Dais Records are now taking pre-orders for my next vocal album entitled "A Strangeness In Motion: Early Pop Recordings 1989-1999" which will be released on vinyl and digital formats on April 26th. The LP includes a free download coupon and will be limited to 1000 copies (500 black vinyl / 400 clearwater blue vinyl / 100 yellow swirl vinyl). For more details, please download the press release by clicking here. You can listen to my song "The Melting Hour" from the LP below.
The following story about lost paintings is carried over from last month's news:
Some of my paintings-in-progress over the years did not survive. Sometimes, the surfaces of the canvases became unworkable, too slick or over-saturated with oil paint. At other times, the imagery just didn't work or I simply became frustrated. In all of these cases, the paintings were destroyed.
Fortunately, I think less than a dozen paintings suffered this fate over the past 30 years. Most were destroyed during 1999 for reasons that are clearer to me now. The worst case was a 36" x 48" "Baseball Field" painting I started that June. I had an urge to depict the events surrounding 4th Grade Little League - a particularly unpleasant memory from my childhood, when the distinctions between "winners" and "losers" were defined by brazen kids brainwashed by their rabidly competitive parents and coaches. A photo of this painting in its early stage exists, depicting a baseball diamond and the rough gestures of the players. The three pencil sketches (taped above the painting) still survive as well.
Over the next three months, the painting completely transformed into a park scene at dusk, populated by various figures and my familiar girl walking in the foreground. I remember the summer of 1999 was brutally hot and humid. The layers of oil paint weren't drying fast enough, so the more I pushed the painting, the stiffer and more jagged the figures and landscape became. By September, my patience was gone. In a fit of rage, I stabbed the painting mercilessly with my brush handle, the only time I've done this and probably something I'll never do again, being older and more in control. I snapped the following photograph with the caption "three months of work down the drain". You can clearly see the glare from the wet oil paint.
Earlier that year, in April, I had ripped another painting off the stretcher bars, crumpled it up and threw it in the trash... or so I thought. It turned out that my long-time friend Christine secretly rescued the canvas and kept it rolled up in her closet for the past 20 years. She recently re-discovered the painting, so I re-stretched it for her last month. In retrospect, I don't know why I abandoned this piece. There's some cracking and minor surface damage, but otherwise, it's still in good shape. This is the only discarded painting of mine that survives...