Spark Edition 2017

While everyone is out and about at all the New Years Eve parties tonight, I’ve been home playing fiddle sticks! To translate that, it just means I’ve been relaxing at home – stress free, mind you – watching movies and working on the layout for my new artist’s book edition: the Spark. 

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Kabbalah – Did you Think I forgot?


Believe it or not, I am still studying Kabbalah even though I have put my kabbalah paintings on hold.

As a matter of fact, I have been taking an extremely interesting class at my temple about Reb Nachman‘s last story of the Seven Beggars. I may have mentioned this before.

The story is so full of symbolism, kabbalah and Torah teachings, I wouldn’t know where to begin if I were to try to sit here and explain it.  Forget it.

I may have mentioned that before too.

But I can try to point out a little something- something that I found interesting about upon studying the Hebrew letter Lamed anyway.

So…First of all, I’m not going to try to explain what this means:


but it’s called the Sefirot in Kabbalah. It is, in a very crude nutshell, a diagram for the 10 emanations of God. That’s about all you really need to know so I can try to make a point.

The top three circles are so mind-blowingly spiritual with higher consciousness stuff that we humans can’t even comprehend it. That’s how up in the clouds it is, so to speak. It’s so above our consciousness, we just can’t touch it, let alone understand it. It’s basically unattainable rock star stuff that even Moses had a hard time believing when seeing.

Now, see the circle that has the dashes around it? That represents like a drop of hope to be able to brush against some semblance of one day understanding that consciousness above our own. And that circle is most often called knowledge.

Sometimes that circle doesn’t even appear on the sefirot diagram! That’s how elusive it is. And there can be a whole book written about the subject of knowledge itself, since wisdom is something entirely different, and many other avenues must be taken to even lead one to actual knowledge. Plus, most people aren’t even aware enough, open enough, have enough humility to learn, or realize that they don’t know jack to begin with.

But I am digressing just a little. Maybe even complaining since I was one of those people myself.

But I am giving you this tiny amount of background because of something that got me curious about lamed, remember?

Okay, so first of all, the full spelling of lamed is lamed-mem-dalet – a short phrase that translates to “a heart that understand knowledge.” 

In kabbalah, lamed represents aspiration – the contemplation of the heart, and the literal meaning of lamed is “to learn” or “to teach.”

So, this got me thinking.

I also noticed that it is the only letter in the alphabet that goes above the line of the other letters. There are a few letters that drop far below the line, but only one that goes above it. Lamed. And this really reminds me of the circle in the sefirot where consciousness barely touches the worlds above our own.

That circle with the dashes around it partially sticks up above the line – that bar that essentially separates the upper and lower worlds.

[I mean — not in this diagram, but it’s supposed to! That circle is supposed to be higher up. A portion of the top of that circle should be above the top bar.]

And it’s interesting to me that the tip of the lamed is also in the shape of a yud (The Infinite Point) – revealing the spark of essential good that was subsequent to the tzimtzum.

By the way, a lot of people liken the tzimtzum to the Big Bang theory, which is a very interesting concept, especially since those intellectual Rabbis had no idea what in the world quantum physics were at the time they came up with the story. Quantum physics had not yet been discovered for centuries.

So all this symbolism and coinkedinks are coming up for me on my studies of lamed.

But I really think these two symbols are linked. At least that is what I am finding. And whatever I wind up finding in these studies are all I need — to help me find what it is that I need.

Make sense? I hope so. It sometimes doesn’t make any sense to me.

Also by the way, this photograph of this special joshua is on the Huffington Post Image Blog this past week.


Yay for me! 🙂

ALSO: I just posted a new entry on Carol’s Bloggie.


Better Now

The rough patches seem to be over. I figured I should announce that. I wanted to wait a little bit to make sure I was really back on track, and I am.

I don’t have much to show, visually so far, except for these composition layouts. This won’t show you much, but if you don’t mind reading and using your imagination, I’d like to explain what’s been happening this last week and a half.

doggie trail72


Now, these don’t look like much right now, but they will be something – hopefully – interesting when I get through with them. They are mixed media pieces: college and paint on birch, obviously, and they actually are taking a fair amount of planning. However, there will still be room for them to take off in an unknown direction once I lay down the basics.

