Tuesday, August 18, 2009

...after a year

....I'm surprised this site still exists.

Right now I'm taking a break from feverishly attempting to finish paintings for my show that open on November 6th. It's impossibly hot in the studio. It only got to the low 80s today, but this being the 7th floor of a giant brick factory, the heat and humidity is intensified to uncomfortable levels. The six fans that are on don't seem to be doing much good.

I imagine that I'm going to be here until 3 am or so. The painting is going surprisingly well. I'm slowly discovering why I paint the way I do. It sounds silly to say that after 36 years, but screw it. I've seen a lot of painting recently, work that I couldn't imagine doing myself.....on many levels. Work that I love, but still nothing I could see myself doing. I'm trying to use as little paint as possible. I like the immediacy of this approach. I liken it to playing a song live. Once a note is played you can't go back and replay it. It's over. I'm trying to bring that approach to painting. I've never liked working and reworking a part of a picture. I see a lot of other painters doing that, and when they do it it looks great, but I've never been interested in that approach to work.

It always bothers me when people say that my work is photorealistic, because I just don't see it. I want to sit them down and show them true photorealistic work and show them the difference. The point of my work is not to reproduce the photo that I took, but more the moment that the photo was taken.........or more to the point the spark in my brain that led me to take the photo. The surface of my work is usually very dry and rough....the texture of the canvas is visible. I guess I want that texture to interfere with the image that people see.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gone an' done something crazy.

I went out and bought (ordered is more accurate) a mandolin.

Why the mandolin? I've always loved the sound of them, and any douchebag can learn to play guitar.......and their are a lot of douchebags out there playing guitar.

I guess my last (and current) bout of depression pushed me over the edge to get one and learn how to play. I figure with as much "down time" as I have in the studio I might as well do something constructive. I also recently learned that if I repeat something over and over again (read practice) I actually can become good at something......and it only took me 35 years to realize this!!!!

This is the one that I got....The Kentucky KM-161

I had to get it switched over to a left handed model because, although I've never picked up a musical instrument in my entire life, I know I'm left handed...........This also added $150 to the price of the instrument. This could either be one of the best things that I've done for myself in the past ten years or another particularly comic waste of time and money (I'm getting really good at those........I guess it's all the practice I've had)

Monday, June 02, 2008

No good deed goes unpunished

I left the studio at around 8-ish last night and decided to stop out and get a drink to unwind. I stopped on Allen St. and popped in to see a few friends who were bartending.......most specifically my friend Drew at The Pink. I ran into my friend Dan who was heading a few miles uptown to see our friend Working at the Left Bank. I finished my beer and was about ten minutes behind Dan.

I get to the Left Bank and proceed to enjoy a Framboise. I fucking love Lambics.....I can't help it. Dan finally arrives and we talk over our respective beverages. After a while two women (We'll call them H and K) come into the bar, both just finished their second year of medical school. Both were leaving the net day to go home for a few months off of the medical grind before heading back in August.

They seemed bright, interesting and nice enough.

........let's fast-forward a bit.

The two med students are now wasted........a combination of the wine and the weed they hd smoked previously. One of them (H) clearly can not handle the combination. She starts to tweak a little and wants to drive home. That wasn't an option. She was coherent, but clearly a menace. I say I'll drive her to her apartment and she can get her car in the morning. Her friend plops her in my car and we're off. We get to her place, or at least in proximity to it, and she again begins to freak out that she needs her car because her flight leaves at 4 in the morning (At this point, it's around 1). I tell her that no flight leaves the Buffalo airport before 5, but she still insists her's does.

I then say that I will drive her back to her car, drive her and her car to her place, then walk back to my car ( A walk of no more than a mile and a half). This for some reason is not an option for her. We argue, and argue, and argue. She yells at me that I kidnapped her. I tell her that she is welcome to get out of my car at any time. This goes on for twenty minutes. I finally get her keys and head back to her car. We get to her car and she flips out again demanding her keys. I tell her that there is no way that I'm letting her drive. Using less than polite tactics while she bends my middle backward she gets my keys out of my hand. I drive her back to her car, because she was still very very drunk, and most people (sober) can't figure how to get out of a Volvo 240.

I get her back to her apartment, and the arguing continues..........................

