GJ Willis' Art Notes

The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.

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Friday, May 25, 2001

I heard you crying loud all the way across town You’ve been searchin for that someone and it’s me out on the prowl As you sit around feeling sorry for yourself Don’t get lonely now Dry your whinning eyes I’m just roamin for the moment

Greenday-When I Come Around

Today was another bright and sunny day. There was a nice spring breeze in the air. A good thing that happened today was that we had overtime at work. However, it was only limited to an hour. Yesterday’s overtime was limited to an hour and a half. I like doing overtime soley for the extra money that it brings into the house.

Today, happens to be Bob Dylan’s 60th birthday. There was no way I could escape it since I listen to NPR practically all day long. Terri Gross’ show did a profile on his career as did All Things Considered. I feel that Dylan is better songwriter than he is a singer. I don’t understand why he always persisted in singing all his songs. Why not just farm them out to a better vocalist? Anyway my favorite Dylan songs are “Like a Rolling Stone” and "Rainy Day Women". Yeah, I know he sang on those songs, but he should have given them to someone else....

I worked on 2 different paintings today. Again my work time was abreviated due to the overtime. I thought I’d share a little something with you folks. However, I’m not sure if it’s legal. In’s tabletalk section I started a thread on Tips on Becoming a
Successful Artist. I thought I’d share two pieces of advice that I hold dearly.

Tips on Becoming a Successful Artist....

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Richard Gray - 01:26 pm PDT - May 18, 2001  - #96 of 99


Paint your heart out no matter what happens, no matter who notices, for the rest of whatever life you are given.

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Richard Gray - 01:37 pm PDT - May 18, 2001  - #97 of 99


Create a sensation for yourself or your art

Make people want to fuck you

Borrow money, ideas, drugs, wives/husbands, never pay them back

Thicken your hide

Annoy the right people

Drink publicly

Paint in odd places, at varied hours

Hang out with money and make them wish they were you

Place your work, somehow, in some historical context

Don't get caught trying too hard.

Convince yourself of entitlement

Give pieces away early on, stratigically

Talk about it every chance you get

link | posted by gail at 12:19 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, May 24, 2001

Sunny Days...Everything’s A-O-K...Yadda...Yadda...Yadda...Can You Tell Me How To Get....How To Get To Sesame Street!

The sun finally came out today! :) The sky was a cloudless happy blue color. Uh-Oh! It’s true folks I like to watch Bob Ross’ paintings shows on PBS. However, I rarely paint landscapes. I mostly like to watch him because he’s so darned mellow. It’s as though he takes a few tokes before he starts a painting. Sadly, he passed away a couple of years ago from cancer. God, I miss that mellow hippy guy.

Overall, today has been good. So far I’ve been on time for work two days in a row! Also we had overtime at work today.Looks like that will eat up my being late on Monday. Unfortunatly, I do not know how late I was. I was in so much of a rush to get in that I forgot to punch in.

Also today I started re-reading my favorite and only Barbara Sher book, Live the Life You Love. This time I think I’ll try to do the exercises in the book. The last time I got as far as buying the index cards. I know those cards are probably still somewhere in my apartment. I hope I don’t have an asthma attack trying to find them. You see almost every time I try to find something that is missing I have an asthma attack.

My little nephew, David, (there are three David’s in my life; my boyfriend, my sister’s ex, and their son) has left several messages on my answering machine to remind me to get him a game for his birthday on Saturday. Geez, I remember the good old days when he had no idea when Christmas or his birthday was. Of course he couldn’t talk or walk back then. Ahhh, the good old days.... Anyway, he’ll be turning the big 11 on Saturday. He has made good and sure that his Aunt Gail will not forgot to get him something. If I don’t I get him something he’ll be disappointed. I must’nt let the little whippersnapper down!! I admire his tenacity.

Due to the fact that we had overtime today I got home later that usual. Therefore, my painting time was drastically reduced. I worked on only 2 paintings tonight.

link | posted by gail at 12:35 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Oh, it’s rain again. Will my heart ever mind?