Laying down the basics are what is taking all the planning because the panels I have were already sealed to take oil paint. Now I am going to be using acrylic based mediums and they require a different wood sealant.

Today the humidity is like 50% and I am going to be outside sanding about 12 panels. I’m ready though.

The final paintings will have raw pattern paper, like you see here, painted pattern paper, and fabric. I’m also using pieces of Style Cards, which look a little bit like this:


These style cards are used in garment manufacturing. They go with a grouping of pattern pieces that make up one garment, or one style.

But I digress. That stuff is so uninteresting. I just like using materials from that industry for personal reasons.

Anyway, once I stick all these pieces on the wood, I will also be painting on it as well, and then we’ll see what happens.

These mixed media collage paintings are based on how certain architecture is incorporated into the rock formations and boulders in Joshua Tree around where I was staying on my retreat. Of all the photographs I took out there, these were most interesting to me as far as lines and contours were concerned. I was even thinking of paintings while I took the pictures, but had forgotten about it until recently.

Meanwhile, what was bothering me, or upsetting me over the last couple of months was the fact that I have been inspired to pursue several subjects regarding my experience in the desert. I felt like I had to chose one.

I came to the conclusion that I should probably just create as I please and see what comes to be in a few more weeks.

I could  have a flippant attitude, like if wind up having a mish-mosh of work after months and months, then so be it. But that’s not me.

Because at the moment, I am working in three different directions! That’s a lot. Too many. I know, But I’m going to go with it because I am interested in all three for now.

I say all that, and that’s not even counting the movie! Ha!

The thing is, I feel that given the time, I feel like I could have it under control…I just need a plan. I’m really not good without having a plan. And the plan is to finish at least two to three paintings in each series and then reevaluate what I am going to do. I feel I can complete this in four more weeks or so. Then I will see what I have.

Right now, I have two completed in the Kabbalah/Rock series. (I’m going to have to name these series soon!) I also have two more partially done.

I have two architecture pieces started.

And remember that terrible landscape? I may have talked about it before. Well, after many hours of labor on that thing to save it and get it to a point where I was finally happy with it, I finally succeeded. And now I want to do more.

JT Landscape, 2014. 16 x 20 inches.

So I have one of those.

And none of these look alike.

Here are the completed Kabbalah pieces:

Firmament, 2014. 34 x 34 inches.


Can you even tell these were all done by the same artist?

We’ll see how it goes.

Addendum to the Last: More Significance

Alright. At the end of my last post I was talking about how I wrote, then erased more of the significance behind the color palette that goes along with the alef painting because it was just too embarrassingly biblical.

I did this because I also thought that somewhere, someone would think I was nuts. But it started to bother me – my little fantastical theory. I knew it didn’t just come from me. I knew I either read it somewhere, or at least couldn’t be alone in my thinking.

So I did a handy-dandy Google search, and wouldn’t you know it, I found this article that also references the kabbalah book I have been studying that conveniently includes the theory.


It about interpreting the story of Genesis a little differently, perhaps more correctly – based on the Hebrew texts anyway.

After the whole Tree of Knowledge scerario, when Adam and Eve are hiding from God and realizing that they are “naked” and all that, and of course I am horribly paraphrasing here, but there is a verse about God clothing them in coats of skins, or, “a garment of skin;” the Hebrew in that verse does not mean an item of clothing, like pants and a shirt, or a little leaf that goes over Adam’s peepee. It literally means a head to toe covering.

And because these people were apparently made in God’s likeness, it gave me, and apparently many others, the idea that they were made of light and perhaps these were their first skins.

Not that this matters. I mean, it does as far as the Torah can be interpreted – and that is pretty much endless, but I was just looking for a color palette and placement. I swear.

That is why the top line is yellow. It is God’s light. The light below is the same yellow because we were made from the light of God.

Between the two bands of yellow is the Firmament (I’m not finished with this part: those are the cobalt blues and turquoises).

Below the lower light is red – for the blood of man as it fades into a flesh tone, which I still may darken for both aesthetic reasons and historical reasons.

