More to Go

Until I can get my blog working correctly, I’ve been slowly working on my various “projects.” What else to call them? Artworks? They are the paintings, the embroideries for the wall installation, the sculpture, and all the other shit. It’s a lot.

I work on a bit of this and that at a time, so it feels like not much gets done, but it does. Yesterday, I wound up replanting some of the potted plants on my porch and wore myself out, so I only painted a little. I mistakenly didn’t clean up, nor did I finish with the color I mixed—and I used some gel medium—so this morning, it was sorta lumpy. I had to make do. It turned out okay; it was the chocolate color on a 3-layer cake. This is the 48 x 48-inch piece still in progress, which I decided to name Runaway Queer Mutant Cake Thing:

Sometimes, it takes me a bit of time to title my work. Other times, the title comes to me before I even finish the piece, and I’ll know right away without any doubt. There’s no rhyme or reason to it when that happens. Sometimes, I’ll have a word in mind but not the whole title. I have to make a list of ideas around that word, or maybe a synonym for that word, and try out a few titles.

I’ll leave the list there for a few days and come back to it later. Either one sticks out, or it inspires just the right one. It’s a process a little bit like painting or composition building. I enjoy it.

This one is Gimmel Machine in progress, an ode to Birth of Dan. I think I need one more day for this piece to dry more so I can add the thin black lines to it:

I wanted it to look very close to Birth of Dan but not identical. It’s extremely close. Though, it’s much smaller at 14 x 11 inches. The original painting was 20 x 16 inches and now hangs at the Precision Cancer Center in San Francisco.

This smaller one, now called No Secrets on My Sleeve (kinda an obvious title), is 12 x 9 inches, and I have to give it an extra-extra day to dry before I can add any black. It’s taking much longer to dry because I painted it directly on the gesso board, whereas Gimmel Machine was mostly painted on top of pattern paper that’s stuck to the linen. Yes, I still use industrial garment pattern paper.

Here’s that one in progress:

I decided I kinda like this one that is a self-portrait, but I’m renaming it King of This. It’s only 12 x 12 inches, and I posted it on Instagram a few days ago. I got some interesting reactions. I’m not changing it anymore. It’s done:

I also got opinions from other artists in the forum I run. Most of those artists create traditional art. Not all of them, but most of them. Some people saw things in this painting that I didn’t see at first, which happens with my work once in a while. Some people saw a lot of pain, fear, and other intense emotions. I find that interesting. I see it once I look at it with that filter, but I didn’t have that intent when I made it. That’s totally okay, though.

Honestly, but not to reveal everything, what some people saw as “hair standing on end,” I saw as a crown, as if being adorned for having completed a courageous right of passage. But hey, there’s a story for all here.

As for the embroideries, It takes a whole day to make one. I timed 5.5 hours, but that’s without breaks or running into knots. I’ve been listening to audiobooks while doing it, which is nice to pass the time. I was trying to watch crime documentaries before, and that just slowed me down to two days. Right now, I have nine more of these, and this is how they’re starting to look (I haven’t ironed them yet):

I’m not filling in the black rows anymore, or the Rx. Too much time. I think they look cleaner like this. So, some of these will look different. Some will also be smaller. Some have thicker threads. It took quite a few tries to get them right. I don’t mind having a variety.

Eighteen more Mes still to go. I haven’t been working on them at all. They will all look the same, and they are smaller than the pill bottles. They are easier to do, too.

I haven’t been working on any of the other pieces I gotta finish for the show (like the sewn triptych, the sculpture, the specimen installation, or the small installation on the shelf), but once the work above is all completed, that’s all there’s left…

Except, there’s one more thing that I can’t tell you about. 😉

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