Archive for June, 2010

Can you tell I have been trying to give the Mac the benefit of the doubt?

Friday, June 25th, 2010

tiles1.jpgWho cares what it is…I am just trying to move art and photos back and forth. Learning.I’ll try typing on it right now.I hate it. I hate all the Mac keyboards I’ve tried. It’s like the anti-typing machine.Pilar keeps saying, “Just bring it back.” Well, no, I say. I know it can do the right thing and do it fast…I just need to be a grown up about it and buck up. But the “fast” part of me is leaving doubts. It freaking slow. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t seem to be that great of a computer until I deal with colors and color correct. In fact…it kind of sucks.But I need it for what I need it for.I’m going to keep trying. Just like I am teaching myself to learn to paint from scratch. (Er, learn about paint from scratch…hey, wait…I had never dealt with paint before three weeks ago. I am self teaching. And I am kind of proud of it.)This is four tiles that I did the first layer on. Ignore it, most likely, but it shows how I think a little bit.


Thursday, June 24th, 2010


This was suppose to be mermaid…yadayadayada. But then I got to looking at it, and it works better as an angel in the sky,

I’ll kiln these layers tonight and see what I think tomorrow. It might actually be a fairy in there. I’m really not sure. (Don’t tell anybody!)

I kind of like this idea…

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010


More just learning how to fiddle with the paint. My newest discovery…buying samples at Home Depot is MUCH cheaper than any art store or craft store for paint. And I get EXACTLY any color I want!

Art talk

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

3-dtest1.jpgThis has been another Saturday night of boring tests.Mostly, it’s been about the iMac. I have stuff to learn. I feel like Tom Hanks in “Lost.” I know what I want to do, I just feel like it’s all done so differently it’s going to take a while.My current quandary is whether or no to take a painting class. My dad and Pilar and Big A keep saying I should.Hence, I am trying to boot camp through learning how to use this type of paint on my own. Talk about a lot of crap.But what surprises me is that out of some really bad stuff, some really decently good stuff keeps emerging as I get more comfortable with it. I am good at this stuff. I have no idea how or why. I really don’t. And I have no skills to repeat anything I do with it easily. So, if you take something like this painting. I don’t know if it’s done. I have no idea what it is…but I like it. It uses five different tools to paint, the balance is about correct, and it’s super 3-D looking. But the whole experiment was seeing how paint piled up absorbs the colors around it depending on lighting and angle. The whole thing is abstract on purpose, but I learned more, I bet, fiddling with it than I would in a week of art classes. It’s a doodle.Which takes me to my final point…I love my wife and daughter for letting me build a studio from scratch and get to just futz around with this stuff. I promise it will pay off, my loves. Maybe not the art, maybe the writing, but I can taste it.But to have a place where you just sit and think and fiddle and look and to have good lighting and a nice table and comfortable chair…wowzer. I just feel creative in here. I want to get it finished, but I have no problem calling it my “studio.” It’s messy and oddly decorated, and it smells because I fart too much, but it has beer in the fridge and a very good sound system with lots of room. I need to get the color-corrected lights (DOH!) and  there are some wiring issues to finish. But, holy freak! It’s so much like what I have wished for my whole life to have a place to just create things.So I guess that’s really my last point…what do I do with this. I’ll save that for a later post because it its own topic.

Friday, June 18th, 2010

I have so much crap to find and weed out to try to get on one new computer. Shoot me. But I am having little discoveries…

Like a short story I wrote in 1991. Cool. I’ve dragged it around with me a long time. It’s only about 10,000 words…but it works with some polishing. Actually looking through files reminds me how much I have actually written over the years.

When I can I just throw it out the window?

Friday, June 18th, 2010

So I bought an iMac. It’s been 72 hours and I pretty much hate it. Except for the fact I like it for what it needs to do. But I hate it.I haven’t own a Mac other than iPod-esque thing since my Apple ][e. It ‘s completely alien and frustrating. I don’t like the keyboard and blah blah blah…But then it does something that I think, “Huh, that was kind of a cool.”And then it screws around again with being silly when I unplug my printer and it decides it’s never meat the printer like my printer has HIV from being hooked up to a PC for an hour.I have this sense of doom that i just wasted a ton of money on something I’ll never learn how ti use correctly. I can see how this is awesome for art, graphic design and photography…but just sitting and writing it’s dumb. Or it feels that way after three days.  I feel like I am going back to college to learn how to use it. I have four computers in this room, and it’s like having four three-year-old kids while I get them to play along.This is what I mean.It doesn’t even like the “return” key. I’m close to the hell with it. Except I do need it. Grrrrr….


Monday, June 14th, 2010

I was mucking a canvas that I screwed up and I scraped and ummmm…well…ummm…I ended up with a porn painting.

I swear to God, it was by accident…sort of. I did encourage it a little. And my wife looked at the crap that was left from my disaster and actually planted the seed…but she didn’t know it when she looked atthe muck and said what it looked like to her.

Here’s the thing. It’s not going to be bad. In fact, it’s pretty good. But it’s really porn looking. BUT! I bet if you hung it up in you kitchen it would be years before someone looked at it “that” close. Which is what I like about it.

Art cracks me up.

(email me if you want to see it at (skip spaces and use the ampersand) e le may  1(at) m s n . com)

It’s pretty graphic if you want to look at it like that, if that makes sense. I was just trying to do a volcano and made a wrong turn. This is a oops….ooooh.