So that’s it.

It’s too much I tell you, but you asked.

That’s right. No you didn’t.

The Alef Painting: The Saga Continues


I am still working on the alef piece, which isn’t going to be called that. I’ll think of something eventually, but I put a couple more thin layers of white on it before I began to finish stitching it all up.

Through the front…


And then the back.


After I sewed the edges of the patterns (which is where I think we last left off from) and, by the way, there’s quite a bit of waiting time between these layers of oil paint…


I finally started the very basic composition on this with some oil pastels.


From here on out I’ll be painting color and blending — all the funnest parts, and the most crucial parts too. It’s like perfecting mark making. Or trying to anyhow.

And here is the last shot of it from yesterday. I’ll be adding the blues tomorrow.


At the same time, I have been working on rewards. And as I have said before, I have more pieces of art than I have people to reward (some people get multiple things), but I am now glad to say that out of  58 people, I only have 16 more people left to reward. I got a lot done in a couple of months actually.

I am also working on two other paintings. I know I said I would be working on the largest one next, but I just barely started “Tet” – a 20 x 20 inch canvas, and a new abstracted landscape – a 16 x 20 inch canvas: something completely new and experimental for me!

I have absolutely no idea if it will turn out the way I dreamed, but we shall see. I’ll keep you posted, but you can not see it in progress images on it. However, if the experiment works out as planned, then perhaps I’ll let everybody in on the next one. How’s that? Sound like a deal?

I will be taking a few progress shots of the small “tet” piece soon, but we won’t be following it as closely as we have with the alef painting. I don’t want to bore you all. I’ve only slopped some acrylic paint on the 20 inch square canvas, and cut the pattern pieces that will form the letter tet shape.


I cut these patterns with the same shears I used when I worked with my dad back in the day. Then they get notched before the staples come out. After that, they’ll be ready to become Journal drawings.

All that so they can be stuck to the canvas to be mostly covered in paint. Why? Why, oh why?

I guess because of the significance and the fact that I want them to subtly show through, but not so’s you can read or see them exactly. I like that look.

I know, I’m weird. That’s a lot of work for something that’s going to be covered up. I suppose I shouldn’t write anything too serious on them, right? ha!

The thing is though, it’s a good way to bury my secrets into the paintings. It’s my way of putting blood or guts into them and no one knows what in there but me. You might be able to make out a work here and there, but you’d never be able to see the whole thing. They are like whispers from ghosts. A child ghost mostly.

And the main significance. Well, I can tell you. I can tell you the significance to all this if you want, but I am such a big advocate of all of my art being for the viewer’s interpretation. Even this work too. I always feel like if I tell viewers what it all means to me, it’s like taking away their meaning and I don’t want to ever do that. My meaning and your meaning are never in conflict! My art means what you think it means. I’m serious.

It’s just while I’m making it, I have my own relationship with it. When it’s finished, then everyone else has their relationship with it. It’s not really mine anymore.

But anyway, these Hebrew/kabbalah pieces are really about me leaving my past. I want to stop being so affected by my past and just leave it there – and live in the present. That’s truly my exodus.

It was the purpose of my meditation in Joshua Tree, the studying I’ve been doing, the process behind these paintings, and the new compositions on top of the Hebrew letters.

To go on (and on), The Journal pieces that make up the letters on the painting are like my subconscious interpretations that I gleaned from my studies from the letter and what the mystical significance means to me on a personal level. And since they are totally unplanned, a lot of cognitive experiences happen while I’m making them. I never know what I will write or draw on those patterns.

So all of this kabbalah significance has gone into the support of the painting; the foundation for the main composition – which has more to do with my Joshua Tree experience. The compositions, in a nutshell, have to do with the giant rock formations near the National Park.

Maybe it was the meditating, or just where my frame of mind was at the time I was there, but those rocks are so big, and I felt so small in comparison. There was just something about that. Something spiritual and humbling.

In the alef painting, specifically, if you go back to my first day in Joshua Tree, I was studying this letter and I had a lot of realizations about the Firmament as it could be applied to the Exodus with Moses and the burning bush. Maybe it was far fetched, but I have not stopped thinking about it since the first day I was out in the desert.

