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.

Studio Babble: Cross Post from Carol’s Bloggie

Just been working in the studio on and off. Thought I’d say hello to my blog.


It took me some time to make the five journal sketches for the aleph painting. Seems pretty silly to spend the time when I’m going to be covering them up with paint! But I’ll admit, I did sorta keep that in mind while I was doing them. It was in the back of my head anyway.



I think they still turned out looking the same as always, but at first it was a little bit hard to get back into the swing of things. They always say…or someone said, inspiration will come to you, but it has to find you working. Or something like that. And so it did. After the second or third piece, it was like I was doing journal drawings everyday again, and it made me want to start that practice up again too.

A couple of the drawings have to do with the project and a few of them don’t. One of them is about snakes and Sleestacks for some reason. Don’t ask. I have no idea where this stuff comes from, but I’d like to do more, more, more.

Oh, if only more time existed on the Earth.

So, I stuck those drawings onto my canvas. This is a 34 x 34 inch canvas and I used a clear, matte acrylic polymer made by Nova Color when sticking these things on – I use it when sticking anything on to my canvases. It’s pretty thick and pasty stuff, sorta like cake frosting. It goes on white and dries clear, as you can see. That manila paper I’m using is #125, so I do need strong stuff that’s going to brush on evenly to prevent air bubbles and such. This polymer stuff is great for collage.  You should look into it if you do collage.


I have to say, when I shot this picture wider, all it did was distract me. I mean, once I downloaded it into Photoshop. All the little things in the background started to freak me out – the little things that needed to be done. I started to obsess on them.


A. Like this box of photos. They don’t belong in the studio. They are supposed to be put into albums. I meant to do that in memory of my aunt, but I just don’t have the time for “extra curricular” activities these days.

B. That’s a box filled with Ethereal Research Laboratories Etherecals, Bacterribles, and Imaginodds that still need to be shoved into Erlenmeyer flasks.

C. A Blick return I need to pack up and bring to UPS.

D. An older work that needs special packing because of the pins sticking out of it. It needs to be packed up and put away before it starts to get dusty.

E. Those are two small white panels I’m supposed to do pin drawings on. They are pending commissions!

F. I need the top to that. I just need to fish it out and stick it back on there. I’m pretty sure I know where it is.

G. OMG! How long has THIS been like this?! This painting has the weight of a few of the same size paintings leaning up against it. Did I explain that correctly? It is facing the wrong way. The canvas side should be facing away from the table so that the weight distributes evenly. Now I have to move it all and it’s a bigger pain than it might seem.

Here’s the thing with this space. Pretty much everything needs to be put away in its place in order for me to have the space to work. I’ve found that I can’t really work on more than one painting at a time unless I want to be up to my knees in clutter – which I’ve done before when I’m really into things. I suppose I can let it ride. But I like to start with a clean slate.

H . That painting is white (obviously), and needs to be wrapped up and put away. (I had it out for a studio visit.)

Well, that’s what happened when I downloaded this picture from my camera. It sucks to be me.

Anyway, I put the first very light layer of white over the drawings, but you can hardly tell.


Later today I’ll probably do a really light beige in some areas and see what happens there.

I should do it before the day ends because tomorrow I’ll be receiving the Dan prints and will most likely be working on painting those new À la Dan Kabbalah and Special 16 Dans.

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.

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.

Heis and Lows


Hei! How are you? Pretty crappy, but thanks for asking.

Today I studied the Hei. But maybe instead of getting into that, I’d rather tell you that today was FUCKED!

I’d ask you to excuse my French, but I’m not really that kind of wuss, so please, allow me to go on with my rant about how stupid I am, because I am.

Today, just about everything that could go wrong – did, and all because I wasn’t using my head. Well, some of the reason is due to the fact that I don’t have my own video cam with me. I’m sure I have mentioned this a few times now.

This morning I recorded a long video journal – one where I finally tell the story about my past issues surrounding my video camera. I have mentioned this before as well. I’ve almost disclosed it in fact. Or maybe I have, I really don’t know anymore. But there is a heavy story about how I had a grand plan to create an auto-documentary back in 2007, but that wound up in a suicide attempt.

