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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Entry #99 - Moving on to brighter days. Period.

Okay, so 2013 ended and I've started a new blog called: Brighter days.

To continue following this bear of an artist's journey
go to:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Entry #98 Lassie come home

Okay, it's Wed. Oct 30th and I'm sitting in my new space - a large open floor plan live/work that allows me to roll out of bed and simply paint at anytime I chose. For the past year or so, I've had to travel up to 3 hours to reach my studio to paint but nowit's only a matter of willing mysewlf to walk across the floor and get to work. It's a little mind boggling to think I don't have to invest myself int he struggle to get here anymore but after waiting so long, my head hasn't joined my body in being here  yet. Until this morning that is.

This morning I made a decision to get my head and mind to join my body and supplies here and to get my whole being invested in producing work again. This may be a decision to fake it till I make it or maybe it's a matter of me recognizing where I am, how hard I've had to work to get myself here, how far I've come, how far I could go and just pushing myself to move away from the people, places and things that have been weighing me down and out this year. Maybe it's a matter of letting myself come and be home.

..and this is what I get to come home to.......

So, starting today, I will take on everyday with dogged determination.
It's time to set my chin, square my shoulders, tilt my head down, lift my eyes up 
and lock my sight on the future. 
It's time I allow myself to focus on producing work again. 

It is my time succeed.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Entry #97: Short pictoral review of July 2013

Well now, let's's been a little over two months since my last blog post......

Summer 2013 came and went. No shows, no excitement, no wild news or events, and had to sell my much beloved truck. BUT I did have friends who, very generously, taxi'd me to and from my studio for a large portion of the summer which allowed me to make the most out of the time I had there. This summer wasn't about having fun but more about gaining back my strength so I could come back at my goals swinging.

And, here we are - summer is over, I'm still a wee bit bedraggled but I've managed to hang in there long enough to fill out my first fellowship application and now (hopefully) I'm on my way to runaway train status again - I'm looking to enter shows, push myself online again, I'm working on building a large scale portrait show for spring 2014 but I'm also working on making  steps towards my biggest goal for next year: at least one more solo show in NYC and finding good, solid, ambitious and proper representation once and for all. I am on a mission to make my work into......a saleable brand..... which sounds a bit cheesy but that's what successful art and artists have been for centuries it's just that we have a hip and accurate name for it now: brand.

Anyway, since my last post in June, here are some pics from the Sat.- Sun. over night stays made during July
Hot and hopeful - July 6th weekend

"Marge and Pepe" and "Vudu Sister" side by side
July 6th.
Portrait of Providence based band"Vudu Sister"
taking a breakand laying on the floor for a bit.
Up and fini July 7th

Detail pic of "Vudu Sister".

"Marge and Pepe" and "Melanie"
sitting side by side July14th.

...and in constant motion. Up, down, round, round -
the work is always finding new places to be seen in the studio.

 Bugsy enjoying his new perch -
"I can see the whole world from up here....
even da mommy."
"Marge and Pepe" fini July 14.
(Pic looks a bit wonky -
photo taken with the painting hanging upside down)

Hiding his head from the oppressive humidity.
This is what a pup looks like when they're melting in 
100 plus degree heat.

Getting ready to prep two new canvas'
for a duel portrait project. Pic taken July 20th.
All prepped: masonite for a painting called "Black raven"
and the two new canvas' for a duel portrait project
ready to go July 20th.

Laying out "Black raven"
pic taken Sat. July 20th.
..and a little while later.

As of Sun. July 21st.

Duel portrait project underway -
Providence based drag artists:
"Complete Destruction" (on left) and "Videl Levidel"

Project portrait taken before we head out the door
 for another week -
taken July 21st.

Pretending he's laying down
in a nice cool pond
at low tide.

New portrait being laid out
July 27
Brutally hot weekend -
not much accomplished but group shot of work
taken July 28th.

Think I finally found the key to finish up "Un simple soldat II" -
a piece started this winter.

Well put Bugsy.
With temps reaching over 110F in the studio, 
July was just too hot to do anything but lay around

My best pals.

Next - hold on to your pants:

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.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Entry 93: Mother's Day 2013 or I'm sure mom meant well

So, when I was kid I wanted to be and artist, highly successful and popular.
My mother wanted me to become a teacher. I'm sure mom meant well but there were two problems with that idea -
1. I had no confidence or practical experience and ability to access my own talent was limited.
2. I hate spending lots of time with other people.
Although mom tried to push me into a seemingly secure career, the idea of teaching made me want to throw up. I cannot think of anything worse than being stuck in a room full of people all day. Oh wait, I can think of something worse: being stuck in a room full of people and having the task of trying to tell them how to do something (you don't really know how to do yet) while they're either making excuses about why they can't (or won't) do the assignment or so taken with their own unrealized genius that they can't hear anything you have to say because their too busy telling you what genius' they are.
The only thing that could be worse is being  a student who earnestly wants to learn BUT has ended up with someone who has no confidence, very little experience or knowledge to share and no metal or desire to be talking to you.
I'm sure mom meant well but I am not a teacher and certainly was not at 20, 25, 30 or even 40. Teachers need to be able to command respect, lead with confidence. At 50, I have experience to share (some of it good, a lot of it bad) but I still don't have a component that all teachers need: the ability to walk in a room and take control. In fact, I walk in a room full of people and walk out again as quickly as possible - all those faces....all that scrutiny.....and everything I know flying out of my head as soon as  soon as I'm asked a single question.
What do they say?: those who can't do - teach. Let me add: those who can't teach because they don't posses confidence in a crowd, can't command respect and panic when pressed..... flee.
I think mom wanted a Mr. Holland for a child but she ended up with a Barney Fife minus all the Barney swagger.
I suppose teaching is a lot like being a single parent - it's scary, it's daunting and you never really know what to do till you know what to do and you're always afraid you're going to fail. So, instead of risking my pride and the little confidence I've managed to accumulate over the last few years and pouring it all on a classroom of students, I take the few things I've figured out, mix in the experiences I've had as a working artist and make my little Youtube videos.
Not quite the grand career mom had in mind but I like it.... a little of what mom wanted but in a way I can handle:

P.S. In the end, I still can't command a room but I have a little more confidence and a handful of experience to share. Still working on the popular part .