Is this the end or not? What ‘s going on anymore? Does anything make sense? Is it really the fall or the landing that kills you? It’s been another month in studio.
It’s been a haphazard month. Hobbling together free time to tie up some loose ends while letting my mind wander, stumbling over loads of new ideas, both good and bad. This month also is the first time since November, 2019 that I will be showing off work to the general public.
At this point in this career, I really should be over any jitters, but its striking me in a strange way. So many questions are running through the back of my head. What will I show? How much work can I hang? What do I need to finish? Will I show unfinished work?
Before every show, there’s always varying levels of hope, despair and intrigue. Over the years, I’ve always likened the day of the show to a scene from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. No matter how prepared or not I ever feel for a show, it always comes together and the day finally arrives, all hitches and worries washed away.
Of course, this show was a very informal event. As part of the first Northeast KC Studio Tour, I really didn’t have to do much to get ready for the show. There’s a painting rack filled with two levels of paintings, in addition to a slew of finished and unfinished canvases lining my hallways, studio walls, and various other nooks throughout my space. I also had no idea what to expect in terms of crowds.
I spent a bunch of time writing letters (it’s fun not being active on social media!). Various folks and groups throughout the KC art scene all got an unexpected letter in the mail. Printed in color and packed with fresh schliefkevision stickers, it was a pretty good step forward. Of course, old methods do have drawbacks – color printing and stamps all cost money, and there’s no guarantee of results. I guess there’s a certain part of me that has reached a ‘no fucks given’ level.
I ended up finishing up a few paintings, hung some in progress work and cleaned up my space to make it easier to breath a bit. The show went well – a nice mix of folks I know and strangers came by my studio. It’s always fun to meet and talk to people at a show in a relaxed, studio setting. It was reminiscent of the early days of the East Austin Studio Tour.
As far as the rest of the world and my studio work went, it’s all unknowns. As vile and repulsive a shitty character Donald Rumsfeld was, he at least left us with a quote that was laughed at during his life but I always take as the only good thing he left this planet:
“…because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”Donald Rumsfeld
As weird, unexpected and draining the past couple of years have been, it’s hard to consider the end of all of this. How does life proceed going forward? Where do things pick up? I’ll admit I have no idea what the future holds more now than I have ever uttered those words. Restarting life and figuring out my place in all of feels like an endeavor upon itself.
Methods of showing, reasons why and even what I’m painting and the thoughts running through my mind are all hanging in the ether. Social constructs, despair for the anti-secular fascist future looming over America, and reasons for doing what I do all are exponentially increasing the gravity pulling down.
Despite all this, there’s still a bunch of blank canvases waiting for their stories to be told. Things never end until they do.