Monday, December 31, 2007

It's 11:57 and I'm not afraid anymore

I'm not afraid of my painting anymore. In fact, I finished it around 11 tonight, as evidenced by the "GVR 12-07" in the lower right hand corner. Cutting it a bit short, but still was done well ahead of the new year.

I have not inscribed the title on the surface of the painting as I typically do. This is on purpose--the thinking being that I may pitch it to Goldman Sachs prior to throwing it up on eBay, and they may be less amused than I am by "Big Lloyd II (Now More Than Ever)."

This would, of course, be it:



I, by the way, was completely right about the upper lip. This became apparent early on when I executed that little splay of burnt umber that demarks the windward side of his mouth in Square 15. If something can demark something.

I'm going downstairs now to watch the ball demark the end of 2007.

Happy New Year

Paintings are like dogs...

Paintings are a lot like dogs in that they can smell fear. And when they smell it, they typically engage in aggressive behavior.

All of which as preamble to this: it has come to the point where I am afraid of my painting of Lloyd Blankfein. If I get in the same room with it, my eyes well up, my breath starts coming in short, yelpy gasps. Some would describe this as sobbing. Hysterical sobbing.

Which, really, is a lot for a grown man.

Cesar always says that the way to master a dog is to establish yourself as the pack leader. Hard to offer compelling leadership when you are sobbing.

All of which as preamble to this: I just can't get his mouth right. And now, in my increasingly desperate efforts to do so, I find that I am screwing up the good parts. The whole thing is such a disaster. I'd show you a picture but I can't stand the humiliation.

What if I'm losing my nerve? For a gestural painter, nerve is everything. The Godhead--whatever that means.

There is a part of me that says the problem is not actually his mouth but, rather, his upper lip. There is a glimmer of hope inside me that says perhaps if I make the lip puffier, rounder, more like the way Louis Armstrong's lips used to puff out as he clapped himself to the end of his trumpet and began to blow -- only less so, obviously; I mean, the man's a banker, not a trumpet player -- that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Did you watch "The Sound of Music" last night? I switched to it during the commercial breaks of the Herm Bowl (and/or when the Jets were just too horrible to watch). It occurred to me that the difference between "The Sound of Music" and that Guns n Roses cover band I saw last month was, at least on one level, that I knew all the songs. I've always been drawn to Julie Andrews. Probably more so as Mary Poppins, but she was also extremely hot--one man's opinion--as Sister Maria. Remind me to tell you about the time I had some tea with her. Her upper lip, unlike Mr. Blankfein's, was as straight as an arrow. Had a flume like a six-lane freeway. I bet she did a lot of coke in her day.

Anyway, the hope is that if we can somehow figure out that whole lip business then the rest of the thing will fall into place.

Truth in blogging: This strikes me as wildly optimistic. Even now, that gulping is welling up in my throat. I can't see very well through this veil of tears. Snot is running down my nose.

Do you know what gestural painters turn into when they lose their nerve?

Aqualung.

Friday, December 28, 2007

File Under: I'm a simple man

I'm a simple man. In that regard, I suppose I'm like the blues.

Every day I get up, get out of bed, drag a comb across my head, make coffee, read The Times while drinking the coffee, go out the door, turn right, then right again, then left, then right, then down the stairs into the subway station, then onto the Coney Island-bound F Train. Shortly after boarding the train I traverse the highest point on the entire New York City subway grid.

Today, for your viewing pleasure, I took a picture. This would, of course, be that:



Took another picture too--the latest version of Big Lloyd. Seem, however, to have encountered some equipment malfunction. Either that or operator error. In any case, this would, of course, be that:



Toughish, if you will, to make cogent critical assessments from where you are sitting. Suffice to say, we still have problems, although less today than yesterday.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Classic Post--December 18th, 2006

This one is a particularly timely one--touching on the first time I stood outside Goldman Sachs with a painting of its Chairman. I liked my use of "colossi" as the plural.



The Charge of the Light Brigade

1.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

2.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

3.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

4.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

5.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

6.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.


