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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Wednesday, May 29, 2002

May 28, 2002

He’s a hypnotist, hypnotist of ladies
You’re getting sleepy, very sleepy
He’s a hypnotist, hypnotist of ladies
Never had a pocket watch, never counted backwards
You won’t remember why you liked him

Hypnotist of Ladies-John Linnell and John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants-Apollo 18 cd)

Nothing terribly Earth shattering happened today. As far as art goes I worked on two paintings today. I may be putting them up for sale this weekend along with the pictures I working on for the EBSQ theme show of dogs and cats. Also after I get off the computer tonight I’m going to work a little more with Painter. I’m going to do some work on the EBSQ drawing class stuff. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post it over the weekend or maybe even tomorrow. Inspiration permitting.

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting which is held every Tuesday afternoon at my workplace. I found out that I lost 1.6 pounds, this brings my total weight loss to 14 pounds.

So far today I had a macaroni frozen dinner for lunch worth 5 points. A snack bar worth 2 points. 3 slices of cheese worth 3 points. A pear worth 1 point. Air popped popcorn worth 1 point. 4 hot dog worth 6 points. A can of beans worth 6.5 points which I think I’ll round up to 7 points. That brings my total points of the day to 25 points. Which means I ate less than my points range. I guess I’ll find something that’s 3 points to eat or save it for tomorrow.

Well that’s what I was up to today. What about you?

link | posted by gail at 12:01 AM | 0 comments

Monday, May 27, 2002

May 27, 2002

you said the world was magic

i was wide eyed laughing

we were dancing up to the bright side

forget about your ego forget about your pride

and you will never have to compromise

but you were only joking

Joking-Amy Ray (Indigo Girls-Rites of Passage cd)

Today, I did absolutely nothing and I feel damned good about it. When I woke up this morning at 7:30 am I ate a whole bag of Quakes popcorn caramel cakes. It was absolutely decadently delicious. I love being bad! Then I ate two containers of vanilla pudding. For lunch I had a ham and cheese sandwich on an english muffin along with a humongously big fruit salad. In between it all I had a slice of cheese. A little later I had two bowls of cereal one was Sugar Smacks the other was Corn Pops! I ate them with MILK!!! Bwahahahaha

The really sad fact of all this is that I’m on Weight Watchers and well, this was all within my points range. Quakes are only worth 1 pt each. The whole bag gives you 7pts The pudding was fat free both worth 1 pts per container. The ham was Healthy Choice which is a brand that cuts out the fat, cholesterol, and sodium in there meat products, worth 1pt. The cheese was this new fangled fat free stuff, worth 1pt. The milk was fat free worth 2pts per cup. The cereal were those tiny little packs both worth 2pts each. Overall I’ve eaten 24 points. Which unfortunately puts me right within my points range.

Why do I feel decadent you ask? The reason is I followed the points system with sugary stuff and I’m still within my points range!! Bwahahahahaha!!! I cheated yet I didn't really cheat. It’s an odd paradox I’m in. I’ve been on Weight Watchers since January 2002, so far I’ve lost 10 lbs on it. I like it because it’s easy to follow and well, bend the rules.

Also today I finally put up the thumbnails on my web site which is, The Ultimate GJ Willis Site Next I have to fix the links page. I think I will be taking out the links that reads, other living artists. I would like to replace it with sites about dead artist I like, such as; Patrick Nagel, Maxfield Parrish, Charles Dana Gibson, Tamara De Lempicka, and Cecily Mark Barker as well as the Pre-Raphealite art movement.

link | posted by gail at 11:18 PM | 0 comments

May 26, 2002

With cat-like tread, in silence dread,

With cat-like tread, Upon our prey we steal

In silence dread Our cautious way we feel!

No sound at all, We never speak a word;

A fly’s footfall Would be distinctly heard!

Come, friends, who plough the sea,

Truce to navigation, Take another station;

Let’s vary piracee With a little burglaree!

With cat-like tread Upon our prey we steal;

In silence dread Our cautious way we feel.

With cat-like tread - William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan (from the operetta The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty)

Today, I finally figured out how to do thumbnails with my software. Now I can finally put my artwork up on my site!

I didn't do much today but watch videos. This is something that I recently started doing because I purchased a vcr a couple of months ago. I got a vcr so that I could watch exercise video’s. The reason why I’m watching and doing exercise videos is because I joined Weight Watchers in January 2002 and they want you to keep active. Yes, I know that dvd’s are all the rage but I need something that was cheap and you can tape things with.

