SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
7.31.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 7.31.14

Hey friends. Happy gray Thursday.

You can’t tell from the photo, but I’m totally channeling this guy’s look. Got my tank top tucked into my pants and everything. It’s a photo of some Bushwick dude back in the 70s. (I’m actually convinced that Bushwick still looks like that.) All I need is a long necklace. I’m going to be commissioning one from Walt Cassidy some time soon… I wear the bracelet I got from him everyday. I feel naked without it.

Not that nudity is a bad thing.

My week has been good. Was in the Berkshires all weekend. It’s very green and winding. I like driving in a car through forests when it’s dark outside. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. I’m always a little nervous being in a car because you just never know… But it’s nice being locked inside away from evil forest spirits. You’ve seen Evil Dead. You know how it goes.

We stayed in this pretty rad house that used to be a mill.  (What exactly is a mill?) Apparently Hitchcock stayed there before so there were some of his movies and mystery books laying around the house. There was a creek that ran behind the house, so we slept with our window open to listen to the running water all night. It was really nice. I love being in the forest.

I got to see Mass MOCA. They had a really great Sol LeWitt exhibition that did a lot more for me than the one at Dia:Beacon. Visually it was more exciting to me—to the point where I remember exclaiming aloud “Ooooo!” and slapping Ben on the shoulder excitedly. (I think the last time that happened was when Amy Poehler showed up to that New Year’s Eve party I was at a couple years ago…)

Not much else on the horizon besides prepping paintings for the Provincetown show. There are actually a couple I need to reproduce. Then framing. Then shipping. Then planning my visit there.

Have a good weekend.

xo
craig

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
7.24.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 7.24.14

Hello hello hello.

It’s Thursday. But it’s my Friday. And yesterday was my Monday, so figure that one out.

Leaving for Connecticut in the morning. Really excited to get out of town. I feel like my normal rituals are stifling any creative ideas I have in my head. I need to replenish what’s in my head. Running on fumes here. My excitement to take on new work is always at its highest after getting back from a trip—even a day trip—or doing something new or out of the ordinary.

I’ve got some ideas in my head right now but haven’t really felt motivated to complete them. I’m not being totally lazy, though. Sketches are made, ready to become paintings.

Also been working out every morning. Got back into a more strict diet. Lots of greens and protein and whole grains. (Although there was one night when I was a little stoned and came across a banana pudding ice cream and then ate the entire pint…)

I’d been feeling a little bogged down physically. Only working out once or twice a week. Not eating enough greens. Frequenting my favorite local Caribbean bakery, Allan’s. (Since 1961!) Grabbing a pint of banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery on my way home from work. You know how it goes.

I’m just looking to clear my mind and my body, okay?

And I’m ready for the weekend. I’m ready to not look at people on at the subway. And hey, I’m also ready not to wake up at 630 or 7AM to exercise.

xo
craig

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
7.17.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 7.17.14

Hey friends. Happy Thursday.

Hope all is well. All is good with me. Just listening to tons of Missy Elliott. And I’ve been making a couple paintings inspired by really good sex and Missy’s music. See here and here. I thought I’d give the babies a rest. Nap time. And explore some other things I have in mind.

Things are coming together with my little show in Provincetown later on this summer. I’ve never discussed framing so much before. I’m getting really tired of talking about it. The coast still isn’t clear, but… I’m getting there. I can’t wait to see them framed and shipped. I’ll discuss the details closer to the date.

Currently reading this book called “Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era”. It’s a bit dense but interesting enough. I think a lot of it has to do with how the economy has shifted from being industrial and selling us products to getting more life from selling us ideas and thoughts and drugs and such. And how that relates/controls gender. “Gender”? Hey, I’m not done. I’ll get back to you.

I’ve also been watching a lot of shows about tattooing. I’m setting up an appointment at Saved in Williamsburg. I’d tell you what I’m going to get, but… I’m going to wait. But it’s going to be a portrait tattoo on my inner arm. I’ll be on blast.

Might do a day trip to Fire Island on Monday. Then I’m going to Connecticut for the weekend with Ben and his family. Busy week.

