One of the things i miss most about London is Great Western Studios where i had a workspace from 1994 til I moved here in 2006. It housed about 100 artists and one could move in and out of solitude if you wanted.I had many friends there and it was beautifully managed by the lovely Adam. Today i received a tragic email regarding one of my fellow comerades at said studios- a lovely woman called Natasha who made wonderful tin sculptures and had been at GWS the same amount of time as I . Natasha who was about 40 had suffered a massive stroke leaving her unable to move or communicate, like the nightmare scenario in Julian Schnabels "The diving bell and the butterfly". She had two children one of whom was about 10 and a regular child feature at the studios, she also had a partner Sid whom she met on GWS campus, a talented painter, they had been together for years. I cannot stop thinking about the devestation this terrible accident this must have caused the whole family and hope that they are being supported.One feels horribly powerless in a situation like this and we can only pray for a miracle.. These days.when i am moaning that my" Latte is not hot enough", or catastrophising about a" bad hairdo ", or kvetching that i am not wealthy enough ..i now think about Natasha and thank God for the only currency that really means something -Good health.
It was Gabriels Birthday yesterday and the day before we hosted a party for 22 boistrous children , luckily contained at" my gym'where games and activities are provided and I just sit back and observe the chaos rather than try and manage it . Thank God it is someone elses job for 2 hrs -well worth every penny of the $350 spent. There was one problem I had not forseen and that is sometimes one has to entertain the parents who choose to stay behind and watch,most are really pleasant , some have become great friends but there is usually one , who cannot draw breath and insists on having an intense conversation about the drawbacks of the PTA and problems with the school- all this while I try to lay out the pop corn and crisps ..It is Ocsar day and La is in a flurry of females "optimisation" and award and party obsession - I relanted yesterday and had a manicure and eyelash tint.Grace preparing for a Bat mitvah had a pedicure and manicure-at 12 years old -what am I doing.This is my contribution to optimisation- I sometimes feel peer pressure and find my self browsing the plastic surgery , botox etc sites but I end up thinking about Carcasson in France - a beautiful city that has been over -restored, so many here look over-restored- So few get the work "just right" so you dont even know they have had it-Anyway never say never.
I forgot to mention Zandy, my brothers visit, He swept into California from London for the WEEKEND and was up and alive with no signs of jet lag. It was great to see him after 2 years and we blizted the various hot spots and beaches. well its all about the oscars here -people do "oscar parties" here -gathering at a someones house or Mansion and sitting in front of their small cinema sized plasma screen and shouting at the TV. Last year we went to My friends Sar and Wal and there was a sweepstake on who would win what for a $100 - I got quite worked up and competitive - my inner compulsive gambler was awakened.Also all sorts fly in from London so it is a chance to see old friends..Last night we went to see our friend Sachas film at a screening at CAA- a marbled palatial agency with valet parking etc. The film Anvil (about a struggling heavy metal band) was moving , unusual and put a new spin on our ideas of success and the triumph of the human spirit and the tenacity of the rock artist- anyway it was truely great.I loved every minute and hopefully it will be out in the autumn. One of the band "lips" was there selling the bands CDs which had been in the boot of his car.
Oh dear , I am not the greatest blogger..I have been so snowed under the last few weeks that the poor old blog has been neglected yet again ( I am talking as if I have a reader list of many who are waiting with baited breath ) To sum up ..writers srike is over Hurrah so its back to gruelling routines for all and heavy pressure on Philip. It seems that CBS have chosen to remove the six weekly dark weeks to make up for lost show (due to strike) we pay the price. This means no mini breaks . The date for my show in June has been set so I have been in a frenzy of redoing paintings , organising catalogues and the shipping to London. I have not been back there for 2 years now -strange ..I have alot of anxiety about the whole thing but I am just doing the work one bit at a time and prepare my self for humiliation..One great thing about this is that I have to make a few small paintings so I have been going up into the canyons and on the beaches with my paints and doing them in situe or en plein air just to be pretentious. It is an exciting time in America re the elections -the prospect of either Obama or Hilary winning is fantasic and a real hope for change . I get the feeling that most Americans are really fed up with the status quo and cant understand how it ever got this way.