Anyway, as it applies to the Firmament – this is how I chose my basic palette for the alef painting. I probably could have made the darker water on the bottom instead of the top, but it looked better to have a cobalt blue up top alone with the yellow, and then I’ll be mixing a turquoise blue into the bottom half of the rock formation.

Okay, I just erased about two paragraphs on even MORE significance on this color palette, but it was so biblical that I just couldn’t stand just how biblical it was. So I’m going to end off here before I embarrass myself even further.

And We’re Back, But Are We?


Sorry I left for a bit. I am overwhelmed with a lot to do: study, newsletters, book writing, Kickstarter rewards, email correspondence, artwork, cleaning, organization, and even more things that I can hardly think of off the top of my head because I’m still disorganized about organizing what I need to get done regarding this project, my art practice, and my regular life – that is, if there is (or ever will be) a line that separates my artist’s life and any semblance of a “regular,” personal life.

Believe it or not, I have spent the better part of the last decade of trying to make that separation, and for the life of me, I just can’t. My boyfriend just loves this, as you can imagine. How would you like a partner that’s never “there?” She/he is always in work mode. It gets quite annoying, and probably upsetting too. You’d think most “guys” would like that sort of chick, but not real men. Real men want to connect. The whole thing is sad, and now I am telling you way more than you deserve to know, so I’m going to stop and get on with the subject at hand.

I seemed to understand the letter Kaf right away. Maybe I had to since it is the letter I use to start my name with. Look at how cool it is. It I love it. It has a lot of great meaning too: The power to actualize potential. Maybe that’s hard to grasp. Read it for what it is and it sinks in easily. Think about it too much and you’re like, Whaaa?

I like to think of it in terms of “ones initial awareness upon awakening.” That’s one way to look at it, but in terms of God, it can be viewed as God’s constant creation of this world — that his creation is actualized in each and every moment.

If you’re like me though, and you wrestle with God on a constant basis – and I mean, here, I am taking up all this blog space talking about God and the bible and stuff, and I can’t even tell you if I am a True believer in God! I don’t even know what that really means! That’s why I say I wrestle with it. With “It.” Or whatever.

Some days, I “believe,” but that is to say, I feel  connected. I don’t “believe” in anything. I feel like everything is going to be okay and I am relieved of some anxiety and it correlates to a kind of universal connection to everything. I consider that being close to God.

Then there are other days I think the whole idea of God is mere nothingness – which I also believe is not much different from the first feeling. Hard to explain really.

In the sense of this letter though – to connect the meaning without bringing God into the equation (or bringing him into it – it’s your choice), I look at it this way: all that really exists are moments. This moment. The moment. And in those moments, like the one that just now passed – the you just missed out on – is the power to actualize potential. And I say, be thankful for it, use those moments, enjoy the moments. This one, right now.

Anywho, All  these letters have great meaning. I think going through all the ups and downs that I have had while doing this study, I have come to many different realizations. I will reveal something that occurred to me since I have studied half of these so far. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I’ll try.

As far as ups and downs, I don’t even know if I have truly communicated that on this blog, but I have had a lot of struggle even learning these letters. I still do/have. I think I always will because it’s the kind of thing that could go on forever. The meanings of these letters, each one, and what they DO mean and what they COULD mean are absolutely endless.

Okay, so I am going to admit now that I have not been studying Exodus the way I have been studying kabbalah. I still am going to, but only after I am finished with all the letters.

But this started out as a time management problem. A mistake, or rather, I didn’t plan it this way. I just didn’t have the time in the day out in Joshua Tree to fit everything in, and study the Torah on top of everything else. It was overwhelming. Not enough hours in the day and all that.

However, now that I have been studying kabbalah so intently, I am so glad I did it in this order.

Perhaps I will realize this once I thoroughly read Exodus the way I want to, but through my long study of Genesis, which I have spoken about before (if I was smart I would link to it. I will, just give me a few hours), and now this kabbalah stuff, I have realized that Exodus IS the genesis for the Jewish people.