And I still don’t feel like I have a proper summer tan yet…

xo
craig

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
7.10.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 7.10.14

Hey, guys.

The birthday was honestly an all-around great day. Our little trip upstate was very peaceful. The room we got was fancy without being annoying. (Like, have you ever stayed at the W Hotel? It feels like a space aged office building. Not into it.) The sunset over the Hudson River was a nice treat, too. I got everything I wanted and then some.

Here’s a photo of me in my birthday hot tub.

People keep asking me how it feels to be thirty. So far it feels like I’m 29. I had to fill out some form today and accidentally wrote 29 when it asked for my age.

But honestly I still feel 23. I feel like a kid trying to figure out how I’m going to make it in NYC.

Lately I’ve thought about back when I was working at the school bookstore in college. This man used to come in and sell used books. Where he got them, I have no idea. He was originally from NYC and had moved to Houston after 9/11. Once he brought me some photos from that day. One of the photos was a portrait of himself with the WTC burning in the background.

Anyway, he would talk to me about NYC, and I told him I wanted to live there one day—but didn’t know how it was going to happen since it was so expensive. He told me that what I need to do is show up and just sell little stuff that people want/need.

I think at the time I was like, “Uh, yeah, whatever, dude…” I mean, I didn’t exactly feel like moving to NYC to sit on the side of the street selling shitty souvenirs or whatever to tourists. It’s not an idea I found particularly attractive.

BUT I’ve realized that’s exactly what I did. I wished really hard to get out of my situation in Texas and move away to NYC. And luckily I had a helping hand in getting here and having a place to stay and work. And a bulk of my early work consisted of selling silkscreen tees of my designs. I think they were about $20 or $25 each. And I sold a bunch of them. (I think at times I was making more than I am now.)

I needed to make a living in a place where I didn’t really know anyone at a time that the economy was crumbling. So, I showed up and started selling t-shirts people wanted (or needed for gifts).

And it was fun. But it got old after awhile. It’s hard to be your own boss.

Very rewarding, though. And it’s kinda nice people are still writing me to this day asking if I have any shirts left. Makes it feel like it wasn’t all for nothing.

That’s what’s on my mind right now.

Have a good weekend!
xo
craig

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
7.3.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 7.3.14

Hey there. It’s Thursday and so fucking muggy outside. I feel like I’m back in Houston. Also not into this portrait. But, hey, I’m in a great mood.

In lieu of working out the past few days, I have resumed writing in the mornings because I just felt like I had a lot on my mind that was clouding my thoughts and judgements. I think lately I’ve been falling back on sort of mental/creative blocks. There’s a fine line between smoking too much weed and being creative and just smoking too much weed. Hey, I think I’m in the clear, but I’m very sensitive about falling back into a creative slump, not keeping up with certain aspects of myself that need regular maintenance.

I went through a creative block for most of 2013 and definitely don’t want that to happen again. Not fun.

One goal I had written in January was to show some of my new work, and that’s actually happening in late summer. Getting a chance to show my paintings in Provincetown maybe late August/early September. It’s a baby step, but a good feeling. I’ve been surprised by the outcome of letting myself keep exploring certain inspirations. I’d never drawn babies before this year, and I’m never exactly sure what to make of the paintings after I finish them. But, hey, they make me laugh a lot when I’m doing the initial sketches, and the response has been good. Why not.

Anyway, 4th of July is tomorrow. I’m too sunburned from this past weekend to go to the beach, but luckily it’s supposed to be raining. Thinking of getting my aura portrait taken. Oh, and making a 4th of July-themed dessert. That’s definitely going to happen.

Next week is my birthday. The 3-0 one. I rented us a room upstate that is right on the Hudson River. Private sundeck. King size bed. Jacuzzi tub. I’m excited to do this right.

I’ll let you know how that goes. I’ll be a week older.

xo
craig

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
6.26.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 6.26.14

Hey friends. Happy Thursday.

Apologies for missing last week’s portrait. I just didn’t feel like it that day, and I thought that was strange. I thought to myself, “Maybe this is it. Maybe after seven or eight years, I don’t care about Self Portrait Thursday anymore.”

