Inquiries -

Beck's work available thru Eden Fine Art, NYC.
Call: (212) 888-0177 for info OR contact Beck directly with questions!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Entry 88: Starting over again, again

So, a few weeks ago I was hot on the idea of becoming a female, bad boy for my 50th birthday.
Haven't bagged the idea yet but I can't quite commit myself to transition from a sad, frustrated, Charlie Brown type to being a young, chain smoking,  haughtily pampered,
soldat de l'ennui.
(To see the complete "I'm gonna be a bad boy from now on" meltdown go to: http://becklaneartist2013.blogspot.com/2013/04/entry-77-im-coming-out_10.html)

But, despite all my big birthday plans,
I'm less this:


and more this:

In totally Giamatti mode - flat broke, a bit war torn, totally exhausted, sodden with frustrated and ready for action....the classic definition of an artist.
 
 


So, here we are, it's spring and I'm trying to put all the crap from 2012 (and early 2013) behind me and start somewhat fresh....or as fresh as I can under the circumstances. I'm starting all over again, again - in a new studio space, with a studio mate (something new for me), a few new plans but the same me. Not any younger or smarter or less gullible or bad boy, 
just older and less timid.


To see pics of the old and new studios visit:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Entry 86: F#@K YEAH! - Understanding your worth and the value of your work

Was just going thru some videos on my Youtube channel and posting on Pinterest when I came across this vid from a couple months ago. It's kind of long (and a little angry) but I think it's got a good, strong message that all artists need to hear. It's a very balls to the wall,
 'you are way more valuable than some people want you to believe' talk.
 
 ...and then I layout a painting and chat
...and then I chat some more about understanding your value, knowing your worth and not allowing people to diminish you and your work.
 
Try not to bludgeon people afterwards.
Enjoy!
 
To see more videos (most not quite so long) visit -
Studio 120 on Youtube:
 https://www.youtube.com/user/La102438


How to determine the value of your work: 

A (cost of making art)
Cost: Supplies pictured plus more supplies and more materials plus travel plus rent plus investments in education² times experience²
PLUS
B (your value as an artist)
 Value: ability and understanding of what you do plus vision and goals plus respect for your work x hard knocks  = C
A + B = C (value of work) 

* Add 25% increase on C every time someone tries to devalue you.
 


 For more antics, pics, links and info visit:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BeckatReBar?ref=stream
Tumblr: http://becklane.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/becklane42/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/BeckLane1

 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Entry 85: And then on the upside, ladies

My posts for the last month have been pretty dour - to say I've been chagrined is like saying the Titanic developed a pinhole size scratch. But something has popped up that's starting to lift my spirits - a few weeks ago I was approached about an opportunity that could be a real game changer for me and I'm really excited. It involves a portrait I did a couple months ago of a female artist, a filmmaker and a world wide exhibit event that happened last spring. I don't want to jinx the opportunity by giving away too much but I'm like a 5 year old and can barely contain myself when something good pops up....but, again, I don't want to jinx it....but then I'm totally giddy with relief that one of my paintings is/maybe is/certainly is/will be going to be seen by a very, very, VERY large number of people around the world....and it tickles me to no end that when it was up for sale, a couple months ago, the people who had the option to buy it didn't.

Like most of my work, the painting itself is posted in several sites on the web. It always garners a lot of attention and even has it's own "fans". BUT it was passed over. And, just like every time a painting I'm proud of is passed over, I was insulted. It's fresh, it's strong, it was made using my own techniques, it's not a derivative....so what's the problem? Is it because it's too fresh, too strong, not a copy of someone else's ideas and techniques? Makes no sense.  BUT NOW I'm so friggin' glad it was passed over I could pee myself.

Can you say: "well now, THAT was a short sighted mistake....wasn't it"?

I wasn't going to post a single word about this deal till things were firmed up but I just found an article by the Wall Street Journal that touches on a subject that has effected my life, my work, my ability to reach the level of success I'm working for and my ability to find proper support for my goals:  sexism in the art world - I.E. - work by women being perceived as being less than valuable as work done by men.

Sexism seems like a concept that we, as a big, grown up culture, should have grown out of already but we haven't. And honestly, I've known it - I've tried to ignore it but it's always there. In fact, until last spring, I really didn't advertise my face, my age or my sex bc I knew, without question, that the reality of me effected people's interest in my work. As long as  viewers didn't/don't know my particulars they have/had a tendency to look at my paintings and assume I'm: under 30, a young man, and a shade of brown - all factors that sometimes appear to make my  work more desirable. It's the same work just done by ME and not some 20 year old, non Caucasian, ingenue. But somehow when my fat, old, white lady face is associated with the work it's suddenly determined to be lesser than.

