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Whilst on hiatus

Post #1270 • January 6, 2009, 11:59 AM • 9 Comments

Alas, the studio beckoned, but it mostly beckoned to be cleaned. This is appropriate enough, as we're still new arrivals in the house and we plan to be here for ages if we can help it. I spent a goodly amount of studio time on the road, to the Container Store for the clear plastic shoe boxes I like to keep my supplies in, to Utrecht for a new easel (my first H-frame, in which I am pleased). I located stacks of paper that had been hurredly stashed into portfolios, and then stretchwrapped, as we fled Orange County. I put together standing lamps. I shoveled snow. Holidays called for observance and much pleasurable eating.

I managed some productive time, though. I picked up a few morsels of Processing and Blender. (Both of them are great fun. The latter has proved impenetrable in the past, but there is a new spate of Blender books on the market, including a worthy beginner's reference. For Processing, one might investigate this.) Aside from this site, I also completed a long-overdue redesign of Necee's. And I managed to sneak in an installment of The Moon Fell On Me under the descending, Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-style stone door of 2008.

I reflect in awe on the last several years: the whirlwind of 2008, the mayhem of 2007, the upheaval of 2006, and good old 2005, may it be damned forever to hell save my meeting Supergirl and my residency in Taiwan. For 2009, I hope mostly to pass the time quietly but productively in the studio here, overlooking our adorable Boston neighborhood, complete with a cat dozing on the window sill. And for you, I wish you that which you wish for yourself.




January 6, 2009, 6:10 PM

I'm glad they have Utrecht in Boston. I like Utrecht, though strictly speaking I have no business there. I mean, I do buy some stuff, but it's not to make art. Still, I like prowling the aisles and looking at the supplies. I also like the vaguely weird employees. You just don't get that experience at Home Depot.


Chris Rywalt

January 7, 2009, 12:05 PM

Honestly, Jack, you don't need to have a purpose in an art store to enjoy browsing. I personally have always loved art stores just to wander around in. I don't need or want nine-tenths of what they sell in any art store, but I just love looking at all of it and imagining what I might do with it. Pearl, a largish art supply store near me, has a medium-sized light green rock for sale. It's soapstone or something similar and you carve it. I'm not a sculptor, but that rock, man, I love to hold it and think about carving it.

I also love stationery stores. I have even less use for anything in them, and contempt for some of it, but I love them just for the smells. I love paper, all different kinds of paper.

A major part of being an artist, I think, and one not many people talk about, is just loving your materials. I love how oil paint looks when you squeeze it out of the tube. I love how it feels to brush it on or mix it up. I love the look and feel and smell of linen canvas, even though I don't paint on canvas any more. I am totally in love with a well-made wooden panel.

And don't get me started on used book stores.



January 7, 2009, 12:33 PM

There are plenty of vaguely weird people working at the Home Depots up here, Jack.

Chris, buy the rock. Go to the dentist, ask them for the used scrapers they were going tho throw out. Carve the rock.
Ta-da! You are now a sculptor.



January 7, 2009, 1:26 PM

MC, I meant vaguely weird in an appealing way.



January 7, 2009, 2:51 PM

Ah. Gotcha.



January 7, 2009, 3:33 PM

And MC, regarding your advice to Chris in #3, you're a bit behind the times. He doesn't have to actually do anything to be a sculptor; he can just declare his whole life an existential, ongoing sculptural process. Beuys would buy it. All sorts of, uh, advanced people would also. Of course, you're in Alberta, so you can't be expected to understand these things like we do in Miami.


Chris Rywalt

January 7, 2009, 6:56 PM

I was wandering around MoMA the other day waiting for my timed ticket for Van Gogh to come due and I slouched into this long room and I was like, what's in here? Oh no, it's the Beuys room! Run! Run away!

The people working at the art stores around here are an appealingly weird bunch, also. Home Depot and Lowe's and Panera get some mildly odd people, but around here that just means they're not Spanish and have a tattoo. At Pearl some of the workers are really out there in an appealing way, like with multiple tattoos, facial piercings, and enough buttons and bumper stickers to wallpaper CBGB's. And there's one middle-aged Indian woman.

Jerry's has a slightly less obviously bizarre bunch, but they're pretty much the same every time I go in; Pearl's got a revolving cast. Jerry's manages to hold on to people, possibly because the owner, Al, is personable and involved. Heck, I know the guy's name. There are a couple of cashiers there I'd run away with if they'd let me.


Chris Rywalt

January 7, 2009, 9:48 PM

Regarding buying the rock, by the way: If it were just a little cheaper, I'd buy it without hesitating. If it were more expensive, I'd never consider it. It's just at the cusp.

I may one day buy it. I like the idea of using dentist tools. Sounds like fun.



January 7, 2009, 10:49 PM

I like that description "vaguely weird employees." It makes me warm inside.



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