I hadn’t planned on returning to the gallery until the Artist’s Talk on October 1st, but I’m heading out again tomorrow morning to hang out for the day and deliver some of my new catalogs.
It’s an unofficial and informal event that I worked out with Craig to conjure up more interest in the show. After all, the time to do it is now, while the show is up and young.
When I still lived in LA and had a solo show up, I’d hang out at the gallery on Saturdays. It seemed to improve sales. There was one day when I believe it aided in selling the largest painting in the show. One can never be sure of these things, of course. Perhaps it helped. Maybe that collector would have purchased that painting anyway. But being there and meeting her may have given her a deeper connection to the work.
It can’t hurt to try.
Well, maybe a little. I can’t usually go out there and come back on the same day. I have minimal energy because of Lupus and neuropathy. It’s a lot like MS. After a three to four-hour drive, standing around all day, I need sleep. So, I need to pay for an overnight stay, which adds up. The exhibit, in its entirety, is a financial risk.
But that’s what artists do sometimes. I should have either seen this coming or better budgeted my funds.
I always try to think out of the box, promotion-wise. I’m usually pretty good at it, too. I felt so anyway. On this occasion, however, it was mostly crickets. Either I have to get more thoughtful about it or stop trying. Something.
In the meantime, I haven’t been painting or making art at all. I haven’t had the motivation for it. Instead, I’ve been writing. I recently cleaned up an old short story I was going to submit somewhere (a place I had in mind), but I decided to submit poems instead. That didn’t go well, either.
The publication’s editor informed me that he liked them but wanted some minor changes. I was agreeable to that. Then, he rewrote them entirely, returning them with an ultimatum. Either I accept the poems as he wrote them or, in his opinion, have the least readers possible.
I’d never had an editor rewrite my work before. Suggestions? Yes. Reformatting, subtracting, adding, changing the rhythm and meaning? Wow. It was rather shocking. Well, no, not just shocking. Devastating.
What’s ironic; this happened after I’d brought his attention to what John Martin had perpetrated on Charles Bukowski’s work after he died. This editor thanked me for enlightening him, too. So weird.
More shockingly, he went to my website, pulled a painting for his next cover, flipped it horizontally, and told me it was “all set to go.” He never asked me to do this. I never submitted art to him or told him to look at my site.
Needless to say, I won’t be working with that publication.
After I recovered from all this, I started thinking about the book I published and later took out of distribution. I’ve never really voiced why I did that here. I’m not sure I want to, but lately, I’ve been thinking about rewriting parts of it and using them in a new book.
I may have mentioned another book I’d been working on, Queer as Mud. It’s written as auto-bio fiction. I got about 25,000 words into it before abandoning it. I recently considered melding it with rewrites from the memoir, especially parts that never made it into the final edit. There were a lot of chapters that weren’t relevant to the overall story left on the cutting-room floor.
Basically, I have a ton of material I can still use. I’ve been playing with it, trying to get it focused and better streamlined. But I’m still on the fence about how to write it: auto-bio fiction, straight memoir, or third person, making it a fictional novel.
For now, I’m finishing all the chapter parts as memoir, since that’s how I naturally write. I can always change it up later. As of now, its focus is queerness, art, and family. I don’t know if all that goes together, but I’m trying to work it out.
And that’s the latest from me.