Having to combat sexism is an age old problem for women and it's sooooo tired. I am exhausted from watching  men with 1/2 the vision, 1/2 the drive, and 1/2 the talent flourish while I still have to work ten times as hard for less than 1/2 the pay. Can someone explain to me why having been born with a vagina effects my value as an artist and a person? I very sincerely do not understand how or why. We have been gaining ground, and it's significantly better than it was when I was growing up in the 70s but really..... that bizarre attitude that we should somehow be happy with the whatever level of recognition (or disregard)  might be tossed our way is STILL discrimination. As a country we at least pretend to have zero tolerance for racism but sexism is still somehow okay. In all honesty, dude, that's really f#@ked up.


Article on sexism in the artworld from the Wall Street Journal 04/18/13 (...no, not April 1813):

"Women on the Verge"
By ELLEN GAMERMAN and MARY M. LANE  

After a record Morisot sale in London, art collectors are scrambling to identify undervalued female artists; the $1 million club

Excerpt from article:

"A woman's signature in the bottom corner of a painting has long spelled a bargain—men in the same artistic school or period can fetch more than 10 times the price of a woman's best sale. While an age-old debate rages over whether talent, sexism or lack of promotion has held many women out of the art world's boys club, everyone agrees that prices for female artists have always lagged behind those of their male counterparts"

Read the full article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324030704578424673474011066.html


Yayoi Kusama
 who painted along side Warhol.
 
And like Kusama, my work is hanging with Warhol in NY.
How does that qualify either of us to be more or less talented? 
 
Follow Beck on Facebook:

 
 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Entry 84: Perpetual astonishment (rough draft)

 ROUGH DRAFT -

"Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment."  -  Ellis Peters
 
"Life sucks and then you die" - the 80's.
 
In the middle of a horrific week, in which I not only turned 50 but 2 young men deposited destruction and dragged fear thru several cities, I made a video - a video about two things:
1. An art based online fundraiser I'm participating in for survivors of the Boston Marathon explosions
2. Surviving violence (or the threat of violence) myself. 

This is kind of a slow boiling, annual, panic filled reaction to my birthday and the trauma my friends in the Boston/Dartmouth/ New Bedford areas sustained this week have hit a nerve that's possibly too personal to mention, but I have to - I feel like I'm coming out of my skin with anxiety, frustration and fear.

Every spring, starting around March 1st, I go into a spiral - it traditionally lasts about 45 days and ends a few days after April 15th - the big birthday day. My annual spiral into hell started in Germany on my 7th birthday. My mother father, sister and I celebrated the day in the German country side with my brother and then we went back to my brother's apartment to have dinner with his family. The adults all drank beer with dinner and things went from tense to angry and violently very quickly. The entire day went south and continued going south, every year, during March and April, for the rest of my childhood. Only we never took another trip around my birthday, we never "celebrated" with other family members again, we "celebrated" at home. Or at least somewhere near home - like our house keeper's home or at the home of a friend of my mother while my dad stayed in the house, drank and fought his own demons

Memories of the annual, 6 week long alcohol and anger fueled events are something I've been trying to combat most of my adult life. However, for the past 8-10 years I've put my nose to the grindstone and made real efforts into clearing the memories away.. Therapy and 12 step meetings have alleviated some of the reverberating issues but this year the annual spiral came on with devastating force. This year seemed to be particularly devastating because I turned 50 and have managed to fall short of meeting goals I've been working for 5 years to achieve. And now I feel even worse knowing that hundreds to thousands of people will go into April 15th feeling as violated as I have for the last 43 years.

Like me, most of the survivors will never be able to fully shake the sadness and fear. It'll pop up, swallow and envelope. No parade, no flag waving, no court room conviction will ever make them feel safe again. How do I know? Experience. I know from experience that they will live and relive the violence and the fear of being preyed upon. It's something you never fully "recover" from. That feeling of being venerable tends to be part of a pattern that can wind thru your life and end up being a theme. My experience(s) have left me with PTSD that flares up at the worst possible moments - SOMETIMES when I'm being yelled at,  SOMETIMES when I'm cornered or feeling trapped, always around my birthday and always when someone intentionally makes an effort to hurt me or betray my trust. The depth of my annual  implosion depends on how safe and secure I feel and, this year - just like last year, I don't feel safe or secure. 

And even though the two young men, who headed the explosions, can't inflict more violence on us, the memories of my experience(s) have bubbled up and left me feeling a little weak. Like almost anyone who's had to endure the fullness of anger, hatred, violence, the threat of violence (or had to endure long term abuse) I know the survivors of the blasts have a life long road ahead. It's something that never goes away.