You guessed it folks. It rained again today in old Baltimore. Did you guys know that during the early nineties I wanted to move to Seattle, the then epicenter of cool? This week in Charm City has been like a virtual Seattle. So in honor of that rainy Seattle vibe I’ll play my classic old grunge tapes. That’s right a week of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and the Singles soundtrack.

I feel that my best bet is to be persistent as an artist. I strongly feel that that if you want to be successful in this field you have to be ruthless and vigilant about working your craft. I don’t know maybe that sounds a bit as though I’m trying to take over the art world from my tiny Baltimore apartment. However, from what I see of people who are successful that appears to be the truth. Successful people did’nt get that way overnight they had to work for it. Those who never worked it are quickly forgotten their 15 minutes of fame washed away.

My overall goal is to be a multi-media whore. I want my artwork to appear everywhere in magazines, childrens books, movies, tv shows, music videos, Broadway plays, and on the internet. I want it to be virtualy impossible to escape my artistic vision..... Gee, it does sound as though I’m trying to take over the artworld from my tiny Baltimore apartment. Well, I can dream can’t I. Besides, a girl’s gotta have her goals. :)

As far as my painting goes I did work on 4 out of the 9 paintings. It starting to look as though I’ll definetely be putting up 6 pieces for sale on Friday or Saturday. The other 3 paintings I will continue to work on. However, it’s kind of iffy if they’ll be completed by the end of the week. Since today was Tuesday which is Buffy day in my house instead of painting while listening to my cd’s I had the tv on. That’s right I painted while watching/listening to the season finales to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel the Series. In case your wondering this is not too much of a big deal I always have the telly on when Buffy’s on tv.

Oh, I almost forgot someone gave me the advice that it would be a good idea to hire a publicist to further my career. Which is all well and good but how do you find a publicist? Do I have to pay them out of my own pocket? My head is filled with questions. I’ll try and find out more information about publicists this week if I have time.

link | posted by gail at 12:45 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down Nothing To Do But Hang Around...

Today started off bad. It was wet and rainy all day. My bus was late thus I was late for work. I forgot to bring cookies for Neka (pronunced nee-ka) and Cassandra’s office birthday party. Why did they both have to born on the same day?

A good thing that happened at work was that Neka ordered pizza for lunch for everyone. Another good thing that happened was that Brian, my supervisor, was a no show today.

Today, I went over to Walmart to buy plant food and a squirt bottle.
Last Monday I bought some plants at K-Mart. It was very spur of the moment. A K-Mart recently opened up right next door to the supermarket I like to shop at. So I went in to check out the new store. I noticed the prices were cheap for the plants. I assume that they were holdovers from Mother’s Day and they needed to get rid of them fast. Anyway, I have a Draecaena marginata which I like a lot. I used to have one when I lived with my Dad. Unfortunately, when I moved to my new bachelorette apartment all my plants were stolen off of my balconey. I have been reluctant to buy new plants ever since that incident. The new plants will stay inside the apartment to reside on the windowsill. The other plants I have include a fern (Adiantum raddianum), a snake plant (Sansevieria laurentii), and Dracaena godseffiana. Right now I’m on the lookout to find another spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum vittatum). I really love that plant!! It just grows and grows and the Energizer Bunny of plants.

Tonight, I worked on my paintings. I really like the direction that one of my paintings is going in. I just need to straighten up the purple lines on it and it is as good as completed!

link | posted by gail at 12:58 AM | 0 comments

Monday, May 21, 2001

Tonight is just another rainy night in Baltimore. Sometimes it feels like it’s raining all over the world.