I am surprised that nowhere in the Charge of the Light Brigade are the words Goldman Sachs mentioned. For surely my trundle down to 85 Broad Street with "Big Lloyd I (.6 Billion)" rolled and tucked under my arm would reckon rightly amongst the tale of these brave folk.

You think this stuff is easy?

Anyway, uneasily we stood on opposite sides of Broad Street. The office of Goldman Sachs, which would of course be this:



And my painting of that company's chairman, which would of course be this:



Like two colossi. Neither blinking.

I'm reminded of the battle between the Union and Confederate soldiers at Antietam, as they stood eye to eye, less than 8 meters apart, across the chasm known as the sunken road.

Waiting. Waiting for the first move.

Then, out come the cellphones. Photos taken. Watchers appear on the eBay listing. The process begins. With it begins my Mercedes fantasy of several previous posts ago.

Life is, I guess, good.

This would, of course, be me:



Half a league. Half a league.

And furthermore...

Just for your viewing pleasure, this is Big Lloyd 1:



Which really was not my finest effort. Plus I got the math in the title wrong, adding further insult to injury. No wonder nobody bought it.

How do they get "shoo" out of "whew"?

Phonetically speaking of course. Whew--pronounced like shoo or shoe? What with that? Does that mean that "what" is pronounced like "shot"?

As in: By the time I unwrapped Big Lloyd 2 and saw what God had wrought I was ready for a what, or perhaps several. But none of those sissy drinks like Lemon Drops. I want a jigger of Evan Williams. And then another.

Anyway, here we are (disregard the odd color correction--a bit too red) now:



Whew. Back on course, in my opinion at least.

Ahhhh.

Because when I saw the initial unwrap, I almost whit a brick. If you get my drift. And, actually, don't disregard the color correction. Look at this one, whot freehand while it was still on the easel, instead. It's a more accurate rendering.



If I can figure out the mouth (which I think I can--even if we are once again going to prostitute the very basis of the obscured box technique for the benefit of creating a marketable image), I think we are going to be okay.

For comparison purposes, here is where (where--like the woman who married Sonny Bono?) we were yesterday:



Lots of stuff going on, not the least of which is evening out the black checkerboard background, plus fixing the flat spot on the top of his head (square 2). Plus, obviously, whiting out his mouth.

Which, if pronounced "shiting out his mouth" (long "i", like they say it in England), would gather the attention of gastroenterologists everywhere.

Man, we are covering some ground tonight!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What would be #502

In case you haven't noticed, we are no longer numbering our posts. I just wanted you to stick with me for the climb to a half a thou. Were we numbering, this would be #502.

Half a thou. Hmmm.

This is a picture of Barbaro ...



Wow. That' a sight. Barbaro, as you may know, was the owner of the worst case of pistachio thumb ever. In the end it killed him.

Me? I'm recovering nicely.

The Nymphomaniac and Winston Churchill

One nymphomaniac, talking to another, muses about having sex with the senior command of the Starship Enterprise:
I'd do Spock. And Chekov ... But really, for me, it's all about banging Kirk.
I'll stick with Chekov. I've already done Kirk.
Which brings me to that scene in Atonement (fully recommended-bring hankie) where the male lead finds his way back to his unit, and what becomes quickly apparent is that his unit, along with a good chunk of the rest of what's left of the British Army, is strewn along the beach at Dunkirk.

Get it? Dunkirk?

Anyway, it is a spectacle. Kind of like Saving Private Ryan in reverse. It surprises me, having seen this, that nobody's made a recent major motion picture about the battle of Dunkirk. Maybe I'll do one. If Clint doesn't.

Further to the point I'm attempting to make: Sir Winston Churchill, himself an amateur painter, is quoted in the February 12, 1950 New York Times as saying, "Painting a picture is like fighting a battle."

Which goes to show that Uncle Winnie didn't have a clue about matters related to applying pigment to a flat surface in the hopes of generating something other than complete shit if he thought that painting a picture was like a battle. It's not a battle, man ... it's a war!