I started to realize this on, well, the very first letter: ALEF! It’s like everything – the entire universe was set into motion for what happens on Mt. Sinai. I don’t think what a major realization I was having when I got that after studying Alef and mentioning all this. Especially when I was talking about the Firmament and the fact that Vov is LIGHT!

What am I going on about???

Oy! The Hovering! It’s all about the hovering! I’m going to have to figure out a way to incorporate this concept into my project, yet it’s so hard to explain it. “Touching but not touching.” That is what I mean by the hovering. And it’s what happened when Moses saw the burning bush I tell you. It’s symbolized in the Alef. Oy, I know you all think I’m going insane! I don’t care. I just need to articulate this all at a later date and into my project somehow.

Anyway, I am half way through with the Hebrew alphabet, Kabbalah style, that is. A bit more actually, since I have a little head start on the Lamed.



I sort of fell in love with this letter (the last letter of my name) when I was trying to study this stuff back in 2007-2008. Yes, I was trying to grasp this stuff even back then. It was “hovering” over my head back then too. Ha!

I totally didn’t get this stuff, but I really wanted to. At least I was trying though. I wanted so badly to connect to the letters in some way and start making my art connect in some way, but I wasn’t sure how to work it out yet. Still, I worked it out a bit and made a few successful paintings. I think this was one of them, but I made a few duds right after that you’ve never seen.

This one is called, Eve’s Dilemma:


I made the garment pattern look somewhat like a Lamed. Lamed means: Contemplation of the Heart, or a heart that understands knowledge.

It’s got a bunch of other meanings too, and numbers, and blah blah blah, but I just wanted to say that I had a little head start on the next letter.

My point in all of this is that I am stopping here for a while because I am tired of NOT painting! I NEED to paint now. So I am going to.

I still have quite a few rewards to do. I think 50. Maybe 48 by now, but I am going to start prepping some pieces that I have in my mind to work on because otherwise, I might just go crazy. I am getting really depressed. I have not painted in a really, really long time now. It’s not anyone’s fault but my own. I’ve been busying myself with a whole lot of “other” stuff. It’s time for me to focus in the studio for a while, but that doesn’t mean I won’t blog here and there. I will. I’ll be documenting some progress, so you’ll get to see proof that I’m working. 🙂

I am truly most interested in this:


Don’t ask me why.

Extra! Extra! Proof of God in Yud


Now I know! I really needed to read tet, then skim yud – not really get it, then, read it again.

And now that I have thoroughly studied yud again, it is hitting me over the head like a ton of round-ish bricks.

I would have never discovered this properly had I not gone through this the way I did, so a big shout-out to my bowl of Wheaties this morning.


The letter Yud, titled, The Infinite Point opens like so:

“The letter yud, a small suspended point, reveals the spark of essential good hidden within the letter tet. Subsequent to the initial tzimtzum, the contraction of G-d’s Infinite light in order to make “place” for Creation, there remained within the empty void a single, potential point or “impression.” The secret of this point is the power of the Infinite to contain finite phenomena within Himself and express them to apparent external reality.”

If you don’t remember me talking about the tzimtzum <– there’s a link. Skim it. It’s kinda important, especially when we are talking about Light.

In fact, the book then goes on to say:

“Finite manifestation begins from a zero-dimensional point, thereafter developing into a one-dimensional line and two-dimensional surface…” 

To me, this comes back to physics again. This isn’t just luminous light through a prism. This is Radiant Light (or Radiant Energy) and that works more like an electromagnetic spectrum. If you read a little bit about this, you might see how this correlates.

I’m not going to get into real proof of anything here, like some magic trick or a long formula that looks like π. It’s proof for myself here really. I already believed this stuff – instinctively. Nobody can really “prove” the existence of God. That’s not why I’m here. I’m just happy that I’m getting friendlier with my own feelings about it. (It.)

I’ve always had my suspicions that everything went back to The One. And that One consisted of nothing. That nothing just needed something to put Its life force into. In order to do that, It needed to create Itself as various dimension points, which in turn, would get the whole ball rolling to create the rest of the physical universe as we know it – laws and all.

