Nightmare Behind Schedule

Well, I finally finished the big 60 x 40-inch painting entitled South of 62. I thought it would take me to the end of the month, but not so. I just buckled down and put in the hours of pain.

Here is a crappy picture of it:

Taking a picture of it has been a giant pain in the ass because it’s been too cold and windy to do it outside. Plus the paint is still wet. Taking it while it’s still on the easel has proven to be a bitch because it takes up the whole room and the light is uneven on it. I also can’t get my camera perfectly even with the angle of it as it sits on the easel. Not even with a grid in the viewfinder and a tripod. It’s making me feel like a damn fool. I guess I need it hanging on a flat wall or I just can’t do it. What a nightmare.

And speaking of nightmares, I’m up about three hours early right now because I couldn’t get back to sleep after having a doozy. I was screaming in my sleep and Hannah had to grab hold of me. Thank goodness because, by doing that, she came to save me in the dream I was having. The whole thing woke me up in a cold sweat. I knew I wasn’t going back to sleep after that.

I’m already onto the next aerial piece, which is only 24 x 30 inches. I’m calling it simply, Over North Joshua Tree. I will be finishing it by the end of the weekend since I had started it around the same time I laid down the underpainting for the big one. It’s already going pretty fast, which brings me back a couple of weeks behind schedule. That’s better than being more than a month behind schedule, so I’ll take it.

What’s funny is that, despite how much stress I might be feeling about this upcoming show, it’s really nothing compared to some other shows I’ve done in the past. First off, a lot of the work is already done, and I’m showing a few older pieces as well. This is not like The Exodus Project which took nearly two years—three bodies of work, a media installation, and a 6-minute animated movie that all came out of a self-made 10-day residency in Joshua Tree. I still can’t believe that came together so well. It took a lot of work, money, and the generous help of other people.

This upcoming show (This Land), is just a straight-ahead, 2-dimensional art exhibit. It doesn’t seem very fancy in comparison. In some ways, I feel like I’ve lost my mojo or my ambition to shoot for higher ground. Or maybe I’ve come down to earth and humbled. Maybe I’ve just become more realistic about managing my stress. Or am I scared of failing? I know I wouldn’t want the same thing to happen as before because I couldn’t take having the rug pulled out from underneath me again. That was way too traumatizing for words, but I feel very fortunate that Craig picked me up after all of that.

I am happy with the text I’ve written for this upcoming show, which I’ve finally posted here.

Now I need to make another aerial piece, but I’m going to take a little break from it (sorta) and start working on the last watercolor, which is not as big as the others. It’s a 16 x 20-inch on Arches hot press. I’ll probably also sketch out the last aerial on the canvas as well, but won’t start painting it yet. At least I’ll get to sit down while working on the watercolor painting. I’m looking forward to it.

I need to get it finished so I can begin to wrap my head around all the framing, as I may be taking a trip out to LA soon. I might want to take all the work on paper to my old framer. That is if I can get it all done in time.

I’ve been wanting to do a couple of other small watercolors too. It’s because two of the four small ones I have slated for the show are not sitting with me so well. I’d actually love to replace them with new ones that are slightly bigger—to around 9 x 12 inches. The other ones are 7 x 10 inches. Each pair will be hung on top of each other. These are the two I want to keep in the show:

Landwalker, 2021. Watercolor on Arches, 7×10 inches.
Rainbow Connection, 2021. Watercolor on Arches, 7×10 inches.

I think two that are a little bigger will be better, but I’m just making a tiny bit more work for myself is all. Oh well.

I think it’s partially because I’m not liking the other two and partly because I’m inspired to make something I haven’t yet planned. Sometimes when I have too many things planned out as I do, I like to go a bit off course. It keeps things fresh.

Okay, until another day…

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