There hasn’t been much movement on the painting front at all, but I’ve definitely been moving. I’m keeping busy and I’m checking off all sorts of shit on my to-do list, which I love to see. Checkmarks are like my best little buddies.

I’m still working on my last painting for the show, though I’m kinda waiting for some of it to dry a little so I can drag my right hand over parts that I already painted. I usually paint from left to right, one “thing” at a time, depending on what needs to go down first.

Rabbit House (in progress), oil on gessoboard, 16 x 20 inches.

On this one, the house is first, then the mountain range, then the Joshua Tree and tub, then the foreground, and last will be the sky. If the Joshua Tree leaves hit the sky, the sky would come after the house. And all of this will be left to right because it’s oil paint.

But I have not exactly felt like painting, nor have I had much time to do it. I’m still in with the dentist like once a week and am in pain. Three-quarters of my mouth is finally done, but my insurance ran out. I may have to put off the main work until January—the crowns anyway.

Aside from that, I’m already working on promoting my show. It’s early yes. I know. It’s still fourteen weeks away. But I had a bit of a realization because I’ve been reading this book about being more decisive and it teaches you how to expand your options instead of balancing yes or no decisions on “either/or”s.

I was trying to make an either/or decision about possibly doing The Other Art Fair in LA. It wasn’t exactly a for-sure thing because you have to apply to get into it. But I thought if I was accepted, did I even want to do it? It costs a lot of money, and it’s a ton of work.

But my purpose for even considering it was to help promote my show because it runs during the month of September. It would have been at least a $3,000 commitment, which is really steep. It’s $1800 for a booth, which includes everything, including a team to help you with the logistics. But I would have to book a place to stay for a few days on top of that.

So then I thought about my actual purpose and how I didn’t want to spend that much. What else could I do to help my show?

An ad on Artillery‘s page, for one thing, is practically nothing. I can create something there. I can still go into town midway through my show and drum up something, right? What about an artist’s talk event? Well, it didn’t take too much time there. In a couple of days, I was able to wrangle Shana Nys Dambrot to lead one with me on October 1st at the gallery. Staying in Santa Monica again for a day or so won’t cost me no three thousand bucks. And I’m sure there are other creative ways to bring more people in. My wheels are still turning.

Another reason I haven’t been working on my last painting, as I’ve mentioned before is because I have my mind on the new work I want to do. Forever I’ve told myself I want to paint more loose and sloppy and I’ve hardly been successful at it. I suppose the few pieces I’ve been able to come close to in that way can be my inspiration for this new series that I want to embark on, despite how weird I thought they were back when I did them.

So after going through about ten boxes in my garage and breaking my back, I found all my old family pictures that I’d like to base these paintings on. I’m looking for pictures where people are not exactly “posed,” which might be tricky, so I will probably end up using a lot of imaginary morphing and embellishing to get the “scenes” I want to capture in a slathering of loose slop. We’ll see how I do.

I’ve also been building a new website for my friend Rochelle Botello, which should be up and running before the end of the month or sooner.

And I ran into a couple of bumps in the road when I needed to bring some paintings to Anna Stump for a show she’s curating in San Marcos at SIP Art Space in July. One of my paintings that will be in the show wasn’t here. It was supposed to be in my garage storage space, but it wasn’t. I flipped out and realized it was sitting at a space in Yucca Valley, so I had to go get it last minute. When I went to fetch it, no one was there and I had to wait a half-hour. I was a little irritated because no one was answering my texts during the time I was waiting. I didn’t know what was going on or if I was going to be able to get it. But it all worked out and I got the piece. Whew.

Now it’s on its way down south.

3-Mile Road, 2015. Mixed media on birch panel, 16 x 20 inches.

Here are the two others that will be in that show, and the show is entitled, “High Desert Carnival” opening July 9th.

Landscape Study, 2021. Watercolor on Arches, 7 x 10 inches.
Joshua Tree Park, 2021. Watercolor and colored pencil on Arches, 7 x 10 inches.

Now I gotta go nurse my back.

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