The whole thing could have happened as fast or as slow as the Big Bang, since “fast” and “slow” are irrelevant, especially that “early” in the “beginning.” All the quotations because, you know, since time is just a point of view. In essence, a lie.

In the reality that you and I know, it is the consideration of an object moving through space: the time it takes to drive from my house to yours. See? Maybe not. Or maybe so. This crap is probably a lot simpler than I give anyone credit for.

So, if we all go “back in time,” I guess we’d be left with just The One. And since It split Itself into zillions of dimensions, stars, focal points, light sources, spaces, distances, and a plethora of other peripheries of some types of communication (Adam and Eve notwithstanding), then It/He/She is hidden in ALL of us. The One is all of us.

Yaye! we are all connected! Wait, ewww. Ha ha ha. Even that guy that works behind the counter at the liquor store? Yuuuuup!

I know tattoos are not looked upon well in the Jewish community. My mom nearly had a heart attack when she saw my first one. It is on my inner right forearm.

She just about died, but I had been wanting it ever since I was 18, and I waited several years after that before I did it because I knew not to be impulsive about it.

I’m about to turn 47 and I still have no regrets. I have a LOT more tattoos since then, especially up and down that same arm. But on my left arm, down by my wrist, is my only impulse tattoo. I designed it. It was very private because it reflected my spiritual beliefs, that I’ve mentioned above. It is a black spiral on top of my wrist, only the spiral is broken up.


It was not until today that I am able to have a word to back up my design. When asked in the past, I just said something about how everyone in the world has to “find their way back to The One,” or “try to fix it and put the spiral back together again.” Something dumb.

People would say things like, “So you think the universe is broken?” “Why not tattoo a spiral that isn’t broken? Wouldn’t that be more positive?” Jeez, people and their opinions.

I’d say, “It will never be put back together again. That’s not the point!” or “We will never get back to The One.”

They would just think I was all the more anti-positive. Which I am!

It was just never easy to explain it so I resorted to simply saying that it was “personal,” because it is!

Now I look at it and it kinda looks like a yud! Doesn’t it? I don’t know. Now I think it does.

Anyway, now I can say that it means Tikun, which in a nutshell means: to repair. But Tikkun Olam is even better! <–Please click on that one. It’s really nice. 🙂

Okay. Have a nice day, OR ELSE!

Or else I’ll hunt you down and I’ll fix you.

Enough About Me, More About Myself


I figured out a bit about why I have been having problems with the letter Tet. I am not sure I’d like to share them, but I will try.

From what I have gathered now, tet is really about inner good, not exactly “pregnancy,” as I had previously gleaned. And not just some plain ‘ole inner good either, but something pretty significant. Maybe more like THE inner good.

It might even be too heavy for me, but it could be the whole purpose of creation in the first place! Yes! That heavy folks.

But why this letter? Why this one, stuck somewhere in the middle-ish of the alphabet? Weird, huh? Or maybe I am reading into it wrong? That could be too. I’m not all that bright you know.

I can’t help it, but I have to look at this in a few different ways.

First of all, I apply what I have read about this letter to the basic creation story, especially when I read stuff like, “the hidden good” and “God hidden within his creation.” That made me think of Adam and Eve. Yeah, those two. Even God creating the universe. What other purpose was that for, other than for us?

I guess I can apply that to myself a bit also. I mean, as a painter, not that I am a god, but as a creator, I can see that I am hidden within my own creations. And I think it’s good anyway.

But when I apply it to myself alone, I can hardly even see any good, but I bet it’s there. Hidden.

It makes me think of that self-worth demon I wrestle with. I so HATE that guy.

Then yesterday, I met with my new friend Rebekah Mirsky, who is also a spiritual adviser. She was telling me about exercises that she has people do, and one was asking them: what are the lies they tell themselves. And this really blew me away, especially when I thought about it later, by myself. Alone.

Sure enough, one of the “Worlds” under the “Name” of the letter tet was, the tendency to lie.

Now, I won’t go into the Worlds and the Names, the Numbers, the Souls, and the Divinities, and all that stuff that’s involved with studying these letters. It’s very confusing. Just trust me, there are a bunch of subdivisions to each letter I haven’t even told you about. I haven’t mentioned it because my posts have been boring enough as it is!

