Monday, February 22, 2010

How to Lose Friends + Alienate People

{Crunch-Time Crazy}

So P. has been away on biznaz for two weeks, which has been perfect timing because I've been clocking twelve hour days in the studio getting ready for the show. But the combination of P's absence and my approaching show deadline has resulted in a steep decline in the orderliness of our little house, the bounty in our fridge, and the sorting of our mail. I have devolved into a studio monstre, which is a horrifying sight to behold. Saggy, cropped mom-jeans (they were, in fact, my mother's) covered in paint, gnarly clogs that give me the appearance of having hooves, an oversized men's work-shirt, and my hair smeared back in fifty bobby pins. Oh, and a big woolen cape that is killer when worn with tights and tall boots, but Sleepy Hollow-creepy with the above mentioned ensemble. It's not pretty. But I don't expect to see other human beings when I'm dressed like this.

When I ran out of dog food on Friday I was finally forced to deal with the reality of my dysfuntion. Saturday morning I fed the poor dogs a mixture of white rice, yogurt, and crushed dog biscuits (as if breaking them up into little pieces somehow made them more acceptable). I painted all day and finally went to the grocery store at 8pm that night, thinking hey, no one I know goes to the supermarket on a Saturday night. Also of minor but relevant note, caffeine makes my hands shake, which makes detailed work difficult, but sometimes I need a little pick-me-up in the afternoons. I had just downed a room-temperature coffee and had the shakes pretty bad as I crept into the grocery store like a Shade from Hades swaddled in plaid flannel. Luckily there is a vibrant community of tweakers and meth-heads in the high desert, so no one paid much attention to me.

As I was weighing the pros and cons of the regular, cheapo avocados from Mexico against the more expensive organic ones from California I felt someone lurking behind me. "Uh, Lily, is that you?" I winced and turned around, clutching an avocado in each shaking hand. It was my husband's new coworker. And a bunch of his friends. All strapping young fellows in search of ingredients for homemade lasagna. I think I said something along the lines of "Oh hey, I ran out of dog food." I scurried away to the checkout line with both types of 'cados and a jumbo bag of dog food, and sprinted out of there before I ran into anyone else.

All's I'm sayin is that it'll be real good to have the huz home and get my life back in order. One more week of cray-cray and then I have to put the brushes down and let the paintings dry for a week, so I'll decaffeinate, get a hair cut, paint my nails, and hopefully reemerge on the other side none the worse for wear. *Hopefully.*

Above painting in various stages of progress/regress: 
Assimilation / 30 x 30 in. / oil on gessobord / 2010


  1. Ha! I hate it when you think you're safe and then someone finds you and you can't very well explain that you don't normally look like this, but you weren't expecting to see anyone.

    If it makes you feel any better, I'm a disaster zone when I have the house to myself. I will wear the same sweatpants for several days in a row (no need to change when you go to bed and then get dressed when you wake up!)and I have a lamentable tendency to feel too lazy to wash my hair.

  2. Lily... this post was great!! All of your posts are and I get excited to see what you have up your sleeve. I love those paintings. My hubs adds so much, much needed order in my life... we always say I am the creative one and he is the organized one... so we balance each other out. I thought your ensemble sounded cool and I always think it's pretty much fate when you go somewhere in hopes of not seeing someone and then BLAM you see a cluster of folks... haha life is funny!! Well sweet Lily... wishing you the best of weeks!! XO

  3. this is why i could not live alone. i go stir crazy without human contact. i always think i want alone time and that i'll get a lot done on my days off while jesse is at work. but then i spend most of the day in bed at the computer without having changed, showered, or cleaned, and maybe left the apartment only once. it's funny how that works. sounds like you are at least being productive on the artistic front!

  4. hilarious! it's so funny because this happens to me all the time. basically, i'm the most un-put-together person ever, and have a real gift for creating awkward situations. AND caffeine is a no-no for me...the shakes are uncontrollable and last way too long.
    love this post!

  5. OMG!!!

    I was rolling on the floor, evrything to the T' reminds me of myself; the coffee room temperature is a must when you loose yourself in work...