A FUCKING WAR!

How do I know this? Well ... vast personal experience jumps to mind as a reason enough. Have I told you about my year and a half in the Cambodian Highlands? Plus I've painted a lot of paintings and they don't always go smoothly.
The good news is?
The good news is that what comes hand in hand with this experience is also, thankfully, a kind of cock-eyed optimism that makes me feel that even the most disasterous early products can be turned around. We lose some battles, dear reader, on the way to winning the war.

Of course sometimes this is merely denial and the reality, the grim reality, is that some particular paintings are just destined to be disasters.

Which brings me to "Big Lloyd II (Now more than ever)":



Oh shit!

This might be, in the history of the obscured box technique, the single worst newly-unwrapped painting I've ever seen. I mean, it's like we've gotten to Dunkirk and whoa!--there aren't any boats.
What's that noise?
German tanks. Sounds like hundreds of them.

Oh, great
Exactly. Something like that. Kind of a queasy feeling in the pit of the old stomach, yes? Nausea? Self-loathing? Stuff like that? Good--now you're getting a taste of what my life is like.

I mean, did you look at that mouth?

Which is odd, really, because during what is sometimes called The Seventh Inning Stretch (that moment slightly more than half way through when we look and see how we are doing), this looked pretty damned good, if I do say so myself. Witness:



I mean, things are looking good!

Funny how the world can turn on you. Nonetheless, we remain sanguine, whatever that means. Think positive thoughts.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

500--Two thousand and two words (according to generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP) in which one picture equals 1,000 words) for Christmas:





Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

499--The Briefest of Theological Notes

For the record, I understand that I am, by and large, speaking to a bunch of heathen savages.

That said, and before I leave for midnight Mass (which starts at 11--odd, that--preceded by an hour of music), I would like to make a couple of notes:

First, much like the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition and the Time Magazine Man of the Year issue, never has more fuss been made about something that deserves less of it than the Radio City Rockettes. Now don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan. I've seen the Christmas Spectacular several times in person, once from maybe row two (albeit a bit to the right). And my beef is this: the notion of wholesome girls and dancing girls is, to a degree, counterintuitive. That may not be the right word, but I've got to take a shower and I'm rushing. Perhaps contradictory would be better.

Anyway, the point is, my preference for dancing girls is ... well, it ain't what the Rockettes are. I like them a bit hotter. And if you are over thirty, get the hell off the Kick Line. Step aside, man. (I'm, of course, using the word man in a non-gender-specific way here). One man's opinion. I could go on--I'd like to, in fact, just so there is no mistaking what my thoughts are here--but I have to take a shower.

Regarding the SISSE, never in the history of man has more fuss been made about a thing less fuss-worthy. The sad truth? It's all a load of public relations bullshit. Having slung my share in my day, I'm truthfully glad to be out of the profession.

Regarding the theological part, one of the basic concept of Xianity is that we attempt to be like Christ, as well as we can, given our imperfect selves. So I don't mind that I find myself with perhaps less money than I might like at the holidays. I've been painting every day for almost two thirds of a month and I know that when The Lord takes me to His bosom (if guys have a bosom, and if The Lord is a guy), the paintings I leave behind will dramatically increase in value and my children will be saved (if you think being rich is being saved).

So, at least in this one regard, I am like Christ.

St. Peter once said something along the lines of "Preach the Gospel always. Speak if necessary."

I have to take a shower.

Mazeltov.

498--Perhaps I'm not making myself clear, part deux

The two images below--including the penultimate version--will, I think, be instructive, to the degree to which you, dear reader, live to savor the minutia--the finer points, if you will--of the obscured box technique:



Now watch how the image changes for the better when I re-color much of her uniform, then throw a bunch of black into what one might call the crook of her elbow, thus separating the arm from the rest of the body and pulling the composition together in a manner perhaps a bit too aggressive for me but which is, nonetheless, felicitous.



And even after all this, there's still one big surprise.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

497--Can't post...

Can't post. Pistachio thumb!

Friday, December 21, 2007

496--If I titled posts like I do my paintings, this one would be called...

