STUFF! The Catalyst

Is this even part of the STUFF! series? It’s about the whole saga, so I suppose it is. This would then make it the 5th entry. Stop by the others  here (one)here (two)here (three) and here (four) if you missed the excitement.

I hope all of you Christians and/or Santa Claus people had a great holiday. I surprisingly spent mine with my brother and his family–and had a nice time. I mean, I left there in an emotional state, as I pretty much always do, but this time it had nothing to do with him or our relationship. It had to do with everything that’s going on right now with moving and everything else. My relationship with him has been very good lately and I’ve been grateful for it.

Otherwise, I’ve been getting into states of complete overwhelm. I freeze up and can’t move. I’ll look around and all my plans to organize for the day suddenly get lost. I get sidetracked (very easily) and forget what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I will wonder what the purpose of it is, or what the purpose of any of it is. It’s been very difficult. I mean this in regards to having to make long term and short term decisions about making art, as my views are changing. Some are out of necessity. Some are because I’ve wanted to do them for a long time. I was only waiting a catalyst to help push it along.

Because I need to pare down and move to a smaller space, I have to make smaller art and decided to work on paper for a while. I don’t have to necessarily go super small, but I’m trading in my big studio easel and my cutting table for the drafting table (a gift from my brother). I’m only going to make footprint allowance for the smaller of the two flat file cabinets. The bigger one can go into a climate controlled storage space. First, I have to decide what comes with and what goes into deep hibernation, and what will be sold off. I think I already mentioned that I sold my big Sanyi studio easel. (There’s pictures of it here.) Bye.

Anyway, I wasn’t looking forward to going through every last inch of my studio. There is more here than even meets the eye. It’s taken me well over a week to get through both flat file cabinets just at the start. Although I started with what I felt was the hardest stuff to pack: other people’s art. 

I began in the house, which is where most of our art collection is kept. I do my best to display as much as I can. But after collecting for almost 35 years, I can’t possibly do that. All the 3D stuff is pretty small though, and most of it is fragile (of course!). It took five very padded boxes of meticulously sorted and inventoried documentation to complete. Each artwork was a strenuous decision to make: which goes into long-term storage and which absolutely must come with us.

Pictured above is a porcelain vase created by Yuichiro Roy Kunisaki, among my favorites. No long-term storage for this one. Like people need food and water, I would also need this, as well as other pieces of art around me.

Once I was done with all that, I moved onto loose flat work. Or, if it was in a shitty frame, I took it out. I bought a few more of these plastic Dekko portfolio things from Blick so everything could be transported out of the drawers in two seconds. It took some time doing that too, and I was not as organized with separating what would be long-term and current storage though. All I know is that I marked what was inside each and every one of the portfolios and made sure everything was acid-free protected. I ran into a few ruined things along the way (some of my own work), prints wrapped in brown paper, now ruined. I’ll be more vigilant from now on. I don’t want things like this getting ruined:

Above: Collaboration I did with Neil Farber. It’s one of my favorite things and it was in a regular manila envelope.

Not anymore.

Anyway, now that the flat files are all finished (pretty much), I am doing something new with the red Homak cart. Instead of selling it for 75 bucks, I’m going to load it up with a ton of art supplies. I have been going through all my supplies and separating everything into three categories: ones I don’t want anymore (easy), ones I am looking forward to use in the next year (or more) and the ones I am putting in long-term storage… maybe forever. Who knows? At least they’ll be in storage and I won’t have to drag them around. It’s kind of freeing in a way. But presently, it’s been yet another arduous process. I’m essentially giving up being an oil painter! I am sort of amazed that I’m doing this.

I know no one likes to move. It’s traumatic for many, maybe even most people. As a kid, I can’t how many times I moved; I’d run out of fingers and toes. I’d have to start using your fingers and toes to count that high. But in the last 20 years of my life, I’ve only moved twice and I felt pretty damn settled. This is currently bringing back a lot of upheaval. I am not as resilient as I was at nine years old. Through this process, I keep having panic attacks. I will see a tiny bit of progress, then I take a look around at the entire studio and I start freaking out at how much needs to be done.

These pictures I took of the studio were a couple weeks ago, when I could afford to be organized as I progressed. After this, the space became a super chaotic catastrophe. I had no space to keep things in separate piles. I couldn’t stay on one track without something else getting in the way, nothing but barriers and brick walls–fists slugging at my face and forcing me to be someone with ADD (instead of OCD). All of it’s been driving me fucking bonkers. Plus I’m so sleep depraved, it’s become seriously concerning…

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I wrote all of the above a week ago and haven’t had time to post this. Now it’s after New Years and I’ve since packed a total of seven boxes. It’s sad really. Any progress is progress though, right? I am going to get this posted now so I can post my new entry about the red Homak cart. I’m hoping to get a good reaction from friends on Facebook before I have to stick it up on Craigslist and it gets snatched up in seconds.

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