV in my surfing this weekend.
1. Pick a city, or an art fair.
2. Stay home in your jammies and eat popcorn while you passively watch the highlights of the exhibition.
3. At your next cocktail party, mention how you liked this show in Berlin SO much more than that show in Los Angeles.
Because it is called Vernissage TV, I thought there would be more filmed art openings in it. I thought that whenever I missed my friends and ex-students, I could watch an opening in Miami and pick them out, but no such luck. But good walk-throughs and some interviews, too.
Labels: Vernissage TV
Monday, October 22, 2007
I decided that they needed to be shipped flat, so they did not have to be ironed, but neither of the pieces can have anything on top of the embroidered area, because the eyelashes and curls would be crushed. I used a strongbox from Art Float. They deliver it to your door looking like this. (Longtime readers, note that the ugly beige tasteful wallpaper still covers our front hall... it's been a busy year.)
After ironing the pillowcase for "Ebb.", I positioned it on the foamcore, and covered it with glassine with a hole cut for the eyes.
taped down the glassine,
then covered it with a double layer of foam core with holes cut in them.
Taped more glassine over the eye area.
In the box.
"My Young Lover" required a buildup of six layers of foam core to not squish the curls. First I thought to use curlers to hold the curls in place during shipping, then decided that they added too much weight pulling on the hair, and remembered that my hair used to tangle in curlers.
I spent over an hour grooming the hair, separating each curl, combing it around my finger with a wide tooth comb, then coating each curl with water and a little bit of conditioner, like the two curls above. When finished, I "scrunched" all the hair and put a plastic shower cap over it, taping down the edges, but letting the center puff out, so as not to squash the hair. Then I packed it as I did "Ebb."
Called Fed Ex for a pickup at 4 pm, then made dinner because my husband and I both forgot to eat lunch today. The pillows were shipped separately, as well as a framed piece. Exhausted, but gonna do some painting before bed.
Labels: MAD shipping prep
Saturday, October 20, 2007
If I am lucky, will be finished and painting tomorrow.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Got some great news today... 2 hair embroideries will be included in "Just A Ghostly Paper Sigh" at 31 Grand Gallery in New York from November 15 - December 22 ! (The rest of them will be in "Pricked: Extreme Embroidery" at The Museum of Arts & Design beginning November 8.)
Twenty years, no shows in NY... this year, 2 simultaneous group shows in New York. Pinch me. Then give me a good sleeping pill.
(the photos taken at night have glare, sorry)
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Sometimes it's good to step back, take a good look around, and reassess to gain some perspective.
While preparing images for my new website, I went looking through old images of my paintings, and was struck by how beautiful some of my old work is, and how much I love them. I have brought up the discussion with my husband that there is one seminal piece in particular that I would like to try and buy back, as it has proven difficult to get the owner to lend it for exhibitions, and it was sold before it was even finished, so it left my hands upon completion. If possible, I would like to live with it some more, because I would like to look at it as I go forward with my new work.
Seeing these images got me thinking. As a child, my head was saturated with books and movies about ideals ( see Fate of A Technicolor Romantic)... to the point where upholding these ideals (and making art about them) became the most important guiding force in my life. My brother Bob and I used to call it "living fictionally": if you swear to someone that you will meet them on this bridge in ten years, you are there, even though the other party has "grown up" and doesn't even remember making such a promise. You always tell the truth, and stand by your promises, even when it is inconvenient, and a reasonable person would back out if circumstances made it too difficult (this led to things like stupid, death-defying, sleep-deprived road trips because you had to be somewhere "no matter what"). Sometimes ideals can lead you to some pretty absurd places: there were times when I was dating that my feminist ideals would cause me to insist on paying my share or taking my turn on a date even if my date was making six figures, and paying for the meal was going to break me. After lots of therapy, I have worked hard to extricate familial pathologies from "ideals", in order to ascertain when I am being too hard on myself, being absurd in my desire to prove something, or setting myself up for disappointment.
I find that this self-examination holds true for artmaking as well. I have always been guided by my intuition, making "what needs to be made". I generally have lots of ideas for new work, and devote my time to the one that screams the loudest. This is not the best system for building a career: producing two hair embroideries and two paintings a year, with an occasional Psychological Clothing piece thrown in, does not fit the art world model (providing a whole series of hot new paintings that look similar enough that one might replace the other if a collector's favorite has been sold). For example, I sold most of my "Beauty Wrest" series (women sleeping in cars). I could have had gallery representation early in my career, and was told I could have sold more of these paintings, if only I made more, but I felt the need to move on and make something new. (If YOU have had therapy, you might be mumbling to yourself, "career self-sabotage...", but I believe these impulses come from a nobler place.)
