Greetings everyone, and I hope you’re all weathering COVID-19 well, all things considered.
It’s been close to three months since I last posted here, but it hasn’t been for lack of productivity. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve been up to, and the shape of things to come.
As you may know, at the end of 2018 I retired from my day job (and hopefully forever from day jobs). The projects I had planned to launch immediately were full time artwork, writing and the active promotion of my work. But, as John Lennon said eloquently, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans,” namely: moving in with my fiancée Karen Warwick, selling my old home, a months-long artistic collaboration on the KRONOS project, preparing for our respective 2019 solo art exhibits. We also got added another dog to our family, and fostered her six pups — six, count ’em — for four months. Seven dogs and doglets for four months. Oh, yes. In the middle of all that, Karen and I got married. Yeah, a small detail.
January 2020 rolled in, and I finally knuckled down to my years-long dream of writing my illustrated memoir. I’ve been at the first draft for four months now. (Sheltering in actually helps in this.) This is my story, from immigrant toddler to cultural subversive artist as an Asian-America Baby Boomer. I explore how the legacy of abuse and the patriarchy evolved my views of race, identity, sexuality, cults and metaphysics; and finally, how throughout my life I’ve found solace and spiritual transcendence in the love of art and the art of love.
The author Stephen King states in his memoir/manual On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, to be a writer one needs to write and read. Coextensive with my writing, I’m voraciously reading, concentrating on four areas: a samplings of contemporary writing in the memoir genre that compete with the memoir I’m writing; references and research materials; most recent writings in the memoir or essay genres; and finally a return to the classics that I may not have touched since high school.
I’m not taking a break from visual art by any means. I still have ideas for major works-in-progress, and I’ve knuckled down to rigorous practice in those areas in which I need to improve, especially figurative work and color. Currently, I’m practicing both traditional techniques using media with which I’m familiar and feel comfortable — and new techniques and media with which I feel intimidated and uncomfortable. I’ve been at this for four months, and as of now I’ve already read or am in the process of reading twelve books, and close to completing as many small portraits. Stay tuned to this channel, as I’ll starting showing these to you in the next posts.