Sometimes the sky spits, and this is what passes for rain in Los Angeles. There used to be a word in the vernacular here, rains, as in, "The rains are coming." This word is no longer in use.


Sometimes there are birds that fly by.

Today I will tell you something concrete, which will not be like the milksop sky I am oppressed by, which has neither concreteness nor form nor color nor end. Today I will tell you that I cleaned my studio. I cleaned my studio, and it is very much like cleaning my mind—I hope. Frankly I would like to clean it so much that I have cleaned it out entirely, and then I am on the heels of all my boxes going elsewhere, moving being the great distractor, the great friend to people who feel stagnation like a bludgeoning.

The same conditions that make it possible for me to do the work I want and to go with it down any avenue it leads me down, or I lead it, that is to say, to see any given impulse or trend in my work to its logical conclusion, also regularly make me crazy—stir crazy in my steel container that has no connection to the outside world except the colorless, featureless, flat California sky and freeway roar and industrial beeping that abounds. Nevermind the beeping—I can smother that with music—and nevermind the roar, though I should mind the roar, and have minded it, but the featureless sky with nothing else, not a single fiber of the natural world attached to it or intermingling with it and therefore my eye and therefore me, that I can neither forgive nor combat. It is as though I am floating in my steel container in some horizonless bland milkwater sea, detached from everything, drifting, isolated on an objectless sea, box-trapped, and my head exploding with ideas while at the same time imploding with none. And yet the work I am doing, what I have striven for, is exactly correspondent to these conditions that make me crazy and drain me of vitality that is fed by the work I do.

I think there is more to say about the color red. More specifically, I think there is more to say about the color red as it pertains to clothing versus paint. EXPUNGED EXPUNGED EXPUNGED it is not a latent red in my skin anymore!—and this does not look good, I do not like looking like a siren! I cannot wear red. EXPUNGED EXPUNGED EXPUNGED that I look terrible in red, and therefore I do not like red clothes. EXPUNGED EXPUNGED EXPUNGED and this is yet another example of how something that is true is also false, how something that is on this day true is on another day false, how truth carries falseness within it, how truth and falseness are one and the same.


I do not know why I have had a purple skirt made, I do not like purple. I have no fierce objection to the color, but I do not want to wear it either. There are people, I am well aware of it, who swoon over purple—but that is such a ridiculous thing to say! No one swoons anymore! Perhaps once they did, if fiction is to be believed, but as a species we have moved away from swooning—I am fairly certain of this, I am fairly certain that people no longer swoon, except maybe occassionally in theaters where operations are performed or upon the sight of blood, for some. I do not find blood sickening, and I am very responsive to the color red, I do not know why I did not have a red skirt made instead of a purple one, I really do not know the answer to that. I will tell you this, however, and it is possible the answer lies inside of what I am about to tell you, which is this: I think it was falltime when I chose the fabric for the skirt I had made which was to be a summer skirt. Do you see what I am driving at? We cannot make decisions for our future selves! But that is no kind of answer, it is only an observation, which tells me we cannot predict outcomes very well either.

Here is what I beleive, it is perhaps the only thing I believe, I believe that the gods will crush us for our hubris, and I am so often guilty of this hubris and I am just as often crushed, and then I am absent of hubris, and then I begin my ascent back to hubris's hilltop, where the gods await me in their aspect of towering gods with gigantic paws. But if I do not believe in what I am doing (in my work—I do not do anything but work), if I do not believe in it such that it creates a sort of many-horse-powered motor that speeds me to the crown of that hilltop, speeds me forcefully, then I do not think it would be worth doing, I must believe in it to such an extent that I am willing to be crushed, to be swung from the summit to the depths in one disdainful arm-flung motion, but you see, then I am guilty of hubris, and then I am crushed, and then I do not feel that I had been very willing at all because then all is confusion, all is disappointment, all is struggle to regain what was good in my work, and so you must understand, it is a very delicate balance of certitude and humility that I must continually try to manage, and I do not think I manage it well, for I am always rushing up and making my hilltop shouts of triumph and then I am always finding myself with dirt in my mouth as I climb onto my feet from my flung-down position.

