Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday 03/26

It's been a tough few days this week - I'm getting the book ready for the show at Craftland in Providence. I was invited to enter my book in the show.....Wed. 03/15 (?) and have been working, non stop, to get the job done. My hands are swollen leaving my fingers clicking, my elbows feel stressed, my fingers are cracked and dry and my feet and legs are killing me but I am going to get this done.

So far I've redrawn 28 illustrations, handprinted 22 of them and have 10 more to go. That's, at minimum, 40 silk screens being coated, exposed and many of them, in the end, showing a problem that renders the screen useless thus having to be washed down, dried and coated all over again. And, if a problem shows up after the screen and illustration have been exposed the screen is useless and the whole process has to start over again. I'm physically exhausted by this but I can't not do it  - just a few more to go and then we bind this first run for the show.

I'm exhausted, sore and in pain but I am going to get this done.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

In the AS220 printing studio March 18.

Sat. 03/19 am

What a great week unfortunately it's left me a little weak. I'm in  a lot of pain and my hands, legs anf feet are swollen. I gotta take Bugsy out but walking is not going to be easy - he really needs to run in the woods.....oh well.

Anyway, this week was a great week and I owe it all to my pal Susan and the people at AS220. I don't remember ever having this much back up before -  I was bought up to believe you have to be competent enough to take the reigns, do it yourself and do it perfectly the first time and just succeed at everything you try. But it's not that simple. Really, no one can reach their goals without people who want to help, the decision to  invest your ego to instruction and trust in time. It sounds so simple now and maybe I'm a product of a can do dad but even dad had people on his side to help, support and guide him something that wasn't ever acknowledged. I was taught that I had to be robotic and just understand how to do everythuing and how to do it perfectly. But, I think I've found my place in the world (for now) with people who are willing to help me find confidence and to keep working on my goals. It's pretty incredible, I feel very fortunate.

On the side, Thursday night was St. Patty's day and I had web design class at RISD I'm not a St. Patty's day person, I think it's a ridiculous "holiday" who's only purpose is promote excessive drinking. But, I have to say, it was wonderful to get out of class and see so many kids on the streets having fun. So much life, so much fun! They were drinking and swearing and being overly dramatic about fulfilling what they perceive to be their roles on St. Patty's Day but it was still a joy to be amongst so much life.

However, when I reached my truck I found it pinned in  by two illegally parked cars - I was in the middle of a dystrophy attack so I wasn't feeling particularly patient with blatantly selfish people so I called the cops. I have to say, if you're ever in a tough spot and need police, call Providence police. The duo that showed up were polite, calm, friendly and just nice. The mini policeman said smiling "you're having trouble - hey, I could park a bus in that space!" The taller one said "jeez, I thought I was callin' a tow truck tonight!" so i handed them the keys and said "have at it". It took a while but they inched my truck out and considering the streets were packed with young drunks, they were as nice as could be about having to help me. Again, it took more than just one person to reach success but WE did it. We. I'm relieved to finally share space in the 'we' world.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sat. 3/19

So tired. I slik screened 7 or 8 pages today but , more than that, I was in South coast today ...yesterday, I'm in a show in 12 days, I got a request for a one man in Newport, I'm connecting with a pop up show group and Trader Joe's just offered me my retirement account money....GREAT stuff just keeps happening!

I wanna blog but all I can manage to do is drool right now. Let's try this tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My shared studio space at AS220, Providence - 03/15

Wed. 03/16

Phew, I'm beat. Yestderday, at AS220, I was able to print out 2 more pages from the book and set up......10? block print illustrations that, once processed, will be 2 more pages. Today I'm going to try to get at least 6 pages illustrated in black and white to expose on silk screens tomorrow plus I've got website design class homework. However, my arms are killing me and my hands are swollen - I'm able to do more now than I've been able to do in years but my hands and arms still swell up and the nerves (from the tips of my fingers to into my spine) hurt. This morning I woke up with the fingers completely swollen and clicking - that's not good, not good at all. Both my hands are causing me trouble.