But I also felt myself to be tired and congested. And I’d also been waking up with really bad headaches. Eventually I realized I was sick and was just sorta phoning it in last week. I spent my Saturday in bed. Then spent Monday and Tuesday in bed, too. Recuperating.

It’s weird having to rest up. I wasn’t into it. But I like being healthy and energetic, so…

Last night was the first night I felt like doing something. I ended up going to the grocery store after getting off work, then I prepped a painting to work on maybe tonight or this weekend. (I hadn’t painted all week, which was also driving me crazy.)

It wasn’t all bad. In addition to all the DayQuil swallowed and multiple bowls smoked, I watched most of this documentary series called “The Story of Film”, which is exactly what is sounds like: history of cinema. But it didn’t focus on American cinema, which was great. It mostly is concerned with world cinema. And about 95% of the films I’ve never heard of. It’s a very interested and interesting series that I really enjoyed. It’s 15 one-hour segments. I’m on part 12 now… Determined to finish it.

It comes at a funny time because in my head a lot I think about how stupid films are. (I usually prefer to watch documentaries above anything else.) But I think I’m thinking of all the pointless Hollywood movies that are released. All the marketing and such that comes along with it. I forget that cinema is an artform, and there’s definitely inspired work out there.

I was wrong. I like that.

xo
craig

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
6.12.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 6.12.14

Hello.

Some portrait, right? It looks like my head is evaporating into white.

This week has been so dreary. It all seems like one long humid dark day. No commas there.

There’s not much to report this week. Just been working nonstop. Even on my days off I ended up working with my friend Paul, organizing and filing his artwork and such before his move to LA. It really was nonstop work. After the end of Day 1, Ben asked me, “So you guys socialized while working?” But, you know, there was very little socializing at all. Nonstop moving around.

But tomorrow the salon is closed, and I’m off Saturday. So I’ll have a legit weekend with Ben.

I’ll also be able to focus on this painting I’m working on. Sometimes I’ll come home from work and just do one step and call it a night. For instance, I’ll come home and come up with a design and draw it out. Then the next night I’ll project the image much larger onto my paper, then go over the pencil w/ ink. Then call it a night. And the next night I’ll do a background wash. And so on.

It’s hard to work like that, though. It definitely breaks up my concentration. I was doing that this week with a painting I THOUGHT I had a good feeling about but ultimately ended up scrapping because I couldn’t get it together.

I began work on a new painting that I feel is more focused and I feel more inspired by.

In other news, just working out a lot. Splurging where I shouldn’t be splurging.

I’m getting older everyday.

xo
craig

 

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
6.5.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 6.5.14

Hey, friends. Thursday.

Just listening to Rilo Kiley at work and wanting to wrap the mouse cord around my neck. Not really, but don’t dig this music. Feed me some beats or something instead.

Trying to figure out what to do for my 30th birthday. I want to do something memorable. Originally I wanted to go out for an expensive dinner, but I feel like that’s not very memorable. Like I’m not gonna fondly recall my dinner at Babbo or something years later. And it’s too late to lose my virginity. (That finally happened last week.)

Then I thought about Puerto Rico… But then I realized my birthday is in July and I can go to the beach here. (It’s different when it’s cold here and warm there.)

My newest wish is for us to finally get a dog. I think getting a dog on my 30th birthday would top everything else.

This month Ben started his new job. He works nights, so I come home to an empty apartment a lot now—which is a bit of a bummer. I always feel like Selina Kyle (before she becomes Catwoman) in “Batman Returns”. You know, where she comes home to an empty apartment and says “Honey, I’m home. Oh, I forgot. I’m not married.”

It’s kinda sad. That movie is kinda sad.

My situation isn’t that dire, but you know what I mean.

Would love to come home to a little dog who digs me.

Anyway, in other news, I worked out a lot this week and watched what I ate and feel really good. My sister doesn’t believe me, but I can see it in my body. (But maybe that’s in my head.)

I bought a baseball hat the other day and have been wearing it every moment I can. Because I’m growing my hair out, I’m constantly in an awkward phase. It’s like being 12 all over again. So, the hat is really doing it for me.

