Wednesday, February 13, 2008

new work and my finger

so all of a sudden I've been making the first good new work I've done in at least two years...definitely since the a.p.e show...since I feel like everything new I showed last winter and spring was really crap. and I seem to have done it without going back to the older, more traditional, paint-only stuff that was boring me.

it only took two years, but I seem to finally have figured out a way to incorporate the collage stuff onto canvas successfully. or at least I think so. To me, anyway.

and there's randomness, and text, and images from varied sources working together, and drawing. and a really textured surface.

and it's looking right.

and for some reason, even though I usually prefer to work really large, small surfaces are working for me, so I can work in my room.

and my crooked finger isn't really getting in the way.

on a little side note, I've been feeling a ton of anger about my apparently permanently messed up finger, a lot of it because I am an artist and a craftsperson after all, and MY HANDS ARE IMPORTANT damn it.

but I'm making way better work than I was before I got hurt. And before I got hurt, I was thinking maybe I just wouldn't make paintings anymore, I was so frustrated. So who knows if I would have made what I'm making now if I hadn't had all this time to think. More time than I've had to figure stuff out since I was in high school, at least. And then I wasn't using it properly.

So I guess, just take things as they come. and try not to get to angry about things that seem awful.

thank freaking god it wasn't my right hand, right? and that the only activity so far I've found that seems impossible for me to manage now is typing with both hands, and I never could do that anyway.

remember to be grateful, grateful, grateful. could have been worse, worse, worse.

I'm all over the place, so I'm going back to painting.

oh, and when I have a couple of more things finished, I'll try to take some pictures and post the new stuff on my website. Maybe totally revamp the website, since there's a lot of stuff on it that I hate. anyway, will let y'all now.

creatively busy

After more than three months off recovering from the tendon injury, I'll be back to work, very soon, and it struck me the other day how when i first got hurt, I was really freaked out by the free time, and now how even without work, I seem to be incredibly busy. I have like eighteen projects going at the moment. I guess part of the change is simply that I've gotten used to functioning despite my crooked finger. But also I think I've gotten better about being motivated with my own free time.

Right now I am actively:

1. trying to finish reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest

2. reading the Omnivore's Dilemna

3. making handmade valentine cards and mailing them to people

4. working on four different paintings (which are turning out really well, I think)

5. knitting a pair of socks

6. crocheting a present which is secret so I cannot say more

7. trying to teach myself to do needlepoint

8. making sure I draw and collage in my sketchbook regularly to keep my visual thoughts focused

9. reading this week's new yorker so I don't have piles of unread new yorkers lying by my bed

10. remembering to keep trying out new and complicated recipes while I have time to shop and cook and don't have to spend all day dealing with other people's food needs

11. putting together a valentines day package

see? that's a lot. even today, with weather so miserable that I've not left the house except to run to the store for snacks, I've been so busy in my room that this is the first real break I've taken since I got up around 9. anyway. it's been a pretty nice day.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

bike trail chronicles

bank employee looking person 1: "so they had mussels, fried oysters..."

bank employee looking person 2:"fried oysters!!!?????? they can fry oysters? how? does it work? are they really fried? that's crazy!"

this made me laugh because it sounded like something a whole foods customer would say. well, you don't fry them with the shells on, sir. people don't ever think before they open their mouths, it seems.

p.s. if you haven't noticed, I take a lot of walks since I haven't been working. chronicles of the housebound. well, I'm not really housebound anymore, I can drive. But it's still nice to take advantage of the free time to exercise.


that walley, sarah, and emerald were at whole foods when I went into shop today. being in the store kinda makes me panic at the moment. unconscious-accident related trauma, apparently. although I still don't feel like the accident itself should have been that traumatic. the fact that my finger is still so messed-up at this late date is what is traumatic. but regardless, walking into the doors of whole foods makes it hard for me to breathe. go figure. anyway, y'all made me feel a lot better this afternoon. thanks lovely sweeties. i miss you guys.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

lighthouse keeper

also because I'm so restless lately, I've been kind of obsessed with all things nautical. I want to go to sea. I want to live on a fishing boat. I was really into the guy on anthony bourdain:no reservations last night who lived by himself in a neighbourhood in st. bernard parish that everyone else had abandoned and fished on his shrimp boat. I love the culture of the louisiana river parishes, and the shrimp and oyster men.

and this weekend I was at home on the cape, and spent as much time looking at the ocean as much as I could. which was more comforting then I ever could have hoped.

I'm just so out of sorts all the time lately. I have always been a very good, sound sleeper, and lately not only do I ever single night without interruption wake up sometime around four and toss and turn for about two hours, I have actual nightmares about like horror-movie-esque bloody things scratching on the windows and such. very vivid nightmares. which is weird. because I never dream like that.