So, I’m telling this story into the camera today – how my Sony has been sitting in its case for the last seven years, and I get into the part about how seeing my family behind the lens of a camera did something really bizarre to me. I mean, I had no idea the impact it was going to have on me. I couldn’t have guessed it, but it was really profound.

Anyway, I started to cry on video. I wasn’t even expecting to act or feel natural on camera, but the tears just came, and I was like, hey, this might be great footage for the film. Real tears! But in all seriousness, they were real. Still, it was all captured on video and I was glad to have taped it, until…

I hit the playback button.

Oh my God! The microphone was situated near my hair so a couple of my dreads were flopping and dragging across the mic the entire time!

The rest of the week I had been wearing my hair up. Today I had the thought: I should wear my hair down for once so people can really see this mop of dreadlocks.

What an idiot!  And not because I wanted you to see my hair, but because of where I placed my microphone. (I just want to clarify that. I’m not generally an idiot.)

But the sound is unbearable on the entire take. It’s unusable.

And that’s not the only dumb thing I did!

The day before yesterday, I cued up the camera to play back the last video diary, but I forgot that I did that!!! When I came in today, I just hit record!

In other words, I recorded over my last video diary – and it was a good one too! I didn’t do one on Tuesday, so it was extra precious.

After I threw a shit-fit, I calmed down. I have a piece of yarn that is tied around my wrist to remind me to do such things (calm myself down),  and read the camera manual instead. I tried to get to know the cam a little better. I read about how to charge it properly, which I needed to do finally, but when I tried to do that, it wasn’t working, and while it was plugged in, I could not record because there was a buzz on the mic while the camera was plugged in to the wall, which is apparently called a “60 cycle hum.”

After many, many attempts all day today to get that camera working the way I needed it to, and trust me, I tried until it was dark outside, I had to give up on that, and I was in no mood to draw – but I drew a few pictures anyway 😉 I just forgot my digital camera back in the main house, so I didn’t shoot them. Sorry – no pictures tonight.

‘Twas a frustrating day.

However! Something really GREAT transpired out of it all!

I may still be a bit blank on what my new paintings are going to look like, but I now know what my film is going to BE! And the installation too.

These days, for me, making decisions has never been so radiant and strong. I don’t know how else to explain that, but I guess I just did.

More on that later. I have to jot off to bed!

Who’s on Third?


What did I learn about Gimmel today?

Well, I will admit that I am still confused.

I know what it represents. That I am clear on. The sages believe it is the rich man running after the poor man ( specifically the Dalet), to give charity to.

The Gimmel is put together as a Vav with a Yud as its foot.

I have often drawn this as a character with actual “feet,” sometimes with sneakers, and I have known it to symbolize wealth. I have associated it with certain people I know. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I have, so I suppose I have had a strange bias against it.

I even painted Dan being born into a “Gimmel machine” on purpose, in hopes that the series of paintings I did about him would hopefully bring me wealth that year, which turned out to be a stupid thing to do.


But anyhow, on my studies today, I found that again, this letter has more to do with FREE WILL than anything else. Another letter that has to do with free will. It seems that free will is probably the greatest thing we have going for us. And there is something for me to learn in that – I just know there is!

In what I was reading today, well, I will quote some of it here:

The word “gimel” is derived from the word “gemul,” which in Hebrew means both the giving of reward as well as the giving of punishment. In Torah, both reward and punishment have the same ultimate aim – the rectification of the soul to merit to receive God’s light to the fullest extent.

Reward and punishment imply that man is free to choose between good and evil. 

After all this I get a bit foggy on the rest, but I get that giving and receiving is about free will, and that all just makes me want to think about it all more. I suppose I’m not finished meditating on this one folks.

So after all this studying, I went into the studio and finished up all my postcards for everyone and went into town and mailed them off. One was a handmade postcard for someone extra special.


I then wound up doing an extra long video diary. I don’t know why, but I got carried away.

Then I did a bunch of small, square drawings. I was really excited about a few of them. really excited.

Things are moving along!

Oh, and I took a shot of those Exodus bracelets like I promised, see?:


I guess that’s it for tonight. I’m pretty tired and I have to pee at the moment.

Where it’s At

Hello loyal believers in me!

