March studio update

March ’23 Studio Update

It’s been a productive year in studio so far, here’s where all that momentum has gotten me so far:

fuck it - new oil paintings

Fuck it

I’ve been in a weird fatalist mood the past month or so, so the general vibe has been ‘fuck it’. It’s a phrase I first encountered in earnest back in sixth grade. Big Joel was a friend of my older sister with a great sense of humor. He popped his head into my room one day and asked what I was doing. I blandly replied ‘homework’ as I was writing a paper for science class. He laughed and said, “You don’t need to do that!” Stunned, I sheepishly replied back, “Really?’ and Big Joel responded with a confident, “Of course not, just say ‘fuck it!’. With that minimal amount of encouragement, I closed my science book and stopped doing homework. I eventually turned my paper in months late and got a D, mostly because it was late. Undaunted, I held true to the ‘Fuck it’ credo and dodged tedious homework and unnecessary studying the rest of my school days. Here I am today, a self employed artist living the dream!

Studio Work

I finished up my series of paintings with Charons shuffling souls off through the Underworld. I’m fairly happy with how they turned out. Colors are cool, compositions are nice and I worked up some nice brushwork to make some interesting work. Rather than rest on my laurels, I made some more canvases, and just kept going. 

With a bunch of new, smaller canvases, I kept on the same path, using some other sketches from my sketchbook and moved towards incorporating some new imagery – sirens. I’m still finding out how much imagery I want to reveal and hide, and the smaller canvases are allowing me to move a bit faster and make some more experimental decisions. The funny thing about the siren paintings are that the sirens are not necessarily luring the sailors to their doom. Instead, it feels like the men in the paintings are the interlopers interrupting the natural ways. It’s not far from themes I’ve plumbed in the past, and have already inspired a new slew of sketches for some stuff that’ll probably make it to canvas later in the year.

siren paintings

In addition to my labor on canvas, I finally got around to shoring up some long overdue work on my website. I did some backend stuff that is way over my paygrade, then reworked my portfolio page. Despite taking horrible pictures I now have a mostly complete portfolio online. I’m not a photographer and really could give a shit about online images, let AI make better shit, I’ll paint. I still have some loose work needing to be finished before being uploaded.

oil painting study

Showing Up

I also had a conversation with a writer and asked how his new book is doing. He hemmed and hawed about the challenges of promoting and selling the book. I kinda chuckled, half knowing and half in solidarity, and told him that’s the rub, isn’t it? He commiserated for a bit and later that night I thought about how long it’s been since I had a real show. I went to bed to sketch for a while, but then I said fuck it.

You should never, ever create work for an audience, but as the artist, you do have the responsibility to find an audience for the work. It needs to be seen, experienced and judged, for better or worse. So that night I whipped together a press release, photoshopped some postcards, and on April 14-15, will be showing a bunch of new work in my studio. I also quickly chose ‘Sailing Away’ as a title, and it’s now internet official. So I’ve got about a month to finish up whatever I’d like to include in the show, and then promote it a bit and have a good party on the night of the opening to take the sting out of poor attendance and lack of sales.

oil painting study - fuck it

An oldie from a tremendous album, Holly Golightly’s ‘This Ship’ is the song of the month. This song fits the ship theme I’ve been pondering for months. More importantly, it also brings back a slew of old memories, mostly good ones, oddly enough.