It seems I have been taking a summer vacation. Weird.
Still, new paintings of larger and different sorts are in the works as I synthesize good feedback I got from smart people, rest my sore hand, and find new inspiration. For example, I’m working on a larger painting of the German Parliament building (or Reichstag)—from a photo I took very early one morning when the northern European summer light was incredibly beautiful and the streets perfectly empty. Like the rest of the world, I also can’t stop looking at this.
Life drawing happens in my living room now, of course. But I can’t take photos of that, to work from more slowly… So lately I’ve also been painting on some small, fast works that also don’t feel done.
Similarly, a few new vocal track song drafts from vacation are online (here and here). Someday I will figure out how to write proper accompaniment for, practice to performance level, and perform my new Berlin music oeuvre. For now I’m just trying to get together a dozen new songs I actually want to sing. I’m up to 10—15+ if you count everything I’ve written lately, which I don’t. I found when I moved here in November that I simply couldn’t sing my old stuff anymore. I didn’t want to memorize any of my published poetry. I want to keep working on performing as an artist, but don’t know how exactly. I’m still not sure there’s a voice of mine to be found in this vein. From how people respond there’s more clearly a “there there” in my painting…
Thanks again to everyone who made my first Berlin gallery show last month at ReTramp a success. Now the beginnings of my new Berlin painting oeuvre are back home. It feels so good to have them also rephotographed with proper tripod and camera. For the first time, you can now see the colors and textures in my paintings—in their photographic form. That first improved curation step done, I’m setting up a new and improved online store… With a little help from my friends (read: a lot of help from Mr. Wolf). I hope it will be online later this month, but we’ll see. (I need yet another German number for tax things, and such.)
I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t writing. But I do so need to launch this European art career. So I’m also working on a book proposal reinventing the research memoir I tried writing last fall, thinking of Françoise Gilot—the painter and memoirist who fled into art from law studies under Nazi pressure, and then left France and Picasso for a new life in America. Still I’m not sure I should return to the work that led me to leave academia and the States. I’m so glad to be here now.
In the meantime I’m still learning German through cooking and love, and will continue this summer vacation thing with light posting, longer work sessions on fewer paintings, and more inspiration-seeking than thing-making for a while… Much as I need to write and make and do every day. It has been time for a rest.