I’m awake early this morning. I was having nightmares again. I have nightmares quite a lot actually. It’s the story of my life. I’m kind of used to them. This time I wasn’t able to go back to sleep though. My arm was being munched on by a giant coyote with the mouth the size of a crocodile, and my arm was still physically hurting after I woke up out of the dream for a good while. So weird. I woke myself up because I was calling out for my dad of all people. I guess he was the only person that I knew for sure had a shotgun. But he either never showed up, or I woke up before he could save me.
I don’t know what dreams mean, if anything, but today is my show at Craig Krull Gallery. That might have something to do with it. I didn’t think I was all that nervous about it, but maybe I am. What I get nervous about is the crowd. As I’ve expressed many times before, I don’t like them, and especially if they are all there to see me, or my work. Luckily I’m not the only artist showing there tonight, so there will be a lot of pressure off me. I’m happy about that. There’s a lot of other great work to see. I’m really in love with Phranc‘s work, and John Huggins‘ work is really beautiful and warm. I think the three of us together make a good team.
Last night while looking for press on Google, I found this YouTube video about my show from Dabbleon Art. I was really blown away too! It’s extensive, even though there wasn’t much paid attention to my drawing installation (which is totally fine), the guy (I don’t know his name) gets deep into the paintings and it really helped me to see why and how they worked (when they do). I was really flattered and impressed with his critique and his care to look so deeply into the time and energy I put into each piece. I learned a lot too. What a pleasant surprise that was. That’s not usually the kind of gift you usually find while Googling yourself. Ha!
I also wanted to announce that I will be selling the Farber | Es books both at the show tonight and on my site. These came out in 2013 from Chance Press and are handmade artists’ books that are very unique. It’s a collaboration between me and Neil Farber. Please read up on this book because they are very special. I don’t know how much we (the gallery and I) will be selling them for until later this afternoon, but they will be at least $250 (in that range). Only few are left, so they are more special than you think they are.
Lately I’ve been on a kind of “art break,” promoting the show mostly and just drawing in my sketchbooks here and there in the last week. I’ve actually had the flu, so I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping. But before I got sick, I was beginning to work on my memoir again – working title: Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley. I haven’t really sat down with that in – gosh – I don’t know how long. Not with big intentions anyway. Working on the Exodus show for over a year took me away from that project totally, and then when that show was over, I had about two months where I was just doing nothing. Resting. The next thing I knew, I had another solo show booked for the end of November and I was back to painting again. Any days that I could sneak writing in were mostly to organize the order of my notes and filling in blank spots, as there are still a lot.
I’m still on that rough draft, I hate to say that, but that’s just the way it is. However, talking to mjp about it the other day made me realize that it’s a lot like a painting. You just have to do all the prep work first before you can start really painting, let alone rendering or detailing. That’s how I have to look at it. I can’t just pick some random part of the story and start streamlining it until everything is down on paper (or in this case, the computer). That’s like gessoing 3/4 of the canvas and starting to paint details of the composition in one area of the surface. It doesn’t make sense until you’ve done all the steps in order. Right? Right.
So, I just have to be more patient and get all of the grunt work completed, even though I might not use most of it, it still needs to be written. I might need to grab parts of it for context later. It’s just the way it is.
For now, I’m writing everything in chronological order, but of course, that would be boring if that is how the book will read. I really don’t think it will end up that way. Plus, there are a few authors I really want to read before I begin my 2nd draft who play with verb tense in the way I would like to try. I kind of naturally change my verb tense up a lot any way and need to figure out if I can get away with it realisticly without confusing the reader, or even making the reader notice. I’d like to see how those authors have done this.
Not having anything to do with verb tense, but one of my favorite memoirs is Bee Season by Myla Goldberg. She wrote that thing like a piece of fiction and made each character so interesting. I don’t think I am going to be able to handle my book in this way at all, (I’d be lucky to) but I will still have it in my mind as a source of inspiration.
All I can do is write like myself and do the best I can. But I can’t worry about details right now. I have to just get all the grunt work accomplished and that’s just not done yet. Every time I think I’m close to having the basics finished, there’s still more to write, and like I think I have mentioned before, I’m stopping the story at around age 40, give or take a few things since then that can wrap things up. Plus in the end, for all I know, it could be two books. That’s mostly what has been hanging me up in all honesty. There’s seems to be so many interlocking stories, it’s a bit overwhelming to me.
Anyway, I should be working on that instead of this right now, so I hope to see you at the show tonight. If not, I hope you get to see the show at some point. There will also be an artist’s talk on January 9th by the way.
Oh, and speaking of “booked,” it looks like I am going to be showing with Kim Stringfellow in 2017 at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History. I’ll be showing my Joshua Tree oil paintings. I’m excited about that. And I think I will also be in a show at El Camino College too in 2017 as well!
(Above is part of Stringfellow’s multi-media based project called Jackrabbit Homestead exploring the cultural legacy of the Small Tract Act in Southern California’s Morongo Basin region near Joshua Tree National Park.)
Okay, bye for now.