On this day, I would like to tell you this, I would like to tell you that it is still a grey sky, but not a deep or story-ful grey sky, just a grey sky, grey that wants to be white, grey that has neither hatred nor joy, grey that has no feeling, grey that has no memory. It is a grey that thinks it is white, but grey that is grey, without redemption. It is morning sky, for I am a morning writer, I do not think I write words under afternoon skies, and certainly not under evening ones! That is incorrect, I write many words under evening skies, I have books full of them, but they are never for anybody but myself, these under-the-evening-sky words I write in fragments. If you wish to see the grey sky that I am speaking to you about, then I suggest you peer into the white screen that surrounds these grey words, and I think you will find it there, you will find a background exactly like the morning sky outside my window, which is two stories high and the size of a very large garage door, so you see, I am confronted with a lot of this grey sky that is not even grey it is white!

The truth is, I don't want to tell you about the process of making art, it's too insular and too mysterious, even to me. There's an inner alchemy that happens that even I don't know the formula for, the best I can do is prepare and position myself for the elements to do their work on me, or I on them, I don't know, but to make it so that I am in the position to make this work without being fully cognizant of what that entails. It is not required of me to be privy to the full mystery, and since it is not required, I would go further and say that it is probably forbidden for me to know, that were I to know, were I to find the key that unlocks the door to knowing and were I to actually employ that key in my greed to know, I would lose the abilities that I have, I would be cast out and never again granted access to this special hell that is painting. My deep resistance to writing about it can therefore be seen as a form of self-preservation, and so surely I cannot be blamed for starting this I-will-not-call-it-blog without having the intention of actually writing about what I was meant to write about. I will, however, tell you about other things, gladly I will tell you about other things, and there so many things to tell you about, there is everything to tell you about, everything except one thing, today I will tell you that the sky is a perilously uninteresting grey, and that cars are moving apace along the 5, and that there is a persistent loud ringing in my ears.

Well, here we are again. I suppose it's probably just as much work for you to read this as it is for me to write it, so I think we are in this together. It is a grey sky badly concealing a blinding silvery white one today. That is all I can see from my window. I do not have a view, except of the giant sky, which glares and blinds but does not reveal any drama. I miss dramatic skies, dark skies, dark and dramatic, we do not have those in California. The weather here does not suggest mystery, very rarely does it suggest mystery, which is regrettable because there is nothing better than the suggestion of mystery. This is what I am painting now, the suggestion of mystery without its revelation. When I decide to learn how to append photos, perhaps I will show you, but in the meantime, it is nice to have the mystery concealed. It is best when the mystery is almost fully concealed because then all is promise. All is promise.

I have made this work for myself, and so I must do it, I must do the work I made for myself to do. I do not have to like doing it, but do it I must, and so here I sit, doing this work I made for myself to do, and so far I think I have told you nothing about the process of making art, while at the same time, the only thing I am speaking to you about is process. It is so frequent that a thing is both itself and its opposite, it is probably always that things are like that because all things carry within them every value of aliveness and of course death as well, we are all luggage for death, it cannot be otherwise, we were not born without death.

I began this I-will-not-call-it-blog because I wanted to write again, and I wanted to bind my visual work together in a neat parcel of words—but there is nothing neat about what I do or even who I am, so I do not think that is going to happen, I do not think this is going to be in any sense of the word neat, nor will it ever resemble a parcel, except perhaps one that is torn to shreds and very stringy. It is my aim to tell you this, now, in this moment, it is my aim to tell you that I am sad because I have made this work for myself, this writing when I am now not so excited about writing as I was then, when I had the idea and then the damned impetus to begin writing about the process of making paintings, which, by the way, continues apace.

This is a practice, and this is the practice, today this is the extent of the practice.

