"Hers is the most revealing behind and in front of the scene look you will ever get at the struggles of making it as an artist. This is not made for television, it is real. Unless you cannot resist the guilty pleasure, there is no need to tune into to the reality TV show, Work Of Art..." I felt guilty when I read Barney Davey's effusive praise for this blog in his widely read and instructive Art Print Issues. It has been nearly a week since I last posted an entry here and I have been averaging no more than one or two a week for the past month. It's not for lack of things to write about: I spent the first three months of 2010 in a psychiatric clinic and the next three trying to put my life back together with what little was left after my illness forced me into bankruptcy. Rather, I've needed time alone to think – think and not have to share – and through diet and rigorous exercise, try to dissipate the fog of psychotropic medications that had suppressed my imagination for too long. I also needed to practice my painting skills. They were rustier than I'd expected after months of disuse. Simple brush-work, especially with enamel paints, demanded more control and mental focus than I could muster, at least for the first few weeks, so I resorted to repainting several studies of recent enamel paintings in more forgiving acrylic in order to resuscitate some stored muscle-memory. And if my mind and body were shakey, my confidence was in a worse state. I felt like a fake: unable to complete new work – commissions had accumulated like past due accounts prior to my breakdown – I questioned my competence even to replicate old work. Reams of defaced attempts littered the floor of my studio. At the end of last year, I burned a pile of my paintings in a frenzied, psychotic impulse to free myself from my past. I've wondered more than once, these past several weeks, whether or not it might actually have been a singular epsiode of clarity, of sanity. I have no doubt that I am an artist. In many ways, I am no choice about it. However, I do have increasing doubts about the art I'm making and why. It is, in some ways (not all), at odds with what preoccupies me these days. Which is not to say I don't believe in my current work. It's just that, right now, it obstructs my path, in ways emotional, psychological and physical, to what I want – no, what I am compelled – to explore next.So I'm ridding myself of distracting remnants of old ideas. I'm selling all my studies, drawings and photographs – at prices far below those charged in the secondary market – in order to fund the completion of my last two series of 'old' enamel works, the Dangerous Career Babes and Big Pin-Ups (Miss July is pictured here) before the year's end. After they're done, I won't accept any more commissions. I long to be free of obligation – and, for that matter, others' expectations – so that I can begin to refine, then serve, the stew of new ideas already simmering in my head.
If ever there was an opportunity for smart collectors to acquire one of my works at an affordable price, this period of radical transition would be it.