I don’t know why this blog is so difficult to maintain. It’s like it doesn’t write itself or something.
I could hash out all the ways my life got complicated in recent weeks, but that would be boring and uninspiring…and I need a little inspiration today. But then again I have all the tools to help myself, so maybe what I really need is motivation. You know what, I don’t know what I need. It’s a weird day.
What I’m not feeling is particularly artistic or creative…which is what this blog is all about – creativity. Sure, I’ve done some paintings…but I’m not especially happy with them and I have no exciting projects on the horizon. I’m feeling a bit like a fraud, actually… Like I’m not really an artist, not really talented… I know this is all just negative self-talk, but it’s constant and all-consuming and I don’t really have the energy to battle it out today. I feel like I’ve been tired for weeks.
Anyway, enough of all that. Here is a piece I did that I’m feeling blah about.
Some medical issues have put a stop to my work for clients for the time being, so I don’t have much to report on that front. And…that’s all for now, I guess!
Okay, so I fixed the painting…! But seriously. Then we could make goat cheese to have with dinner every night. (And goats are so cute! I love those videos on Facebook.) And I assume that we’d make a ton of money and have a never ending supply of wine. People would visit and buy our wine then buy my paintings because they’re drunk and on vacation.
I wrote this some time ago, but as I am trying to resurrect my muse it’s nice to go back through things I’ve written. Especially old things, because the wound is healed and I can appreciate it for what it is, rather than hating it for what it’s not…
your absence is substantial
negative space defining
tracing a place that is you and
This has been a weekend of art, junk food, Pokemon, sleep, sex (gasp!) and vodka. So basically I’m living the dream over here. I have a few half baked writing ideas and a painting that I’m over complicating, but some other noteworthy things have indeed emerged.
On Friday I attended another painting class, this one was a stained glass horse theme. True to fashion, I couldn’t paint a horse knowing full well everyone else was. It’s not about breaking the rules, it’s about individuality. It’s not really an attractive or charming quality of mine (see also being 10 years old and throwing a tantrum at Baskin Robbins because my brother and sister wanted the same ice cream flavor as me and that wasn’t FAIR because they were COPYING me and I will NOT be COPIED, MOM!), but I followed the instinct nonetheless and had to paint a lady. For about 75% of this painting I was stuck between feeling I was never going to finish it or that I should just paint over it and start something else. But wine and good conversation with Mr. Mojo and the lady I want to be when I grow up guided me through this potential meltdown and out came one of my favorite pieces to date!
Also, it feels like I have been talking and plotting about this other project for a year, and it is finally coming together. Today I put my big girl pants on, marched over to my client’s home and started the last phase of this little theater room we have been scheming. I sketched my concept onto his wall in chalk and then slapped on an acrylic winding film strip, with painted sketchy lines. I LOVE sketchy lines! They sort of make everything better. Like that blur filter on Snapchat. It’s like, “Oh, did I fuck that up? Here’s a sketchy line or five and…voila! Masterpiece!” I swear every failure is just a few sketchy lines away from success. This is probably only something an artist can understand, or is it just me…?
Anyway, here are the photos I took of the process. More to come…
So I promised myself that I would do a painting a week. It sounded great coming off the heels of my pretty Sailor Moon piece. She came out all in one sitting, I had a clear vision of what I wanted and I enjoyed every moment of work on her (even when it got tricky or things weren’t going on the canvas quite like I wanted.)
I waited a few days for something to inspire me…but I had nothing. Nothing that really stuck anyway, not like Sailor Moon did. Finally on day 7 I was in danger of breaking my shiny new resolution, which would be really pathetic…like quitting the gym right after signing up without so much as a cardio session (I think I’ve done that, actually.) So I started sketching without my muse, hoping to pull something out of hiding.
Out came Sailor Mars. I was relieved, at least I had some direction. But for reasons I don’t know that I’ll ever understand, Sailor Mars did not come as easily as Sailor Moon when it was time to actually paint. She took three days instead of three hours, and more than once I considered painting over the whole thing and starting over. I literally had to drag her out of me, kicking and screaming, and using just that naive promise I made myself as motivation.
But I did it. There are things I don’t like about it, of course. There’s plenty I don’t like about my previous painting too, but I’ve finally come to a point in my life where just doing the work is more important than it turning out perfectly. And who knows, if I keep at it maybe those imperfections will refine themselves. Gotta start somewhere, right?
Note: I first posted this painting with no explanation, because I was so damn proud of it I needed to get it out there. But somewhere in the night I thought that’s not really how blogging is supposed to work, so here is a proper story surrounding this piece…
The first time I heard of Sailor Moon I was in second or third grade. It was actually a commercial for the dolls that I saw first, but in under a minute and with barely any context I fell in love. Five girl superheroes. Magic powers. A princess and an evil sorceress and a secret kingdom on the moon… My young mind was blown. You have to understand, there was NOTHING else like it at the time. Up until that point I only ever watched Power Rangers or Ninja Turtles and such — basically things geared toward young boys because the things that girls were supposed to watch I found terribly boring. So just this brief flash of something else was absolutely incredible.
I immediately began drawing the characters and sharing them with my friends. We would assign roles and all throughout recess we would play. Whatever I didn’t know I filled in with imagination, but my mom would soon discover the source of that wonderful ad…a television show on Cartoon Network. We didn’t have cable, so my grandma would record the show and send me the tapes. They were usually out of order but I lapped it all up anyway. Within a few years I became a Sailor Moon expert and I was drawing her with such convincing likeness to the show itself that unless someone saw me at work they assumed I was tracing.
And then I happened upon the anime section of our local video rental store. After Sailor Moon came Ranma 1/2, Project A-Ko, Magic Knight Rayearth, Saber Marionette J…so on and so on. I loved it all, mostly for the art itself. Big eyes, hair of all colors, extensive detail, and an overall prettiness to every character, every frame. That was it, I wanted to be an anime artist. I spent hours and hours recreating my favorite characters, making my own characters, drawing, writing, living and breathing this entire genre until finally one mean high school teacher told me that it was all a big waste of time because anime and manga can only be made by Japanese people in Japan. And then a college professor told me that it wasn’t art I was creating and that I needed to start focusing on big, important pieces that capture some hidden message about the human condition or a social commentary. Finally CGI films started hitting big and the interest in hand drawn animation became something just for hardcore fans and I was defeated. Anytime I caught myself doodling those familiar faces I would become angry with myself and the process became so painful that for years I stopped drawing anything altogether.
So this painting was a decade long itch that I was finally able to scratch. And you know what? Fuck the haters. Who cares if this isn’t art or if it isn’t original or whatever else. I love it. I loved doing it. I’m going to do more of it. I wish I never stopped.