Coping Ahead

As of this past weekend, my most recent show, THIS LAND, ended. I thought about going out there on the closing day, but I didn’t. Instead, I went to get a COVID booster and took it easy. I’ve been feeling a bit sick ever since. Good thing I’ve been resting.

I’ll continue to rest (for the most part), which isn’t easy for me. I feel like I have to work or do something at all times, even though I haven’t been up for much lately. My energy has been in the pooper really.

There’s always a sense of disappointment after a show closes, even if it’s a success. I’ve come to expect that. This time around, though, I tried coping ahead by embarking on a couple of new projects. I started these early so I wouldn’t get depressed, but I still can’t shake this feeling.

While many great things happened during the show, there were also a lot of failures that I can’t help but obsess about at least a little. I wasted some money and didn’t quite hit on my goals. But, I got a great review and a few sales. I even sold to a major celebrity (Conan and Liza O’Brien), but I didn’t exactly break even financially. I came really close, however, and that’s not too shabby.

One more review and one more painting sale would have made everything I’ve worked for just a little better. I was really hoping for that, but of course, I didn’t expect it either.

In the meantime, I’ve been writing. I guess I’ve been working on a new book, or an old book. It’s the one originally entitled Queer as Mud. I don’t exactly know what it is yet, but it’s starting to come together as something. Ha. I’ve been spending a ton of time on it lately. I’m more than halfway through the rough draft of whatever it is. It looks like an autobiographical fiction story, but it’s sectioned in vignettes.

What I did to cope ahead was started on one of the new series: the family photo paintings but it’s been slow-going. And I mean really slow. I maybe paint on them for an hour every few days because I just haven’t had the energy for painting. I’ve also been finishing up another piece that goes into the Out of the Question series.

I’d love to develop a title for the family photos series. I want to stop referring to them as such because that’s not exactly what they are. A lot of them address a nonbinary view of my past. Not all of them, but most of them will.

The other new series (the abstracts) that are still unstarted, still need practical, logistical planning. I have to figure out how to build the substrates. I still don’t know if they will be clay or wood, so I’ll need to experiment. It’s taken me this long to get all the woodworking shit, and I also just got fifty pounds of clay.

I took a ceramics class in the early 2000s and kinda hated it. I didn’t like the feeling of wet clay on my hands. It gave me the heeby-jeebies. The recent clay I’ve acquired needs a lot less water, apparently. I need to work with it and see if I can deal.

Another negative factor with clay is that it might be way too heavy to hang on a wall. I’d have to keep the pieces very small. Nothing really wrong with that, especially because I could get all the textures I want if I use clay.

Whereas, if I do them in wood, I can make them any size I want. I would actually do them paper over wood, then figure out how to build profiles to hang them since these are all going to be odd shapes, not squares or rectangles. That’s the tricky part. I don’t know which will be better yet.

Also, I don’t know where I’ll be able to fire the clay around here. That’s also something I need to consider! I don’t know much about that stuff, so I guess I haven’t coped ahead with everything on the abstracts yet.

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