I was at an Artist Ball at the Greystone Mansion. It was a magical night and I wore an elaborate rhinestone necklace that I had purchased a few years earlier from, of all places, J Crew. I got huge mileage off it because it looked outrageous and people were accosting me about how great it looked all night.
All the LA artists were there and I ran into the late great Ed Moses whom belonged to what I affectionately refer to as “the old white men of Venice” (not Italy, but Venice Beach). Our works had just been shown at an art fair together and he had produced these magnificent large textural paintings. I, who make my works in series, usually with a theme, was showing work with some kind of message.
Now that we’re all huddling indoors and meeting online, a new kind of conversation is happening on Zoom where artists gather and ogle other artists’ work. Join us for our next conversation. Generally we meet monthly. Sign up below to get invitations:
I never buy the Financial Times. But it was pink, it was in the olden days when I was at an airport traveling and I wanted to read the feature on David Hockney and that is when I saw this haunting quote:
Unfortunately they gave up teaching painting and drawing. What’s going to happen? If you stopped teaching mathematics, bridges would fall down. -David Hockney, Financial Times June 26, 2016
It is March 12, 2020, the Corona virus crisis is dawning on everyone here in America and we’re told were 10 days behind Italy where it’s unfathomably bad. My college aged kids are told no spring quarter. Everyone is stressed and worried.
There’s a scene in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist where the main character runs around trying to figure how to hide something valuable before the German’s invade Poland. As their conditions get worsen and they end up in the concentration camps you can’t help but to reflect on how futile that initial worry was.
The best artists I know are secretly hilarious. They giggle and laugh and are more often mischievious or odd or out of sync, often absurd often visual thoughts bouncing from out of nowhere in the conversation like a stray soccer ball from a neighbor. But when you take our picture, we have to look really fucking serious. Deadly serious, like Picasso.
I remember the first time I ever painted in oil as if it were yesterday. I was initially hesitant to use the medium for 2 reasons: Firstly, I put it on a pedestal, as if one needed a right or permission. Secondly, I knew it involved materials that were somehow dangerous.
I did it anyway. I knew then that I would be using this medium for the rest of my life. And I was right.
I made a great big canvas. For three weeks it sat in the center of the studio like Jack’s massive desk in The Shining. No matter how many “painting miles” I’ve earned, there’s really nothing more terrifying. Of course, I have some ideas, a subject, a palette in my mind. Several in fact. But I’ve encircled it, ignored it, worked on smaller paintings instead. Finally, today, I took six different shades of pink. Some cadmium red light, rose and violet, and I just attacked it. It’s okay, I wasn’t totally committed because I knew it was just the ground of probably ten layers that will live above it. But it was a start.