I need to write…again

Sunday, June 13th, 2010


 I’m actually a pretty damned good artist…but I fucked this up. I botched this like a goalie for England in a World Cup soccer match. I’ll fix it…I think.

But learning how to do acrylic painting was a giant goal of mine. The first thing you have to do, though, is learn the medium. So I put together a bunch of canvasses and I am just plowing through them.

But this was really good once. Like yesterday. And then I introduced red and yellow and had my hands full.

My point being is that I am up at 3 a.m. really pissed off about it and there’s not much I can do until the paint dries. I screwed it up. I know exactly how I think I can start fixing it, but my hands are tied for about 24 hours.

Which is why I need to go back to writing even more. I can get obsessed with that and just screw with it in real time.

The conundrum for me with art has always been that I’m pretty good at it, but it’s messy and has a lot of cleanup. Words just seem so much easier. You screw something up, cut and paste and document and you are right onto the next great thought. Canvas art is slow and tedious.

When the art works, frankly, I shock myself. In fact, I am kind of embarrassed about it. I am actually, probably, a better artist than writer. Weird to admit that.

So my next “problem”…I have this great set up to do art. I have a wife who just keeps telling me to do it seriously. And I get muddled by details over it that I can’t fix. I am, literally, tortured by the art. I spent two days laying down that muck of nothing (above) and I know what it should be. I can see a really cool sunset at sea painting in there with a foreground over the top (a ship’s mast or maybe a beach ball or frisbee?) But here the skinny…I have no freaking clue how to use a palette or water or paint brushes. DOH! I’m an ink guy, with some charcoal. So I feel trapped by the art…very hard to explain.

Writing is just as hard, but it’s easy. It’s like the go-to that I can do. Public relations and marketing is like that, also. I’ve learned from the best for that stuff; I can pull it out of my ass. It should be what I am doing. Writing.

But I look at that and see the potential for a very cool “oil spill” scene with a bunch of black birds flying around or something as the sun sets from the beach in Pensacola. I dunno. But it bugs me.

Writing is sooooooo, sooooooo much easier.

Screw it…all this work and I want to work on something

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

There are two halves to my new room. One is the “studio.” This is the art side. Well lit and pretty blank. I have been doing a lot of writing lately, and I had kind of neglected this whole side of things. So tonight, I just layed some gesso and two bands of color onto a board with red and green acrylic. I have so idea what it will become, but it felt like I had to pop the cherry on this end of the room. It needs its own furniture and stuff, and needs to be better thought out…but I actually don’t mind just crapping paint out of a tube on the floor  and getting at it.

See, that’s why we built this whole thing…I don’t have to care about making a mess. I don’t have to clean it up (well, you know what I mean. I can just leave a layer like this by the heater over night.). And I don’t have to explain it while it’s in progress. Let me just futz around and learn what I can do.

But I want to play with acrylic paint and just get a better feel for it. Tonight was just part frustration with writing and part experimenting. Like how you clean brushes and that way it feels on a canvess with different tools. It’s also starting to learn texture and layering. I’ll probably throw this all away when I’m done, but this is my cheap version of acrylic art school.

The way my brain works is thus: Once I feel what I can do with the medium, I’ll have it in the back of my mind until it will hit me and we can go to town.



Then there’s the office side…OYE! I love it! But the technology stuff has been driving me a little nuts. Long story. See the cords hanging from the attic? But the awesome thing is that this is what I wanted for working on the computer. The only one that has to give a damn about anything about it is me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, because I’m not building a hermit cave or something. I am just getting some spaces that have no pets, no kids, no wife and no worries. This is never going to look perfect like some show on TV…it’s functional funky.


It’s all coming in a little over budget, but not much more than a decent used car. It’s getting the clutter of my office(s) out of the house, and giving ample storage for holiday decorations. Sweet.

(You’ll see I did give into one perk I really didn’t want but was goaded into by a cheap price…a TV with a built in DVD player. The wire that runs from it is to a cheap antenna that gets five stations on digital TV.)

Tomorrow is bee spraying and lawn mowing. Spring has sprung…finally.

If an alarm goes off and nobody hears it?

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

My house alarm went off at 4:42 a.m. Argh. How tired in Big A after her trip…it’s didn’t wake her up but every light on the whole airport hit Christmas tree status. I am a terrible neighbor.

Seems there is a problem with the alarm in the new office. It doesn’t affect the house, just the new box out there. They’ll come tomorrow and take a look. Grrrr…

This means at least a day or two more before I can put anything of value out there and start getting moved in. Double grrrr.

It was funny though being awaken from a dead sleep and not being able to turn it off, and then standing in a completely totally empty room detached frome my home with this conversation:

Dallas-based alarm person: “We’re showing the motion detector in the office.”

Me: “There is nothing to be in motion. I am standing here. It’s all fine.”

“Are you sure? Look around and make sure there are no pets or anything.”

“Uh, can you hear the echo in my voice? It’s me and a couple of carpet remnants.”

“Well, it just shouldn’t go off like that. Do you have any windows?”

“Yes, but…” (Getting cut off.)

“Well it must have been something outside then.”

“Impossible…we put the motions so that couldn’t happen.”

“Anything is possible, sir.”

So I paid almost a thousand bucks for a system that choked on me the very first night I had it on. They are coming back tomorrow.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…there is no way in hell I’d ever build by own house.