TUESDAY, 1 APRIL, 7:47 AM
Isn't April the cruelest month? Good luck to us all!
"He who postpones the hour of living rightly
is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out
before he crosses."
MONDAY, 31 APRIL, 6:46 PM
Useless Information About Me: The ABC Quiz
Act your age? Usually older. Sometimes too old.
Born on what day of the week? Thursday
Chore you hate? Vacuuming
Dad's name? Rowland
Essential make-up item? ummm...nail polish?
Favourite Actress/Actor? nope.
Gold or Silver? silver.
Hand you write with? right.
Instruments you play? in elementary school I played the clarinet. badly.
Job title? director
Living arrangements? carriage house by myself.
Mom's name? Shirley
Number of people you've slept with? who the hell can say? more than I want to admit....
Overnight hospital stays? yup. appendectomy when I was 10.
Phobia? not really...unless anxiety attacks count.
Quote you like? One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. --Andre Gide
Religious affiliation? Lord no!
Siblings? Sister, kinda...
Time you get up? sunrise.
Unique habit? not sure there's anything unique about me...
Vegetable you refuse to eat?
Worst habit? smoke
X-Rays you've had? teeth.
Yummy food you make? grilled pizza.
Zodiac sign? Capricorn
SUNDAY, 30 MARCH, 4:20 PM
I've been thinking about the various responses that I've received to the queer culture questions I posed last weekend (and posted a response to the board). I'm starting to realize that I'm not looking for a queer culture, I'm looking for a community of queer artists, intellectuals, free thinkers, gadflies, trouble-makers, activists, et al. So, in the spirit of the internet, I've started a new discussion board, queer bohemians.
I know, I know, "bohemian" sounds pretentious... sue me! It's not meant to be exclusive. It's meant to identify me with a community of people who I've not been able to find on the internet. I've linked to a few folks who I know who are part of my little life, but I think a more free-wheeling conversation amongst queer folk who are looking to connect will form something that a personal web site can't. I love the correspondences that I've developed with other individuals, but I also want to be in the midst of a conversation / multiple conversations that involve lots off other folks. Maybe it's a fallacy on my part, but I think that there's a need for this kind of community. I'm hoping that this might be the way to finally create some interactivity in my internet world...
Please spread the word about this discussion board. It'll only work if we can build the community.
SUNDAY, 30 MARCH, 9:10 AM
It's a rainy, cool, New England spring morning. A great day to paint.
SATURDAY, 29 MARCH, 6:24 PM
Another excellent day in the studio. I've been dragging a bit, but it's my own fault. I've got to learn to guard my wine glass when Kurt's around. He has a habit of "topping off" my glass, which I promptly drink.... Yikes.
I've been working on the biological father project again. It's interesting to look back on the evolution of this project over the past three years. I feel like I'm finally at a place where I can pull this thing together. I allowed myself to get distracted last semester and turned this project from the issues of fatherhood to some sort of biological family thing. It's not what the work is about. If I want to do drag paintings or twin paintings I can do that at another time. This project is about the nature of paternity and the absence of that paternal reflection in my experience. of course, it's also easy to fit myself into the father role and to consider the representation of my own son... Sigh, it's all so complicated.
The nature of my biological father isn't so different from other people's experience. I'm not trying to exceptionalize my experience, yet, I find myself wondering whether my biological father even knows of my existence. It's possible that the burden of my conception feel entirely on the shoulders of my biological mother. He might not even know that he shot a lucky load!
I think about this from my perspective and have been trying to think of it from the perspective of my biological parents. I know what it is to abstractly know that I have biological parents, but what is it to know that you gave birth and let go of your child? What would it be to know that you impregnated a woman and she let go of your baby? Would you feel relief? Regret? I'm not sure what I'd feel. I think about what I would have done if I'd impregnated a girlfriend in my youth. There were a couple of tense late months and I worried about it -- mostly worrying about being trapped in a family. Now, I wonder, even regret that we didn't have kids back then. It would have changed my life, but maybe for the better? Who can say?
For the first time in a long time I've actually been thinking about doing the search. I don't know why. A sense of connection is probably what I'm seeking. The continuing issue, of course, is that I really don't have an interest in meeting my biological mother. She, however, would be the only means to meeting my biological father. perhaps, I'm overstating, though. I've just not thought about my biological mother very much. Perhaps opening myself to that possibility is too raw. Perhaps, I'm really not ready to know.
FRIDAY, 28 MARCH, 6:02 PM
Holy fuck! What an excellent day!
I spent most of it in the studio (with a little break for lunch with the folks). There are some days that you just hit it. I feel (finally) back on the top of my game! Yipppeeeee!
Instead of searching for the new, I delved back into the unfinished, not completely developed ideas that I've been developing over the past couple of years. There's something compelling about starting new work. However, content doesn't always come and I do have a wealth of ideas in storage. It's funny how many "good" ideas I've started and developed according to my skill. Now that my skill as a painter is starting to, shall we say, flower, I can go back to these ideas and develop them with greater proficiency. It's exciting to get back to these ideas. It's going to be funny to juxtapose the "drafts" now up on the site with the work that's emerging in the studio.
All that aside, spring is a beautiful thing. I feel young. I feel horomones flowing. I feel super-horny. Alas, tonight's plans are with an old friend...no chance of using the juice! LOL!
Oh, and for all those folks who write comments about me being too serious, this is, indeed, me gushing!
FRIDAY, 28 MARCH, 6:15 AM
Ummmm, well, yeah, whatever I picked up is a pain in my ass. It doesn't make feel really sick, but it makes me feel generally like shit. I just want my energy back!! Ok, okay, enough bitching. Comparatively, I'm doing just fine.
