Exhibition Prep and Hair Pulling

I haven’t felt like writing much, probably because I haven’t made much progress on the big painting. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed about it.

After filming the little documentary for Groundwork Arts, it took me some time to bring the thing back in from the garage. It was because I wasn’t happy with the way it was going, so I had no real motivation to work on it.

I looked at it long and hard and realized I kind of hated the gray road that ran through the middle of the painting.

I wound up painting over it. Then I liked it a lot more.

Then I began dotting it with all the plants and trees and stuff. Unfortunately, this is taking forever, and it’s killing me physically. I can’t stand for very long, and reaching up is hurting my back too. This thing is just too big, but today I’m about a third of the way finished with dotting it.

Once I can work my way down to the middle, I can probably sit down for a little while as I’m painting, depending on how close I keep the palette. I’ll have to figure it out.

So far, I’ve put in many hours, slowly dotting it with all the different colors. I’m a slow painter anyway, but this is ridiculous. This section alone took about nine hours of work split over several days:

It’s because I’m such a snail and am using a lot of different colors, I guess. It’s a bit meditative, and I suppose I get lost in the moment.

If I sell this thing, I feel there’s no way I’ll feel fulfilled with the price it will fetch. The last painting I sold at this size took me a fraction of the time to make. I know that shouldn’t matter, but it’s going to bug the shit out of me to no end.

Since showing some of my progress on this to Craig Krull, he liked it so much he wants me to do a fourth aerial piece. Since these take forever, it’s undoubtedly putting me behind schedule, which I already am! I was not expecting that. I’ll be replacing one of the other paintings I’d previously planned on with the fourth aerial.

Since Craig has seen all my Photoshop mock-ups of every painting I’m planning on making for the show, we decided to replace an abstract piece. Here was the basic mock-up for that one:

The thing with this one, it was going to compliment this other one that’s for sure going in the show:

Now I don’t know if it will make much sense with all the others. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’ll have to use something else—something I wasn’t planning on showing. And it will have to be something I’ve shown in the past.

The plan was only to display three pieces from previous shows, and the rest of the work would be new or not yet exhibited—Twenty-one paintings in total plus the drawing installation.

Oy Vey, the drawing installation. I still have to think about that too, which I have slated to finish in mid-August. That means all my paintings need to be completed by the end of July. And I need about two weeks from April to March to take all my location photos, sans tourists. Gah!

I thought I would finish this big painting by the first or second week in January, so I clearly have to make up some time somewhere. Does anyone want to sand, seal, and primer a panel for me? Maybe I should just eat the cost and buy one that’s already done, like an Ampersand gessoboard. That would definitely save me some time.

Exhibits sure cost money. Once I finish this big painting (the 60 x 40-inch) and the 24 x 30-inch aerial, I have to get to my last watercolor already. Here’s the sketch for that one:

I need to get all the works on paper framed sooner than later. And that is the biggest cost. I have eight watercolors to get framed, and I’m not looking forward to the bill.

I normally frame my work with Jeff Kies in Glendale. He’s usually the only one I trust. But now I live out here. I’d have to pay a lot more with a retail framer who I’ve never used before. They may not do the same kind of job I expect. Or, if they do, they might charge me up the ass for it. I almost want to take everything to Jeff somehow, but a couple of the pieces are in Santa Monica with Craig. It’s an issue of driving all over the earth—twice! It’s a fucking dilemma, is what it is.

I like all my works on paper framed in maple wood frames, and the bigger ones to be floating so you can see all the deckled edges of the paper. I also tend to paint right up to the edges of my surfaces. I try not to, but I always seem to do it anyway.

Floating the paper in a frame like that, with a kind of shadow box, is more expensive than matting it. Leave it to me, I tell ya. At least none of the paintings need to be framed. The panels have about a two-inch wooden edge, and I painted around the profiles of the canvases. Frames are unnecessary. I leave that decision for the buyer.

Today I worked on the big painting for about four hours. I need to take a break and eat before my shoulder seizes up or my arm breaks off.

Bye for now.

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