Here’s what I did today: In preparation for White LinenNighttomorrow I added some new paintings to my solo show (to replace the many that have sold). Let’s call it The Platform Reformatted. I hope you’ll come see it even if you saw the original Platform. There are quite a few surprises, such as the oil painting above (Sparrows, 24×24 inches, oil on canvas, $500).
Hanging was fun today. I love doing this. Also, I’m quite excited about tomorrow’s party and about life in general. I’m starting to look at places to live in the Heights, starting to envision the perfect home where I can invite collectors and have open studios and parties.
Also, I washed the dog.
Oh, and I’m still voiceless. I almost forgot. I’m used to it by now and I find it very zen.
I’ve good news: While my voice is not back, my joie de vivre has returned. I’m once again getting excited about stuff, and I’m having fun. Even the not speaking seems to have its charms: I’m paring everything down to essentials.
And so, here’s what’s important: I painted one of my pieces for the Harvey Retrospective Show at Hardy and Nance, the Houston skyline blooming. I also started getting ready for the biggest party ever: John and Ryan’s White Linen Night, which will take place this Saturday. My little power drill and I were busy today wiring new paintings to hang. What’s most important, I was happy doing this. I was really enjoying every moment. See, while getting ready for my solo show, there were whole days when nerves and stress ate away at my joy. That’s not how I want to work as an artist. And today I realized that having done the big show, having jumped through the rings of fire, I’ve acquired enough experience to actually relax and enjoy not just the painting but also the other preparations.
In the evening my friend and I went downtown to see the Lego people. They’re sitting in a park at 1200 Smith Street and you should go see them too. After, we dined at Xochi, splitting two of their Restaurant Week menus and it was so amazing! My friend talked. She had a lot of news to share and I was happy to listen. I typed the occasional question or comment into my phone. We laughed a lot. And then we teared up just a little during dessert because my friend is moving to Colorado and I will miss her. Still. Colorado isn’t all that far away. I’ll soon have two very good friends there so I’ll definitely visit.
I think I’m getting better at this whole silence thing. Oddly enough, the creature with whom it’s toughest not to talk, is the one that can’t even speak human: my dog. I can explain the silent treatment to just about everyone else, but my poor poochie must be really confused that none of the familiar sounds are coming out of my mouth.
I even managed a silent lunch, with my friend Jill who was a good sport and laughed about it. We went to Bistecca for Restaurant Week. It was nice, though a feeling of deja vu creeped in. Restaurant Week was what I was amusing myself with last year, right before Harvey. Some other unpleasant things were going on in my life at the time, and while I’m happy to have overcome all that, revisiting it is not pleasant. Especially now that I’m trying to recover from laryngitis and the accumulated tiredness from my art show. Still. Like I said yesterday, the anniversary of this awful storm is a time to celebrate survival and change.
Perhaps now is a good time to announce that I’ve been invited to participate in a Harvey Retrospective Show at Hardy and Nance on August 24th and 25th. They even used my watercolor from last year to advertise it. I think I might have to sit myself down and paint something upbeat for this occasion, and hopefully this will cheer me up.
For now I painted this rabbit. And I pooled all my efforts into feeling better. Ironically some girl with an overly enthusiastic German Shepherd made me scream (a silent yet painful scream) by invading the personal space of the Biggest Dog in the Universe and almost causing the Apocalypse. Why don’t people ask? I really hope she hasn’t undone all my good work over the past few days.
This is interesting: I’ve taken a vow of silence. Apparently the only way to heal laryngitis is to rest your vocal chords. Completely. Even the whispering I’ve done over the past few days was actually hurting. See, I’ve done my homework. I’ve even gone to the doctor, something I rarely do, but I do have a doctor I like, the clinic is close to home, and I hadn’t been in a year, so why not? It was nice to learn there’s nothing seriously wrong. A little cough syrup and a lot of rest can fix this. It’s the rest part that I really suck at. Rest makes me bored and restless and leads me to think too much about stuff that’s not necessarily good for me.
I also had a nightmare last night and it took me all day to put two and two together. The rotting and decay in my nightmare, the alligators too, this is probably about the one-year anniversary of that awful hurricane approaching. Which comes with good and bad. It is a milestone to be celebrated. Things have changed. I’ve grown. I’m different than I used to be. My life is very very different. And still, it is the anniversary of a particularly bad moment and I figure it’s bound to stir up some ghosts.