Because I have an empathetic understanding for the survivors of this week's horrific events I'm  participating in an upcoming, art based online fundraiser. The event,  organized by painter, tattoo artists, carpenter and runner Josh Robinson, is still be organized (he's gathering artists, artwork and trying to find the best venue to sell the work online) but I wanted to share the idea so people could link to the event's Facebook page and watch as work comes in and the event is constructed. I'm donating at least one fresh painting (maybe more) and some appropriately themed prints. Pictures of the painting(s) and prints and more will be posted here as this thing comes to fruition over the next few weeks. But, in the meantime, -
Please like, share, and participte:  
Artists for the Boston Marathon Fund:
  Thank goodness for this fundraiser - there's little I can do to help relieve the horrors of this week but maybe my donations and Josh's event well help to provide some relief to people who might other wise be left venerable and struggling on their own . I know it's helping me to get out of my head. I look forward to being filled with purpose and drive again.
 

 
 Studio 120: #52 - Why I am participating in fundraiser for Boston Marathon survivors

 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Entry 83: (is actually Entry 79 in disguise)

(......but don't say anything)

As a reminder: my friend, painter
Heather Adels
will be celebrating the opening of her solo show
"Castles in the sky"
 tomorrow night (Thurs. April 18)
at the
Foster Gallery
51 Union Street Suite 208
Worcester, MA
Reception 6-8 pm

 
For links, pics and info go to:


Entry 82: An art and artist based fundraiser for Boston

Was listening to NPR yesterday and got to hear a great interview with Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen. He said two things about the deadly Boston Marathon bombings that have stuck in my mind. The first idea made me proud to have lived in Boston and have someone be able to articulate the attitude of that magnificent city so succinctly. The second made me laugh out loud because it is so very, very true:

1. ..."if the person or persons who put that bomb there think they were going to break this town by doing something like that, they have a profound misunderstanding about this city..."
 2. "We are a belligerent people. We love to argue. We love to fight. You know, we only care about three things in this town: sports, politics and revenge."

In the spirit of community and a deep need to do something -  my friend, artist and runner Joshua Cjg Robsinson, has set up a fundraising page for survivors of the blasts in Boston. He's invited several artists to donate work which will be on sale online - and although there are a lot of kinks still being worked out, artists are already stepping up to donate their work while Josh explores what organizations would be most appropriate for his venture to donate to.

Please take a look, like the page
and keep your eye on what develops over the next week:


As for me, I have a few things I'll be donating several things including a fresh painting which I'm going to start today - a new version of "I am": 
 
 
Like I said, the details are still being developed but contact Josh, thru the Facebook page with any questions - thanks!

To hear the entire interview with Kevin Cullen on NPR go to:
http://www.npr.org/2013/04/16/177507483/sadness-and-defiance-the-mood-in-boston-after-attacks?sc=emaf

 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Entry 81: If my life were a movie I would be played by Paul Giammatti

 If my life were a movie I would be played by the actor Paul Giamatti. Or Alan Rickman. Or maybe Tom Hollander but that's only when things are going well and I can manage a smile. Which, unfortunately, isn't very often.

Yah, Paul would be the best choice and not just because he's got the looks but he's also got the ineffectual, ne'er do well character down pat. He knows how to play the guy who always, without fail, falls short. He plays the frustrated rube, the guy who can never get ahead, the idiot with a bright idea. He plays all those things and more with so much accuracy I'd believe Paul is my long lost twin.

Like me, Paul's characters lack swagger. His men are usually some form of angry, gullible, people pleasers who have an expressed talent for falling face first into unwinnable, frustrating situations while people all around him (who are dressed in much nicer shoes and have winning smiles) clink glasses and celebrate being blessed.


If my life were a movie and Paul Giamatti played me, Meg Ryan would have to be my bestest friend. Not the chipper and confident Meg from the 80s and 90s but the frustrated "I can't get a role even when I write myself into the script" Meg Ryan of today. We'd be pals who locked arms in childhood and have been trying to create opportunities ever since. We'd plan things out and eat salad and work together on projects like a couple of over the hill Lucy and Ethels. (Lucy and Ethels who don't necessarily wash everyday.) And, just like Lucy and Ethel, some inconceivable act, far beyond our control, would trip us up and cause things to go horribly wrong every time.

If my life were a movie, Paul and Meg would spend endless hours sitting on his floor, side by side, staring at the wall trying to figure out why and how things always derail. "Why, why, WHYYYYYY didn't this work??? And how, really, HOW is THIS possible???? We did EVERYTHING we were asked to do and more - we did everything. This makes NO sense."

Paul would ask Meg if there is supposed to be some great, grand lesson. He'd look at her, with tears in his eyes, and ask if the situation is supposed to funny and to whom. He'd ask in a low voice, almost a whisper: "what's the fucking point Meg?".


If my life were a movie Paul and Meg would eventually win. They'd reach their goals and success would be the inevitable reward for all their dogged determination and hard work. They would be lifted.



Well, okay - things would not work out that well in a French or Russian film...but if this were an American film someone or something would finally bust thru the mess and allow Paul and Meg to win at some point. Okay, that wouldn't happen in a snarky indie film. But it would happen in an uplifting, 'you can do it!' piece. An arty "Run, fat boy run" type movie co starring Bill Nighy......or Bill Murray.

