It is very uncomfortable in my studio these days. It is hot and very humid in New York. I spent 7 hours working in there yesterday, and the thermometer in my studio began the day at 93F and ended at 82F at about 10PM.
On top of that, when I returned from my trip to San Francisco, I discovered that the pigeons love to visit my studio and fly around and poop on everything. Fortunately, they pooped on paintings facing the wall, but one picture suffered some significant damage. It was a picture that I planned to repaint anyway, but the pigeon damage was very irritating and a bitch to clean.
I now have screens on the windows to keep out my feathered detractors, and I've been busy in there for the past few days despite the heat. I'm taking a day to cool off in the AC of my apartment. I'll do the long work of starting and blocking in a new painting tomorrow. I need a break after yesterday.
Yesterday, I finished the repainting of the picture damaged by pigeon poop, and that I was going to repaint anyway. It's a picture from the Wojnarowicz series, Krazy Kat Landscape.
Here is my photo of the work I completed yesterday:
And here is Steve Bates' photo of the painting in its former state:
The painting is about David Wojnarowicz's love for the American west, and his frequent travels through there. It is also about his admiration for the cartoonist George Herriman whose Krazy Kat cartoons are set in a quasi-surreal desert recalling Herriman's frequent travels to Arizona, particularly to Monument Valley. Wojnarowicz described the deserts of the Southwest as "Krazy Kat landscapes."
The former version of the painting recalled Herriman's work very directly. I kept the colors bright and relatively flat.
In the current version, I decided to incorporate my own recent experiences out west, and to make the Herriman references more oblique. Traveling through the basin and range regions of the west by car or by train is a hypnotic experience. I sat glued to my window for the whole trip through Colorado and Utah. The immense forces of geology on display, the colors, and the expansiveness of the whole landscape is mesmerizing.
I did some work for the next painting which I hope to start tomorrow. I made a second life drawing from a model for the painting Hustled.
For once, the model was more comfortable that I was. I'm amazed I didn't drip sweat on the drawing. I spent 2.5 to 3 hours working on this. Even with fans going full throttle, it was still hot in there.