Unpacking My Studio

A year ago I set out to start this blog (how fucking original!) as a space for more considered musings on art than what the naive space of Tumblr mostly fosters. Over the course of that year, much has changed, and beginning this postponed — namely, due to the fact that I learned quite quickly: writing is hard. Flushed with embarrassment and inadequacy, I hid the drafts and tried to pretend I hadn’t set out on this task. In addition to that, I was unemployed for the larger part of the year and spent the latter half climbing out of the debt I accrued. With that came moving out of my beloved grungy space at Bolm, run by Big Medium, and in looking back, the months away from the studio afforded me the time to prepare to launch into whatever the vision for this blog was: something vaguely about ‘abstract art in Texas’, which is likely a thinly veiled attempt at hiding the fact that this is a personal diaristic blog musing on art. So deal with it.

Alas, I found a job, began to climb out of the hole I had dug, and have made my way back to my tiny white room at Bolm. I pulled the boxes pushed deep into the under-stairs crawl space full of paints and jars and mediums, pushed aside the box of failed paintings, and that too of the successful ones, taking only those not immediately related to the past project. Standing atop a 10′ ladder, bright orange against the white walls in too small of a space to warrant such a towering piece of equipment, I hung four additional lights and replaced one empty fixture and the space is now brilliantly white. Although the idea of the studio fell back into place exactly as it was packed despite the calls to myself to not think of it as a painting studio, the studio’s a second home; objects fall instinctively back to the places they originally occupied.

In resuming, I’m enlightened once again to the fact that painting’s problems never die, and are so intertwined with life’s problems it’s impossible to run from yourself, to begin anew. I’m realizing too the weight of importance in having a work space; how joyous the feeling of making two pale pink dots reminiscent of breasts on a cheap piece of watercolor paper is, then calling it a day to eat frozen macaroni and cheese; how sad it is it took six months of getting back on my feet to have this small piece of home again; how sad it is that one’s production can be so dependent upon having a space to work, which is so dependent upon having a means to have that space, and a means typically totally separate in temperament from the ultimate project.

It’s true too that the overabundance of feel-goodies in the arts (looking at you D. Hickey) dilutes ideas of quality and what work is, but I’m not naive to the fact of the feel-goodie nature of my own thoughts on art and art-making, I’m not naive to the belief I hold that romanticism is an integral component of this act of making work, and in reality, it’s not that far off from the ‘separate means'; work is work.

Here’s to a second attempt at the call to myself to get to work.

Happy New Year: An Intro

There’s a problem with the feed and it’s allowance for the consuming of content to become a reactionary process of “yes” or “no”, “likes” or ignoring, objects and images soon lost to what follows pushing them out of the feed. Some people think this is good, and is influencing change more efficiently. While I do agree and think these acts of support are generous and healthy in general, there’s a communication fragmentation forming and it’s making me uneasy–but maybe it’s my fault for not branching out more.

My studio complex has at last filled it’s spaces, having been nearly empty (or seemingly so) when I moved in about a year and a half ago. I have met some wonderful people who I have had the continued pleasure of sharing work, ideas, anxieties, and laughs with. Austin is a generous city when it comes to it’s community and one of the bigger complaints is that critical dialog suffers due to it’s care-free attitude. Maybe it does. However, that same attitude, as Seth Orin Schwaiger of Arts + Culture coined it, the “for the hell of it” attitude, is what opens a space for the unexpected and fosters the supportive community.

I intend for this blog to exist as a place to have a more serious dialog about abstract painting’s current concerns and developments than our tried and trusted Tumblrs, Instagrams, and Twitters allow, as well as art in Austin and greater Texas. It’s undoubtedly going to be biased and I fully expect to be writing about things much better writers already have, but I’ll try to do my due research. Feel free to call me out, I encourage it.

We have a lot of great artists here I’d like to talk about too, or at least participate in the community with. My thinking for this half of it is: Studio visits? Artist features? Show reviews? Mini-essays from contributing authors? I think it could be fun, but again, feel free to call me out.

I have a stack of ideas sitting in the drafts currently, and hope to start wheelin’ some out later in the month–hopefully every two weeks or so. I don’t intend to flood your various feeds with notifications of new posts, so please follow the Twitter or the Tumblr account if you intend to follow along.

Here’s to pushing forward into a new year.