But this isn't a movie and I don't have a bestest to prop myself up against. There's no one going to the ropes with me and there's no one to help keep the Titanic afloat - so, I write and  think about all the people who have supported me and invested in my dream(s) and goals thru the worst (and the best) of this.


Packing up my studio
and trying not to scream at the top of my lungs.

To see work that's not mired in sadness and my own misery
visit and follow me on Pinterest!
HINT: No matter how bad things get, I'm a lot more funner there: http://pinterest.com/pin/199847302187328095/

 



Entry 80: KISS it simple silly

For the past few months (years really), I've been getting rid of things, pairing down and shedding myself of clutter. It started with a cottage I rented with my son and then fiance. Back then I nested, decorated and felt all around joy when I looked around and found our house cozied up for our little family. I had almost everything I wanted (the love of my life, a great son, and the dream job) and it was awesome.
 
But then the family disbanded - the fiance left (twice), my son moved on to his own life and I injured myself at work. It was somewhere between all of that that I became deeply, deeply depressed and started to have a long think about life. I was up to my neck in trying produce my version of a traditionalish home life but was very much alone and profoundly unhappy. 
 
Bummed out by old ideas and feeling poopy.
 (not an actual photograph)
 
 
At some point, I decided I had to get myself into therapy and to Alanon and AA. I learned how to let go of (some of) the mess rumbling around in my head and, around the same time, I realized I needed to simplify my surroundings.  I realized I was not obligated to stay in that house, with all those memories and be nothing but sad beyond sad. No one was coming home so there was no need to make with the cozy anymore. It was time clean out for whatever was coming next (which, btw, has ended up to be a HUGE adventure I never could have taken with all that stuff and old ideas tied to my being.)
 
Granted, the decluttering or urge to purge took several stages and about 3 years but the house was stuffed with stuff - furniture, signs, rusty bits I'd found on the road, bird's wings, skeletons, OLD bottles, Christmas decorations, pillows, blankets and books....lots and lots of books. When the great purge began our little cottage was packed floor to ceiling to attic with stuff that looked good, seemed like things people would want to have around them but completely cluttered my head and distracted me from a having an adventurous life. The sheer volume and weight was desperately overwhelming - my collection of books alone included 8 sets of encyclopedias and over 4 dozen Webster dictionaries. There were so many books, in fact, that after the first two stages of the purge I managed to glean it down to a mere 14 cases of books that I just could "not part with" so they went into storage. The stuff ate at me and dogged my heart all the time but I genuinely thought this was what defined you as being a valuable person. This is what made other people like you. This is what made you a grown up - details and decorations and stuff on top of stuff.
 
And now here we are 8 years after that initial think about my life, 6 years after the start of purging, 4 years after my big move off Cape Cod and now I'm down to living in one room with a couple cases of books, a few boxes of reference material and assorted items I will most likely end up giving up soon. I don't need much around me anymore - I don't need couches and chairs or a knife set or rusty bits or 100s and 100s of books. I don't need to nest and decorate. Instead, I need to keep my spaces clear so my mind is on what I'm meant to do and not on stuck hanging on to things and ideas that don't serve me anymore or my purpose: painting.
 
Likewise, even in painting, I know, there are times where I can't do anything else but declutter and clean. Sometimes, no matter how much fluffing or decorating or correcting I do on a painting, the best idea is to simplify. Even in painting, there is a point when I have to let go of ideas that just aren't working anymore -
 

KISSYPat it
or
"Keep It Simple Silly Pants"

P.S. I'm still not the happiest person in life but I have gotten better at letting go of some things .
 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Entry 79: OPENING - Thursday April 18th


Thurs. April 18th,
My friend and fellow painter, Heather Adels, opens her solo show:
 "Castle in the Sky"
at the
Foster Gallery
51 Union Street Suite 208
Worcester, MA
Reception 6-8 pm

Being a selfish, self involved artist, I don't normally promote other people's work on my blog (....because it's really all about ME)
but my friend Heather Adel has a solo show opening this Thursday and I'm incredibly excited.

Not only is Heather someone I respect and appreciate as a person but she's also someone I respect as an artist - she's built her own unique, fluid universe with it's own unique colors. Her work is clean, light and masterfully constructed with patience. It's also wholly her own. None of her imagery feels like a derivative - it is all hers which, in my mind, is the highest compliment anyone can give and is the definition of a true artist.

"Corners of the earth" 36x36", acrylic on board, 2012

Wishing Heather all the success in the world!
 

 
Get directions via MapQuest: http://mapq.st/XJdwdm
Or call the Foster at: (774) 314-7278

 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Entry 78: I see, you see, we all shop on Etsy

Painting has had to slow down for a bit but I was just reminded of an outlet I utilized last year during my one man shows in NYC and around New England. Haven't taken advantage of it at all so far this year....what a dummy - I blather on and on on this blog about making the most out of social networking sites and being seen online..... how could I possibly forget to use one very simple, inexpensive and far reaching outlet: Etsy.