If you don't know, I injured myself as the in house artist at Trader Joe's Hyannis. Thru repetetive motion and my boss' threats and bullying I ripped the tendons off my elbows, damaged the nerves in both my arms and have had 4 surgeries to correct the injuries. I need to have more work done but the damage is so "significant" that there's no point. I have managed however to gain a lot of my mobility back - all the doctors I saw said I would never paint again but I am. The injuries and surgeries caused me to develop a rare and painful form of dystrophy known as RSD. RSD can develop in one or two areas of the body or spread to throughout the whole body body  - mine is full body which means it's not just the injured area that can show symptoms or cause to an injury, the symptoms are felt everywhere like a dominoe effect. So, if I hit my finger my right leg can swell and lose mobility which then causes my right leg to do the same. Or, I bang my finger and my mouth and face go numb. Or I bump my head and I lose all feeling on the bottoms of my feet. If I get upset I can't walk. Sometimes, I lose my voice, my spine will radiate piercing pain, my chest goes completely numb, you get the idea

My RSD is effecting my ability to walk, walking is my favorite activity outside of making artwork and I can't wa;lk nearly as much as I have. I used to walk somewhere between 8 and 14 miles a day but now, most of the time, I can barely walk a mile. But, when this started in 2006, I couldn't hold a fork let alone a pencil, after one surgery my right arm was in a spring loaded contraption for months because I couldn't straighten out my arm. It was terrifcally painful.  The hardest thing for me to deal with are the "spells".  Exhaustion, significant weather changes and emotional upsets can cause these horribly crushing spells that in turn cause me to see flashes of light and or my vision gets sloshy ( everything looks like it's drifting back and forth like the view off a rocking ship) plus sometimes I'll feel like I'm being crushed in a machine or like I've been set on fire and my head is filled with a thick liquid and I can't think or see well. I can't sit up, I can't concentrate, I can't sleep. I can't work anymore because I never know how hard these spells are going to hit or when they're coming so I can't make plans but I can make my art. My art on my time.

Today is on of those days when I have a lot of work to do but, because of the icey rain, I'm already having trouble.We'll just have to do the best we can. That's all.....however, if I could get my fat ass out for a walk I'd really appreciate it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mon. 03/14

1,000 bodies just washed up on shore in Japan and they're estimating 10,000 people are dead. I am so afraid of what may be coming down the pike. I feel, that sometime soon, complaining about the mondane may be a luxury we won't feel is appropriate.

Some of my paintings are about us being forced to endure life changes that large corporations are forcing us to embrace. It appears the world has been forced to endure changes that we've imposed on it but, unlike human souls up against crop structure, the world can push back. We've polluted and squandered and waged war on each other and we've blythly assumed the world would continue to accept our selfish behavior. I feel the world has had enough of us.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sunday 3 am

Can't sleep. In a lot of pain. Part of having RSD is the constant pain - it never goes away, the pain is always there, the intensity is what changes. And depending on the intensity I can experience what I can only think of as being walking seizures.... I lose some sight and my head goes foggy and I tremble. It gets hard to think, communicate, walk, talk..... and thent here's other times, like now, where the pain is so severe I can't walk and I can't having anything touching the bits of me that hurt which, right now is everythign from my hips down. My sweat pants are causing muscle pain and my skin to feel like it's burning. I'd love to be reading or drawing or painting but I don't have the strength. The pain takes every ounce of strength I have.

I was thinking today about people in Japan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Sudan, Lybia and people in places all around the world who would appreciate the luxury of being safe enough to complain about something as mondane as pain and especially from a warm home. I was also thinking what a luxury holding vigil for a relative or loved one can be when you're living in devastation. Or what a luxury it is to be able to complain about a job when millions of people would love to have the opportunity to work.

I better try to sleep, it's almost 3:30. Yikes!

Sat. 03/12 pm

What a great day: I picked up Adobe Dreamweaver (the program I'm learning to use at RISD) to help me get closer to another goal - having a website, took pics of my painting hanging in the Hauk collection show at the Art Museum of New Bedford, Bugsy and I walked bits of Massasoit  State Park, had dinner at Pumpernickels........I'm so tired I could fall asleep right now but I really need to get some artwork ready for Tuesday. I love this feeling, accomplishment. I feel like I'm suceeding anf exceeding everything I've been years accomplish.

I do have to say though, sometimes I wish i had someone to share all this with. Although I don't miss being taken for granted in my relationships I do mind being so alone sometimes. But I suppose I'd rather be alone and doing as I see fit than being held hostage by emotional ties.

