Sorry about the time I lost my temper on the topic of injustice.
nope. not sorry about that.
So, let’s get to the task at hand:
tonight I’m closing in on the tail end of a new body of work. It’s been a long time in the making and i’m only gonna tell you about the cool glamorous parts, not the shit boring bits.
currently mixing blues that - no, SHIT BORING
started off by binge watching episodes of - no, SHIT BORING.
got a call from - no, SHIT BORING
baby woke up and - no, SHIT BORING
accidentally dropped the - NO, shit boring
poured a glass of - no, SHIT BORING
I started these paintings in 2016, (pre-Trump, for time and space context). Then I painted on them religiously for 11 months thinking i’d found my inner renaissance.
but i couldn’t find the finish line. i beat those little flowery horses to death over and over again.
I left the country in October 2017, unexpectedly but more than ready.
After Iceland I whitewashed/blacked out every single canvas and this body started over from scratch.
(People ask me what it’s like to erase and start over, after so much time invested. I’m including the answer because it’s relevant, but this is just a sidenote to where i’m heading with this:
it feels like a whole lot for about five minutes as your life of hours flash past your eyes; then it’s nothing but relief. So, it’s not that bad and everyone should do it. A great lesson I’ve learned as an artist is to never get too attached. Attachment stagnates you. Persistence is one thing, but find that loose-hold distinction in your practice.)
Iceland in October was the most random trip I’ve ever taken. I had four weeks to prepare.
last minute items included: contact lens solution, mini snickers. (for a friend.)
I ordered a bunch of wool from L.L. Bean and I got real nervous about leaving my baby behind.
babies are a blessing.
babies blow to high hell any semblance of autonomy.
so much of adventure depends upon being single and carefree. or else you need a community of support that cares about you enough to take your life on as their own so you can have your own, life.
What if I didn’t have a mom and a sister that live in close proximity?
thank you, mom. thank you, sarah
damn dude, i left for iceland with a beer in my belly for nerves and a math textbook to get my homework done in the AIR.
i love to fly. ugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, i love to fly.
my childhood is made up of KLM wing stickers and a pile of passport stamps. my childhood is made up of a long story for another time.
I get to Iceland and the airport is so relaxed that I know I’ve arrived outside my birth borders.
Jamie finds me as I wait for my luggage. it has been deposited in a discreet pile far away with no explanation. the bag is neon so I spotted it after only forty minutes in a dark corner and also, i’m in ICELAND, I DON’T CARE WHAT THEY DO, THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME BE HERE, I WILL FORFEIT MY LUGGAGE IF THAT’S WHAT I HAVE TO DO TO ENJOY this VACATION.
Jamie emerges from the duty free with a heavy weight of beer and chocolate in tow and I smoke a cigarette with abandon in front of this steel statue. we both breathe in Iceland air and feel free.
I leave America and everything is smaller, calmer, less loud.
this happens to me every time and it never loses effect.
waiting for a rental car-no, SHIT boring.
we got lost on the first day for a very. long. time.
I blame myself.
I was just really happy to be there and I think I had jet lag.
we missed the exit for our B&B and ended up underneath the Ocean for 16 minutes.
it looked like a tunnel at first.
it WAS a tunnel.
underneath the ocean.
to and fro with a ten dollar u-turn toll.
I had a panic att - no, SHIT boring.
16 more undersea travel knot minutes later we found our accommodations.
sulphuric. (as in, the healing waters of Iceland are pure sulphur and I WILL TAKE THEM.)
jamie and I tore the lid off one of those duty free wines and walked into the mist.
In truth, we were bitching about her shitty ex-boyfriend while trying to light my cigarette with one lone match.
But, there was Aurora Borealis.
behind Jamie, just right behind her, behind us, beyond us, taking up space larger than we are used to, unexpected in our sleep deprived stupid stunted american human brains.
I told her to turn around and we drank wine for half an hour watching this mystical neon light cancel out anything we thought we cared about until now.
then I drank some wine by a fireside under a polar bear skin.
Icelandic ponies (native to the country and never imported so they are pure as the driven snow) were just hanging outside our bedroom window when we woke up. DISGUSTING. i truly hated this place already.
Our host cooked us a breakfast that exceeded 6 courses while she filled us in on all the icelandic history and local gossip. That’s it. just a few gals trading stories in a kitchen as if we had any business being there in the first place.
butter, multiple jellies
conversation that lives in my heart forevermore.
then we jumped on the trampoline that is sunk into the land of the house by the sea.
If I had flown to iceland for one single day, and it consisted of seeing my dear friend, wine and the northern lights, a breakfast feast, leaping in the air over and over and over by the sea, it would have been worth every penny.
but, we kept going, and that’s how adventures unfold.
I spent twenty dollars on soup in the city.
And that pretty much sums up Iceland, folks! Okay, goodnight!
No, but if I told you everything, would you really care?
We ran, navigated, talked, swam, marveled.
Jamie wakes up early and lets me sleep. friends that do that are golden.
coffee outside a doorway in the middle of a peat moss field that stretches on forever is unfortunately not attainable in my real life. but that’s what I live for, those magic moments.
i stored them all in my heart and my brain and my fingers.
i do this methodically, as I have done since I was a small child: I get still, I smell deeply, I take a mental picture, I silently sing this weird song I made up as a child while I replay everything. and that’s how i cement something.
My paintings fell out of me when I got home. a litter of texture, color, solid blocks of space and time.
It’s hard to capture a landscape like Iceland. It’s so expansive and every canvas feels too small. all mark-making feels too rough and also too delicate. I want to make the colors but they are unreal.
I asked Jamie to tell me what color she felt the most, but she was too honest, “it was a quality of light, more so than a color.”
so I am here, trying to capture light. and experience. valleys and hills. water. rock. dirt. steam. cold air. really dark nights; that green glow Jamie and I chased for seven days.
the older I get, the longer I paint, the more I realize that everything I am trying to create is living bigger and quieter outside of myself. I will never reach it, I can only honor it. Nature is the oldest great master: prolific for centuries, innovative beyond the scope of our imagination. Sometimes I think Nature is super humble with it’s quiet season changing and sweet grass regrowth. but Then I stumble upon some crazy 700 foot waterfall or steam-puffing hillside and realize that nature is one smug motherfucker.