If I titled posts like my paintings, this one would be called (using, as you would expect, my standard titling format of a couple of words, then a couple more words in parentheses--often with a wry or humorous slant--and then an alpha-numeric designation):

"If you think I'm fucked up, wait til you hear about this guy (the abyss, in spades) I"

This guy, I should tell you, is Mark Rothko--perpetrator, in my as well as many others' opinion, of some of the most beautiful paintings in the history of the world (If that's not too inflammatory a term. I am, by the way, talking about "perpetrator" not "beautiful.").

This would, of course, be two particularly tasty ones:





Brief aside: I'd be wowing you with my own shit, but Rich has my camera.

Anyway, I'm reading a book by April Kingsley called "The Turning Point"--a book best described as half biography/half art history which chronicles proceedings in the art world in 1950; the only time at which what she considers to be the twelve most important Abstract Expressionists all lived in New York City at the same time, and the year in which each had one of his (or her) most important shows.

So she's talking about Rothko, who survived some portion of the Holocaust before coming to the US. She recounts him recounting the following rationale for his paintings:
... he didn't know whether he had witnessed the pogroms firsthand or whether he had just heard tales of them as a child, but that he had the image of the mass graves Jews had to dig for their own bodies in Russia during the pogroms, and that he thought maybe he had been painting those gaping rectangles all his life.
To which I would suggest a couple of things:

1--Stop giving me shit about tapping into my dark side. Apparently this is how one goes about these things.
2--That boy should try eating a few snakes whole. I think he'd like my abyss a lot more then the one he's got his head wrapped around.


The moral--one of them at least; my thinking is that give me half an hour and I'll come up with twelve or so--is that beauty springs from the most amazing places.

Remind me to tell you about my nascent stripper series.

495--Antonio Pierce

One of the good things about rooting for the Giants is watching the performance of their star linebacker Antonio Pierce. One of the small rituals I hew to is: whenever AP makes a sack, I like to shout out "Pierce the Perimeter!" Likewise, when Gibril Wilson makes a good play, I like to shout "Giblet!" (as in the gravy they serve at Thxgvng).



This would be my man Antonio returning what I assume to be an interception. I love how somebody writes across the face of the picture "Not for public use". One wonders what it's doing on the web if not for that. Or is that just the cynic in me talking?
Hey!!! HEY!!! People steal my images for editorial use all the time. You hear me bitching? You see me writing "Not for public use" across the face of the painting (although as ideas go, that one is not half bad)?
And besides, who really gives a shit about the Giants when the purpose of this blog is, at least on one level, the celebration of yours truly. The greatest artist of our time. The portraitist of the financial elite. Fathead Minnow. Geoffrey Raymond. Moi!

All by way of saying that if you Google Erin Burnett, Maria Bartiromo or Lloyd Blankfein, then click "images", you will have the pleasure of seeing one of my paintings on page 2.

Shit--I thought Page Six was exciting. Now I'm on page two.

Further, although I'm not one to toot my own horn, google my boy Dick Grasso and you get two--count 'em, two--images on Page One!!!!! And a third on the second, if you get my drift.

And, one might ask, what the hell is my drift? At least as far as this post is concerned. Well, the point of the whole thing is that I am preparing to Pierce the Perimeter one more time. This time, I will--I promise you--beat my way into Goldman Sachs.
How?
How you ask? With "Big Lloyd II (Now More Than Ever!)"--my obscured box celebration of GS honcho Lloyd B. and his astute stewardship of his company through the sub-prime shitstorm.
(Surely one of these guys {I use the term here in a non-gender-specific manner} could surely squeeze out about six grand for an homage to the big chief.)
All of which makes me think of Lloyd B. Free:



World, to you.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

494--Your Man Godfrey

I spent part of today handing champagne to Blythe Danner and Mario Batalli. I couldn't have had a better time, plus, at the end, the woman handed me 200 dollars. At which point, with a rush, the feelings that I'm nothing if not a mammoth whore came flooding back.

