Cold snap work arounds

The cold has been really fucking with my drying times, both in pouring slip and in painting. I have a whole routine down to a science now with the molds, come home from work, pour, let sit for in the garage for four and half hours, dump and let the shell sit in the mold in the kitchen over night. In the morning every day is like getting an Easter egg prying that thing out of there. Clean up the seams while drinking that coffee. If I fall asleep too early in the evening – don’t do the dump, the shell gets too thick and I’ve made yet another door stop— much to my vast annoyance. For awhile I was just leaving them out in the garage and they’d keel over still fat and wet even after an all nighter. A very slow going learning process.

Painting right now, luckily working small so the heat register in the bathroom is fueling its magic. It’s also blowing the fine smell of medium all over the house but option B – leave piece out in the studio is akin to refrigeration, it’s probably colder right now than our own in house appliance. There’s a heater in the studio but it’s just blowing out little whispers of heat. The challenge is to figure out how to work hovered smooshed against the wall with hands poised against the heat outlet. Bundled in hat, gloves and coat. I can’t imagine people surviving cold-water flats; I am such a wuss.

dusting off the cobwebs


Assessing the damage of falling off production. And doing a little house cleaning and tidying up around here to get the New Year off to a good start. I thought it might be fun to try out flickr as loading photos is a chore I would love to find an easier solution for this month. Well see how it goes.

What to do with old work?

I have been sifting through the stacks that have piled of old work. What to do with it?

I have some really large drawings that I did in after living in NYC for 3 or 4 years. I had become obsessed with nature, feeling particularly deprived. I did these large charcoal drawings of bird houses- at human scale. I only showed them once, at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis. So I think I still like them-they’ve been rolled up in a tube since- moved from one storage place to another.
After that wall space or floor space to produce work at that scale was non-existent as I closed that studio making tiny panel paintings in a small corner of the apartment.
Should the drawings languish?
Sometimes I hold on to old work just as a reminder of what the hell was I thinking or on the flip side the piles of life drawings from this era remind me I wasn’t totally stagnant. Other times I just get rid of stuff I really hate-or in practical moments I’ve turned large panels (actually hollow doors) over and used them as worktables.
Cleaning up the studio-these are the times I envy writers or those that follow less “thing oriented”, conceptual work. To those that can place their entire life’s work on a CD or just cart around a laptop, I am envious. Us painters and drummers hauling around all that stuff- then just add a little turpentine to the responsibility. For gods sake, I won’t even go into the needs of sculptors. I live with one who hung up his sculpture hat and always threatens to take a load to the dump. No! I say.
Still one wonders the burden of these things we make.


Things to not think of in the studio:

Artists are often concerned with the archival quality of their work, yet museum storerooms continue fill up with unseen works and landfills pile high with discarded work. As a young retail clerk in an art supply store I remember being pointedly amused by people buying shopping carts of acrylic paint and stacks of foam core only to tell me at check out to “save the bag— to save a tree”.