Right now I’m trying to catch up on all the movies that I haven't seen from 1990 to 1994. The reason why I saw next to no movies during this time period was that I was studying very hard and doing my clinical rotations at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine’s Department of Medical and Research Technology. When you’re in this type of school you cannot choose the time you want to take classes. If Medical Microbiology is listed at 8am for the sophomore class you have to take it at 8am with the rest of the class.

Anyway, I finally finished watching An Ideal Husband which I started watching yesterday. Th reason why I stopped and started watching it was that I got bored with it. It wasn't as funny as I hoped it would be. The pacing seemed a little long and labored. This is a shame because I’m a really big fan of Oscar Wilde’s work.

Last week I rented the film Wilde which starred Stephen Frye in the title role. I liked that picture a lot. Frye made for an excellent Wilde. He looks exactly like the pictures I’ve seen of Wilde. To be honest I had no idea that Wilde was once married with children. I always pictured him as being this flamboyantly terminally single gay bon vivant. Hmmmmm, now that I think of it he was a flamboyant bon vivant in the film.

I also saw Topsy Turvey last week. I really enjoyed that film a lot. I’m a big fan of Gilbert and Sullivan productions. I always wondered about the men behind the music. From the movie it appears that Gilbert was this big boisterous know it all who was impotent and Sullivan was this thin single guy who preferred the company of prostitutes. Watching the movie was like taking a trip back in time. The movie opens up in the summertime and it’s really hot. All the people in the movie were complaining about the heat and covered from head to foot in heavy Victorian clothing. This I feel would have been true to the era. Victorians were not known for showing skin even if it would have made them more comfortable.

Hmmmm, come to think of it I’ve been watching a lot of movies that feature the Victorian era. I suppose in a way this all fits in with my preoccupation with the Pre-Raphaelite art movement. I guess I’m a Victorian at heart, albeit a more comfortably clothed one.

link | posted by gail at 11:16 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, May 25, 2002

May 25, 2002

you fell down of course
and then you got up of course
and you started over
forgot my name of course
then you started to remember
pretty tough to think about
the beginning of december
pretty tough to think about

The Same Boy You’ve Always Known-Meg and Jack White (The White Stripes-White Blood Cells cd)

I thought I’s start up this blog again since it’s Memorial day and I have time off.

I just got finished putting up my new web site The Ultimate GJ Willis Source I’m really excited about this because I have owned the web site domain since December 2000 and am now just getting around to putting something on it. This is the first web site that I built without click and build commands. I did the html myself. I know that I will have to edit it some more. There are no pictures up in the gallery section and that’s crucial since I’m a part time artist who would like to be a full time artist.

In other news I saw Star Wars: Attack of the Clones last Sunday. I liked it a lot. It was a much better picture than the Phantom Menace. I would like to see it again at the Senator Theater instead of at the Owings Mills theater. Don’t get me wrong I enjoined my movie going experience at Owings Mills it’s where I saw the last Star Wars movie. The only reason why I selected that theater is because it’s in suburbia and long lines are highly unlikely.

The reason why I want to see it at the Senator is because the Senator theater has a reputation for being the place to see movies like Star Wars. It’s a long standing throw back to the grand old movie houses of yesteryear. It’s the one movie theater in Baltimore that hosts star studded movie openings for pictures filmed in Baltimore. John Waters and Barry Levinson have had many movie premier at the Senator. The sidewalk of the Senator is a virtual Hollywood walk of fame done up Baltimore style. It’s imprinted with every major movie that was filmed and debuted at the theater. The guy that owns the theater Tom Kifabber has a reputation for really putting on a show when he has big ticket movies showing.

I remember when they were showing the Star Wars special edition movies they had memorabilia up including life size Han Solo frozen in carbonite. Tom even went up before the movie started to do a little speech. It’s no wonder that the long lines for Star Wars are at the Senator.

link | posted by gail at 11:38 PM | 0 comments

November 2, 2001

Well I woke up this morning, stumbled
out of my rack
I opened up the paper to the page in
the back
It took a minute for my finger to find
My daily dose of destiny under my sign
My eyes just about popped out of my head
It said the stars are stacked against
you girl
Get back in bed

I Feel Lucky-Mary Chapin-Carpenter and Don Schlitz (Mary Chapin-Carpener - Come On Come On cd)

Today I saw my first show at the Meyerhoff. The show featured the music of the forties. I like going down to the Baltimore Symphony to see shows. I like ike going there because I know I will be the youngest person there. That’s right I get a perverse joy out of being the only Gen’X black woman in the joint who’s a paying customer. This was the first of the Super Pops series.