Yes, Etsy seems to be a craft based site and I am a high falootin' mixed medium painter with work on Madison Avenue but, for artists as well as craftsman, Etsy is a great way to get your work out there and be seen by a whole new audience:


"and then my arms flew away" 

The original painting's full title is: "e poi le mie braccia volò via, la medicina tiene abbastanza a bada i miei mostri, e così le mie gambe caduto"
(Translation: "and then my arms flew away, the pretty medicine keeps my monsters at bay, and so my legs fell off") -

 oil on acrylic and aerosol with oil pastel, pencil and markers on 48" x 48" canvas.

Original "and then my arms flew away" 
 hanging at Eden Fine Art, NYC.
Print/poster $20 (plus tax and shipping) available on Etsy.

Currently, I have 14 prints available for purchase on Etsy-
the variety of signed and dated poster prints and (very) limited quantity, signed and numbered hand pulled silk screen prints will expand asap but fer now:
 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Entry 77: I'm coming out

OR Part II of: I'm turning 50, please kill me
 
Being a woman isn't working out particularly well for me so I think I want to be a bad boy now.
 
Will be transitioning to a 50 year old, (female) bad boy because being a brooding dick gets you much further in life than being a woman who's willing to work with people. Being accommodating and grateful only garners a few eye rolls while being a bad boy makes you seem exotic and unattainable, out of reach, and so people feel they have to have you. Being a blahzay bad boy is dark and dangerous, makes you seem cool and broken and desirable. When you're a blahzay bad boy people go out of their way to pamper you and make you happy and try to prove to you you really are good and grateful underneath all that badness. That's what I want now - that bad boy affect people are drawn to. Jeremy Jordan's character Jimmy Collins on Smash is the perfect example of the extents people will go to for bad boys. He rejects, they throw themselves at him. He out right insults people and refuses their efforts and they work even harder to work with him....bad boy really is the only way to go.
 
 
Yeaaaah, I think I'm going to rebrand myself as an unattainable, unreliable, chain smoking, drug fueled, angry, lush of a bad boy. I already have tons of experience in the addiction lifestyle so why not? I can be a 50 year old, female, bad boy if I want...can't I?
I think so - it's my birthday...I can be anything I want.
I can be an astronaut or a cowboy or drag queen or the lead singer of the Neon Trees if I please. But I think I want to be an ill tempered l'enfant terrible and intensely frigid and full of vinegar.
I will have to faire du morose.
And faire le art in leather.
  
 
I'll have to come up with some super cool rebranding name like:
Max Angry Playah or Sir Shitz-a-lot or Blahhh Zay or Bukowski.
I'll be brooding and messy and mildly productive.
I will never raise my arms and giggle in excitement over a project -
bad boys don't pop with joy.
Bad boys are ambivalent -
because they have no doubt they are at the core of everything interesting.
 
I'll copy famous artist's ideas and pretend they're mine and people will adore me for it.
I'll go to parties and popular artist's openings
and talk to people about what a genius loner and angry, tortured soul I am.
I'll drink Red Bull and wear skinny jeans.
 
 
I'll quote Dorothy Parker.
 
As my new bad boy me, I'll have to learn to take everything for granted and blow off opportunities and spit at well groomed dogs.
 I'll act like everything is a bore and get stoned just so I can be the most ambivalent me possible. 
I will be brusque.
I'll show deep disgust for success and fawn over my knowledge of artists from the '80s
 and chew gum with my mouth open.
 
 
Look at those stone cold eyes....
the new me says:
"Get me a steak (rare), a whiskey, a smoke and chocolate cake you apple cheeked, goody two shoes. Bettah run - yah mama is callin' (smoker's choked snicker here)"
 
 I'll have to get a motorcycle. 
And whiskey. I love whiskey.
And Vicodin. I love Vicodin.
And cigarettes.
I'll have to have one dangling out of my mouth all the time which will make me look even badder. I haven't had a cigarette in several years but I think it's time I start smoking myself silly - especially if I'm going to rebrand myself as a dick in time for my birthday.
 
Oh, and I'll have to carry a gun
 and have my boobs removed
and find an ironic bad boy hobby like bird watching.
Maybe I'll even sport lipstick.
 
Angry, petulant, I don't give a shit Beck.
I think that's the way to go from now on - choleric, cynical, sullen.
 
I'll grow a beard.
And braid it.
 
 That's it, decision made -
 for my birthday, I'm comin' out as: 
"Bad Boy Beck"
F yeah.
 
That'll definitely make me cool -
because turning 50 does not.
 
 
 
As my new bad boy me, I will never (under any circumstances) wear a boa or dance in spandax
- not even in New York in June. That's how bad ass I am.

