Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Explanation

You know... I have completely explained myself in previous posts. I've explained that I've NEVER BEEN HAPPIER than when I sailed away in my sailboat. That is a powerful statement, don't you think? Why should anyone deny me that life? I've never been a better person than then. For the first time in my life, I was succeeding. I've tried to explain the beauty of that life, short as it was, and I've tried to explain how horrified I was to be "sucked back into" my old life. (It's more complicated than that, but I won't go into details.)

I never should have looked back.... I should have kept going, sailing south, nursing my broken sailboat to the Keys, and sold my art to the tourists... as was my plan.

But my plan had had so many difficulties... Man... And one of the main ones was that I was under the impression that I wouldn't be allowed to sell my art in Key West at the place I'd intended to do so, at the daily art festival in Mallory Square. Difficulties...

I had a weak moment, and the next thing I knew I was in Orlando, a landlubber again.

And then, LAST WEEK happened to me. Back here in Orlando, languishing with little work and little pay at the height of the tourist season, the IRS came after me. They levied my pay, and without a little help from my sister Diane, and a small pay advance from my friend Barbie, I'd be living on the street right now. Or in my van, specifically. ...In the end, the IRS backed-off, and all is well for the moment. But the whole episode gave me pause. At one point last week, as I was driving home from one of the IRS meetings, my van blew-out another tire... right there on Interstate 4 in downtown Orlando during evening rush hour. Wow. I sat there in my van, knowing I didn't have a spare tire, and I thought, "Something must change. This life isn't working."

The kicker is, since I've been back to Orlando and rejoined the legions of caricature artists in this town, I have found myself virtually unable to do any serious art. I've been working on one particular oil portrait for FIVE MONTHS, messing with it here and there, but too distracted by this city life to really "get into it." Back on the boat, art was my total life.

Let me say that again. Back on the boat, art was my total life. That is, unless I was sailing. Man, what a life. Hard, to be sure, but I've never been better at anything than I was at that life, in a sense, in my mind, and that's what counts. I had no TV, no computer, but I was active and getting resourceful and independent, and I was getting quite thin and tanned and strong, and I spent my hours reading and painting and watching the dolphins, and planning the next voyage. ...Then I made a bad decision and ended-up stuck up a Tampa Bay canal for the winter, unable to make money, not in the Keys, hating myself... And I limped back to Orlando in February, relieved at first, but quickly falling into the dissatisfaction and distraction I remembered.

And now, back in Orlando, I've nearly completed my return to chubbiness, pale skin and weak knees, so to speak.

And so... After last week, as I reviewed everything, I contacted again the folks down in Key West, and I learned that while caricature artists are not accepted at their daily art festival (too many apply already), other artists are encouraged to come and sell their work. I had totally misunderstood the deal last year.

So... Enough is enough. My best life awaits me. Next week is my last week in Orlando.

...And that is my attempt at an explanation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another AK Day

Finished that one from last night, just for fun:

Cute kid:

Missed the guy's head shape. I blame the blinding glare I suffer with there. LOL.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Still Some Disney Money to be Made...

OK, so next week is my last week, and I'm hoping to make some money. Yesterday (Sunday) was a good start, working a double and grossing nearly a thousand bucks, of which I get about $300. And tonight I had an easy shift at a hotel, and I just relaxed, feeling happy, feeling confident and content in my decisions. Haven't felt that way in a LONG time.

Here's something funny I was working on tonight, sitting at the stand... I'd seen a lady who looked mean and sad simultaneously, and I tried to remember her and draw her, but I ended-up drawing a lady who looks Indian to me. Interesting. Will finish and post.

And here's just a simple caricature, but it seemed to pop to me, to feel right, to be exaggerated just so slightly and perfectly, so I snapped a pic. It was a good likeness.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's Official, I'm Headed to The Keys

I've had a crazy, stressful week, the worst week of my life almost, but I fought back, and the week is ending with terrific news. I have an opportunity in The Keys which is the stuff of my dreams. Will elaborate later.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jackson caricature, 4B pencil

Not really finished yet, and I made some irreversible mistakes, but it has some good qualities, I think.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Durkin Caricature

I'm really enjoying learning to use graphite. Seems like I would've learned it before, but my art education has been anything but normal. Really, however, what I've actually been learning lately is how light falls across forms, and is defined by shadows. Graphite, or anything else, is just a medium to an end. ...Fun! ...I think I've drawn Kenny (Durkin) from his photo in Keelan's book about 20 times now, over the last five years. LOL

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Selling the Mutineer

So I'm selling the 15-foot sailing dinghy that I just bought a few weeks ago. The price is $600, which is the same price I paid for it. If anyone is interested, let me know. It's on Craigslist, as well. It's Chrysler Mutineer 15, with an almost-new trailer. The boat needs a little TLC, but not much. ....With the money, I am buying a little time in Orlando. Hopefully, things will pick-up for me here, financially.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cannot Afford Orlando...

...Well, it's boiling down to this: I cannot make enough money to afford to stay in Orlando. ...

