In the Studio #29

I’m well into my second week at my residency and I’m hitting a grove now. I’ve just about finished a larger wall drawing, finished a prep drawing for a medium sized painting and am in the middle of that painting now. I carved two of the three plates I need to make a print, and I began a forth project working on that racist sheet music “Mamma’s Little Coal Rose”. All in all a very productive week. Being productive is easy when surrounded by such natural beauty. Here’s the view from the top of the hill near the VSC campus that I took with one of my housemates Cupid Ojala:


I had a very thought-provoking visit with the conceptual painter Byron Kim, who came to my studio last Thursday I think, and I will have a visit with Jen Bervin tomorrow morning. Byron gave me some advice that I’ve long thought about, and that is that some of my works may be finished well before all my steps are complete. He suggested that I let one or two works be finished at what I would normally consider the half-way point. I already have an idea for following that advice and I’m excited to return to Pennsylvania to test it out. He gave me one other piece of advice as well and that was to think of my paper dolls as finished works. That was a bit harder to hear because I think of those collage pieces as just elements that serve larger paintings. I also expressed concerns about how to monetize such works. He suggested that I not let such concerns effect me. Here’s an example of the paper doll Byron saw:

Byron’s comments notwithstanding regarding monetizing the collages I’m still debating within my self whether these dolls are pieces. But I’ve decided that its worth exploring since I spend so much time making them.

This collage in particular is part of a series of painting that I’ve started here called “The Hotness in Concert”. It’s meant to be the first in a series of paintings featuring this imaginary band in my head I called The Hotness – a band lead by a butch bodybuilder drag-queen in hot red stilettos. I’ve been wanting to do something on this subject matter since I moved into the Banana Factory but being a one-piece-at-a-time artist I felt like I had to get the Pilot set off my plate before I could move on. That project I feel is on hold because the final three pieces in the set are very large works and I feel that I would need a venue to display the pieces before I finish up on the series. And so I advanced this Hotness series. I plan on making these works part of a larger cycle of paintings I’m provisionally calling “Dipped in Pure Steel”. As folks can see in my blogs, titles for works often come to me well before the works themselves, and the titles act as motivators to create new art. Anyway “The Hotness in Concert” I think will be a nine part series. Here’s where I am on Hotness 1:

I’ve been spending an large chunk of time working on the background for this piece, setting up what will be the stage for the concert. When Byron saw this at an earlier stage of development last week he suggested I look at aboriginal art work, and again suggested that I stop where I was at. Here are some examples of aboriginal works:

Byron mentioned that these aboriginal artist base their works on dreaming. I’ll look more into aboriginal art as well as the artist Mike Cloud, who he said I should look into as well, when I return to Pennsylvania.

Right now as of today I’m trying to get ready for an artist presentation of my work tonight. I’ve been procrastinating on it because I hate talking about my work. Its just five minutes so I’ll get over it an write something after this post. I’ve been so into my large wall drawing though that I’ve barely torn myself away from it for days. Here’s where it stands as of today:

The drawing is so deliciously dense that its hard to tear myself away from it. Its about 75% done and I hope to have it complete in time for my visit with Jen Bervin tomorrow but I’m not going to press it too much because first and foremost I want it to be good. My goal is to display the piece in a friends restaurant this October.

Okay that’s it for now. Let me move on to my artist talk and stop procrastinating on it. I’ll close with a video two of my new friends Qin Tan and Mo Kong showed me last night. Its from M.I.A. and the Partysquad and called “Double Bubble Trouble”. I think its supposed to be a commentary on guns and the creepy surveillance state, anyway its awesome and is my new favorite jam. Until next time…

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