 
 *P.S. Nothing and no one in particular brought this Bad Boy idea on - I'm simply having a meltdown over I'm turning 50 and not reaching my goals as planned.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Entry 76: Warning: this is the most depressing thing ever, ever.

So, I have a big birthday coming up and it's depressing the shit out of me.

I'm turning 50......fifty.

  • As in: the age when people stop saying things like "wow, she died before her time".
  • As in: nothing left for people to call you BUT "mam".
  • As in: having bad knees is just the beginning of even more horrible things.
  • As in: your metabolism stops dead, if it hasn't already, and you suddenly realize you will NEVER, EVER win Biggest Loser and so you stop bothering to go go to the gym and pretending you will look 20 (or even 30) again. (P.S. New favorite snack - Little Debbie's chocolate cupcakes rolled in Utz potato chips...... with celery on the side to help clean the palette)
  • As in: you will no longer have the opportunity to shock people when you become a grammie because you are, officially, the correct age to be called "Nana".

A few years ago, dismal and completely underwhelmed by my life, I decided to start rebuilding and reworking myself. After going thru tons of on again, off again therapy and attending endless 12 step meetings, I made the decision to really buckle down and make a major push. My mother was gone (killed in freak accident) and I started to feel like "well, I'm next - no time like now to make a change I suppose". At the time I as 42, badly injured from my job, my son was getting ready to leave home, the love of my life was really, REALLY gone and I was done. I had spent a large portion of the prior 42 years either too depressed, too scared, too drunk or too overwhelmed/underwhelmed to get proper footing in life. I barely knew how to breath without some direction. And then one day it dawned on me - I'm 42, a grown up! There's no one left to try to please! I can do anything I want ( or will be able to soon anyway) so I began to devise a focus on plans that would see me thru to 50 and would (hopefully) land me in the middle of a new life, one that I always wanted to be a part of. The world seemed bright and all things appeared possible.

NOTE: The inspiration for this really comes from watching Tyne Daly on Oprah in 1996 after she turned 50. Her passion about her 50 birthday being a turning point in her life and direction was the inspiration for me to change myself and my life around and start down a new path. She shaved her head and marched into it with her head held high - no apologies. But then again, she can be exuberant - she's a star.  She's not a woman who's only been able to enjoy life in spurts and 1/2 assed measures.

My new plan was and has been to reeducate, rebuild and redirect myself so I could hop out of bed on my 50th with blue/teal hair, 75-100 lbs lighter in the middle of my new, highly productive, (even somewhat) successful life in NYC and with a side trip to see the cherry blossoms in DC on my big. super special day. Suffice it to say none of that is happening.

NONE of it.

N...O...N...E...

NOTE: This is where I try not to cry or fall apart.

Instead, I'm sitting in a crappy apartment that's been packed up since last November, in a milk toast neighborhood with nothing to do but wait.......wait for things to either begin or end. I won't get into details about how things got this dismal or why but I will say I have no plans to celebrate my birthday - there was no Christmas celebration (I worked), none for New Year (again, I worked), and almost none for Thanksgiving because I feel I haven't earned the right -  I have not reached my goals. The only thing to celebrate right now is the fact that I still have a roof. Beyond that, in my mind, I have failed - and we do not celebrate failure.

...and so here WE (as in me) are:



...trying to be happy that I get to have Ramen Noodles and celery twice a day while also trying to figure out what I'm going to do next.
After all this time, effort and money I am officially in a situation I refer to as being:
 "a C^NT-NUN-DRUM".
Oh, what to do, what to do.

I can't get into the who's and why's of what's been going horribly wrong or talk about anything specific (especially since it appears I've done everything right, everything that would ensure success from my end). Instead, I'm going to TRY to focus on figuring out where I'm going to go, what I'm going to do, and come up with something that will keep me from throwing in the towel completely.

For most people I've known, turning 50 is a day worth celebrating, full of family and friends and cake and over the hill balloons but that's not happening. First of all I hate parties, I hate get togethers. Second, I am so upset, I just want to crawl under a rock and die. My disappointment, shame and utter dismay are defining my "big" year. If disgust and failure were worth celebrating we'd be having a BIG ass party but I think I'll just lay on the floor, stare at the wall and think about things instead.

On the upside: a very big, VERY significant opportunity came my way this week. Very significant. We shall see what happens next....at some point, this stupid F-ing pendulum has got to swing back up....unless that's exhausted as well.

And the there's this:

 
"Smile like you mean it" - the Killers

P.S. In lieu of flowers and cake on my big day, PLEASE send drugs. 

Or a hit man. 

Thanks.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Entry 75: Be the change

Saw this video on a friend's FB feed.
Haven't seen the video in a number of months - thought I'd share. Because you just never know who might need that boost...
 