It's funny, because it's a surprise. I've been so concentrated on my art and my ever-changing tangle of thoughts, that the fact that I'm BROKE week-in and week-out, and the implications of this, has eluded me in a practical sense... in a sense. I mean, I have varying motivations which sometimes tug at me forcefully, and I express my fantasies outright, like sailing around the world in a dinghy or whatever, but when it comes down to not getting enough work, and realizing that the busy season is almost over, man, I wonder, how did this happen? It's hitting me all-of-a-sudden, in a way. I've thought about it a bit, but not on a practical level. And here's the practical level: my check tomorrow will be for $260 for a week's work during the height of the tourist season. After I pay $180 for rent, that leaves me 80 bucks for EVERYTHING else, gas, food, supplies, etc. That's the practical level.

...You know, when I paid 600 bucks for that dinghy a few weeks ago, it seemed all was fine. I was still confused by so many things (and still am, not the least of which is my own fickle soul) but money and whatnot seemed fine. But that has faded. I live by myself in a more expensive place now, and I still do not have a full-time schedule with the company through which I contract. I know they are doing their best to satisfy everyone, so I don't blame anyone but myself, really. Somehow I am not "fitting in"in Orlando anymore, not making money, surviving week to week, and I've lost the respect of some very nice people, I think. Ahh... I suck.

...Oh, well... Let's see. The practical level. Let's think about this. The busy season will end in a few weeks, and, in fact, the park hours start trending downward in two weeks from now. That's the secret signal, in my estimation... fewer guests, less money. ...Hmm... And if I'm going to live this life of an artist in Orlando, I wish to have an apartment of my own, alone. Hmm, let's think. I could get married, but that would mean I'd need to find a girlfriend first, and, man, that is HARD to do for me, so... LOL. (Of course, if I can't take care of myself NOW, how would I expect to start marriage and a family. Practical stuff here.) I have $123 in cash in my pocket, and about thirty bucks in the bank... and I owe the IRS $10,000, or so they say. (It's MY money I work for, so why do they think it's THEIRS? Bizaare.) That's the practical level.


...OK... So I'm thinking about this, all of this, and how lonely I feel in Orlando, even with "loose friendships" of a sort, and so, then, on Thursday I drive down to Apollo Beach for THE BIG DAY. The BIG DAY is the day I planned to clean-out the remaining mess of my stuff from Wind Song, my Islander 24 sailboat at dock down there, and sign over the title to my friend Radar.
So I get down there, and clean-out the boat. It takes hours. And, you know what happened: my heart was broken. Here was the only home I'd owned since leaving home when I was 18. And here I was abandoning it. ...Yet, I continued to clean. But I didn't finish before dark, so I decided to stay on the boat for the night. The next morning, I worked another 4 hours or so, hauling EVERYTHING out of the Islander and up to my van. (My van is now FULL of all that junk.) Whew! A good workout. (I will NEVER put that much stuff in a sailboat again!) And I indeed did get it all out.
....So the BIG DAY turned into TWO BIG DAYS, and somewhere in the middle of it, I told my friend Radar, "I'm sorry, but I don't think I have the ability to give you this boat yet." And he said, "Yeah, I knew that was gonna happen. No problem."
....So I still have the boat. I've had her for two years nearly, and lived in her for most of one year. She tugs at my heart. She saved me from certain death last year when we got caught in a gale. I've neglected her, and yet there she sits at the dock, eager still for me to join her. She tells me, "Come on, Tim, let's go. The world awaits us." Ah, ah, well, well... What to do?


So I sit here alone in my apartment again, back in Orlando, counting my meager funds and hopeless situation. One more bad week and I won't be able to stay in the apartment. It almost happened THIS week, in fact. I could sleep in the van again, but a closed van in July in Orlando is an impossible-to-sleep thing. I would be forced to go sleep on the boat in Apollo Beach, but that is too far to commute. I still have that dinghy I bought a few weeks ago, so I suppose I'll sell it. But that's a stopgap (assuming I CAN sell it). Without a fulltime contracting gig, I can't stay here in Orlando, and am NOT working fulltime lately. Of course, as the season ends...
So, what to do, what to do...? Hmm... I may be coming to a decision very soon...or being forced to do so.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I know, I know, this is just a silly video about a teenage girl, yet somehow it has always had a strong effect on me. The theme of being an artist (or simply being a human) who doesn't connect with ANYONE is powerful in the context of my personal history, and I find the Linkin Park music compelling.

Linkin Park- Numb

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Bad Caricature

I went crazy on Sarah a couple of weeks ago, but, you know, while this is a crazy and creative caricature that some people said they really like, and I kinda like, it is, really, a bad caricature. It's bad because I did not exaggerate Sarah's big beautiful grin, but I exaggerated an IDEA of a big crazy grin, like an animal's growl or something. While it may be kinda cool, it has nothing to do with Sarah. Bad caricature. (CLICK TO ENLARGE.)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Mr. P

Sketch I did today while sitting at Wilderness Lodge.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Pastel Again

First pastel work since last year. Hard. A young Drew Barrymore from a bad reference photo. She has some crazy asymmetry going on. I think I was able to capture a lot of what I remember about her back then, but the photo I was using online sucked, all washed-out. I did my best to guess at the subtle shadows and features, but I don't think I quite got her.