My Red Mask of Courage, I need you now

I know I'm not alone. 2017 was a total freaking nightmare for so many of us.

Red Mask of Courage, 2018.

Red Mask of Courage, 2018.


I spent so much of the year angry at every single living person in the entire United States. If you breathed air in this country, I was angry at you. Yeah, you.

Angry at the Trump voters, obviously, both his base and the spineless Republicans who held their nose while they voted him. And I was angry at all of the nice, startled white people who acted like the world was any more unjust than it had been the day before Trump was elected. Angry at those nice folks for not understanding that racism, injustice and intolerance really was as awful as people of color have been saying all along.

I was angry at people who didn't get off their asses to protest. I was angry at people who said the scales had fallen from their eyes. I was angry at those women who sunk back into their cocoon of white privilege when they refused to listen to women of color and trans women who told them that the pussy hat felt like an exclusionary, alienating symbol. I was angry at anyone who even hinted the Colin Kaepernick was anything but a patriot. I was angry at anyone who ever once left a comment on any article, anywhere.

I was angry at anyone who recommended a book by another straight, white male author or any gallery that launched another exhibition by another straight, white male artist.  This was especially infuriating when said male was a baby boomer.

I was angry at stupid movies. At people who were amused by stupid movies. At photos of people's food (especially meat photos). At people who didn't just post endless photos of their cute, smiling kids, but those who posted endless "memories" of photos of their cute, smiling kids.

I was angry at the Durham County district attorney for picking me to serve on a murder trial and then showed us the victim's autopsy photos while his mother was in the courtroom. I was angry at the heavily armed bailiffs who fell asleep, gripping their guns, during the trial. I was angry at the landlord who gave me 45 days to move out. I was angry at my father's kidneys for continuing to fail, despite the drugs and procedure, despite the massive physical strength of the man. 

I was angry at other artists who managed to create. I was angry at groups of people I witnessed laughing in public.

I was angry at people who said, "I still can't believe this is happening," while shaking their heads.

I could go on, but you get where I'm going.

Obviously, I'm exaggerating to make you laugh a little. My anger was nutso. I gained 15 anger pounds. It still is nutso. I have to get a grip. Maybe I will get a grip this year. Yeah, that is my goal. A grip.

Backside, Red Mask of Courage.

Backside, Red Mask of Courage.

Until then I'm going to try to get back to making. Which brings me to this Red Mask of Courage. It's my biggest piece so far. 10.5 x 11.5 inches. Took me a couple hundred hours. I look brave in this mask, right? I'm going to channel some of that braveness now and try to push forward in 2018.

This piece is part of Ellen Schinderman's Stitch Fetish 6, opening in LA on Feb 2, 2018.

Stay posted for more blog posts. I think. Some about my art. Maybe more about my anger. (Oh, goodie!) Be a pal.