    I am working on some final images for a show this Friday; and I am already down to that weird Fashion style that emerges right before any exhibit, I do not know about you but my nail biting goes out of control also. I only have until tomorrow night for sending out to print, and the running for having everything ready will kill me!!!
    I love the Goat with the red painting; I would love to see it finish..
    Have a good night.

  6. this would be why i'm favoring photography and blogging lately. no "special" outfits! or at least the "special outfits" i'm wearing lately are not ALSO encrusted with paint and reeking of thinner.

  7. all while you described it you sounded lovely to me! but yes i do know what you are talking about i am starting to look like a farmer for sure and not the kinda farm girl that has her blowing in the wind as she is belting out the latest country hit! but more the kind you can't identify her gender!!!

  8. Good stuff! I learned this lesson the hard way when I 'bumped' into my husband's investor's chic wife at the post office. Talk about cringe!

    Sorry it has taken me SO long to reply in regards to the flash and camera. Sean doesn't use a flash but relies solely on the perfect light of the day. This can be early morning, late afternoon, or the penumbra light (which is my ultimate favorite). Hope this helps! We also have a Leica digital, and his dream is to own a Hasselblad (note, I mentioned DREAM).

  9. Oh my God, you're hilarious! The whole situation is completely familiar to me, perhaps especially the part about crushing and mixing dog biscuits when I'm too dysfunctional to get out! Good luck in your last phases of cray-cray, little monstre! XO

  10. i could visualize exactly what you were saying in my poor little head. luckily, i wasn't drinking anything, or else my monitor would've been sprayed. O_O

    if the posted images are anything to go by... your dogs' digestion, your house, and your image might've suffered a wee bit, but it was well worth it.

  11. I really like Chairman Goat on the right.

  12. omg ... you are a riot!
    you should have thrown in a wink at the new co-worker ... you know ... just to spice up the situation a bit more ...

    many days i have literally gone into panic mode at the thought of a car driving into the yard when i am in the studio dressed like ... dressed like ... well, they would just add it up to me being the 'artistic' type ... haha

    and i have had to appease ollie cat with some rendered vittles as well from time to time ...

    i know i have said this before, but i LOVE your writing ...
    just feel like i was right there with you ...

    a girl just has to do what they have to do when it comes to crunch time ... it will all come out in the wash ... ;)

    girl, you do GREAT goats!

    prairiegirl xo

  13. Your recap on the setting and days event was very captivating and very very funny (especially being stuck with two avocados in your shaky hands as you ran into your husbands co-workers) but oh my your latest paintings demanded equal to more attention- they are great!!!! Really nice pieces!!
    Love to be alone and get lost in a project, time warps and you forget about the outside world and even food till it becomes essential.

  14. * I love your work- stumbled on your Homesteads a little while and was blown away...the new series looks fantastic- and I really love how they tackle the issues you're addressing.

    * Your hyper-caffinated, crazy-dressed, studio-hermit-meets-clean-and-well-dressed-real-world accound made me laugh so hard! At the same time it freaked me out- I keep assuming that as I have more shows, I'll get better at pacing myself so I don't devolve into the 'studio monstre' myself. Now I'm guessing that it's just a part of the process!

  15. he he he he. this sounds like the state we go into at the end of projects in "architecture school." except we live at the studio.

  16. Hah! I'm glad I'm not the only one who forgoes human clothing and food when in the midst of a creative bender. I've been working like a wild woman for the last two weeks and, really, I look insane most days. The occasional trips out for a dose of sunshine and maybe a cup of tea are necessary, but they also require putting on somewhat normal attire and actually figuring out something to do with my hair. I almost resent it sometimes. Sleep, too. That bugs me when I'm in writing mode.

    I'm so excited about your new work I can barely stand it. One of these days I'll get to see one of your shows. Come do one on the east coast pretty please. Then we can meet for coffees at Diesel or wherever your heart desires, and we can walk around Somerville and Cambridge with shaky hands together. Caffeine makes my hands shake, too.

    xoxoxo Gigi


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