Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday August 29, 2010

Daunting. I find the process of committing to writing seven hundred and fifty words daily to be daunting. Perhaps Herculean. At least damned ambitious. I think this is a good thing tho. I've always liked writing (when it was not something that I was forced to do). I've also always fancied myself rather good at it. I'm more or less fluent in English language.
I feel a need for some accountability and structure. I have difficulty imposing them upon myself and currently my life is blessedly free of impositions. Just like I feel more creative when there's some boundaries to bounce against, I'm trying to create some boundaries for myself. I'm in the midst of another re-invention or re-imaging of my life. Just got through doing a major cull of my possessions before the move. "Do I really need it? Do I really love it? It is representative of who I envision myself to be?", it's amazing how much crap we accumulate that really doesn't meet those criteria. It's like that in other non-material arenas of one's life as well.  We accumulate habits, form patterns and make relationships that don't add positively to our lives. I'm trying to do some culling in those areas. It's much easier to toss items into various piles to disengage with them. I would like very much if I could simply chose to donate a bad habit to someone who might make good use of it. "Oh, you're anorexic? Would you like to have some of my emotional eating? Workaholic? Can I interest you in some sloth?" What can I get for a chocolate addiction?  We could form a whole new economy.  I have obsessive compulsive friends who could be making a killing if these things were transferable, marketable.
I don't journal. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love art journals. I frequently find written journals fascinating as well. The voyeur in me likes the vicarious thrills and peeks into other's lives. I see art journals and I admire the techniques. I don't usually see a narrative formed from the individual images tho. I can't read them like a graphic novel and don't get why they are individual pieces of art bound together. I guess I also largely don't understand the artist book movement when a narrative isn't apparent to me.  Ironically, the book that I covet most is a journal. Jung's Red Book. I'm curious to see how the art and the text are interwoven.
This 750 words thing is part of my commitment to producing more. I really like the idea of 'morning pages', I also really would rather do them on the computer than by long hand. This is causing me to examine my relationship with written words.  In my wild child days, I used to keep journals. I tossed most of them. I recently found one from the early 80's. I would use magenta calligraphy markers and had my own style of scrawl on lined papers. It was interesting to go back and read. It was so long ago and far away that it was much like a dream or a story as opposed to something that I actually lived.  I feel a disconnect from much of my past.  Part of it could be trauma related. Or maybe it was the drugs. 
I recently did a series of mixed media pieces that have lots of writing on them. It was a typically a single word written many, many times. It added a lot of shading and texture to the work. The images were all monsters.  The texts were words that embodied fears of mine.  I had been going through some repressed memories with my therapist and this was a way for me to process things. When you know something's name, you have power over it. I guess these pieces were done as an means of self empowerment. I really found doing this work helpful. I was able to gain control/understanding of various aspects of things as a result. I also just really like the patterns of repeating works and letters. I remember an exhibition I saw years ago. I think it was in NYC, but I don't remember the artist or the venue. It consisted largely of spiral bound notebooks with numbers written in them. Sequentially. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. The stacks were at least three or four feet tall and there were several of them. Ok, so it's a bit obsessive, but isn't art by it's very nature obsessive? Why would we spend so much time trying to duplicate a single curve of a line or how light hits an object if we were not obsessive?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

projected on a manikin.


One of my very favorite things about being alive in this place and this time is our ability to reinvent ourselves. I'm at a place of change. Ah, Change, the only constant. And it is time to reinvent myself.
Some things I like, so I'm going to keep.  Others, not so much.
Due to health reasons, I'm having to close my businesses. I was face and body painting, painting pregnant tummies, making x rated balloons and clowning. 
Emotionally, I've been dealing with depression for over 2 years now. Dealing with life is sometimes difficult. Dealing with clients even more so. The prozac helps somewhat. Suicidal ideation are way down (Yeah!) but it is still difficult to leave the house on some days. Actually many days. People have always been difficult ( Asperger's is a likely diagnosis) and now they are frequently excruciating.
Physically, I'm dealing with bulging disks which have me in near constant pain and cause my toes on both feet to be numb. Oh, and there's the rotator cuff tear in my shoulder which makes the very position that I need to hold my arm in to face and body paint the most painful position possible for me. Face and body painting was very much my passion and frankly, I was VERY good at it. It was a big part of how I defined myself professionally and expressed myself artistically. I have had to make adjustments. Now the most comfortable position for me is lying down so I make art in bed amidst paint-splattered sheets as I explore mixed media. 
My 2 main focuses are getting better and making art. Actually, making art is a big part of the 'getting better' plan. I'm also trying to make healthier food choices so that I can become severely obese instead of morbidly obese. One more pound to go! Swimming helps my mood and my pain so I try to swim an hour a day at my local Y.
I'm journaling my journey because it might be useful to you, Dear Reader, or myself. Putting the weight loss stuff in writing increases my accountability.
I read many artist's blogs. The women are largely young and perky. I sometimes dislike them for those reasons. Here I am. Not young. Not perky. But as Popeye once put it, "I yam what I yam".

An excellent book about artists dealing with illness and having to change their art methods, mediums or styles is When Walls Become Doorways: Creativity and the Transforming Illness by  Tobi Zausner, artist and psychologist 

I have completion issues....

or maybe I just lack stick-a-tivity.
This the my 4th blog.  is unlikely to get updated. It's been 11 months since my last post. And I still haven't been paid for painting Mary Louise Parker. I am largely going to be taking a sabbatical from body painting. Blame bulging disks and a torn rotator cuff. is still going. I mostly post to it when something in my reader
gets me excited. is a group blog for an artists' organization in Paterson, NJ of which I am a member.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Mixed Media.
Pan pastels, colored pencils,  gel pens.2010.