But the ocean definitely helped. greg took a lot of beautiful pictures. I am going to print them and post them around my room.

oh, and regarding lighthouses.

on saturday greg and I and my mom and my mom's wife took this walk in provincetown at race point down the fire road out to the lighthouse. and I was dreaming of being the lighthouse keeper (I know those don't exist anymore, just a dream). and on the way home we stopped by the highland lighthouse in north truro to watch the sunset, because I like lighthouses, and the guy with the keys to the lighthouse happened to randomly be there for the sunset, and we got to go up in the lighthouse to watch the sunset. in truro, where you can see the ocean from all sides. did you know that once the sun touches the horizon, it will sink all the way into to the ocean in less then five minutes?

then I really wanted to live in the lighthouse.

and the historical society guy was telling us that female lighthouse keepers where known for always risking their lives to save sailors lost at sea.

and of course earlier that day we had gone to the beach in wellfleet where the eighteen century shipwreck had washed ashore in the storm last week. so for someone who likes living in their head I had a nice fantasy going.

but enough about me for tonight already! how about that super bowl!

in conclusion, I just bought bjork's medulla for a second time since my copy has been missing for almost a year and I gave up (probably somewhere under the seat of my car) and it's so awesome, listening to it again is making me so happy. if you own it, play it.

restless (& thoughts on new orleans)

taking the last post further, I'm sensing a vague theme of restlessness in me lately.

I used to frequently have a fantasy when driving my car of getting onto the highway and just driving, driving, in the most common fantasy ending up in texas. I have this whole thing about moving to texas. I can't get into it all right now.

It's not a serious fantasy, just sometimes I'd be getting on the bridge to drive to hadley, and while waiting at the light, I'd imagine getting on 91 south, taking it down to 95, driving down to tennessee, and cutting over to louisiana and texas. I've sometimes thought conceptually about mixtapes I would make to bring on this drive.

today in the car I had this desire really strong. just turn the car and go. today to new orleans.

I'm feeling very new orleans nostalgic today, it being mardi gras after all of course, but when I lived in new orleans I wasn't even that into mardi gras, so that's not entirely it. but seeming it on the news brings up memories. and last night anthony bourdain went to post-katrina new orleans on his show, and even though the show was kind of crappy, for some reason it was intensely emotional also. I always, always thought, when I moved back here (way pre-hurricane), that I would eventually go back. and now I don't think I ever would. because I do think it will happen again. and things will never be the same. and I totally think the people who stayed rock, but I also feel that they are going to lose everything again, so maybe they should try to rock somewhere else. I don't know.

but I also really badly want to go back, and walk on those streets, and see my old house, and just see how things really are.

isn't that what we all really want. to see how things really are.

but I was driving today, and just thinking, goddamn, how much do I want to just drive straight to the bywater, and see if the bywater bbq is somehow still operational and go and sit at the bar and have the chicken and bacon club sandwich and a gin and tonic and find out where people are. and all the neighborhood gossip.

stupid that television shows about this still make me cry. no matter how inane.

I made red beans and rice for dinner in honor of mardi gras, which is silly because I never ate that way when I lived there. but what to do? I'd throw some beads around, but I got rid of all my parade junk when I moved here because I was sick of it. I'd like to go out dancing tonight at least, but no one seems into it, and I'm not in the mood to create a holiday all on my own right now.

Maybe if I still had some beads.


today I drove my car for the first time since november 11th, when I severed the infamous ring finger tendons. I'm still wearing a cast (and as of today, an old-fashioned plaster of paris one, yay fancy modern medical technology) but I have to begin practicing my return to so-called normal life.

I was actually pretty terrified, since as many of you may know, I'm generally a pretty terrible driver...but when I finally got into my car this afternoon...oh man...I swear I was tearful with joy. really. turning onto prospect street, listening to the magnetic fields loudly, I got all choked up. the first time I accelerated on the gas, I was bouncing up and down in my seat.

I really love my car. she's so big and green, and has a lighthouse glued to her dashboard. and her seats are big and cozy and the heat works really well and she plays music so wonderfully.

I got so excited that I immediately cleaned out months of trash, and all the gross wet stuff from the ceiling leak I was having in the summer and fall. It's nice to have the old girl back.

this must be some sort of lesson in humility...or the pleasure that comes from limited expectations...or something...because nothing has made me so happy in weeks as driving to hadley listening to "the charm of the highway strip" and going to the fabric store and target. where I acquired embroidery supplies and the cutest pink long underwear set for $5.

I wanted so bad to get on the highway and keep driving....just holding onto the steering wheel and pressing down on the gas I feel like I woke up from a long dream I've been having.

I know that cars are bad for the earth and it's kind of bad to love them, but I have all these issues with power and control, and it means so much to me to know I could drive away if I wanted to. I think knowing that I could take off in the night by myself if I needed to is the thing that keeps me sane.

I haven't been able too go places in so long, and I've been having so many thoughts about roads and romanticizing movement. I went kayaking on sunday and it felt incredible just to push the paddles through water. for someone who's been mostly housebound for more than three months, breaking through ice with kayak paddles was, i don't know, i can't describe it. I want to say again, like I've been sleeping for a long time and I just woke up.