The show was atrociuos you could barely hear the words that the singers were singing they were drowned out by the music. I think they should get rid of the new Pops Music director Jack Everly. Things were better when Marvin Hamlisch was in charge. They ruined the Trolley Song, from the Judy Garland classic, Meet Me in St. Louis!! How could anyone ruin the Trolley Song!! The woman who sang the Judy Garland parts was great she knew to lean into the mike so that everyone could hear what she was singing over the very loud orchestra. But all the other singers seemed to avoid that. It just seemd like they were mumbling and did’nt give a rat’s ass if you heard them or not.

Note to the BSO...
Fire Jack Everly Now!! The only major music credit he has was being music director to some orchestra back in Cincinatti and doing the score to the Hunchback of Notre Dame....a Disney cartoon failure.

The night was horrible. My bus was 20 minutes late! The light rail heading to the Meyerhoff was late! Not to mention the light rail was out of order when the show was over so I had to take a bus downtown. The shuttle bus was not running where they said it would. I hate the MTA!! Death to Jack Everly for ruining the Trolley Song and Death to the MTA for ruining my evening!!!

link | posted by gail at 10:44 PM | 0 comments

October 30, 2001

dear readers, my apologies
I'm drifting in and out of sleep
long silence presents the tragedies
of love. note the age. get afraid.
the surface hazy with attendent thoughts.
a lazy eye metaphor on the rocks.

Sad Professor-REM (REM-UP cd)

Today I saw my first play of the season at Center Stage. Before I went to see it I didn't bother reading any reviews so I went to see it blind. The play was a musical called, “The Pajama Game”. I can’t really tell if it’s good or bad because we recently switched over from daylight savings time. So I was sleepy when I saw it. It ended at 10:30 pm which felt like 11:30 pm to me. I have to see it again during daylight hours to judge properly. After seeing it I came across a good review of it in the City Paper. This is rare because the City Paper seems to hate every production that we put on. Ugghh, I don’t work there anymore and I still think of the place as being a part of me.

Anyway, I really liked the Hernando’s Hideaway number. It was reminiscent of the Softly Stealing Away number in HMS Pinafore. Me thinks Irene Lewis is starting to repeat herself. However, another popular Lewis trademark cute dancing kids were no where to be found in this production. I didn't quite understand the hullabaloo over the Steamed Heat number. Why is that the male lead in almost every Lewis production blond? Is it just fate or does the casting director have a thing for blond haired men?

On the people I saw front: Mike Watson is starting to look weird. He looks odd now that he’s grown a Burl Ives-esq beard which is gray while the hair on his head is a youthful brown. If I were him I’d lose the beard it just doesn't match the hair.

At the show I also saw a guy I used to work with at the Baltimore Film Forum named Hugh. He used to have a watch attached to his belt loop as opposed to his wrist. As I recall he works at The Science Center and goes to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University. I have no idea what subject he studies there. Also I recall that he’s a major Trekkie. The celebrity he most resembles is a very tall Steven Speilberg, if he never became famous. Anyway I think he recognized me as he had a very wide grin on his face when he saw me. I don’t think he remembered my name though...No one ever remembers my name. Anyway, what the heck was Hugh doing down there.... He’s a Star Trek geek!!

link | posted by gail at 10:11 PM | 0 comments

October 19, 2001

I’m Ready
Ready for the laughing gas
I’m ready
Ready for what’s next
Ready to duck
Ready to dive
Ready to say
I’m glad to be alive
I’m ready
I’m ready for the push

Zoo Station-U2 (U2-Achtung Baby)

I saw U2 today at the Baltimore Arena. It was a truly historic event because U2 have NEVER played in Baltimore. They always ditch our town for the bright lights and glamor of DC. I was late for work today. I didn't care because I was going to see Bono and the boys tonight. After the concert I could barely hear. Whenever I spoke I heard feedback coming from my right ear. I was a little afraid that I had gone deaf, that this concert finally knocked out my hearing for good. When I was a kid my big sister, Carleen smacked me on the left ear and I fell down and since then I had trouble hearing from that ear. The hearing loss wasn't really that bad just kind of slight. Besides, my ears have been glued to earphones since I got my first set for Christmas back in 1983. To be truthful 90 percent of the time I listen to loud ass rock and roll music. I’m sure that one day I’ll end up going deaf.

When I stood on the light rail stop at 5:00 am in the morning to go to work in the county a line had already formed at the Baltimore Arena. I was giddy with excitement. I wasn't the only nut who was going to see the “circus” that day. I felt the same giddiness when I saw the lines for the reissue of Star Wars. I knew I’d be joining them after work.

