September 19, 2006


As to yesterday's dilemma (a recurring event disturbing my cosmos at least twice a year) rest assured I fully recognize that I have the best of all worlds, combining/juggling (with grace and style) all my favorite priorities. Becoming a senior artist in good health and with most faculties in tact is as good as it gets... I should be more grateful and less bitchy. You want to hear whine? I somehow managed to get a second show scheduled for next year... Memphis in May! That following the February commitment in B'ham. I've already filed for License to Whine Papers. Watch for the other recurring theme: "I Ain't Doing This No More!"
Steve LaRose asked about the tooth marks in yesterday's painting, "Marin." No not a wood graining tool, but a toothed trowel used to apply tile goo to floors. I first paid attention to marks such as these when our NOLA house took just enough water to require all new flooring (many years before Katrina.) They took up the foyer parquet and we waited in line for flooring service for three months (and this was just one community, not the whole city.) During that time of bare floors, I became more and more interested in the swirl patterns on the bare concrete and would have been content to leave that area bare, but too much trouble to convince J and other staid members of my tribe. But... I could and did get my own toothed trowels, in varying sizes, and began marking my wet, textured, gessoed canvases with random claw marks. They are then passed over with a smooth trowel to dry with a look of stucco plaster.

I love texture under my paintings. It's additional labor, but it jump starts my paintings, providing hills and valleys that capture and hold color through additional layers. Some artists sing the praises of varying linens and weaves for painting... but my stuff looks naked without that undercurrent of thick texture. Now, don't expect oozes and icings... too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing. To give extra body to my gesso (Utrecht's lesser grade) I add powdered spackle (I've tried all the other powered additives, but spackle rocks!) And might as well mention, not all Home Depots are created equal... they don't carry the stuff in my local HD, have to remember to stock up when I'm back in NOLA. Wonder why that is?

Speaking of labor intensive studio chores... I'm almost back to normal with the rotor cuff nearly healed. Still some fine tuning to do in Physical Therapy, but it's about 90%. I'll know I'm home when I can sleep on my right side, still feels vulnerable, like it's an egg that might break. Must also find the easy way when moving big paintings around. Did I mention that I've a nasty touch of poison ivy on the crease of my elbow? It's all over the place at the lake and I'm going to Round-Up every last leaf of it! And wear long sleeves and pants from now on! BUT --- there are NO MOSQUITOES at the lake!!! Fair trade...

(BTW Steven, you and your snaggled toothed sidekick could hang with my tribe with no problem, be sure to sign up for next summer's sailing regatta/summer camp/family reunion.)


Omega said...

I am always struck by how textural your work looks - I love the subtle third dimensionality.

I can completely understand your wonderings over choices. Anyone who has two careers which they love and at which they've been successful will always wonder what would have happened if they had devoted all their energy to the one rather than the other.

And the wondering is healthy, so that you know you are continuing to be ready for all subsequent choices - because on the one hand one has to be ready for passing opportunities, while on the other hand one never knows what is round the corner.

Live life to the full as long as you can.

Tracy said...

I am glad to hear that someone else uses Utrecht Gesso. I have used it for years, and I love the texture and how it take the paint. I like texture underneath my work too.

Annette said...

May I suggest a little goat cheese drizzled with truffle honey and a chunk of crusty French bread to go with your whine? Besides the calories, it gives perspective. AAB

KJ said...

Oh, yum, Annette... that would do it! KJ

Lisa Call said...

I've been thinking about your choices post off and on for a few days. As someone still at the emerging stage of the art career your thoughts from the other side give me pause to think. I'm not sure what I'm thinking but I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

And bummer on that poison ivy - ack. Heal soon.

Anonymous said...

Wha? How did I miss this post? I mustah been too pre-occupied with ole snaggle-tooth. (She pulled her first "I feel sick" attempt at school yesterday. She's a very good actor. I'm surprised we made it to first grade before I had to earnestly tell her the "Cry Wolf" story)

It is one of my life-time goals to get my daughter to spend a few summers at my favorite summer camp in Freedom NH, Cragged Mtn. Farm. I was even making a pitch to my wife about moving out to that neck of the woods when we stumbled on this house in Ashland, OR.

Thanks for the link-plug. Let me know if you want any texture tricks pulled out of my sleave. 20 years of theater painting has added some quick and dirty magic to my arsenal, and since I don't use the tricks in my own work, I love to share them.

Is Round-Up the only way to go? Isn't that extra toxic to the lake and your g-kids?

KJ said...

Steve, I use Round-Up very selectively and understand the damage it can do... as when my neighbor straps the professional grade dispenser to her back and makes like a firefighter with her hose... serious errosion, for starters, and I don't even want to think about what happens downstream after one of her attacks on green growth. But poison ivy is EVIL and MUST be contained. There are no natural controls, R-U was created for this if nothing else.