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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Entry 96: Squatter pants, pants on fire

Please don't tell anyone but I've been squatting in a mill - sort of.
Okay, maybe not really squatting...not in the traditional sense. I mean - I stay overnight in my studio once a week...even though it's not allowed...tee hee hee. 
I guess calling it squatting may be a bit of an exaggeration. I do have a lease, the building is occupied, the lights work and there is running water so it's not really a "rock out/me against the world/I'm an artist living on the edge" kind of thing. But I am sleeping on an old, uncomfortable futon and heating coffee on my hot plate.
So, maybe it's more like camping.
In a very large room...with a roof and electricity. Not as wild or dangerous as squatting but I am staying overnight (with Bugsy) so I can spend more time painting and less time trying to get to my studio. Residual, old futon related aches and pains aside, I love waking up and being able to work early in the day, napping at 3 and painting again till it's time to hop a ride home.
Squatting in my mill or not - I love being in a space where I can work.
And here's the results of my time this weekend:
Finishing up "Vudu Sister" on the right, "Melanie" started on the left.

The beginning of "Melanie"

Sketching in "Melanie"

The two paintings at their two different stages, side by side.

Her arm has been shifted up, down, side to side - like all my paintings, Melanie will go thru a lot of changes and readjustments before I allow her to settle into herself.

Her face is just blocked out - general ideas, basic shapes and colors. She's looking a little too wide eyed to be taken seriously right now but it's a good base to work from.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Entry 95: We are not bemused.

We are coming to the summer solstice and, although things aren't moving at the speed I prefer, things are moving along. I have a place to live, an area in a shared studio space to paint and we have food in the house. That's ten steps ahead of where I was 4 to 6 months ago. I'm also painting. No matter how bad things get, for the most part, as long as I can paint...I'm okay. Or okay-ish.

Currently, I'm working on two portraits - one is "Melanie" and the other is "Vudu Sister".  "Melanie" is a painting of Melanie Moore, a Providence based model,. Right now, her portrait is nothing more than a few lines scribbled in aerosol.  However, the portrait of "Vudu Sister" is beginning to enter it's final stages. I'm particularly proud of the progress of Vudu Sister because my time is extremely tight - I can only make the trip out to the studio once or twice a week right now BUT I'm  able to get in, get to work and consistently produce work that leaves me proud and satisfied. Under the circumstances of the last 6 months, I consider that a triumph.

P.S. Waiting for the construction crew to start building out on live/work spaces at my mill- once my space is done, I'll be able to paint whenever I chose without having to make a long, arduous bus trip out. I just cannot wait!!!!!

Stick figure outlines (aerosol) of "Melanie"

And Vudu Sister portrait thru a few of it's far:
Outlines for the figures in "Vudu Sister"

The start of Diane O'Connor and Keith McCurdy
from Vudu Sister.

Although I'm pleased with the male figure, Keith McCurdy, I am not happy with my rendition of the female figure, Diane O'Connor.... not at all. I tried to justify leaving her disjointed figure and the predictable skin colors on her arms as is but my placement and treatment of her was throwing the whole painting into a state of averageness - making the entire canvas a waste of time and product. No matter what I tried to tell myself, she really needed to be reworked. So one night this week, I diligently made the trip back, wiped her down and brought out a figure and face I am happy with.

To find out more visit:

MUCH better....much.

Oh,  the block/rectangular shape at the center is a line drawing of the Courtesy Diner.
A place Keith calls his "home".  See detail below:

The end result of the last painting session - Diane's figure is looking more settled and slightly less disjointed but just abstract enough to keep the viewers eye in motion....
I think.


Detail....always with the abstracty details.

To learn more out about Vudu Sister,
including upcoming show dates, go to :
To hear songs from Vudu Sister's latest album "Household items"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Entry 94: Transition is as transition does or feeling trapped in Combat-istan

Right now, I'm sitting at my computer, watching a bat trapped under my one gallon Tupperware beverage container and trying to figure out how I'm going to muster up the courage to carry Mr. Bat outside without either one of us getting hurt. I'm sure Mr. Bat is thinking "wtf? I was flying around, eat bugs and now I'm trapped. What'd I miss? What happened?".

Poor Mr. Bat - confused and stuck.
I'm feeling a batty kinship towards my new little friend/captive trapped underneath the Tupperware. We're both frozen in a kind of limbo, shell shocked and disoriented from the different strains we've both been under. Although he's in limbo waiting for me to release him from his Tupperware enclosure and I'm in limbo waiting (or hoping) and waiting and waiting and waiting for life to point me in a direction that doesn't feel like a trap  - in my mind, we're both holding on and hoping for the best possible outcome...together. In our kinship, we both simply need  to keep breathing and doing our best to not give up on ourselves even though things look to be a baby step above blech.

For Mr. Bat, that means taking a nap. For me, that means continuing to paint, post and blog till I'm able to make the next step toward my goals. 

New painting underway

Hopefully, Mr. Bat and I will remember how to fly when this is all over.