Odds and Ends

This thing is kind of finished now, I just have to wait until it’s dry so I can scrape a white line into it like this (this is Photoshopped for now):


I’ve been too close to it to know how I feel about it, or know how to title it yet – like if I want to title it anything better than Above Valley Blvd II. Here’s the first one. I’m pretty sure once I put the white line in it, it will be officially done. I am starting to learn when to walk away from such things.

Lately, I’m painting in the house because it’s been so hot. Even though I have that new AC unit in my studio, it’s just not enough to cut it in this recent heat we’ve been having here – even though it’s been slightly cooler in the past few days. There’s the humidity too, and that just makes everything worse. I’m just grateful that I even have a work space inside the house. My paint sure keeps softer longer.

I hope this is interesting enough, but here’s my last palette page (I use disposable palette paper pads) and it’s not super dynamic because I was only working on the last layer of the sky, so it’s just blue. I say layer because, as the cerulean blue gets lighter in the painting (I added a little white as it gets closer to the green squiggly mountains), and I’ve mixed it with Liquin – an oil painting medium that makes the paint transparent. I’ve been putting it on in layers thinking I could “glaze” it, but it didn’t turn out exactly how I dreamed. Close enough though!


You know, the all-time master of glazing, IMO, was Maxfield Parish. I’ve loved him since I was about 12 or 13 years old. Tracey, the friend that helped rescue me from much of the abuse when I was a kid, had his work all over her house (prints and art books), and she got me exposed to him, and a lot of other art besides.


Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966)
Daybreak, 1922
Oil on canvas, 26.5 in × 45 inches.

Anyway, from the above picture above Daybreak, you can also see some of my other mess. I keep all my “current” opened oil paints thrown in that clear caddy and carry it back and forth between the house and the studio. It’s actually a pretty heavy thing. As you can see, they’re all Gamblin paints, so it’s as expensive as it is weighty.

Not sure if I’ve mentioned what I have planned for when I’m out in the desert next month at the Joshua Tree residency, which seems to be coming up fairly soon now – September 1st – but I’ll finally be using my fancypants gouache set from Japan. They are located in the picture above in a white and purple box inside of a clear plastic bin on the floor by the Fabriano paper. Here, I’ll just take another picture so you can see how beau-tee-full they are:


There, now you can really SEE it. This was a little splurge I took some time ago when I was flush with a bit of dough. I’ve hardly played with them yet. I can’t wait!


I plan to do some abstracts on Thomas Bros. Map pages with these paints, kind of in the same vein as these, only they will be on top of areas in and around Joshua Tree. These gouaches dry in a kind of matte finish, which is why I got them.



As far as going back to doing larger work, I am a little stumped and fickle about what I want to work on. I keep changing my mind about it. I guess I’m in one of those places where I need to find some kind of muse that sticks. I am inspired, but I’m scattered in too many directions, yet not on any single path. That leaves me just parked on the road with a full tank of gas and no where to drive.

Meanwhile the book just looms over me like an impending cloud of compression just waiting to burst. My obsession with finishing it/working on it has all but consumed every aspect of my waking (and sleeping) life. I was going to make a pact with myself and close up the program today (I use Scrivener), and not open it for two whole weeks, forcing myself to take a break from it, but I am afraid to break my momentum of my writing mind. I’m in the “zone” right now. Why fuck with it? So I’m not sure if I should do that, but I probably should. It’s actually a good place to break off. I am now 1/3 finished with the final draft! So if I’m enjoying myself…why am I taking a break again? It’s that “should” thing again.

Here’s a little Scrivener screenshot, FYI. I absolutely swear by this writing program. It has made a writer out of me, truly.


I guess I may have made this picture too small for you to see the interface really. I did that so you couldn’t read any of my book, but I’m sure their website has better screenshots of the program. It has just help me so much to organize my thoughts and the book as a whole, I want to share it with the world. If you are a writer, or even thinking about writing, this is the perfect program, and it’s so easy to use.

Anyway, I guess I am going to go back to it – whatever that is. I’m not feeling great today (or yesterday) so I’m hoping this too shall pass like everything else.

3 thoughts on “Odds and Ends

  1. Mark Strunin August 8, 2016 / 11:44 am

    I really enjoy this ” behind the music” look at the materials you use in your creative world. Hope to see you before your Joshua Tree residency.


  2. Kate Riley August 9, 2016 / 4:28 am

    Hello Carol, it’s all looking good! You take care of yourself and enjoy Joshua Tree! Kate xx

  3. Carol Es August 21, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Thank you both for your comments. Sorry I missed these earlier. Been trying to get some work done before I leave and hibernating, etc. Lots to do square away before leaving for a whole month. Thanks for you warm wishing.

    Mark, let’s get together – with Michele – when I get back! 🙂

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