Saturday 03/12

I think I'm on a rol with my silk screening but I've realized I've been trying to print the project in a stilted manner. I've been trying to print everything in color - that's 32 pages plus book liners and maps each takes 3-7 colors, that's 3-7 different screens, and at one illustration at a time the process is frustrating and stlited. So, starting next week, I'm going to print the entire book of illustrations in black and white, which will take me (with boo boos) approximately 2 months as opposed to printing each page in full color which could take me about 9 months....a conservative estimate. Once I get thru the black and white printing process I'll then go back and start at the begining in color. I made the decision last night and was able to knock out 3 pages (and an extra fun illustration) in about 2 hours PLUS I was able to get 7 screens coated and ready to shoot. The system is coming together.

Now, onto this weekend's to do list:
  • ink illustration for at least 3 more pages (to print Tues)
  • contact Craftland about showing sample pages
  • carve out remaining book illustration images from Jack Harington's baby memories
  • carve out heads for "Men in bear suits" print
  • paint
  • contact Lori about portfolio brochere
  • walk Bugsy
  • shower
Yup, that's about it. It's been a successful week and I want to make sure I keep the momentum going. There's still so much to do - I really need to set up shows, I should be able to be in at least 1 or 2 shows a can I make this happen???? There's gotta be a way.

P.S. Will start posting pics of print images and artwork soon but a lot of it is already available on FB under the name Beck Lane Artist - if we're not "friended" let's "friend"!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My artwork in the year of the rabbit.: Wed. 03/09

My artwork in the year of the rabbit.: Wed. 03/09: "It's Wed. and I'm headed to Prov. again. Yetsreday was a good day, with Morgan's help, I got a lot done, I was so encouraged by the acc..."

Thurs. 03/10

Today, Thurs, is the longest day of my week. I spend about 6 hours at AS220 printing (or trying to print) or cleaning screens and setting up to print and then I attend a web design class at RISD. Before my job at Trader Joe's this would have been no big deal, I was a workaholic and had tons of energy, but the job sucked the life out of me and has left me in constant pain.

On the job, and under constant threat of being fired, I tore the tendons off both my elbows, suffered "severe and significant" nerve damage that's spread throughout my entire body (RSD) and had to have carpal tunnel surgery to save my hands. 3 different surgeons told me, the damage was so bad, I'd never paint again but here I am. I have trouble walking, talking, and I have entire body parts that have gone numb - my feet, the skin on my back, (sometimes) my whole left leg and parts of my right, etc. Sometimes my face and motuh are totally numb while the rest of me, from my skin from head to toe, burn and hurt like everything has been shredded.

That job (and especially my boss) took so much away from me and got so little in return. But at least, I'm free to work on getting myself ahead now and without anyone standing over me, yelling at me, threatening me, lying to me, setting me up for manipulation, abuse and failure which is just part of what happened at Trader Joe's everyday. I am free. I hope I'm able to just keep working on my projects and I pray I'm able to find success thru my efforts. It's been a long, hard few years and I need to find my own way now.

Todays to do list:
  • shower
  • walk Bugsy
  • load files into truck
  • drop Bugs off with Susan
  • AS220 print studio - print either the 7 color tea cup 
  • class at RISD
Man, I hope I'm able to hold today. It's cloudy and going to rain which can cause debilitating "spells" and crippling pain. Keeping my finger crossed. I need to stay upright.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday 3/08

I've been in a funk the past few days but today I'm hopefully going to pull ahead a bit. Today's to do list includes:
  • drop off laundry
  • pick up storage/push cart at Sears
  • go to post office
At AS220/Providence:
  • Meet with Morgan, sort out portfolio disc problem
  • mix colors
  • reprint either Turtle tea cup or map
  • paint
BTW, lately I haven't been tearing thru my to do lists. I'm lucky if I get a couple of things done. I have to make that change, I'm wasting time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Pet, the winner
Mother, the loosah


I'm still trying out how to make my win at Deblois as funny in writing as it was in person. Thought it'd be a cynch but but I'm not feeling very Margaret Cho.