But man, the lies I tell myself. That’s a doozy. I am not very nice to myself.

Between tet and Rebekah, I’m spinning.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So anyway, you may have missed out on some drawings that I posted on my esart blog.

Or maybe not.

Not Tet Again?

Well, yes.

For the next few days while I am at home, I am going to be restudying a few of the letters, Tet being the main one, then Yud, and then I want to re-cap on Chet, before I finally study Kaf.


This is while I get my bearings together, see to some pressing personal matters, and just get reorganized, so this Kabbalah will be sporadic over the next week – just warning you.

And to warn you further, I will then be half way finished with the Kabbalah studies at that time. I mean, that’s funny actually because I will never be fully done with these Kabbalah studies – ever! But I will be finished with them as far as how much I’d like to be familiar with them. At least before I go into the new paintings.

I would just like to take a HALF WAY break to work on some rewards!

Remember, I have a LOT of rewards to complete, and most of those I’d like to do before I enter into my painting trance. I really don’t want to be preoccupied with much.

Check this out. Even though I had, what, 58 backers? I have 91 things I have to hand make — in some capacity or another. That might be hard to believe, but it’s true! It’s because some rewards had more than one thing listed in a particular tier.

That being said, one “thing” can be anything from writing a personal post-it note (easy!), to making a custom, hand bound artist book (not so “easy”).

This morning I was stitching the edges of Dan on one of the two Danvites that a couple people chose as their reward. The ones I had left were not finished, which is why they were left blank I suppose. In fact, I was looking for a finished one and I can’t find one! That’s a little alarming to me. It must be in my box of “Show Promo,” or something.


I sent these out to VIPs before my last solo show in 2010, It’s Mostly About Me and Much Less About You that included over 40 paintings. Probably half (or more) were from the Dan series. It’s a calling card of mine, or whatever you call it, to send out something a little “different” to selected people on my snail mail list before one of my solo shows, as well as an invite/postcard in order to get a bit more attention. You know, like a baby. A baby shaking his rattle really hard and screaming his head off. Like that!

“Give to me your attentions! My art is on view! Drop what you are doing! My art is more special than the the other art you have seen!”

Maybe you try to mix a perfect fragrance and line the inside of the envelope with it, hoping it will lure them to your gallery. Kind of like those cartoons where that luminescent, stretchy fragrance snake brings your unwitting prey up from under his nose and floats him back to the source of the smell.

Whatever it takes, right?

I just try to make something the person on the receiving end will notice – that someone may have made it by hand and thought went into it. Maybe they’ll be reluctant to throw it away. I want them to keep it, even if they don’t go to the show. Over the years, I have found that many of them have kept these things. Maybe they will remember my name at least.

Anyway, the rewards… Of the 91, so far I have only made 29. I haven’t sent out most of those 29 yet because I am waiting on the Dan stickers that I decided to give to everyone over the $20 mark. I am just not getting them until the end of next week.


The first rewards I did were obviously the postcards because I had to do them from Joshua Tree, so I hope everyone got them by now – including Quebec? I sure hope so. I think I wrote my best one there. I sent your guys’ wristbands out today and added EsArt stickers at least.

There is obviously – well – I shouldn’t say “obviously.” Maybe it’s not so obvious. How would you guys know it was obvious? Either way, there is going to be at least a three week delay on everybody’s rewards. When I wrote those estimated times for people to receive their rewards, I just wasn’t thinking clearly – like about how I had to wait to get all the funds into my account, ordering times/shipping times for the stickers and bracelets, plus proofing them! (I had to make changes multiple times on Dan’s color, and the Hebrew on the wristbands.) I also wasn’t so sure I was going to Joshua Tree so fast. I just didn’t take a lot of things into account! So please forgive me if you do not get your rewards exactly on time. I would push everything up another month, two if you’re a sweet and understanding individual.