Here’s a brief re-cap of my weekend activities:

May 18, 2001 Friday, after work I went over my sister’s house ok, it’s really my niece’s house, to visit my Dad. He’s been over there since Easter. He can’t leave because he has arthritis so bad that he can’t even get out of bed. This time it’s in his shoulder and both his hands. I hate seeing him this way..So helpless, a prisoner of his own pain. I hope I don’t get arthritis when I get old. I hope there’s a cure for it when I’m a senior citizen. Anyway, when I go over there I usually sit with him and watch the evening news and run a few errands for him. His condition has gotten a little better, however, he still can’t drive.

May 19, 2001 Saturday, I went over my boyfriend’s house. Recently, Dave had an epiphany and declared Ben Stiller a comedic genius. He went out and got every Ben Stiller related movie that he could get his hands on. I really enjoyed Stiller in Keeping the Faith with Jenna Elfman and Ed Norton. I found this unusual romantic comedy involving a rabbi, a priest (almost sounds like the set up to a joke does’nt it?) and a female childood friend to be very endearing. I was surpised to learn that the movie was directed by Ed Norton. In case you’re wondering Dave has had quiet a few movie epiphanies which have resulted in mini-film festivals that I have had to endure. In the past Jackie Chan, Jet Lei, and Tom Hanks have been declared genius’ by Dave.

May 20, 2001 I spent Sunday cleaning my apartment and listening to Abba’s Gold Greatest Hits cd as well as The Donna Summer Anthology cd. I’m sure in a past life I was a gay man. Recently, I’ve noticed that I have been primarily listening to the music I enjoyed as a kid. I find it comforting. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. There are just a few new groups that I can tolerate listening to. Of today’s music I like Moby, Blink-182, and Everclear.

Today's dinner was broccoli, rice, and beef served in a seasoning of beef gravy with a dash of soy sauce. The beverage of choice for today was lemon iced tea.

In case your wondering.... NO, I have’nt painted a single thing this weekend and I don’t feel guilty about it. :)

link | posted by gail at 12:03 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, May 20, 2001

I know that I have’nt written in my diary for quite a while. The main reason that I have’nt written anything is that in addition to being a talented artist I also suffer from depression. When I’m going through my tough periods it ‘s difficult for me to do anything. It’s a constant struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Hence, I’ve been late for work and for everything else it seems. It’s been weeks since I’ve had Orange Chicken on Friday.

I’m not sure if you guys even care but I did sell two paintings last month, Lovely Leaping Mermaids painting and the Fairy on the Beach painting. I had a douzy of a time trying to contact the person who won the Fairy on the Beach painting on 4-20-01. It was not until last week that she finally got in touch with me. It seems that she ran into a patch of bad luck last month, purse stolen, Califonia blackouts etc.. I have nothing but empathy for those folks on the West Coast being gouged by PGE and there scheme to bilk the citizens of CA with there phony crisis. It’s a conspiracy...I know it is. I heard about on NPR. Also I don’t trust Supreme CourtAppointed President Bush to solve the so called energy crisis. I’m sure he and his big business cronies are just itching to cash in big time now that two of there own (Bush, and Chaney) are in charge. I guess they all can’t wait to start to drilling and ruining the environment in a crisis they created for monetary gain. Well, enough of my Bush is ruining the environment rant...

As far as my art is concerned I have gotten back on track. Right now I’m working on 9! Count em 9 New Paintings! I’m doing 2 knock offs of one of my all time favorite artists’ ,Patrick Nagel. I’m doing them for the May 25th ebsq art show on eBay. I’m not sure what I’ll call the paintings since Nagel tended towards not naming his artwork. Personally, I’m not sure if I’ll ever gather the guts enough to do a copy of a Maxfield Parrish, or a Norman Rockwell, or maybe even a copy of one of the Pre-Raphaelites....Only Time Will Tell. Also, I’m working on another mermaid painting as well as another Josephine Baker picture and a repaint on The Balconey Scene and Brand New Day. I hope that they sell. If not I guess I’ll just spiral through another bought of depression. I’ve got my canvas, paintbrush, and St. John’s Wort and I’m Rare n’ to Go!!!!!

link | posted by gail at 4:42 AM | 0 comments

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