The bottom line - there was a tag that read "Falissiom: hanging next to my large painting, "My Pet", but I didn't know what it meant and I could barely pay attention because someone had gotten paint on the new frame of my smaller painting "Mother". Globs of paint, globs of white paint on the new, over priced frame that I'd waited 2 and 1/2 weeks for  and crowds of people stood  between me and the frame and the white paint.My Rainman, OCD, gotta clean it, I buy my underwear at Kmart, 7:00 Judge Judy Rainman, kicked in.

I know I'm writing about this like it's a big deal, a big prize - in reality it's not but because I'm an outsider, a person left behind or marginalized, it's a relief to be accepted and acknowledged. When you're used to being left behind, being acknowledged is simply a relief.

Eventually, I did get to the frame. However, I didn't bother to shower and change before I left the house so I just looked like an odd, middle aged woman dressed in a stained sweatshirt and mud covered jeans, obsessively rubbing a picture frame. I did attract a stares, I'm told most people don't connect me with my work, that they expect someone younger....probably someone less wrinkly and thinner and better dressed so a number of people stepped gingerly when I approached the painting - let the cleaning begin, try not to act ferrel.

So, there I was butt in the air, trying to clean off the frame with my sweatshirt sleeve when a very nice gallery member came up and asked my name. This isn't the first time I'd been approached by a volunteer hoping to get between me and whatever damage they thought I would do to a piece of artwork. A couple of years ago, I was approached by an elderly volunteer at the Norman Rockwell museum while 5 more stood ready to take  me down. I'd waited my whole life to see his work in person and, in my excitement, I started sobbing and couldn't stop.

At the Deblois, my new friend aksed my quietly name. She had me clarify a few times, just to make sure - once again, I don't match my work. Eventually, she put a big smile on her face and expressed her congratualtions. My response "Oh, thanks.........For what?" She told me I'd won first place in show. I'd won for my abstract realism painting "My Pet". Smiling and full of grace, she introduced me to a number of visitors and gallery members - people who seemed a little surpised by my appearance but happy to meet me.

Oh, how I wished I'd showered. Not many momets come along where I'm warmly greeted and then  handed a prize - one should always make sure one is clean just in case one is the recipient of prizes and handshakes. Note to self: next time - shower, show up early, check the frames, and make sure you know your place in the gallery food chain.

Monday's list:
  • Get dressed
  • Bugsy to daycare
  • Bank
  • Truck to Jimmy for repair
  • PAINT! Finish the work, start something new, stop being a lazy, depressed, sad sack!
  •  Get print work ready for Tuesday at AS220

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday 3/06

So, last night I drove to Newport with my friend and painting collaborator John Boucher. I have two paintings in the Deblois Gallery on main st. in Newport - it's a collab and not very big but they have a prime spot on Belleville (the main street), downtown and just a few feet away from the International Tennis Hall of Fame.....I didn't know there was such a thing in the U.S., it seems so European, but there it is.

Newport is a bit of a hike, not in driving time but a hike in sheer patience. The pennisula leading out to Newport is long and bland and (except for the farms) kinda ghetto. But the rid eis ecodnary, I almost didn't go to the show opening because I really dislike openings, I don't like crowds, I don't like being in crowds, I don't like eing squished and tounched, cornered and engaged in conversation. I just want to be in the woods alone or in my Cave de la Hermitage home). Going to any event, but especially an opening, always seems like a fun idea till I'm in the thick of it - people eating and drinking and trying to one up one another while they're eating and's gross. Tacky 'look at me' clothes, too much makeup, too much talking in little groups, too much free food and no one buying.  Yucko. But, inspite of my inclination to stay in my Cave de le Hermitage, I went to Newport and Johnny rode shot gun.