How is everyone? I have had a death in the family, and so I have had a small blip in keeping you updated, but I’m sure you understand. For me, working through it is the best way for me to cope. Everyone is different when it comes this stuff. How do you deal with such things? 

I just thought I’d put out an update on where everything is at so far, but remember, or, please be advised, keep in mind, etc., etc, that we are (I am) still at the starting gate. That doesn’t mean, however, that inquiring minds don’t wish to know, right?

My Joshua Tree trip is just around the corner! I am leaving on April 25th. As a matter of fact, I just picked up my Sony TRV 900 Handicam from Harry’s Camera today. Actually, that’s not true. I picked up a loaner. Mine is still being worked on! Apparently the parts that were ordered were faulty and now they are waiting for new, non-faulty ones to come in. They just won’t be here in time. In the meantime they gave me the exact same model on loan. What can’t cha do?

Other hurdles: the Dan stickers! I was so very excited yesterday when I found out they arrived at Sticky Ricks. If the traffic wasn’t  poopy, I would’ve driven 100 MPH to get there. However, when I showed up and we unpacked the stickers from the box, we noticed that Dan was not the color he was supposed to be. Something terribly wrong happened to his ink and he was too green! Poor Dan looked like he had nausea! Now he has to be reprinted. Other than that, I have to say, these stickers KICK ASS!

Talk about things that are supposed to be green — the bracelets! Those are in production and I got to see a “proof” picture. They look super cool. They say “Exodus” on one part of the band, yet turn them just a little bit, and they say Exodus again – in HEBREW! How cool is that! If you want to know what that will look like, just check out the top left edge of  the website.

I’d like to publicly thank Mark Strunin, the President of Temple Beth Israel, for helping me translate Exodus into Hebrew properly – and for the free mini Hebrew lesson in general. I never knew that the “Exodus” in the Torah’s literal translation was “Names.” Did you? Well, you probably did. If you’re Jewish, you probably went to Hebrew school as a kid. Unfortunately, I missed out on that, but I’ve heard that learning languages are much easier to learn when you’re a kid. At least I like to tell myself that while I am learning Hebrew and Spanish because both have a way of not sinking into my mushy skull.

Anyway, the Exodus that is written in Hebrew in the Torah (Names) did not communicate what I wanted it to for the purpose of this project, so now it does say “Exodus,” meaning: The Leaving. I hope that makes sense. Does it? Good.

I’ve also been working on the layout for the Dan’s 10 Commandments (for a Better Life and Hygiene) book. It’s still in its baby stages though, but it’s getting there. It’s written! That’s something. And I am always working on this website. This one you’re on right now. It will always be expanding. I will always be rewriting it as well.

Other things are rolling, of course. Like I have said before, I don’t like wasting time, and I don’t. I work on stuff every day. I’ve finally come to grips to admitting that I’m a workaholic. Admitting to it is a step in the right direction, I suppose, but beyond that seems hopeless. I really can’t imagine going a day without working. Maybe that is why this trip will be so very healing for me. It will force me to slow down, meditate, and do some self-reflection, but since it is for work, I am willing to do it. In a sense, I am tricking myself into relaxing! That probably sounds like the schemes of a lazy person, but if you only knew how badly I work myself into the ground, you’d understand.

You know, now that I’m typing this, I can see clearer what this is. Ha! Maybe I have been plotting this project for a long time in order to change my entire working process because I physically can’t carry on the way I used to, and I’m doing it all this way because I can’t admit it to myself any other way. I’m thinking this because I did something pretty similar almost 20 years ago when I could not play music professionally anymore.

Ooookay. That’s going to be a whole ‘nother blog post!

Back to the subject at hand.

My Carol Es un Monographie de Lignes books are almost finished! They are being bound right now, and then, we are talking maybe a week or so. I mean, not long. I’m so close! Can you believe it? I can’t! All that, thanks to Bill Roberts of Bottle of Smoke Press! Once that is done, I will be starting on the colored pencil drawings for the ones that are being rewarded to my magnificent Exodus donors!


Speaking of which, please – everyone – send in your mailing addresses! Especially yous that are getting a postcard from Joshua Tree because I will be mailing those from the desert!

I just scored some classic JTree postcards from the 1930s through the 1960s on eBay! Sometimes, I love eBay.


