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, July 18, 2003

I’m feelin’ mighty lonesome
haven’t slept a wink, I walk the floor and watch the door and
in between I drink black coffee.
(Girl:)Love’s a hand me down broom.
I’ll never know a Sunday, in this weekday room.
I’m talking to the shadows,
one o’clock to four. And Lord, how slow the moments go when
all I do is pour black coffee.
Black Coffee, Words and Music by Paul Francis Webster and Sonny Burke, @1948 (Renewed) Webster Music Co. and Sundot Music Corporation

Yes, I know I haven't written anything in quiet a while. The truth is I’ve been going through another bought of depression. However, I’m feeling better now. I bought a big bottle of St. Johns Wort yesterday from the GNC store at Security Mall.

One thing’s for sure I admit that I’m no size 4 super model. I’ve been told a million times how I have a pretty face... Anyway, the above picture of me...Yes, the entire me and not a head shot, was taken at David’s house during the Christmas of 2001. I’m proud to say that I’ve lost 50lbs so far this year and no one has noticed! The only ones to notice a change have been my elderly neighbor, my coworker Helena, and my niece Arlesia (the one who’s giving me her old car). Not that I decided to go on Weight Watchers, start a blog, and become the world’s most non intrusive vegetarian just so that I could draw attention to myself..... Really, I like that no one has noticed. It makes me feel as though I’m on a secret mission that no one knows about. Then one day suddenly BOOM! I’m a size 4 supermodel.

On the art front I’ve been on pins and needles awaiting the start of Artscape. I haven’t been able to sleep all this week. I think this was due to two factors, worry over the possibility of getting bad art reviews in the newspaper and consuming way too much Mountain Dew and Pepsi to counteract not getting enough sleep. It’s gotten me in a sleepless vicious cycle. So today I decided to break the cycle. I drank one 12oz caffeinated soda instead of consuming over 3-4 of them. I should say right now that I normally drink just one 12oz can of caffeinated soda a day. I don't normally main line them like heroin like I did this week. Hopefully tonight I'll have a peaceful sleep. Hey, I even walked 20 minutes today. So I should sleep like a baby.

I still can’t believe I was sick with worry this week when Artscape actually opens next week!!

link | posted by gail at 12:24 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, July 10, 2003

The above is a logo I'm working on for my illustration site. I'm turning my earthlink website into one exclusively for illustration. Most likely you came here from my draknet hosted website. The draknet site is pretty much my catch all general interest, GJ Willis site.

Ok, this is my what I did during my 4th of July through July 10th brief sabbatical from blogging...

July 4,
I didn't really do much of anything. I just lounged around the house watching Wimbledon and my soaps. The one I was especially interested in watching today was the 4th of July episode of One Life To Live. The 4th of July episode of OLTL is always a spoof on something. Last year they did an all singing and dancing episode, the year before that I believe they did a black and white episode, and the year before that it was a role reversal show. Where the good guys played bad guys, pious women played sluts etc. This year it was a fairy godmother episode, where characters had there wishes come true.

I did call the house to see what the rest of my family was doing. Alexis answered the phone at around 2:30 and said they had no plans for the day. Then later in the evening at around 8:30 my sister Carleen called up to tell me they were having a cookout. Geez Louise!! I have to take 2 buses to get over there, not to mention these buses would be on a holiday schedule. If I did go over there I probably wouldn't make it over there till around 10 or 11 o’clock. So i had to decline. I told her that I wished that someone had called me earlier to let me know. The she told me that it was very last minute that they decided to do something for the holiday.

July 5
I went to driving school it was the last day there. Ms. Dumas was wired and unpredictable as usual. I now can say with 100% assurance that she is a druggie. She asked the boys in our class if they knew anyone who dealt drugs. Then she told them if they did they should look her up because she would be one hell of a customer. Then she laughed giddily. Seems her craziness was drug induced all the time!!! Come to think of it her voice was always kind of slurred like my sister’s when she’s high on crack. Anyway, Ms. Dumas kept us over late. Our class is scheduled to end at 9:15 pm but she usually ends it at 7:00 pm. Tonight she ended it at 8:30 pm. She crammed two lessons into one. Our class was supposed to end next Monday but I suppose she wanted the day off so she could have more free time getting stoned.

Later that night I went over my sister’s/nieces’/father’s(all there names are on the deed to the house) house to see little David. I felt I had to because he called a million time for me to come over. I didn't get over there till 9:30, thanks to Ms. Dumas. Also when I got over there he wasn't there. Seems he left out earlier with my brother. Who later I learned got into a car accident last week that cost my father $300. Carlos doesn't have a car so he borrowed our father’s car. I don’t understand why my father would have even allowed Carlos to drive his car. He knows that Carlos is an alcoholic. He's the one that pointed it out to me. My brother can not start his day without having a drink. Some people have cereal for breakfast, my brother has booze. He's not a fall down drunk alcoholic he's one of those functional alcoholics. You know the types that are capable of holding down a job and do not give any obvious clues to their inebriated state.