After a 45 minute drive, we found a space at the edge of a town square (triangle really). The second we hit town, John decided he didn't want to go in. Unfortunately, he has the same aversion to crowds (that's more than two people gathering) that I do so he stayed in the truck. I didn't think I'd be that long, I thought I'd go in, say hello, look around and leave - that would take about 10, 15 minutes tops. John was left in the truck for 1 1/2hrs.

to be continued -


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Well, it's morning - sort of. Got a full nights sleep, I've been painting and am feeling a little better about being me. The plan today:
  • Go to the post office
  • walk Bugsy
  • take Bugsy somewhere where he can run
  • return my small stack of returnable items
  • come home paint, work on the set of 13 "We didn't make them stop" set
  • finish new logo
  • shower
  • walk Bugsy again
  • got to Newport opening
  • DO NOT eat anything unnecessary
  • DO NOT piss anyone off

I am feeling more optomistic today because I have tools and a plan (fail to plan, plan to fail) but my future ultimately depends n other people and that's usually where I fail. We shall see how far I get ahead but I haven
t had the best of luck when I've had to depend on other people - for years, I wasn't someone who could be depended on due to several addictions and outside factors but I've also never known what it's like to have someone I could depend on. My future rests in the hands of people I haven't met yet, people who could look at me and see what people have always seen - a  nobody but I'm hoping I can change that. I can't change my age, which already gives me a huge disadvantage, I can change my weight (working on it), and I can change people's minds about my abilities thru my work....which is my strongest advantage. My work.

Speaking of work, feeling pretty good  today (minimal physical pain) so I'd better get to work.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday 3/04 pm

So,I have goals and I'm good at reaching them. For instance, in December I set a list of goals for the new year and have pretty much reachewd them all including:

  • buy a shit load of larger canvases and Gamblin paint - check 
  • buy a pick up truck to transport artwork - check
  • have portfolio photographed - check
  • take classes at AS220 - check (so far: Van Dyke Brown, silk screen)
  • take web design class at RISD
  • join AS220 - check
  • PAINT - on again off again check
  • rework all the book illustrations - doing
  • print them in silk screen - doing
  •  buy a camera for black and white photos
Yet to be done:
  • take welding class at the Steel yard
  • take black and white photo developing at AS220; hire Danny to mentor me thru Van Dyke Brown process
  • send out portfolio discs with brochere to Firehouse 13, AS220 (check) and other galleries around Providence
  • FIND galleries around Providence
  • book shows for spring in Providence
  • go to New York, start to scout out possible galleries
  • get involved in flash shows
  • make friends
  • make connections
  • scout out new living situation in Providence
  • make video of painting for James
  • build website
One goal that I haven't made a dent in is my weight loss goal I have a personal trianer but I'm getting no where so I've started Slim fast. But my weight has less to do with my art than how I look selling my art so I'm not sure it's relevent.

Anyway, today I was supposed to get some errands done, walk Bugsy (my 20 lb Peekapoo)in the woods and paint but I did none of it. The restaurant experience I had last night had me so upset I only slept 4hrs so i walked around in a fog all day. I did manage to make a couple of marks on a 13 canvas piece and a 3' x 5' painting and I also designed my new logo - however, the plan was to have more energy (and confidence) than this and just tear thru the 13 piece set at least . But the incident in restaurant left paralized with self doubt and panic, two things I haven't felt for a while, and so I'm tired. Hopefully tonight I'll get some sleep and wake up ready to take on the world tomorrow.

P.S. When the painitngs are a little more interesting I'll post pics.

March 4, 2011

Today, I'm starting a blog. The mission is to catalog the steps I'm making to get myself off the ground (again) as an artist. Being 47, almost 48, I'm terrified I might never reach my goals - not because I'm in capable, I have talent and a tremendous amount of drive, but because I've spent my life hitting roadblocks and an incident last night felt like I'd hit another roadblock and brought my fear of never making it right to the surface.

After printing all day at AS220, an artist community in downtown Providence, I headed to a hip little corner restaurant before class at RISD. I'd been to the restaurant several times before and had been treated oddly but this time I got the once over by the counter girl and was immediately made to feel unwelcome by her and the cooks - I'm not sure what they were thinking but, from the looks and tone, I feel they assesed my relevance as a customer as being less than necessary because of my age and looks. I got the feeling I wasn't worthy of buying their beef stew. The interaction was just so odd, not something I expect in a city like Providence.

The way they looked at me and the way they treated me sent me into an anxiety attack that lasted all night - I can't stop thinking "I'm never going to make it. I'm not young enough. My work will die with me".

So, I'm setting up this blog. I want to record what I've done in 2011, what I am doing and where I hope to go with it all. Hopefully, I'm wrong, and my work is relevant but also, I hope I'M relevant enough to have a furture.