"Tragedy & Hope - Be the change YOU want to see in this world"
 
 
 
HEY, YOU !!!
 like, share and join me on Facebook:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Entry 74: Artbusiness.com, altruism and ballsy balls.

What do you say when you have nothing nice or encouraging to say? Nothing about yourself ..... well, you talk about other people instead!

My blog has been about the ups and downs of being an artist from the inside but a friend sent me a link to an article I love - it's from a fantastic blog that covers the practical side(s) of art called Artbusiness.com by art consultant and writer Alan Bamberger, In the blog, Mr. Bamberger seems to cover every issue we don't learn about in art school: selling art, marketing yourself, etc. But Mr. Bamberger also offers professional art consulting services to both the artist and buyer as well such as: acting as an appraiser and advisor to potential buyers.

A basic service Mr. Bamberger has available to artist is a one hour "all purpose consult" - something we could use to get us on track, give us a clear vision of who we are and keep us there: "Topics covered include how to effectively organize and present your art, website review, your artist statement, writing about your art, pricing your art, options for selling your art, approaching galleries and other venues for possible shows, and more. Click here to learn more." Incredibly valuable stuff if you're going to venture into the big bad world.

Again, over the last three years, in my blog, I've been talking about balls to the wall efforts - pushing and pushing to get where you want to be. Mr. Bamberger approaches the same altruist topics in his blog BUT with practical business sense that could save a lot of people from participating in their own hellish downfall.

How do you combat the Sisyphus' in life? By rolling yourself up in bubble wrap and never leaving your house 
or practicing the advice available in Bamberger's blog.
To find out how to be the smarter you in the dog eat dog (and kittens and bears as well as you) art world visit: 
Alan Bamberger 's blog: www.artbusiness.com/

Add: Here are links to two of my favorite articles: "Art dealers from hell" parts 1 & 2. I really don't think there's any fool proof way to buffer yourself against shysters in life, especially when you're desperately trying to sell your work, (unless, of course, you just sit at home, stare at the wall and only show to your cats) but Blamberg has laid out some incredibly true scenarios that should help raise warning flags when you're talking with potentially bad art dealers.


And then there's the sincerely altruistic, ballsy crap I have to say on Youtube:  
Studio 120: #44 Bumpy roads - http://youtu.be/RDZ-BxZUSHY
 


Dude, we've all been there.....

If you're in NY and need help contact:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Entry 73: Oops, I did it again - magnetic fields and interconnectedness

So, I have a really bad habit of breaking anything electronic including computers, laptops, phones and digital cameras. In 2012, I went thru 2 pcs, 2 laptops, 4 or 5 phones, and 5(?) cameras. 2013 is a little more than 4 months old and I'm working off a friend's loaner pc, just bought a phone to replace a phone that a friend gave me to replace another phone and yesterday I broke my first camera of the year - a gift from a friend.
 
I'm not proud of my great ability to wreak havoc with electronic equipment but, no matter how hard I try to be careful with anything modern (or breakable), I always seem to help equipment (I deem important) meet it's end pretty quickly. It's as if my presence, like a magnetic force, acts as a repellent to wires and connections and thru Groundhog Day like accidents I repeat the same mistakes over and over again - dropping things, putting things to close to water or me.....and I am ALWAYS surprised when things fall apart.
 
The same is true in my relationships with (most) people. Just like with electronics, I have a magical, strong magnetic force with people. We find each other, we're drawn to each other and then things either go horribly and fantastically wrong or we have a connectedness that will bind us for years even decades. And in my life those forces, just like my phones and cameras and other electrical equipment, are decisive and quick to either stay or go. It really doesn't seem to matter whether I'm being demure and reserved or my blundering self, quiet or boastful, a friend and supporter or panicked and selfish (my more present self over the past year) the reaction is usually the same: we are attracted then we are deeply repulsed. I have a piece of equipment that works, and then, before I know it, it's lying on the floor in pieces - I have a close pal, then I don't. People and machinery have been going haywire around me my entire life. Its only in the past few years that I've become better at accepting the inevitable: things fall apart. My saving grace, and what makes the repeated process even mildly palatable, is that sometimes I can be a great conduit of stuff and people - not always bc, like a magnet, I do attract oddities but I am deeply proud when my conduit powers work well for everyone involved.
 
I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I'm working on a painting called "We don't know what we mean to each other". It's a painting with three figures - a young brother and sister and a female who could be a much older sister or maybe their young mother. The original intent was to have them seated against a deeply colored ground and a stark white sky but then I remembered two photos from my childhood encyclopedia set of  shaved steel that had been dropped on sheets of white paper and placed over two sets of magnets. One photo showed a pattern that occurs when similar magnetic fields face each other and the second with dissimilar magnetic fields facing each other. The similar magnetic fields (positive/positive or negative/negative) push the steel shavings away, they are repulsed and push off and away from each other. The dissimilar (positive/negative) are attracted and the steel shavings develop an explosive pattern that shows how the two pieces of magnet(s) connect thru their dissimilar forces.
 
