Last week, here in Gainesville I accidentally breathed new life into the Club Giugnol here at SAW. Tom Hart suggested I continue my little movie nights, then decided to really play with that idea. For our first Guignol at SAW we had a nice little turnout of open-minded individuals who responded with warmth and enthusiasm to what was shown, realizing, as I do, that exploitation films are much more than something to get drunk to and laugh at. They are Cinema (with a BIG “C”!) They were the birth of independent film, and often a serious (though low-budget) exploration of obsessions and fetishism. Our program that night included:
(Mostly bootlegs) Paul McCartney and Wings 1972 (YES… Wings ROCKED!!!): The Mess, Wildlife; from 1975: Letting Go, Soily; from 1976: Soily, Maybe I’m Amazed; and lastly Paul’s Nasty fall on stage followed by Jenny Wren.
Ghoulardi clips: scenes from the Ghoulardi show, Ghoulardi was a late night horror host that took Cleveland by storm in the early sixties.
Vampyros Lesbos: Jess Franco’s stylish classic.
“On the side, being barefoot all the time is spectacular, but sometimes I take it overmuch for granted. I try and stop myself and realize just how sensual an experience it is. All day and night in Gainesville I kept having these little tickles of appreciation for it. I need that to happen more often. And I can make that happen. I can cultivate a more attuned sensuality. Keeping things fresh is really about never taking anything for granted. Feel, Be, Appreciate, and be forever mindful. I AM Barefoot Justine!I try to let life melt in my mouth like a bite of luscious dark chocolate.”
I typed that in yesterday and realized it seemed somehow out of place in my diary, as if this were far too personal, but it isn’t.
Why do I go barefoot? is probably the first question, well, to that I ask, with equal dumbfoundment… “Why don’t you?” I want to feel the world under my feet just as I want to taste food, smell the air, see the world, and hear the music all around me (except rap… that’s just noise pollution–sorry, but I intend to be honest here). I can’t imagine why anyone would want to wear shoes anymore than I can imagine anyone wanting to go around with a blindfold on or earplugs in! Being barefoot is one more–and the most delicious by far–way to engage in and experience the sensual world. When I am barefoot I am in-the-moment entirely. It is almost impossible to leave your home barefoot and NOT be in the eternal NOW. I can’t imagine suffocating or cutting off that world of experience by stuffing my feet in those dreadful bacteria incubators everyone else calls shoes–and sandals aren’t much better. Feel the world. Freedom.
Besides, life’s more fun barefoot!
Lots more to come.
Another day spent well in Gainesville and regretfully ended in Ocala. I don’t really have anything (besides the obvious) against Ocala… it’s just not for me. I finished the freelance job I was on then taught my class at SAW. Tonight in class we talked about alternative inking styles, primarily as they apply to comics, and I did a demo showing them how to ink with toothpicks and skewers. When I was in Chile teaching there was nothing to draw with so I started doing ink drawings with toothpicks. Gloriously, tonight, the demo went well. When working with something as unconventional and problematic as toothpicks and skewers there’s really no way to guarantee results, especially when done live in front of a gaggle of staring students. These students, the sort Tom attracts to SAW, are positively a delight, dedicated, passionate, deeply interested, fascinated, and so appreciative. And all the more glorious, I think I changed some lives with my toothpicks! A few of them really caught on and really got into it, and made some remarkable progress. I was as excited as they were. Note to anyone considering using toothpicks… YES, it does matter what kind of toothpicks you use, just like anything else, the wrong tool (even as primitive a tool as a toothpick is) can frustrate the artist and deny them the results they deserve. Here’s the secret… they gotta be wood, and they oughtn’t be waxy… the color toothpick we had were waxy. The simpler the toothpick the better. I hope to upload what I did with toothpicks tomorrow.
On the side, being barefoot all the time is spectacular, but sometimes I take it overmuch for granted. I try and stop myself and realize just how sensual an experience it is. All day and night in Gainesville I kept having these little tickles of appreciation for it. I need that to happen more often. And I can make that happen. I can cultivate a more attuned sensuality. Keeping things fresh is really about never taking anything for granted. Feel, Be, Appreciate, and be forever mindful. I AM Barefoot Justine!I try to let life melt in my mouth like a bite of luscious dark chocolate.
These blogs may confound some, but they are going to be as much about life and art as they will be about sensuality and spirituality. I plan to digress and give far too much information.