Finally I get her keys back and drive back to her car. We notice that her friend ( K, the other med student) is now in her car with a man. We walk over and K insists that I give her H's keys (it was strange that she wasn't surprised to see us considering we'd been gone for nearly an hour). I go back into the bar to tell my friend of my little adventure. After a few minutes K enters the bar saying that H left her keys in the bar and she wants them back. I nearly have an aneurysm. I inform her that I had just given her H's keys. She seems to not recall that. Just then I see H leave the parking lot and speed her way home.

Lessons learned:

1. Random acts of kindness are for suckers
2. Let drunken women drive.......trying to get their keys is a lesson in futility

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ugh! Sick Again!

It seems that I have the immune system of an AIDS patient. If I just even see someone with a cold I'll catch it from them. Thank God for Tylenol with codeine, otherwise I would never sleep.

I'm exhausted. Aside from working (still) at the gourmet shop (how I've held this job for two years is beyond me!) I'm now deep into my fourth month working as a bartender/waiter/busser for my friend Dan at his new restaurant. It's funny because I've never held a bar/restaurant job in my life and now I'm the only one on the floor. It's a blessing that the pizza is so good because the service is lacklustre at best.........at least I smile a lot.

I've decided to stop going out for the next few weeks. This past Saturday I went out to among other things an "art party" at the studio that I was kicked out of two years ago. I went out to my usual bar (Fat Bob's) afterward. After a while I realized that I just wasn't happy doing what I was doing. Thinking back even further I discovered that I'm rarely happy when I go out. I'm entertaining, sure, but not happy. So I've decided to not only stop going out but also not contact any of my friends that I know solely through my extensive bar travels.

I'm curious to see what happens.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The show is finally over

After what seems like an eternity my show is finally down. I went to the museum to take down the Guinness and red wine self portrait. It was kinda surreal, systematically dismanteling a giant image of myself......breaking it into its individual pieces, grouping them and putting them into their labeled envelopes. Surreal, but it made some sort of sense in a way that I still haven't figured out (probably won't for some time).

Hopefully having this thing over will help me get over this gigantic rut that I've been in ever since the show opened. Painting just hasn't been a joy for some time, more tedious work. I almost felt a slight tinge of happiness over the last two days while painting, but nothing overpowering or consistant.

I have a small show coming up in June and I need to get at least two new large works and a few small ones done.

I'm really whiny and I'm not happy about that

Monday, July 30, 2007

Craziest shit I've ever pulled off

So I going to be in this exhibition in September. Beyond/In Western New York....it's (obviously) a regional show pulling (supposedly) from places like Cleveland, Toronto, and as far east as........Syracuse? Anyway I finished all of my oil paintings and finally got around to doing a large scale version of my self portrait.

It was a giant pain in the ass, but all around kinda satisfying.

It's 408 beverage napkins stained with Guinness, Wolavers Oatmeal Stout (it's organic and damn tasty!) a cheap bottle of Shiraz and about two tablespoons of graphite powder.....I was going to use cigarette ashes instead, but it didn't work. I needed something to get the darkest parts darker. It's just pinned to the wall using 816 clear push pins.

It's just under 10 feet tall.

I'm insane.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Back again....thanks to my friend John...blame him.

So my friend John decided to start up his own blog...this has inspired me to continue my own. It only seemms right. I mean, I finally get my own computer..I have a digital camera...why not clog up the internet even more?

It just makes sense.

Lessee.......I'll start with March. I spent the entire month in Vermont at the Vermont Studio Center...a damn perfect place for an artsy geek like me to go and concentrate on nothing but my work...if I want. That was the greatest thing about the experience...I HAD to do nothing. I Had a place to live a place to work and all the meals were prepared for me. On top of that I met some truly fantastic people (there were 49 other artists and writer along for the ride in March).

This was my view from my bedroom.....ahhh the balmy month of March in Vermont!

Some of my friends in Vermont...From the right....Brian, Ashley, Jessica, and John

I left Vermont feeling great. I had been in a bit of a rut, as far as my work was concerned. Vermont got me out of it. Don't get me wrong granola crunchin', white people with dreadlocks, poser hippies piss me off and they always will, but Vermont and, more specifically, Vermont Studio Center........genius!!