I have always thought that one of the great things about not "making it" is that there is more freedom, and less pressure to become a brand or an assembly line. I still don't feel that I have "made it", but after the unexpected attention surrounding "Blessed Art Thou", I did have to wait for the intrusive voice of the outside world to go away to make what needed to be made next.
I do and I don't know where Blessed Art Thou came from. I do know that I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone when making it, and I know that in the new paintings that am working on now, I am STILL working very far out of my comfort zone. 16 months ago, I had a formula that worked for me when making paintings, and I chucked it, to make a different kind of painting: different kind of space, different subject matter, figures of various scales that I never painted before, different techniques, different type of composition. It is rewarding and terrifying on a daily basis. During the making of BAT, and during this painting, it has held true that one day in the studio, I think I am a genius, and the next day, I think the painting is worthless and I have wasted the last 6 months.
My rationale: if I am not growing and challenging myself in my work, I am simply producing luxury goods, like making designer handbags or building yachts. And if I am making art to give meaning to a life deeply lived and explored, spending my whole life making one thing in one "style" (I hate that word, but it is superficially appropriate) doesn't work for me. I also have a Picasso quote ingrained in me, one that helped to form my ideals (there it is again) about artmaking: "To repeat one's self is pathetic."
But my point is, I wonder sometimes if I am pushing myself just for the sake of pushing.... like when I took Calculus in high school because I loved all my other classes so much, I thought I should take something that challenged me and that wasn't fun, just to do it. Like I trained myself to read books from opposing points of view, for discipline, even though I rarely learn anything from the experience that changes my position. Like the fact that, over the years, virtually every time I do a new painting, I have to set up a new light problem for myself. Looking back over my life, most times I thought that something wasn't working, I stepped back to realize that it was a result of forcing my will, of trying too hard.
These days, as I am coming into the home stretch of finishing a monumental painting that I am very excited about, I am thinking about what part beauty used to play in my work, and what part it plays now. And the role of joy in process. I wonder, if your goal is striving to always make "important" work, what limitations that might place on the work. I am considering the possibility that sometimes you can go off in a different direction, learn something from it, and circle back to pick up what you loved about earlier work, combining all that you have learned into a loopy culmination, rather than the relentless, exhausting, driving forward for its own sake.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
"Your picture is alfull. Jolie is a slut and I hate how her own child is dressed and the other two kids are naked. You are a great painter—so paint something worth your tailent----not that piece of crap".
I have lots of time left to finish the current painting, but my brain has already kicked into overdrive, not allowing me to sleep, thinking about the next ten steps that need to be done on it. Even with a Tylenol PM, I was up past 3 last night.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
It's no secret that I have been a big fan of Stella Vine for some time. I am waiting for her new book to land on my doorstep any day now. I recently stumbled across this gem, an Observer interview from 2006, where she compares the gallery system to the sex trade.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
"Art World Truth #2", thrift store overalls, worn to paint "Fate of A Technicolor Romantic", embroidery, 57 x 19".
Just finished this afternoon, these are the raw photos... the pants in this series will be ultimately be stretched flat behind plexi in wide ornate gold frames. I am dying to start the next one, so I am off to get thread tonight.
Labels: Art World Truth #2
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Doris Salcedo - Installation for the 8th, International Instanbul Biennale, 2003, 1550 chairs,
Photo Muammer Yammaz, Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York
In my studio... some painting, the last of my prep work for the new website off my plate and onto my brother's, and a scramble to finish my second Art World Truth Embroidery for inclusion in the aforementioned website.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Took my brother to the airport yesterday morning at 4:30 a.m. after an allnighter. The website is about 1/2 finished, worked on it all day yesterday, and think that my part will be finished today, and I will be back in the studio tomorrow. Spending so long looking at all my old work has provided some great perspective, and given me pause to think about my future direction. This reflection is good, because these 14-20 hour days at the computer are a bit mind-numbing.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Picked up my brother at the airport this morning, and have spent the whole day working on my website. He does code, and I do image prep gruntwork. Linking and more linking. The dilemma of what to do with all those old fuzzy transfers from slides that will now be sitting next to new crispy digital images. It will be a late night and will go well into tomorrow night. He goes back early Monday morning, but all the pages may not be live till next week. But back to painting on Monday, the two-day break creating a hunger that will make for some productive days, me thinks.
Oh, and a great article on Louise Bourgeois, one of my personal heroes, over at Guardian Arts.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
When I lived in Miami, I once got so disgusted with all the trendy partiers unwittingly leaning against the art in the galleries that I was tempted to make a film about it, concluding with interviews of the people exiting the gallery, putting them on the spot by asking them to describe their favorite piece.