I'd share photographic evidence of this claim except Rich has my camera until Monday. I gave it to him on Tuesday. Today he tells me he wasn't planning on using it until Saturday. Whatthefuck is certainly a word that jumps to mind.

Anyway, up until the point where she handed me the money all I could think about was how much fun it was pretending to be William Powell pretending to be Godfrey the butler. I particularly liked calling the women Madam.

Yes, Madam.
Gladly, sir.
Indubitably, Madam.
Splendid, sir.



That's me on the left, pretending to be William Powell. You can't tell, but that look on my face is me wishing "My Man Godfrey" was a vampire movie. And, by the way, I got the indubitably from Jeeves, not Powell. Anyway, it was all good clean fun and I would have really enjoyed myself but for my pistachio thumb.

Do you ever get it? Pistachio thumb? The partial (and usually extremely painful) separation of the thumbnail on your left hand from the tissue of the finger itself, gotten, typically, by prying open pistachio nuts that, like the Germans with their 88s at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan, just didn't want to let go.

I will say this. "Cheerleader with Banana (Fallen Angel) I" is finished. Completed. And it has exceeded my expectations. I could not be more delighted. I'd post a picture but Rich has my camera til Monday. Turns out he doesn't need it til the weekend, but he has it.

Whatthefuck?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

493--it's three in the morning

Actually it's about noon the next day. I didn't figure you were ready for another "it's three in the morning..." post so I'm sparing you.

It's half past noon. And I am a whore. A Big One. If people were spaghetti sauce, I'd be putanesca. However you spell that. I'm artificially manipulating the edges of the squares of CWB(FA)1 as a means of organically manipulating you, dear reader. Or, rather, viewer.

I'd show you, but for two reasons:

1--I'm too ashamed
B--I lent my camera to Rich so he could take holiday pictures.

Number two was an act of insanity. Just when we're rolling, not having a camera is slowing down the process. The only good news is that the process (see above) is such a loathsome act of selling-out that perhaps it's best not witnessed.

So maybe it's all good.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

492--Perhaps I'm not making myself clear...

This would not be unusual--a lack of clarity. Although, in my defense, trying to translate what is both a sensual and cerebral but definitely not verbal experience, like painting, into clear prose is not without its challenges.

Please--thanks are not necessary. But it is amazing to me that I've hung in for some 492-odd posts, here at TYOMP, trying in each one to do just that. Well, maybe half. There's that whole jumping into the abyss, swimming upstream, eating the snakes thing that may have nothing to do with painting. Then again, that may be more about painting than all the painting stuff.

You think this shit is easy?

Anyway, back to the case in point:



(First of all, it annoys me that I rotated this image in iPhoto so you, dear reader, can benefit from looking at the image from the same perspective I plan to continue painting it from (vertical), but it won't stick when I import it to Blogger--a service I'm falling less in love with everyday.)

For starters you can see that with a couple of goobers of white on my thumb I've corrected the gross problems with the chin. But even as I do so, and likewise, as I plan to turn this lumpy orange thing into a face worthy of a fallen angel, I know for a fact that conflict between at least four different squares will lessen, if not disappear entirely. And, one has to ask, does the trade-off between generating a more pleasing image of the face trump the excitement of the visual disjunction?

Every bone in my body says my boy Picasso would hang onto the lines, face not withstanding. The difference between us? Picasso was a Giant. Me? I'm a Giant fan.



This is, of course, the ultimate Giant in an intimate moment.

So if the idea is to ape Picasso (troubling moment of self-realization here), then do I go about correcting the painting in a manner that artificially preserves the grid? Cleaning up and re-enacting (like some idiot running around the hills of Gettysburg dressed like a Confederate soldier), for your viewing pleasure, lines that don't match up; improbable color variations; shit that just makes you scratch your head and wonder what I was drinking that night? All the disjunctive characteristics we've both, you and I, come to love? Am I that big a whore?
Here's a joke.
Okay, I could use one.
Picture a policeman with his gun drawn; he has the drop on a prostitute and an extremely large potato.
Okay.
The cop shouts: "Okay, which of you is the hooker?"
The potato shouts back: "Idaho."