No, wait, more bitching: I'm an idiot. I forgot to pick up coffee at the supermarket the other day. It's 6:15 and the coffee shops / groceries don't open for another 45 minutes. Shit.
I've been reading Ken's book and I am, again, enchanted with Waldo. Sigh. How'd he know how to narrate my life? When I get my act together, I'll be writing more about this. Self-reliance, indeed.
Yikes, it may be that my head actually needs coffee to be able to blog today.... more later.
THURSDAY, 27 MARCH, 7:56 AM
Well, I wasn't just groggy yesterday, I was sick. After nearly 18 hours of sleep I'm feeling better, but still a little achy. Yikes. So much for the beauty of spring break. Maybe today I'll be able to read a book...
WEDNESDAY, 26 MARCH, 7:28 AM
Even though I got a million hours of sleep last night, I'm totally groggy this morning. Yuck. I suppose that's what I get for trying to cut my cigarette consumption in half... Well, better get my shit together. It's going to be a big day.
Since it's spring break, I've compressed the activities of the week into today and tomorrow. Oh boy, meetings all day!!
Maybe I should just go back to sleep...
BTW, thanks for all the responses to the message board as welll as for all the private emails. I will respond to you all soon. Well, when my neurons start firing again.
TUESDAY, 25 MARCH, 9:09 AM
Although I felt unproductive yesterday, I was actually very productive. I managed to make a small painting, I started a new message board, did a lot of small work on the site, and managed to correspond with a bunch of people. I need to be easier on myself. I'm in a period of doing research and the "products" may not come for a while. That's okay.
I realize that I'm re-orienting myself (again). It's funny to look at the daily photos and I realize that I'm softening again, resuming my neo-hippie posture and leaving the defenses of the bear/leather daddy persona behind. The photos are more playful, less stressed, no longer reflecting depression. It's amazing to be able to see the shift. A wonder of the the whole daily photo project!
I've been thinking about the power of working on-line and wondering how I would have approached it when I was just coming out. I think about all those old journals (who knows where they are!) and the disconnection of that that sort of journal. It was always interior, always without a sense of reaching other people. I remember reflecting that I kept writing the same thing over and over. It's not like I don't have insistent themes now, but I feel like this medium is so much more generative. Publishing my reflections doesn't allow me the comfort of avoiding. It makes me accountable for my various rants, obstacles and yearnings. Sean's struggle with confidentiality and his reflections about the usefulness of his journal have, of course, reminded me of all this. The problem, of course, with this medium is that one can't ethically write about other people -- and vent all of that stuff. It does provide a skewed version off my reflective life. After all, I construct a lot of meaning by thinking about, talking about the actions of others.
Nevertheless, I'm deeply thankful for the power of this medium as a reflective tool and as a means of conversation and connection.
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MONDAY, 24 MARCH, 11:21 AM
I tried to get my groove on in the studio, but it's just not coming today. I think I'm haunted by some of Pam's observations about my work. I've worked so long to become a competent figure painter. Now that I've got some competency, I've got to face the more complicated questions of content. I don't mean to say that i haven't thought about these things in my work to date, but I'm struggling with the history of painting and the external calls for me to be more conceptual in my approach.
It's not that I don't appreciate the trends in conceptual work. I just don't believe that conceptual art is any more lively than traditional painting. I'm suspicious of the lack of craft in post-modern work and it's conceits about interrogating the history of art. I don't want to trade on that kind of cynicism and irony.
For all my bluster, I'm rather an earnest man. I believe in declamation of values, I believe in the mystery of the universe. I want my work to be able to investigate these kinds of questions.
So far, my work has dealt with questions of my identity. I've used my body to play with representation and performativity. I've used ideas of my family to play with the performance of family. I've mucked around with images of masculinity. Yet, I'm wondering how to resolve or tie together these ideas. Partly, I'm facing the realization that my more lively and successful practice as an artist is on the web. The construction of ideas and correspondences has been a more useful place for me to construct meaning. Even now, I'm turning to the web to process the obstacles in my painting practice. I know these modes of expression are interrelated parts of my practice. I'm not disputing that. I'm asking, instead, why I have an easier time playing on the web and why I'm so serious and precious about my painting practice. It's probably because my expectations about the web are so flexible and my understanding of painting is so grounded in a history of painting. I'm also so much more comfortable with words than i am with images. That's a funny thing to admit as I only think of myself vaguely as a writer.
I need to break myself from the expectations I take into the studio and simply approach it with a sense of fun. I know that I've been thinking about the ways that I play in all parts of my life. the change in the weather has me tapping into some boy-feelings; I find myself skipping and running around with my camera. It's easier for me to play with the camera than with a paint brush. When I take up the brush I suddenly become the serious adult painter. Perhaps, this is a result of all that art school? Perhaps, I listened too closely to the apologists who are intent on making art seen as a serious, political pursuit. Like the straight men who taught me to paint, I've replaced playful transgression with dire (dour) assimilation. To be seen as serious, to be taken seriously, I've assumed the posture of the discourse that enables capitalism. I've become not an artist, but a producer of commercial culture -- at least in my subconscious approach to art making.
I don't need to make money from art. I have a perfectly good (and creative) job. I need to make art to understand the insistent questions that inform my interior life. I need to make art to discern meaning from my life. To do this well, to do this in a transcendent way, I need to step beyond reason and to seek understanding. I need to get in touch with my subjectivity and to use art to portray that subjectivity to the world. I need to get myself into the conversation.
Will we ever learn?
Cowboy diplomacy just don't work!
He who postpones
the hour of living rightly
is like the rustic who waits
for the river to run out
before he crosses
One doesn't discover
new lands without
consenting to lose
sight of the shore
for a very long time.
use your voice