Little by Little

I’ve probably used that title for a blog post before, but I don’t care. Little by little, I’m getting things done, but I am still pretty behind.

I finally finished this Monday night. I call it Peyote’s Walk:


Then yesterday I spent all day with Jonathan Nesmith working on the movie, which is coming along – little by little.

We did some live action shots along Sepulveda Blvd. in Sherman Oaks on a little island of dirt that we found that we felt we could match to some of the dirt in Joshua Tree since so far that was probably the only shots we would need to cover our ass to stitch the rest of the visuals together, and if that was all of it, there’s be no reason to go back to Joshua Tree just to shoot a close up of dirt.

However, if we wind up needing more footage than we think, then we will go back and just re-shoot what we just shot yesterday in actual Joshua Tree dirt. It’s just that I’m on a budget you know. I’m trying to save for other things for the show and if I don’t need to make another trip out there, that would be helpful.

Anyway, I thought the shots looked pretty good and I think we can use them. Little by little things are starting to come together and it’s wonderful to watch it transform into an actual movie on the screen.

It looks like it’s going to be about seven minutes long. I had originally aimed for something between five to 10 minutes, but wanting to keep it as close to five as possible, so it’s not so bad. My narration is still a “scratch” vocal and there will be some differences when I make the real one. Some parts will have pauses – and that will take up some seconds – and some parts I will be reading more casually, which may pass quicker. We’ll see. I just don’t want it to go too much over seven minutes. I think people will begin to get bored with the story, if they don’t get bored with it from the first minute. I am so scared/nervous about what people will think since it is the first time I have ever attempted anything like this before.

I have seen a lot of video work though, and it’s not that I am borrowing anything from anyone, and I don’t even think that seeing a lot of video art makes me good at any of my own amateur attempts either. I’ve never studied it. What I have studied a bit is documentaries. But I’m not really making one. I mean, it has a little flavor of one in it. It’s narrated, so it’s going to have a doc vibe, and I can’t help but to be a storyteller in my art. I think trying video though lends itself to this side of me better than trying to cram it into my paintings. Or rather, now I am free to just paint true paintings and pick up a camera, or make an Artist’s book for the narrative in me.

Does that make sense?

Seven minutes of video is actually a long time for any of you reading this thinking it’s not. It took forever to slice it down, as the original script was a little under 10 minutes and the biggest problem with it was that there were more words than visuals. You never want that. You never want to hold on anything too long, no matter how “witty.” But I’m not trying to be witty. It’s really simplified. It’s kind of  like a spiritual journey and not a hilarious slapstick. I just still don’t know what to call it yet. I will probably allow Jonathan and Susan title it since I’ve been so blank on titles lately.

So I have been keeping a timeline on how long it takes me to do my paintings and how many weeks I have until I install the show and as if right now I am six weeks behind schedule. This is the cause of my ongoing anxiety. However, I may be able to catch up a tad in the next two weeks if I can actually work nearly every day and finish four pieces. That would put me back only one week.

These are the ones I am still  working on, as stated in my last blog post:





It would be quite a feat, but if I could finish all of them in two weeks, I would feel about 100 times better about where I am in terms of time.

So I have to go now and get back to work.

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