I may have stumbled—I may have stumbled on something, today I will see if that is true or not. I do not think it is wise, I have never thought it wise to reveal the process of creation before the thing is fully realized. As I have put it before, a thing cannot be known until it is known. That is not how I've put it in the past, I cannot remember how I once phrased it, although I've repeated the phrase so many times, the first time I wrote what I cannot at present remember was when I was living in Topanga Canyon after first moving to Los Angeles and I wrote a book, it was a novel that resembled a play and was the thing I wrote that made me realize that I was better suited to writing plays than novels, I did not like writing novels, I do not like details, I am not a detailed woman!, this novel was called "Will Trees Grow Out of My Mouth if I Am Good?" and it consisted mostly of dialogue, and it was in this novel where I said something about something having diminished capacity to withstand I guess something like scrutiny...I don't know! A thing needs to be careful not to reveal itself—no! A thing has no choice, it is the maker of that thing who must take care when the thing she is making is still unfinished, she must be very careful not to reveal it to the world, because...because an unfinished thing does not have the strength to withstand...something. I was excited, I thought I had it. My mind does not work as well as it used to. There is a lot to tell you! There is very much and very much to tell you, but I cannot tell you anything about what I hope to achieve today in my work, for that would be putting my potential achievement at great risk. I worry. I feel that even saying that has put it at risk, that this words business seeks too soon to encapsulate what is far too weak to withstand encapsulation, what will be crushed to fine dust in the act of it, in the act of trying to encapsulate what is as yet very weak! There will be pictures, at some point, I am sure, but I do not know how to append them yet. If you have made it this far through this ragged post, with its ragged syntax, you are stalwart and I like you. You will need to be, I must tell you that now, I must give you that information. You will need to be stalwart, for this is how it will be.

Trying to get beyond the image while keeping to the image. Mostly this feels like an impossible thing to achieve, yet that's what makes it interesting, the uncertainty of its even being possible, what I am spending time and money and my body on, my shoulder, my hand—my hands!  I am at war with image, with the figure, yet entwined with it because I am in love with it, with the figure, with the story the figure tells, and with an outcome that surprises me and entrances me with its figurative story and capacity to surprise. I am, every day, practically every day it feels as though I am at war with myself, for it is my deepest impulse to tell a story and to use the figure to do so, and I am tearing at myself in my attempts to tear away my reliance on the figure. Why? Why do I do this? Why not just embrace the figure? Oh, but I cannot! For that would be too easy, and easy bores me, easy bores me, I am in love with the great wild violent wingbeat of ambition.

I guess this is today. There will be something comprehensive at some point. I think we can be fairly sure of that. I think we can be fairly sure that whatever today is, tomorrow will be something else entirely, and, if not tomorrow, then another day. For it is certain that another day will be unlike this day. I do not believe—sometimes it does not seem as though anything is certain in this world, it is a profound sense of uncertainty I carry with me from minute to minute, so I suppose it is something that I can be certain that on another day, I may present you with something more comprehensive than I have done today, which is this. On the other hand, that is speculation, not unrelated to uncertainty and hardly like certainty at all.

The idea has arrived to do this. Actually, the idea arrived a while ago, but I did not give it the structure to live within until now. It is a humble-looking structure! I think it is like scaffolding only, I think it is basically scaffolding.

One day I will tell you everything. I am many years into this, into telling you everything, but there is always more to tell, so it is not possible to tell it now. But I will say this, for it is important to know to hold my words in context: I am a painter. I am concerned with painting, with its meaning and purpose, and I am concerned with locating meaning and purpose in a life deliberately shaped to accomodate my colossal impulse to make art. It is not always easy to find, I do not know that I ever find it, but words have a way of creating the things or ideas that they signify, and so—

Indecision, ambivalence—time is running out! If I continue to be ruled by these twins, these siamese twins, these chariot drivers, these conjoined beasts, I will never, well, I will never, I think I will never unstick myself from this place I am stuck to, it feels as though I have been stuck to this place forever! Every nonaction, every tangled, entagling question—should I or should I not; what should I do; where should I go—these are the threads that bind me, the ropes that trip me up, they are the pins that stick me and the glue that adheres. I say chariot drivers, but they do not take up the reins, they will not move me forward! They are steeped too darkly in themselves, sunk too deeply in themselves, afixed too firmly to themselves to be anything but indecision and ambivalence. How is it that I began to pray to the gods that sent me indecision and ambivalence as their answer to my benighted prayers of unbelonging? Ah, but I do know how, for how could I have wished to belong when belonging was someone else's appetite that devoured me, when it was so destructive, when it gleamed and sparkled and pulled me to it only to tear me apart? Of course I learned to be light on my feet, to be weightless and far ranging! No wonder I came to feel that the greatest safety was in boxes packed and ready to go! Of course I was a runner! And of course, of course, the gods gave me restlessness, gave me indecision and ambivalence!


Vastly immeasurably lonely, that is the truth of what it is to be an artist, to confine oneself to one's studio in the hope of making something great, of painting something great. Day follows day follows day of this vast aloneness so profound, it has physical properties, not unlike the force of pressing, of pressing.