The idea fits well with how I feel about relationships - we are drawn to each other or we are repelled but whatever the outcome is, "good" or "bad", we create a terrific force in each other's lives and we really don't know what we mean to each other. We push, we pull, we effect. It's that idea that made me rethink the background in "We don't know" - instead of placing three figures against a stark white background, I decided to illustrate reactive lines similar to the reactive lines shaved steel makes when it's sprinkled over dissimilar forces. So yesterday, with newly busted camera in hand, I took a bunch of blurry pictures of me putting new content on the canvas-  
 

Two magnetic bars set between figures and next to each other, sharing shaved metal that acts as a conduit for their energy -
like people, emotion, thought and acts.

 
Drawing magnetic energy around the older figure like a halo but not like a halo.

The lines indicating energy (drawn in pencil) coming up off the older female's shoulder. 

Magnetic energy surrounds her but it also connects her to the smaller figures....
as seen thru my poor little broken camera lens.

Connecting figure to figure. - unfortunately, you can't see the pencil lines and the paint laid down in between the lines, you can only see some blue paint strokes 



Another blurry photo of energy emanating from their connections.



Nice. Do they make cameras that can withstand being dropped by the most destructive me?

Hopefully I'll have another new camera soon because I'm really excited by what's about to happen with this canvas and i really want to share. The idea of energy and connectedness has given me a whole new angle to approach and finish this with. Psyched!

Videos from my Youtube series Studio 120 that feature the beginning of the painting "We don't know what we mean to each other":


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Entry 73: Garden of Eden

Have you "liked" Eden Fine Art's new NYC Facebook page yet?
- Fresh, positive, pop -
Now featuring works by Warhol
(...and me!)

Got Eden? 

http://www.facebook.com/edengallerynyc?ref=stream

 
 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Entry 72: Studio 120 - Dum dum head

Just found out my video series Studio 120 has been nominated (along with THOUSANDS of others) for the best videos on Youtube contest.
 -Wow -
Much appreciated - thanks!

https://www.youtube.com/user/La102438?feature=vmdshb
 
Tee hee hee - I don't care how it happened.
It's a compliment and I'll take it thank you very much.

My unimpressed housemates express their ambivalence in a performance piece they call:
"Shut up you dum dum head -

IT WAS AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE!!!!!".

Entry 71: Pip, "Marge and Pepe"

 
Like Pip in Great Expectations, I think I need a benefactor - more silent Arthur Lustig than a scheming Havisham would be nice. Someone who can help cover the costs of studio space and production in exchange for work (while leaving me alone ) bc, I have to say, struggling to stay afloat while pushing to produce work and be seen is getting really, really, REALLY old.
 
So, anyone who isn't a cobweb covered old person scheming to destroy the spirit of everyone around them is encouraged to apply for the position. Will consider psycho mobster types as long as you don't pop up out of water or scare me. Need a Lustig but without the "I will kill you" ovations.
 
I.E.: someone who can support me without fail but won't cause me to have nightmares ...it's a lot to ask, I know, but I do come with a great work ethic, a few references, a strong desire to achieve, a really cute dog who likes to eat. Add: I don't take vacations or long walks on the beach....
 
...okay, so -
 
For reasons waaaay beyond my control - I haven't been to the studio in about two weeks but yesterday, Easter, I took the trip and spent the day working on "Marge and Pepe", a portrait (sort of) of a dog and a woman being done on unstretched, primed  canvas. "Marge and Pepe" isn't really about a woman and her dog but it's about loneliness and safety and our desire to build relationships where we can and when we can. 
 

 
As in most of my work, the under layers and "background" designs pop thru the primary images. For me, allowing the lines and colors to flow in and out the different images, provides a pop and the feeling of movement and energy to flow seamlessly. So, the background isn't really the background it is part of the portrait, image or idea.
 
Pepe against and with wallpaper and blouse design.

 
 
 
Correcting crease in the sleeve - after this was taken, that section was wiped down and started all over again. Instead of feeling like a blouse, it felt like an over worked convoluted mess.



Happier-ish with the base I've got to work with now -
just have to waiting for the paint to dry so I can rework the crease and make them crisper.
 

 
 

I think I need to extend the ring finger on her right hand (the hand holding Pep)and build more of a solid connection to the pinky...looks a little like her hand is on backwards...

Her face has a long way to go but she'll calm down soon. Been focusing on the placement, width and design of her eyes - she's gone from 50's, dime store novel, seductress, to being semi crossed eyed, relaxed, sporty young girl which better suits the character I want to represent.

 
 
 
 Fingers crossed, one of these days, I'm able to get a space and a partnership or work situation that is able to provide proper support for the work..... need something soonish because my spirit is wearing thin.
 
 
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