15 November 2008

Leave It All Behind

Looking forward to coppin' that new Foreign Exchange album when I get back to NY. Couldn't find it out here (though I did pick up the new QTip which is FRESH).

On a related note, my residency is coming to a close. The babies (paintings) are in the mail, the bags are packed to capacity, and I've washed out the ethanol perfume from my hair. Tomorrow morning I catch a bus to O'Hare and will be back in NY by the evening. I'm at a loss for words at the moment, partially because I drank too much last night and worked too hard today, but mostly because it's just a lot to process. Maybe I'll choose some delicate words during the flight - or a week from now when i'm waist deep in my real-world routine, but for now I'll just say it's been a trip and I'm all sorts of thankful. Learned a lot, about a lot. Perfect timing on both professional and personal levels and arguably the most densely productive span in my art-makin' life.

Here are some pics of the show, reception, and afterparty. I didn't get many shots of the crowd, doesn't look like much here, but we had well over 100 people. All things considered, pretty impressive for a low key town that I don't know anyone in. The woman standing among the plastic bottle installation is Jen Van Winkle, the fellow resident artist, FYI. Once I'm back home I'll post some higher quality images of my paintings and the artist statement, just to wrap it up properly.

13 November 2008


Finito! It's a wrap, mission accomplished - 10 paintings complete and I can finally somewhat relax for a hot minute. "Red Sky, Philadelphia" is done. Could have kept messing around with it, but enough is enough. I forgot how much of a gigantic pain it is to render acrylics without any slow drying medium, but I rocked it well enough to get me by this time. Started cleaning up the studio today, took down all the drawings, swept, packed up the paints, etc. Tomorrow my work hits the gallery walls. Beyond that all I have to worry about is some scanning first thing tomorrow morning and figuring out how I'll get all these fly babies home. Otherwise my time for the next couple days is mine before I split town Sunday morning. Maybe I'll get to check out the Contemporary Arts Center and mingle around town without looking like some sort of homeless person (aka I'll get to wear clothing that isn't ripped and covered in paint). Should be mighty sweet.

12 November 2008

Get Up Get Out and Do Something

Okay, so the Red Sky piece is ALMOST done, should wrap that up tomorrow as it's due to hang in the gallery asap. I also squeezed off another wax jawnt - a little different than the other vinyl pieces, maybe not quite as successful, but interesting enough to show. One more day in the studio and it's a wrap.

11 November 2008

"Dirt's our secret weapon, each and every night..."

("playa playa" by d'angelo)

Sorry, just had to look at them all together.

Really didn't spend that much time in the studio today, but I did spend the first part of the day writing up my exhibition statement, which I'll post soon. Put some time into the Red Sky piece, which hopefully will be finished tomorrow night.

10 November 2008

"Your love is on a grand scale, mine is in the detail..."

("bluegrass" by faithless)

While driving home tonight, I witnessed SOMETHING with antlers in the median on rt 116 - most likely enjoying some sort of carcass. Awesome.

Today I finished both the large paintings I've been working on all week. WHEW! :) The end is truly in sight. I also completed the drawing for another painting - possibly my final painting. If I have time, I'll probably do something abstract and unrelated to the nightlife series on the orange/yellow canvas (in the previous post). Or I might just take it home with me as is. Either way it might not be included in the exhibition on Friday. 8 paintings complete - 1, 2, or 3 to go in the homestretch, time will tell. Looking forward to having one or two quasi relaxing days during my final week, maybe check out this here region I've been living in.

09 November 2008

"Something in the way of things..."

("something in the way of things/in town" by the roots/amiri baraka)

Another gritty session in the studio. Another weekend night pushing paint, concluded with a late night beer on the couch.

08 November 2008

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

Exactly one week til the exhibition...

Artists in Residence Exhibition & Reception

Friday, November 14th

6:00 - 8:00 p.m

Prairie Center of the Arts

1506 SW Washington Street

Peoria, IL 61602


Tossed back a couple beers at the house tonight after another long session just to make it feel like a Friday. Can't wait to properly blow off some steam, but until then, I'm on mission.

06 November 2008

Rinse and Repeat

Crush time continues as the leaves drop. Finished one painting, started another...

"A Nation Unified In Exhale..."

("release" by blackalicious/saul williams)

Last night I dreamed that controversy erupted and blue states were taken away from Obama, creating an even more chaotic mess than Gore had in 2000. Luckily I woke to find that this clean and fair election really did happen, Obama is indeed our President-Elect, and I've been nothing but smiles all day (as displayed above). Feels great being on the winning team for once.

Quick side note: Here is the monster of an Ethanol factory just yards away from the Prairie Art Center. It's a mean muthafucka, funking up the whole town with some sort of poisonous white bread madness 24 hours a day. I'll go ahead and say that it penetrates like no funk I've ever encountered in NYC. That would have to be my only real complaint about the city of Peoria. Thankfully Germantown Hills has some of the cleanest air I've ever inhaled, so I haven't lost my mind yet.

Rolling right along with this body of work, I continued on the big piece I started yesterday, stretched primed and underpainted another big one, and made more progress on the DJ piece (Roger Sanchez at Vangard in LA). 9 days til the exhibition, it's a sprint to the finish line now...

05 November 2008

Turning Fear Into Fire

Hard to know where to begin on such a historic occasion, not to mention I'm completely exhausted and not feeling especially articulate. Never have I been this proud of my country. Thank you for taking the time to make the right choice, America. This truly is progress (at risk of sounding like every cliche you've heard thusfar) and I am excited for the new era this will usher in. This country had all sorts of back-water excuses to fear a Black President, but I'm happy to find that enough people have gotten passed this sort of deeply woven and highly ignorant thinking to see the larger scope. America just might survive after all.

I spent my election day alone with a big blank canvas. Later in the evening, I began jumping back and forth from my painting to cnn.com to check the stats. I didn't expect this much of a blow out - nor this early of a decision - but I'm thrilled for it needless to say. Part of me wishes I was in among Probama friends in Brooklyn (where apparently fireworks were shot off moments after the announcement), Midtown where the televised NY mob congregated, Reading PA where I would have likely done some canvassing with Kevin and his crew, or certainly anywhere in Chicago where I stomped around just two days ago. My celebration was quiet, but I did share the acceptance speech via msnbc.com with the fellow artist resident Jen Van Winkle - which I was touched to witness as most of us probably were.

Back to the painting... My intimidation of the 51x46" blank canvas was finally put to bed - I did some serious damage to that bad boy and it's looking really nice. So far this residency I've done much smaller canvases (2x3 ft, etc) for a variety of reasons (less shipping costs, less prep, less materials - and the fact that I'm a little bit of a pussy who didn't want to jump out of a comfort zone) but now I'm more comfortable than ever and can't wait to finish this one so I can start another big one. This photos don't exactly give it proper scale, but it's the largest I've worked since (I think) college.

03 November 2008

"You can't tame these horses..."

("wild wild horses" by atmosphere)

Back in Peoria, in the studio for close to 11 hours today and feelin' every moment of it. Finally finished two of the three I had in progress, started and completed another vinyl piece, and - though it may not look it from the photo - made some good progress on the DJ jawnt. Gotta get some rest to tackle the big blank canvas tomorrow.

Unrelated, but I must say the midwest is as charming as it wants to be... temperatures in the mid 70s today and gas at $2.09/gallon. Hopefully the good vibes will continue through election day. OBAMA / BIDEN 2008. Do'it.