I managed to get into the studio on a couple consecutive days this week and spent time finishing up my one drawing project and pushing another series of work to its next step on its evolutionary process. I finally finished 100 Bitter Lemons, which was my primary goal this week. Unfortunately, I think it kinda landed with a thud, but after making 100 of these drawings, one set of 20 is bound to not quite sing.
This series was meant to loosen my hand a bit and harken back to days in my past when I was more experimental, mostly due to my poverty. I remember when I was living in New York, how everything was source material. I would make my obligatory pilgrimages to Pearl Paint on Canal, but the subways and parks and garbage thrown out on the curbside were just as rich a treasure trove of materials and the Mecca of Art supply stores. Somewhere over the years, I feel like I lost a little bit of that attitude of making art out of everything, maybe it’s symptomatic of living in a suburban space.
I like to make work that has some core conceptual or narrative theme. The landscapes and botanical works I’ve created over the past two years are an aberration from my normal approach, and even they at their core obey a rigidly abstract and conceptual, almost spiritual process – I liken my early process on a work of art to a seance or spell-casting. This drawing series used the prompt of previous relationships to tap into that conceptual spirit I like to delve into. I thought of previous men I’ve dated – sending them light and love, to quote Eat Pray Love – while nervously drawing very lose marks on yellow paper – the Bitter Lemons – trying to avoid, incorporate, enhance, and embellish the tape that I put on each piece as a beginning layer. It’s laughable to me that when I originally conceived of this series I thought I could do this all in one mad night of cathartic drawing. This series actually took something like a month to finish do again to that goddam but necessary job I go to. Charles, Bradley, Kai, Frank, and Tim are but five of the dozen or so people that I would say are more than worthy or artwork made of them – beware those who would date me, you might be source material for artwork, a la Taylor Swift. I thought it an important acknowledgement in this series to muddle the two greatest, I don’t know, obsessions in my life – my neverending quest for love, and my oddly obsessive artistic impulses – in one place where they might kiss briefly before wrecking my life separately and equixietly thoroughly. The 100 sketch drawings that emerged aren’t the revelatory thought experiment that I had hoped for but they are an accomplishment of sorts. Further proof that I can finish a project, and importantly, as it links to my overall thesis as an artist, a representation of how a loosly connected tether – a not even fully formed idea – can turn into a valuable creative thing. Proving that I can do that again gives me the courage to attempt several other crazy ideas.
Here’s all 100 drawings of 100 Bitter Lemons.
I have a hard time with EDM, with how soucing and authorship is so fluid. I think it’s rooted in how as a painter I’m always on a hunt for how to get paid and I can not decern a path for this genus to that objective which is necessary for sustainability with all the mixing that takes place. Be that as it may, I do enjoy several DJ’s, one I always go back to is Louie Vega, who samples DJ Spinna in several tracks I listen to on Pandora. One that’s nice to listen to when zoning out while doing art is “A Better Day”. Here’s a Youtube video of it.
Okay I’ll blog next I think on my progress on Timmy Porch Petunias or where I’m at with the Higgins Bosons set, which I’m still kinda intimidated by. Until then do be well.