What Did You Do Today?


Nobody is asking me, but me. I would like to know for my own self what I did today. I want to write it down on my blog so there’s a record of what I did on this particular day, not because today is special in any way, just because I feel like my ass is parked here in this chair and I feel like typing at the moment.

The day isn’t even over, but it starts to get dark so early, that I find that I’m wrapping it up by five now. I guess these are the winter hours, but I’ve been known to work out there in the studio late in the night when it’s dark. I have those crazy bright lights on and sometimes weird bugs, or even bees will come in and bounce off of them, buzzing and crashing into them, slowly killing themselves in the process. It’s distracting. Really distracting. It tells me that it’s time to go inside. It’s time to end the day. My lights are making bugs want to commit suicide. I’m a danger to nature. Stop working.

Today I sealed the big 36 x 36 inch birch panel. I started doing it yesterday, but I was having some problems with the last coat because I guess I was sanding it too hard. I saw that today thanks to mjp. The Dewalt was pulling up some of the sealer and making it coagulate in areas, which made me have to sand to whole thing back down to the wood and start over in certain areas. It was getting frustrating, but I finally got it right today by just using the hand block sander and being less rough with it, and also using a finer grit sandpaper.

While it was drying, I cut out a 36 x 36 inch piece of pattern paper so I could start drawing the composition for the cutouts that will be going on there.

36 sketch

This one is going to take a pretty long time and I still have to figure out which pieces will be fabric and which will be paper – and which will be open. Now you can see how I make these. Everything outside the big oval/lump will be cut away and that will all be exposed birch wood. Make sense?

It’s strange now that I know where everything is going to be hanging in the show. This one gets a wall of its own.

I also have been playing with my next composition for an abstract landscape. I actually had one sketched out already, but I am scrapping it – most of it – because it was too reminiscent of the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas. It was a car crashed face down into the ground. I’m not going to use it, but I will use the landscape. I just decided to put a space capsule there instead.

In the meantime, I’ve also been looking at this other landscape, and it’s been really inspiring me:


I think it would be a great landscape to use as a jumping off point and incorporate my drum set into. I am thinking of putting that on a 24 x 30 inch gessoboard, but I probably wouldn’t start it until I work on a couple of birch panels first. Besides, I am almost out of cerulean blue and can’t make that sky until my Blick order gets here first.

Today I also made another little watercolor illustration for my movie. It’s called Trauma.


The movie isn’t called Trauma, the watercolor is. I still don’t have a title for the movie. I’m actually letting my collaborators title it. I’m giving them the “honors” of doing that.

So speaking of drums and trauma…ha! As many of you know, I’m in therapy. I’ll probably be in therapy for the rest of my life. But lately my therapist and I have finally been embarking on something that I probably should have addressed a long, long time ago, and that’s the trauma that revolves around my bowing out of music.

This has been something I haven’t even been willing to mention, let alone talk about.

She’s having me work on this drawing scroll – it’s very interesting. I have to draw it with my left hand and I’m a “righty,” so it’s been weird. The scroll is a kind of timeline, but it’s not linear, and it happens to coincide with some other things that were taking place both when I started to take up the drums and when I stopped. We realized that that was no coincidence. I can’t tell you what that is, but let’s just say it’s another layer of trauma of epic proportions, and it has a lot to do with exploitation.

I was about 12 when I started playing, and like how I work on art, I didn’t do it half-assed. I was 100% all in. If you told me back then that I one day I wasn’t going to be playing drums anymore when I got older, I would have laughed and called you insane. Then I would have probably slugged you in the eye for even suggesting such an idiotic concept to me, since I was a badass with a huge chip on my shoulder with a lot to prove back then.

I wasn’t out to just be a musician, or even the best “girl” drummer around. I was determined to be the best drummer, or rather, the most smokin’ groove drummer anyone had ever heard or felt — ever. I put in a lot of hard work to get there. I don’t know if I was ever the best, but I got to be pretty good and I certainly wasn’t worried about other girls. They were never my competition. I really didn’t have competition except for the timing of getting the gig, who you knew, and whether I was going to self-sabotage the job for whatever odd reason I happen to have. Because the older I got, the more anxiety I started to have about BANDS.

Put me in a recording studio, and I was happy. Put me in one now and I’ll still be happy!

I am not sure why I brought this up on my blog, but I know I will be talking about this more. I guess I’m just opening up the floor to let you know that I might get “deep.” I only started my scroll thingy, so I’m still just thinking about how I was a kid and wanted to play and how committed I was. I was kind of hypnotized by the sound of a metronome and making my muscles sore by trying to play double rolls into a down pillow. And I remember my orchestra teacher from the 7th grade saying, “Practice makes permanent!”

I will never forget that.

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