I am also waiting on:

  1. The Monographie books – ETA: Next week!
  2. À la Dan Kabbalah” letterpress prints – ETA: No Idea!
  3. VERY SPECIAL, limited edition “16 Dans” letterpress print – with one hand-painted Dan in the bunch – ETA: Soon!
  4. Dan’s 10 Commandments – ETA: Not for a LONG time!

I am really excited about the paintings I am about to make. What’s weird is that you are going to be seeing them unfolding. I don’t even know if I like that part. This will be weird. I’ll be doing a lot of double posting on my esart blog, and please forgive me that these entries are showing up multiple times on Facebook and G+. I have to make my settings square so that they only post once. It’s because I have my Twitter already set from Facebook to post there… but now WordPress is setting to auto tweet… I have to fix all this shit. I apologize.

But what I was saying is that you will see a lot of the preliminary stuff, the notes, some of the sketches, and how I work and I’m sure it will seem really rough and weird, maybe in some people’s eyes too rough, but it’s how I work.

Most of the work really happens in my head, and I will maybe make a few drawings, some rough, some with color, some watercolors, and some may not seem like they relate and I think it’s because I have several directions of where I want to take the concepts in my head. I am exploring how I want to work with them.

Like this… These are essentially the same thing (to me). It’s just the difference in how I want to go about them.


Sorry for the quick and crappy scan, but this above is the same exact concept as this one below.


And I won’t play for very long with the kind of thing in the second one, unless I want to go in that direction.

And let’s say I do.

Then I would simplify that window washer guy until he was well rendered with the least amount of waves/wavy lines (but not angels lines), just less — and I may still do this, I am thinking about it — just so he is recognizable as what he is without him looking “real” or illustrated. So I’d probably fill a small sketchbook until I liked him in a variety of positions.

But let’s say I don’t go with this way. Let’s say I go with the top, which is how I’m actually leaning. In fact, I have practically filled that book since then. You’ll be surprised at what the last sketches actually look like now.

I’m scared to show you. So I’ll show you tomorrow.

Intention – Return

So I’m back.


I have yet to study a letter today, and in fact, I still have to re-study Tet. Skimming Yud this morning made me realize that I really didn’t “get” Tet. I was preoccupied for one thing. It was my last day here. I was full of many different feelings that I couldn’t quite temper. My heart was chaotic. My mind was disengaged.

This is what happens to me, to many people, when there are unmet expectations. Well, usually, it ends up in disappointment. That’s what disappointments are, but I wasn’t quite feeling disappointment. I was too confused for that.

I wondered what my expectations were. Did I lose sight of my purpose? What were my intentions for going out there and how did it differ from my expectations?

I suppose, since my intention was to gather a ton of preliminary work to bring back with me in order to make paintings for the next year, I expected to leave there with piles and piles of papers. Papers, photos, video footage, notes, sketches, etc. So much, I could hardly carry it all back into my car!

Kim Abeles, 1995 Self Portrait with Files
Kim Abeles, 1995
Self Portrait with Files

That was the part where I felt disappointment. There was some of that, but I could make one small pile only. That made me sad. It was a sad pile. Awwww. Poor little sad pile.

The thing is though, however un-tangible, I do have TONS of preliminary reference to work with! I mean, how many times can you photograph a boulder? I got it. It’s embedded into my skull! It’s etched in there. I studied the rocks more than I studied these Hebrew letters.


My mind is CLEAR. I know what I want to do. I know how I want my film to go. I know how my installation is going to look, and I know what I want to paint. I don’t know if anyone is going to like it, but I sure want to mess with it.

One thing I think, and maybe I shouldn’t put this on my blog – it’s real personal – but I think my boyfriend is going to absolutely hate these paintings. He hasn’t been a big fan of my work in recent years. That’s been difficult for me. Who doesn’t like to be told they’re an artistic genius? However, I don’t want to be lied to either. I’m grateful that he is honest. He has been in my fan club for years in the past, and he loves certain types of work that I do. He’s just not an abstract art fan – but who is really? Ha!

I am. I seem to love it more and more – and more! And the truth is, I loved it since I was very little. It was the first kind of art that caught my eye. The first type of work that made me think, I want to make art. I want to do that! How can I do that?…

It was a Paul Jenkins:



More later…