My supervisor Brian had GA (General Admission) tickets and was going down there at 10 am to get in line. He was going to skip work that day. He’s a spoiled only-child type. He looks scary when his face is shaven. This is mainly because he’s bald. I can’t bare to look at him in the face him when he’s clean shaven, it creeps me out. It’s like his face is naked and is in need of stubble to cover it up.

Anyway, back to my story.... I was a little afraid when I went there that I was going to be the only black person there. Which is always a fear I have. That all these people drinking beer would suddenly turn and violently attack me. Anyway, there were other blacks their albeit they were black guys with the obligatory white girlfriend. The section I sat in had a couple of my fellow minorities in it a chubby Asian guy with the obligatory white girlfriend. A guy who looked middle eastern who came alone. He wore glasses looked geeky so I felt comfortable. Another geeky guy who came alone. He was blond and wore glasses. I sat beside this couple the guy was very chatty. I have Asperger’s Syndrome and felt uncomfortable talking with strangers.

I never told my boyfriend that I scored tickets for the concert on eBay. He wanted to go because he owned and liked listening to The Joshua Tree. I don’t consider someone that owns just one U2 record to be a true fan. Besides, I own every album they put out! I have their stuff on vinyl, cassette, and cd. I own Boy, War, The Unforgettable Fire, Under a Blood Red Sky, The Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum, Achtung Baby, Zooropa, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. I have the video for Rattle and Hum. Rattle and Hum is my all time favorite U2 record it ranks right up there with Achtung Baby and Joshua Tree. Me and my brother would fight over who owned what U2 record it was like communal property in our house.

My favorite member of U2 is Larry Mullen Jr.. If there is one member of U2 I would love to have an illicit one night stand with it’s a toss up between Larry and the Edge. I never really had any carnal thoughts about Bono. He’s like God and I would never think of God in that manner. I remember as a kid I went to the third floor ladies room of the main Enoch Pratt Free Library and there scrawled on the lime green bathroom stall was “Bono is God” and I remember thinking, “I Agree!!!” I’m not the only little weirdo that feels that way.

I only wished that the concert had lasted longer and that they had played all there hits like Bruce Springsteen does at his concerts. Anyway right now I want to go out and get tickets to there next show where ever it is! I love it when the circus comes to town! I hope they come again and that this was not a fluke.

I halfway expected our mayor, Martin O’Malley, to open up the show or announce them. He has an Irish rock band called O’Malley’s March. Anyway, the show was absolutely phenomenal! I wanna see them again!!!!

link | posted by gail at 9:30 PM | 0 comments

September 23, 2001

The only thing

That ever made since to me

Is the words

To a song

From an American movie

Song From An American Movie -Art Alexakis (from the cd, Everclear - Songs From An American Movie Vol. One: Learning To Smile)

I haven't really had the chance to write much lately. My mind has been preoccupied with the events that went down in New York and Washington last week. I was at work listening to the radio when it happened. I recall I heard it first on 98 Rock from of all people Kirk Mceowen the goof ball kid brother of CBS morning weatherman Mark Mceowen.

He reported that a light plane had hit the World Trade Center. This was odd because he’s not the newsperson he’s more or less a comedian. At first it was thought to be a pilot error but he kept saying that he thought it was odd because it was a clear day outside. He speculated that it was a possible terrorist attack but the other DJ’s were telling him not to go around speculating without facts. Then the other plane hit and it was no doubt what was going on. Then the next thing I knew there were reports that planes were attacking DC I felt as though we were all under attack.

That this was the day that we had all dreaded happening. The day that life as we know it came to an end. The majority of the people that I was working with wanted to leave work early because they were releasing their children early from school. I stayed overtime that day because I was scared and quite frankly I dreaded heading into traffic. When I came home it was like a Sunday. The light rail trains that I take in and out of work were nearly deserted. The streets heading into the city were deserted and traffic was non-existent.

The drug dealers that normally line the corners of Baltimore were no where to be found. Everyone was glued to the television to hear the latest word. All of the radio stations that I listen to were playing back to back news coverage. It was truly unprecedented. The first song I heard played that day was on 102.7’s Oldies Station at around 6pm they played John Lennon’s, “Imagine”. I felt like crying when I heard it. I found it apropos. It was a surreal day, a day I will never forget. It was a day when all my worst nightmares came true.....

link | posted by gail at 8:49 PM | 0 comments

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