Monday, December 17, 2007

491--What the hell is cubism?

Fair question. Wikipedia suggests the following:
In cubist artworks, objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. Often the surfaces intersect at seemingly random angles, removing a coherent sense of depth. The background and object planes interpenetrate one another to create the shallow ambiguous space, one of cubism's distinct characteristics.
I'm down with this.

Fauvism, by the way, would be:
(Fauvist) works emphasized painterly qualities, and the imaginative use of deep color over the representational values retained by Impressionism. Fauvists simplified lines, made the subject of the painting easy to read and exaggerated perspectives. An interesting prescient prediction of the Fauves was expressed in 1888 by Paul Gauguin to Paul Sérusier,

"How do you see these trees? They are yellow. So, put in yellow; this shadow, rather blue, paint it with pure ultramarine; these red leaves? Put in vermilion."

This is all from Wikipedia, so you can click on all that stuff.

This fauvist work by my boy Matisse says it all:

490--Cheerleader With Banana ... The Movie!!!

I know you've all been waiting. I've been waiting too. Still waiting, in fact, as this movie uploads to Blogger. Better, perhaps, I should have used U-Tube (Which, I'm assuming, is the German diminutive of Untersee Tuben).

Although the last time I put something in yew tube, it showed up all over the world and some people (typically bloggers who make their money saying mean things about other people, as opposed to me, who makes money saying mean things about myself) said some mean things about me. Some of which were, I have to admit, a little bit on the money.

Still, this is an experiment and we're going to see how it goes. I'm not sure utube takes a 70M file. Blogger says it does. We'll see.

Anyway--there's more bad news. You're going to have to wade through about four, six, eight images that get us from basically nowhere to CWB(FA)1 just prior to me stepping into the frame and tearing off all the paper. That is to say, first there has to be paper.

Thus, six squares taped off and painted "completely"--in quotes because, really, what is complete, one might ask? Anyway:



Then this--masked off with the NYPost:



Then this--three more squares painted (sorry for the bad crop):



Then this--a sneak peak. I love her hair:



Then this--everything you see above is now masked off. Six more squares painted:



Are we rolling, Bob?

Then this:



Jesus, could this be any more exhausting? Anyway, here are the last squares painted in:



And finally...the unveiling.

video

Christ Almighty! What's that thing attached to my ass? Omigod, that is my ass!

Here's a better look at the canvas as shown at the end of the video. Clearly there are problems, particularly in squares 10 and 11. Also, what's with her chin?



And here is where we stand around the time I walked out of the studio tonight:



Obviously there's a lot to like. I'm particularly fond of columns 1 and 6 (you figure it out). The stripes, however, could not be more fucked up. I mean, really, how much was I drinking when I painted those? Or maybe that's just the fun of the obscured box technique.

And there's always the question of What is more important, the squares or the painting? Of course the answer is the painting. But the challenge is to make the painting right while still keeping the dynamic disjunction offered by all the square-to-square screw-ups. I mean, you can already see the edge between 8 and 14 disappearing as I try to make her face work. I mean (says he for the second time in two sentences--make a note, Meg), if I didn't want the all the stuff going on with the squares, I would have painted it a completely different way.

Yes, my friend. That's the challenge.

Also, please don't use the word "cubist" when you talk amongst yourselves about this painting. I understand the urge, but cubism is so not what this is. This is something else entirely.

Fauvist. I can take "fauvist", if you're really scrounging around. All those oranges and blues! But not cubist.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

No. 489

This is the 489th post on The Year of Magical Painting. We are coming up on a milestone. I hope #500 isn't one of those ones that starts like: "It's almost four in the morning and the only reason I'm not vomiting is because I'm afraid I'll bleed out through the eyes..."

Or something like that.

I hope instead that it happens on Christmas Day (although it will likely happen sooner). I hope I have something positive to say--a finished painting, perhaps, to talk about.

