happy birthday, still floating, the beats, and your own personal jesus

Lift up the receiver, I’ll make you a believer.

this is a lyric from Depeche Mode’s 1989 hit ‘Personal Jesus.’ i have become increasingly obsessed with Johnny Cash’s cover of the song. i have a really rather annoying habit of getting stuck on songs. i will play them over and over again to the point that i can’t possibly listen to them again for weeks or even months. i play it repeatedly, singing along to all the lyrics which i have, of course, now memorized. i also find myself regularly sighing and declaring, out loud, ‘ahh, this is such a good song.’ i feel bad for my roommates. they are the victims here, poor things. however, i believe i have already established myself as ‘the crazy person’ in the house, so i doubt they are too surprised by my behavior. i do, after all, have this on my bedroom door (and if you are wondering what that strange shape in the top right is, it’s a carcass, kind of. a pheasant skin to be exact, don’t ask questions) ::


i’m not wearing a scarf right now. if you know me, you’ll know that’s weird. i’ve been known to wear scarves all summer long. i love them. yes, they do serve the practical purpose of keeping one’s neck warm and cozy, but they make me feel safe. perhaps it’s because of the cocoon-like factor of being wrapped up in something ? and yesterday, i wore flip flops. it’s january, people. t-shirts, flip flops, and not a scarf in sight. where am i ? i feel like i need to click my heels three times and return from this magical land of Oz i seem to have found myself living in here in San Francisco. speaking of, i really ought to invest in a pair of ruby slippers.

i only bring up the weather because the forecast for this coming thursday is sixty five degrees and sunny. thursday is my birthday. i’ll be turning twenty seven on the twenty seventh, making this my golden birthday. i don’t even know why i’m telling you this because i actually don’t like to broadcast the fact that it’s my birthday. i don’t like celebrating my own birthday. if i can speak to or see a handful of close friends and family on my birthday, that’s all i need. i can’t support throwing myself a party. i also have a hard time understanding why a birthday is grounds for gift giving. i mean, sure, it’s nice, i appreciate that. but i didn’t do anything to deserve cards or presents. i mean, really, if anyone deserves a gift on a birthday – don’t you think it should be our mothers ? i bet i had a pretty chill day when i was born. i was, no doubt, wrapped in blankets, smothered with affection, and told how cute i was. sure, i may have shed some tears at first, but that was as bad as my day was going to get. my mother, on the other hand, had probably been in a hospital bed for no less than twelve hours. she was likely covered in sweat and tears and in so much pain she was liable to break the hand of anyone bold enough to hold hers as they yelled ‘push!’ and to make matters worse, after all of her hard work bringing me into the this world, i got all of the attention, while she laid back recovering from what i imagine was, on some level, a traumatic experience. so, mom, Happy Birthday to you ! you’re getting a card from me this year.

“still floating” is the name of a group show i will be participating in ! it opens in about ten days and will take place at A. Aversano’s Galleria. Anthony, the owner of the gallery, is a sweet guy who frequents our art supply store. he kindly offered up the space to my co-workers and i for half of february. i am under the impression, since it is so last minute, we’ll be displaying a random assortment of works – a hodge podge, if you will – but i am so incredibly excited at the prospect of hanging my work on a wall. this will officially be my first ‘showing’ down here in San Francisco. i am, at this point, at a loss for what i will hang and find myself scrambling for ideas. the impractical go-getter in me wants to create some new pieces specifically for the show, but i fear that will mean no sleep for a few nights and not only can i not afford to not sleep (having a full time job makes this an unappealing idea), but i don’t think i could even pull it off if i tried.

i pulled an all nighter last week – it was more or less on a whim – i found myself deeply involved in a pastel drawing and simply could not stop. i have become somewhat obsessed with The Beats. a generation of authors, artists, and what-have-you’s from the 50’s who seemed, at least to me, to be on a personal mission to flip the world as they knew it upside down. the key figures in The Beat Generation are fascinating characters. most of them first met in New York and later congregated here, in San Francisco. their stories are amazing. there’s a place down here called The Beat Museum, a shop that celebrates these very characters – selling all sorts of memorabilia and art, all Beat related. there’s even a street here called, ‘Jack Kerouac Alley.’ i spoke to the nice fellow who runs the place about possibly getting some of my art on their walls – just a few drawings. of course, they need to be Beat related – i don’t have anything of the sort so i sat down last week and busted out my pastels and got to work. i haven’t worked with pastels in an embarrassingly long time. i actually think the last time i used them was back in 2005. what a travesty, right ?

i’m not sure why i ever put them away. i love working with them and they are, to this day, the only material i have ever used in which i actually like drawing people with. i am so anti-people drawing. graphite, charcoal, paint, ink – you name it – i just cannot seem to agree with any of those materials when it comes to rendering a person’s face. but pastels, that’s a different story. here are the first two drawings i have made so far :: Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, respectively ::

[iPhone camera][soft pastels on drawing paper]

jessi

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5 Comments

Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

5 responses to “happy birthday, still floating, the beats, and your own personal jesus

  1. in reverse order
    1) awesome drawings
    2) loved the lines about your mom on your ‘birthday’
    3) that pheasant skin on your door is gross

  2. linda tonn

    thank you love though the truth is I couldn’t have broken anyone’s hand – mine was already broken! you were a joy and still are – happy day of your birth xx

  3. Ryan

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  4. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written much better! Looking at
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