Turning Wheels

When I say, “The wheels are a turnin,'” what the hell does that mean anyway? Is that just something to say?


Do you have any idea what’s inside my head? Believe me, you don’t want to be in there. It’s neurotic for one thing. I might be a little creative and all, but it’s not worth all the mental BS, let me tell you. You think I’m kidding. I am not.

I was just reading about Perfectionism, as a matter of fact (don’t ask me why), and that’s how I stumbled upon just how screwed up I actually am. Not that I didn’t already know. I already know I’m a closeted narcissist, or something like that, but reading about perfectionism really hit home. Not what I really wanted to talk about here, but you know how I can’t help but reveal all kinda things that will embarrass myself on my blog. Viola!

No. I was going to tell you about the turning wheels about the art for my show. (<–See? Narcissist!)

As you know, I have been working long and (not so) hard on the background of this alef painting, that by the way, is not going to resemble much of an alef at all since I’m pretty much painting over it, but while I’m slowly working on it, my stupid wheels are turning about the next several paintings. I can’t help it. I’m NEVER in the moment! I am either in the past or I am three steps ahead, or something. Sad really. But not really. Nobody can constantly live in every moment. It’s not that easy. I can do it. Just not all the time. When I can do it, I really appreciate it.

But my point is that your mind would wander too if you were just stitching in and out of holes in a canvas, through the front…


And then the back.


It’s meditative, but I can’t help but to think, think, think. I am at least thinking about the next painting, and I am thinking about the outside of that tent for the installation.

The next painting after this one is going to be the biggest one in the show. It will be the second biggest piece I’ve ever done. This is the biggest one I’ve ever done: It’s called Inez the Ghost Mother is Well, 2010. It was for my last solo show four years ago.


It’s 48 inches high and 108 inches wide. (That’s 4 x 9 feet!) It was created in oil paint, pencil and embroidery thread on canvas – I actually did it on three canvases and butt them up against each other. The painting is about my parents that passed away not too long before I painted this, and of course it is also a giant ode to Robert Motherwell.

It was also my way of saying that if there was any question about what happened to my mom after she died, my opinion was that Dan was taking care of her and she was with my dad, contrary to what some other people believed at that time and maybe still. Many of you probably know who that “some other people” is.

The underpainting on this is super bright red, blue and purple, but I covered it in black and scraped it away to barely reveal it. It’s one to see in person, since there is a lot of black embroidery and thread work over the black paint and those scrapings are very subtle.

Anyway, the size I’m going to be working on soonish will be 60 inches high and 80 inches wide. These sizes are of course not nearly as large as some people work. In fact, some might even think they are “medium” in comparison to a lot of what’s out there in the high-end galleries, but I don’t give a flying highfalutin. These are very big sizes for me since the biggest I am used to going is about 40 x 60, and even that’s just too damn big sometimes.

Most of the time, I like small paintings for intimate reasons. It’s more of a personal relationship with me and the paint, me and the viewer, the viewer and the painting. I also collect smaller pieces of art. They seem more precious hanging on the wall. You can have more work in the house too.  I also like to look for small work that talks to me/moves me without always having to be “sweet.”

Oil, paper patterns, acrylic, pins, & graphite on canvas, 12 x 12 inches.
Proteome, 2004. Oil, paper patterns, acrylic, pins, & graphite on canvas, 12 x 12 inches.

The reason I want to do this big one next is because I feel it. It’s about the boulders in Joshua Tree. I actually couldn’t make it big enough to tell you the truth, but this is about as big as I am comfortable with painting for now. It’s going to be two 40 x 60s put together. If I would like to go bigger than that, I will buy a roll of canvas and paint onto the wall with it, unstretched. Where I can do that, I have no clue!

Either that, or have it stretched and then buy a new car. I mean, for the next show I have the budget for a truck rental, but I don’t always have that budget. I can’t tell you how difficult it is when you have a painting that is larger than what will fit in your car. I can’t fit anything bigger than 40″ wide, 60″ long. So, I can’t fit, for instance, a 50 x 50 inch. I would love to paint that size square. I love squares!

I have, however, been interested in turning my 40 x 60 inch canvases on the vertical though. That is not something I have ever done. Not ever. I have always painted them landscape ways. My wheels have been turning on a painting that looks like that too. That one has something that looks like flowers in it.

For now, I am thinking about that big one. Beige, pink, blue, yellow, and red. With black and white of course. And more collage than the usual. I’m going to sacrifice some of the tent ephemera and collage it into the big painting. I guess you’ll see what I mean when I get to it.


All I know is that I’m going to have to go back to Joshua Tree for at least a few days to get more “stuff,” meaning footage, newspapers, pamphlets, postcards, photographs, and just a ton of stuff that I really just spaced out and completely didn’t think to get while I was there.

To put it plainly, my wheels were not turning out there.

One thought on “Turning Wheels

  1. Greeniearts June 7, 2014 / 8:01 pm

    Love your bloggie, Carol. <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.