As a watercolorist I define watercolors this way:
“Watercolors… a series of barely controlled accidents.”
Justine Mara Andersen
And again I return to Ocala from Gainesville completely exhausted and content in equal measures. Again I spent the day doing what I am meant to be doing and being who I am meant to be being. But in order to do what I am meant to do and to be who I am meant to be I have to work hard and accept that I can’t do this without ambition… though it is exhausting having ambition again… after so many years without. I am a Phoenix rising from the ashes of self denial and many mistakes. I will align myself with my sva dharma.
The project I am working on is going well, paying well, and is being gratefully performed. I would not mind working until midnight or later if all I had to do was bike a few blocks home, but instead I have to drive to Ocala and sleep on a deflating inflatable bed in a room that is not my own and in a town that won’t have me.
Temporary, it’s all temporary. But, it’s good, so good to feel a fire in my belly again and to have a destination… Gainesville.
And I am full of gratitude and a deep desire to sleep.
Today, my first diary entry here in this exciting new site. Today I went to Gainesville and worked on my site (this here) and then got cracking on the first freelance job I’ve had as an artist in a very very long time. It feels good, nay, GREAT, to be back where I once belonged. The work is going well and I am finding that I draw with more ease and confidence than ever before, something about surviving cancer in South Korea, nearly drowning in Thailand, and truly finding myself and my soul has changed me, and in so many unpredictable ways.
There is still so much stress and anxiety, mostly about money, always about money, even my anxieties about my car come down to money. People who say money can’t buy happiness have not been paying attention.
Yet for all the edge-of-collapse of my finances (or flat-out collapse by most sensible standards) I have never been happier nor more certain that I am finally headed in the right direction. Have faith, Justine, just have faith, Lakshmi will provide, and Lord Krishna was right… I must remain true to my nature… then again, de Sade said the same thing.
And as grateful as I am to Bruce and Kathryn for getting me out of Ohio, every time I have to leave Gainesville and go hack to Ocala I feel a terrible dread. I HATE it. I hate going back to Ocala. My heart and future lie in Gainesville. I know where home really is. And when I am separated from home (in Ocala) I am frustrated, restless, and sad. I live to go to Gainesville (and SAW) to draw, teach, live, and be happy. I live to go to Gainesville and seem only to live when I am there. The rest of the time I wait.
Now, tired, in Ocala, I wait.
By this point I knew where this was going, but am confused upon reflection as to why the page below still has the wrong central panel. Notice again that at this point I was still thinking in terms of breaking up the panels on the left into three panels. I am fairly certain that this is the first sketch for this page, but the one below may have come first.
The sketch here is fairly tight right down to the details. The Yantra is there but still not as strong as what I had established earlier. And you will see that Saraswati is still in the second panel rather than in her proper place on page 2.
By the time of the “ashcan” I had figured most of the important elements out. No Saraswati here, and the left column is still broken down into three panels.
Tom chose to scan the final (though still in need of inking) page 4 in progress. I have finished the pencils since taking this scan and will soon upload them but you can see that the third (right) panel is very unfinished and the middle section is also not quite there. Note that the Yantric element is strong throughout and once again it wasn’t until the final piece that I figured out that the left panel needed to be one long continuous panel and not three smaller ones. And like page 2 with the void and the crowd, I merged the panels into 1 trippy whole. The finished pencils will be uploaded soon, and the inked pages… one day when I finally finish. There is also one more page in this 5 page story, so keep coming back for that as well.
As promised, here at last, is the final (uninked/unfinished) version of this page. You can see from the page above that the piece was not quite complete. It is much more magical now. So… the next phase… I have to get up the courage to finish the fifth and last page… then INK these!
I always tell my art students:
“Don’t think of the work you do at home as a supplement to the work you do at school, think of the work you do at school as a supplement to the work you do at home.”
You’ve got a lot,
“And from what you’ve got,
I’d say you’re doing well, dear.
Dressed like a dream,
and if things are what they seem,
you’re looking swell, dear.
Your little man
brings you trinkets when he can,
but he can’t stay, dear.
That’s very well,
but inside your shiny shell,
you dance all day, dear.
So go, be gay,
let your feelings lead away
into the laughter.
San ferry Anne,
and the world keeps turning happy ever after….”
San Ferry Anne by Paul McCartney