Does one hyphenate bleed-out? I'm thinking yes. Interesting phrase--I never started saying it until they began using it a lot on Grey's Anatomy. Now it's everywhere. Like vajayjay. Which, despite what The Times suggests, is a stupid word.

Bleed-out, however, is an excellent phrase. I love the finality of it.

Out!

I don't like how everybody assumes I'm dead

I don't like how everybody, just because I haven't posted in a couple of days, assumes I'm dead. Or in a coma. Or have left for the bottom of Central America, in search of this Allan Weisbecker guy. (If you are enjoying The Year of Magical Painting, I would urge you to click through to the above link and buy his book, Can't You Get Along With Anybody?)

Does this enterprise really look to the involved bystander as if the wheels were that ready to just come off? The seams just come apart? The bottom just drop out?
Were I you, I'd take offense.
I am.
Don't these people have any faith?
Seemingly no.
Do you know what I'd do, were I you?
No.
I'd talk that Lilah S. girl into posing for another painting. Man, I've seen the photos and there is something about how she stares into the camera that makes me barely able to function.
Really?
Really.
It's funny you bring that up. I always felt like I didn't do her justice with her painting. I think it was the by-now-well-chronicled conflict over the spot of ash on her forehead.
Religion is funny thing.
God knows that's the truth.
They might have a point, though.
Who?
Your so-called gentle readers.
About what?
Well--I don't know how to say this, but some of those posts can be pretty freaking dark. Like that swimming up the river, eating the snakes whole thing.
The abyss?
Yeah.
Did you like the joke about the Nun?
The fact of the matter is, and with all evidence to the contrary aside, the engine that powers this blog is the painting. So surely even you, dear reader, can understand that if I am engaged in a secret project--the so-called Christmas Surprise Guy painting in this case--and am bound not to plaster the internet with pictures of the work in progress, it throws what is called, in a certain vernacular, a sticky-bomb amongst the treads of my otherwise robust tank of a blog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Delivery confirmed... And hey! I'm okay!

Big Rupert is history. Art History, I suppose.

At any rate, he's delivered. To a lawyer at 49th and Sicth (sic), representing my client in Thailand. In exchange for a wad of hundred dollar bills the likes of which make me want to tip busboys with fifties and order steak and eggs at brunch.

I know I spent a ton of valuable bandwidth bitching and moaning about letting Big Rupert go. Funny--now that he's gone, it doesn't feel so bad. There's a line from The Worm Ouroboros that goes something like: "the thought of the thing is more difficult than the thing itself."

This is true in many ways, on many levels. In my life, certainly.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

the corner

I'm not referring to "The Corner"--that neighborhood in Charlottesville that contains the greasy spoon called The White Spot.

I'm referring to the corner one turns on the way from a bad painting to a good one. The corner that defines that very transition. Much like my experiences in the Cambodian Highlands in the early 70s, I am bound not to speak of this matter beyond the announcement that a corner has been turned. That life is good. And that it had a lot to do with the purple.

Beyond that, I'm mum. Totally.

I could not be more discrete. If that's how you spell it. Two Es, perhaps?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ahhh

With several commissions pending, I modestly upped the ante and have acquired (temporarily--we'll see what the medium- and long-terms hold) a semiprivate studio within the BAG complex. This, of course, would be that:



It's a pleasure to be able to stare at your old stuff while you work on new. I'm always soothed by Michelle A., and Self Portrait 2 (That boy could sure eat some beets) is always a crowd pleaser.

You can see Christmas surprise guy on the right side. Also Big Rupert, who stands ready for delivery on Monday. Actually he doesn't stand ready--I've got to roll him up. But the idea remains. You can also see the orange chair I sit in while experiencing self-loathing, as well as Forgiving Nixon above the lamp. Behind Big Rupert is a quartet of paper panels pinned on the wall. I haven't decided what to do with them yet, but something is gurgling up.

Were you to pan the camera about 120 degrees to the right, you would see the taped but as yet unpainted canvas of Cheerleader With Banana (Fallen Angel) hanging on the wall. Waiting.