And speaking of… It might be time for more changes, more renewal. It might be time to finally start looking for a place to live in the Heights. I do love my tiny apartment, but it might be a tad too small (especially the kitchen!) and I’m too far from too many of the things I like to do. So maybe it is time to tear myself away from this little bit of security and search for something better. It’s a bit scary, but definitely not as scary as staying stuck.
Today I sat in John’s studio with the dogs and painted a scene from my party on Friday. We also watched Café Society, which was nice. It’s a Monday and life is back to normal, sort of. I ran some errands, went to the post office, that sort of stuff. I also sucked on lozenges and tried to regain my voice which has dwindled to a whisper since talking to so many people Friday night. It’s the same thing that happens when I teach summer classes that meet every day and end up talking too much. Anyway, John pretends to love it and says I should stay this way, but I’m working on getting better.
Today we had the closing reception for my show. My art will still be in the gallery, so you can still see it if you wish (and you should by all means come to John and Ryan’s legendary White Linen party on Saturday!), but The Platform will no longer fully be there, as some paintings are going home with collectors, and are replaced by other pieces. Still, there will be some fun stuff for you to look at! Also, I had a really nice day.
Holly the Boston (aka @biggestdogintheuniverse) has had a rather boring time while I was preparing for my solo show. She decided to vent in a poem. Please excuse her language!
Asparagus for breakfast?
Now that takes the cake.
Da fuq am I?
I understand my human had a party –
It was big and important
And involved art
(I hate art).
Other dogs were invited
But I was not
(I hate dogs).
It was at the gallery
(Now I kinda do like
It has a cool
And wooden stairs.
I love stairs)
And there were many people
(I like people)
(I love food above all).
So after days of absence and neglect
What does my human bring me?
A tray, a whole tray
Of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto
(I do not disapprove
It’s related to bacon).
And then this morning,
When she finally cracks open
The magical plastic
It’s all wrapped in
What does the foolish creature do?
She unwraps the asparagus
The salty pork goodness
Into her own mouth.
What do I get?
I mean I ate it, but…
Then she proceeded to tell me
Prosciutto is too salty
And that she’s out of dog food
But will go out and buy some
(Everyone knows coffee takes forever!)
“Here, Boo Boo,
Have more asparagus!
And how about some pineapple?”
Good thing I love that bitch.
It was an awesome night! I had such a great time! Huge thanks to everyone who came, and to everyone who supported me from a distance.
Also, it’s not too late to see The Platform if you missed this. We are having a casual drop-in on Sunday (2-4, 1218 Heights Boulevard), so please come and please bring or send friends you think might wanna see it!
The morning started off well: strong Turkish coffee, friends offering help with the lights, and me realizing that the store that sells the bulbs and fixtures is right next to a bakery my new friend recommended yesterday. So, I might not have been able to get all the lighting supplies I need (they had to order them and I’m picking them up tomorrow), but I did get a delicious focaccia. Then my friend Rachel and I managed, after several mishaps that didn’t seem funny at the time, to point whatever lights were already in the gallery at the actual paintings. And yes, it did make quite a difference!
See, tonight was an important night. Tonight was my evening to present my work to the Monarch Society, a group of people that are vital supporters of the Escapist Mentorship Program. I’ve gotten to know them over the past few months, and they are wonderful people. I definitely wanted to make a good impression and to show them how much I’ve learned and grown.
I’m happy to report that the evening was lovely. We talked and laughed and I even sold a lot of paintings! Oh, and look what John made for the wall in the gallery. I thought that was pretty cool.
Today I got to show the gallery to two very special collectors. I also got to swim in the pool, to cuddle with Bobby and Nancy on the couch in John’s studio, and to have a very lovely long lunch with a fabulous new friend. It was a pretty decadent day, and when in the evening I realized that my lighting in the gallery is not as good as I thought and that I’ll have to fix it tomorrow, at great expense, no less, it seemed like yet another unexpected crisis, one that hit me at a moment when I thought the excruciatingly hard part of the solo show preparation was done. But it’s ok. I’ll get a good night’s sleep, and then I’ll figure out the gallery lights tomorrow.