Lastly, I know how premature this is, but I actually made my first quick sketch for the project. I know I’m not even out there (in the desert) yet, but I couldn’t get this image out of my mind. Not only that, but I know more are coming because once I did it, it wasn’t quite right and I know that feeling I get when I try to match the imagery in my brain – as foggy as it is – a kind of obsession begins to percolate. I want to draw it over and over, maybe paint it, maybe paint it a lot… I’m not saying this is going to get to that point. I have absolutely no idea! It’s just a little sketch right now. A sketch with the feeling of making at least another, at least until I capture what I want.


What do I want? To isolate a rock with different shadows from other rocks hitting it near the top. I want those shadows to look like curving shards, and if I can’t find a rock like that, I will find one that almost looks like it, and invent the rest. I want those shard-shaped shadows to get colored in, in red, oranges and yellows, and dammit, it just has to be right, and it has to be over a “yud” in the upper right hand corner of the canvas with a fragile, scaffolding holding the yud up in place, done crudely in light pencil.

I think I should go now and give you all a new update as I move further along. I’ll try not to wait so long and leave things pile up, that way I’ll make shorter blog posts. Wait…me, make a short blog post? You’ve gotta be kidding, right?

And it Was Good


Can you believe it? I can’t! I am out of my mind with happiness, excitement flabbergastion, butterflies, gratitude, and more gratitude!!!

Wow! Wow! Wow!


And guess what?

I just received a grant for $1000 from the National Arts and Disability Center to help me with the painting leg of my project for when I get back from the desert!


I am blessed all kinda ways!

So I’m going to get right to telling you what comes next. Why wait? I’m excited to reveal it all, aren’t you excited to hear it? We are all part of this thing now, so I figured you’d be interested.

This project officially starts RIGHT NOW! That’s right. The wheels and cogs have been a-turnin’ in my mind throughout the last 30 days during the campaign, and I can’t keep my ideas contained any longer! I want to get to work. I want to keep you abreast. I want you along for the ride.

Now, Kickstarter puts a little hold on the money before it doles it out, but since I have had an Amazon Payments Account for a long time, I think I may not have to wait as long. I will look into that. In the meantime,  I will be begin working on everyone’s rewards as soon as humanly possible. Because of the nature of some of the rewards, some of you will be receiving certain ones before others, but don’t worry: ALL WILL BE FULFILLED!

Many of you will begin receiving messages from me about your preferences on some of your rewards, as certain ones, like the À la Dan Kabbalah letterpress prints, allow for the choice of a Hebrew letter. Other rewards will require you sending me an image of the nice person I’m doing a portrait of. Stuff like that. I will be getting to these things over the next week.


I also wanted to let you in on the project website I have been building at While it is still a work in progress, I finally have it up “live” so that there is a living “hub” for the project itself. You will also find the official blog on the site where I will be posting on frequently, and especially all the days throughout my stay in Joshua Tree, since the site is mainly for (or begins in) the FIRST leg of my entire project: An Exodus in Joshua Tree.

Also in the news, I will be going to Joshua Tree right away!!! That’s right, I do not waste any time, plus the best time to go is now in the spring while everything is blooming! If all goes as planned, I will be there as soon as the end of this month!

To some up for now, some of you might have noticed that I put up an F.A.Q. at the bottom of the project description – just hours before it ended. I did this because I had been questioned about the title the project a number of times (mostly in person) and would have to explain it all to people one at a time. I figured if people were asking me, then other people must be wondering, so now it’s in writing. So I’m including it in this message, for yucks.

Why did you call this project: “An Exodus in Joshua Tree” if you are going there?

Well, I didn’t foresee this title being complex to others’ ears on the day I created it. All I can say is that it made sense in my head in the moment, and here is why:

I feel that I am about to break out of the shackles of the kind of art-making that I had been doing for so many years.

Basically, over the last year, I’ve gained the tools I need. Now I’m going out from my studio, from Los Angeles, from my fears, from my crutches, my modus operandi, TO Joshua Tree, to wander the desert, to find my new home – within myself, within my art.

That is the exodus.

Thank you all for reading, and thank you ALL for everything!

Stay tuned, and visit the blog often at