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Recovery Mode

Post #1553 • May 29, 2012, 6:03 PM • 3 Comments

As a blogger, you have to ask yourself how much disclosure is too much. All sorts of interesting things are going on chez Einspruch, some of which are unpleasant, and a few of those are nobody's business. That sort of thing doesn't stop Hazel Dooney, whose blog I follow, partly because she'll post entries like this (NSFW). Exciting stuff, but it's not my style, I have nothing so sultry to report, and while I have a vision for this blog to provide insight into the life of an artist, one has to wonder how much artistic and personal confusion one can express in public before people wonder if you're losing the modest talent you have, along with your mind.

But some of the trouble is secular or civilian or however you characterize the non-art stuff in your life. My workflow went kablooey in April when Ubuntu upgraded to 12.04. This is a long-term stable release, in theory, but in practice my wireless connection could barely hold for four minutes and Unity would hang twice a day. After playing around with a few other distros, I said to hell with it and installed Windows. The irony of Windows is that it has an Ubuntu One client, which is more than you can say for every other flavor of Linux. I have several gigs of data backed up there and I don't feel like moving it to an equivalent service once I'm running Arch or whatever. It was time to admit that I was solving computer problems because the art problems were scarier.

Speaking of which, last weekend I got together with my friend Sarah, a good artist who derives her wisdom and strength from Russian literature. She will tell me the truth even if it singes my eyelashes off of my face. Sarah looked over the work I did in California, in which I was none too pleased, and found things to like here and there. As is typical when a fellow artist regards your work with fresh eyes instead of your beleaguered, jaundiced ones, she saw connections where I saw a bewildering plethora of styles. Maybe my residency wasn't a barely mitigated artistic disaster after all, which means that I have work to show at my upcoming exhibition in Edmonton in August. I will still be cracking the whip over my back between now and then, but I find myself a ways up the path, not milling fruitlessly around the trailhead. (I want to express my gratitude to Alan Pocaro and an anonymous reader who made helpful suggestions at that post about some things I might try. Printmaking, for one, is an excellent idea, and Alan reminded me of some successful painting I had done that bears further consideration.) When the new scanner arrives, I'll post some of it. In the meantime, here's the checklist for the rest of the year.

In June, next week, I travel down to Haverford College, where I'm curating an exhibition of the work of Ying Li that opens in September.

July, somehow, has no commitments except to hunker down in the studio and work like a demon.

In August, my exhibition at Common Sense in Edmonton, AB runs from the 3rd to the 25th, with an opening on the 10th. On the weekend of the 17th I'm doing a wood engraving workshop with no less than Barry Moser at Zea Mays Printmaking.

Ying Li's show starts on the 7th of September. I'm also hoping to be accepted into the Governors Island Art Fair.

In October, I'm organizing an exhibition at NK Gallery in Boston. This will open on the 5th and run through the 26th. It features nine artists, self included, working with comics in a way that touches on poetry. An anthology is being assembled for the occasion. More info to be announced.

I'm also blocking out time for an art residency in October to which I haven't been accepted (yet, with any luck) and a tentative solo exhibition in December for which details haven't been confirmed. More info on them too if and when they exist.

So, with failure not an option and multiple opportunities for failure piling up, what to do? When in doubt, change materials. A new sketchbook suitable for dry media and eminently wreckable has found its way into my backpack. It's time to go chase down a motif.

Comment

1.

Chris Rywalt

May 29, 2012, 11:15 PM

As a blogger, you have to ask yourself how much disclosure is too much.

Wrong! I never asked myself that question! Not even when discussing my genitals! Which, admittedly, I didn't do in my art blog. Pretty sure it came up when I was writing for TeeVee.org.

Anyway.

...a few of those are nobody's business.

There's your trouble right there. You think there's anything about your life that's nobody's business. What fun is that?

That sort of thing doesn't stop Hazel Dooney...

Good lord, you follow her? I forget how I bumped into her (virtually of course)—I think I found her from two different directions at different times. Certainly once was seeing her as Steph's Facebook friend. I think she turned up somewhere else art-related once. Whatever. The important thing is, she struck me as one of the most damaged people I'd ever read about who wasn't a serial killer. I think she helped form my thesis about how beautiful women are all seriously fucked up. (Hearing about your experiences contributed to that project also, along with a few art models.)

The post to which you linked is not only fucked up but also bad art. I mean, I went through a sex phase too, but I hope I was a better draftsman, at least. (A friend of mine suggested my drawings, all in a row, looked like a pornographic comic book. I didn't take it as a compliment.)

It was time to admit that I was solving computer problems because the art problems were scarier.

I find this surprising. Once I gave up airbrush I never found an art problem as frustrating and painful as any number of computer problems I've had. Heck, just getting Django and Django-cms working lately has been killing me. When painting's going bad, you stop. I've never had success with that strategy with computers. (Note that the airbrush was more frustrating than computers: It wouldn't work and I couldn't fix it, which is not as bad as computers, which for me usually get fixed eventually.)

She will tell me the truth even if it singes my eyelashes off of my face.

There are times when I wonder if I should be that honest. Usually I only wonder after I've done it already.

failure is not an option

People say this but it seems to me failure is always an option. That's kind of the trouble with it, actually.

2.

Walter Darby Bannard

May 30, 2012, 9:47 AM

Good to hear that you are up and functioning. With all those projects to work through, time will fade the current hassles into memory.

3.

Alan Pocaro

May 31, 2012, 3:29 PM

Thanks for the props! It's good to see some posts. I was getting a little bit worried.

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