Also today I got a rejection letter in the mail from the legendary Art Director Ron McCutchan. He’s the Senior Art Director for the Cricket Magazine Group. The children’s magazine group that he presides over include, Cicada, Cricket, Spider, Ladybug, Babybug, Muse, Ask, Click, and Cricket books.

Yes, I’m upset I got rejected. On the other side at least he bothered to sign it. An actual legend in the illustration field took the time out of his busy day to sign a rejection letter to me with an ink pen. Yes, I did rub a little bit of it off to see if it was a fake or real signature.

Right now I’m upset yet thrilled at the same time. I suppose this would be comparable to sending Steven Spielberg an audition tape. You of course expect no reply after all your a nobody in the acting field. But a couple of weeks later Spielberg writes you a letter and signs it saying he didn't care for it much. On one part your upset but on another side your excited it’s like, HE SAW IT!! HE SAW IT!! HE ACTUALLY SAW MY VIDEO! Woo Hoo!! He hated it but that can not disguise the fact that he saw it and took the time out of his day to write me back and sign in pen.

Even though he rejected it I will still send him more of my stuff. My next scheduled mail out of postcards will be in the fall. I already have the picture picked out and everything. I’m sorry Mr. McCutchan but you signed that bad boy in ink that means that you actually saw it and rendered a judgment on it. It wasn’t like you sent me an unsigned impersonal form letter.

July 6
Little David called up again. This time he wanted to know if I could split the cost on a pool he wanted to get. I said sure. You see my brother and I were going to split the cost on getting him a computer. However, yesterday Carlos spent his half of the money on booze for himself and clothes and shoes for Little David. Also he took Little David to the movies to see The Matrix at Owings Mills. I felt uncomfortable with the thought of my brother coming over solo to my house to collect my half of the money. I was afraid that he might get into a car accident or/and waste my half of the money in booze and drugs. I knew that Little David was afraid to drive in a car with him. So I declined the offer for my brother to pick up my half of Little David’s computer money.

July 7-10
The first half of the week it was scorching hot. I went no where near my computer. I was trying to stay cool in my un-airconditioned apartment with bars on the window. Anyway, all this week we have overtime available. So I did overtime to make MORE money MORE money and to stay in an air conditioned environment!

link | posted by gail at 12:18 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Yesterday on the Out To Lunch Radio Show with Bill and Thrill there question of the day was, “When you were a kid what was your favorite children’s book?” I found this to be a very odd subject matter when you look back at the average content of there show. Basically, it’s a shock jock talk show. It’s not harsh like Howard Stern’s show, it’s more in the gentle shock jock vein of the Don and Mike Show. Anyway, the normal subject matter of there show is rarely intellectual or involves books. Today’s topic was right up my alley. It was almost like that episode of Cheers where Cliff Claven goes on Jeopardy and all the answers are subjects he’s an expert on. Today was my Cliff Claven day. I’m a children’s book illustrator ok children’s magazine illustrator and I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writer’s and Illustrator’s It seemed like today’s show was tailor made for me to call in. Finally, an episode that I can participate in! Unfortunately, I don’t have a phone at my cubicle. The only phone near by is on my supervisor’s desk. Suffice to say I could’nt call in and register a vote for Lincoln Collier’s, The Teddy Bear Habit or help Bill with the title of the children’s book he liked as a kid. Oh, well......

I did’nt do much art today. I did however look over the manuscript of this guy I met named Joe on It was way better than I thought it would be. I hope that he develops it into a novel. It definetly kept me entertained.

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

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

July 1, 2003

Nothing terribly exciting happened today. I updated my main website, by adding a page counter to it. I also worked on some paintings. Right now I’m just marking time until the THREE DAY 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY begins. Just two more days and I’ll be able to kick back and relax.... :)

link | posted by gail at 12:02 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

June 30, 2003

I took the above picture with my digital camera a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure if the restaurant is still open for business or not. The restaurant is located on my favorite street in Baltimore, Charles Street.

Today, I’m on pins and needles wondering if my paintings will sell. I know that I’ve listed them in the worst possible season. Artwork tends to go down in sales over the summer. I figure it’s best to list now than never list at all.....

Also today I worked on mail art that I will send out on Thursday. Included in this mailing will be work to Rev. Paul, Tiki Art to Canada, Bikini Art to Spain, as well my piece for the Elation show in America. I figure that it will be best to mail art on Thursday because I will be in the direct vicinity of the main post office. I’m still not 100% sure how much it will cost to send postcards out of country. I guess I’ll find out on Thursday....

Looks like a I made a bit of a mistake yesterday on the writing prompt. What I wrote yesterday was meant for today. Anyway I guess I should say what the prompt was for Saturday. It says to try a little role reversal. Turn one of your short stories into play.

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

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