And that’s about all I have to say about that.

xo
craig

PS
Just finished a painting this morning. 

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
5.29.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 5.29.14

Hey guys. Happy Thursday.

I’m so ready for the beach! I can’t wait to just lie on the sand and toast my skin. I feel I’ll be talking about how much I like going to the beach all summer. And then I’ll be talking about how much I miss it once it’s too cold to go. But, hey, it’s the perfect thing to do with friends—or alone. Just pack some reading or music, sunblock, drugs, etc. You’re good to go.

I had a broke week. I depleted my leisure money budget, so I have been lying low. Just painting, watching 3+ hour documentaries, eating. When I’m broke I tend to avoid going out and being social because I know something will pop out at me, something I need to buy. Or I’ll walk by a restaurant that looks good and might want to stop in.  I have self control. Obviously. But I just tend to stay indoors during those times. To avoid temptation.

But because I’ve been staying indoors the past week, I’ve been reading the internet a lot more on my days off than I normally do. (At work I’m on the computer from 11am to 9pm just about, so I really try to stay away from browsing the internet when I’m off work.) I caught all the RuPaul/”tranny” controversy, and was getting so bothered by all the back and forth.

I had posted the original link (where Ru talks about loving the word “tranny”) on my Facebook and was promptly deleted by a couple people. I mean, these are people I don’t care about, really. They were just random internet people I knew somehow. But I always recognized their posts because they were always so infight-y and negative. Calling out people from the community. (Whatever “community” means to you…) Like “Fuck this person!”

(I think that day, one of them described Ru as a “shit stain”… You know, that kind of thing.)

What bothers me about a lot of debate is that there’s actually no real dialogue. It’s always like, Oh, you did/said this thing I don’t like. DELETE. BLOCK. Without actually engaging in a conversation.

And maybe that’s the thing about internet debates. It’s the internet. Not really a place known for its intelligence.

And maybe my Facebook or Twitter feed is different from most people’s feeds. I don’t know. But I see stuff I don’t like a lot. I see a lot of people posting things that don’t really agree with. In real life (IRL) I see tons of things I don’t agree with.

I live in New York City. I see a bunch of shit I’d rather not see.

But the point is that I’m confident enough in my own self and my own beliefs that I can hold a conversation about something without veering off track and censoring the thing that I don’t want to see.

I don’t want to live in a place where everyone talks and thinks the same. How boring.

I’m starting to see a lot of “progressive/liberal” people as actually being really fucking conservative. And I think that is so sad.

But anyway, does this rant make any sense? I think I’m just exhausted and bothered by people, really. I’m tired of infighting.

And I think the point of all this is: GET OFF THE INTERNET.

xo
craig

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY!
5.22.14

SELF PORTRAIT THURSDAY! 5.22.14

Happy gloomy Thursday, friends.

I’m excited to be off tomorrow and Saturday because Ben will be off those days. And finally we’ll be able to have some quality time. He started a new job, which is great, but which has upset our routine. So, we still have to adjust and figure out when to put in the boyfriend time.

I’m hoping to check out the Kara Walker sculpture in Williamsburg this weekend. It looks really great. And talk about a location. I love old warehouses. My first studio in Brooklyn was in an old warehouse in Red Hook. Right on the water. It was great. (The people I shared it with, not so much.)

Started work on a new painting last night. I had written in my phone some notes for a painting of worship, which then became a painting with a beach setting. Which then became something totally different.

It’s interesting how that happens.

Oh, which reminds me: I finished the painting I was working on last week.  It doesn’t look how I wanted it to look in my head, but nothing ever does.

On Tuesday I went over to Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s to purchase a print before he leaves for Los Angeles. He gave me an extra for free and some frames to go with them. I just gotta take them to the framer next week. I’m happy with my selections.

The main thing I was looking for was one of his photos of a messy bed because my bed looks like his bed because we both have white walls and black sheets and pillows. And I thought it’d be nice to have a photo of a messy bed above my own messy bed.

All right. Have a good weekend!

xo
craig

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