Any Day Now by Hermonie Byrd Baird

Things are slow.

As of this moment I’m healing from getting my tattoo laser-ed today. I have a tattoo of the word HELL on my left arm. It’s written upside down and backwards. It’s from a painting I did in college. The idea was if Hell is a place that is the absence of God then an inverted Hell would be Heaven. It’s the sort of thing a 20 year old would find very clever. At 34 I’m no longer moved by it.

I’ve been thinking about going back to school. I need to take a writing class. I think I could be a good writer but I don’t believe I have the basic skills needed to make a convincing case for myself as an artist. I’ve also been thinking about fashion. I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was in high school. I even took some courses at OTIS to learn basic skills like illustration and pattern making. I might want to do something like that again but it’s hard to say for sure. I don’t feel comfortable being certain about anything. I’m more of a laser-tattoo-removal queen than a knowing-what-I-want-and-sticking-with-it queen.

Besides impulsively buying clothes online one of my favorite hobbies is painting my nails. This is how they look rn. Painting my nails is probably my #1 procrastination activity. If you see me and I have a fresh manicure you can be sure I’m putting off something important. I need to get my ass down to SMC and start this college thing up again. I’m 90% sure I will get to it before the end of this month. In the meantime more manicures to come.

Besides impulsively buying clothes online one of my favorite hobbies is painting my nails. This is how they look rn. Painting my nails is probably my #1 procrastination activity. If you see me and I have a fresh manicure you can be sure I’m putting off something important. I need to get my ass down to SMC and start this college thing up again. I’m 90% sure I will get to it before the end of this month. In the meantime more manicures to come.

Good Times, Sometimes Bad Times. by Hermonie Byrd Baird

tempera on newsprint  01/2013

tempera on newsprint

01/2013

I’m trying to remember the last time I cried.

I had it but I lost it. Let me see…

Oh yeah- I remember now. I was listening to Belle & Sebastian. Ok, I know that sounds obnoxious but it’s true. I was organizing my old CDs and came across some mixes I made back in the day. It’s funny how fucked I thought I was at 16. So many years and many more ways to fuck up were ahead of me.

I gave myself to sin, I gave
Myself to providence and I've
Been there and back again
The state that I am in.

“The State I Am In”
Tigermilk
1996

Is this bitch quoting song lyrics?
Yes, your bitch is quoting song lyrics.

Is it normal to feel like one’s life is repeating in cycles? There is a new moon tonight. Apparently it’s the end of a 9 year cycle or the beginning of a new 18 year cycle. I’m an Aries so I skimmed the astrology blogs but I got the gist. It’s a time for letting go of the past. Welcome in the future. I thought I convinced myself that I didn’t care about the past. My identity was stolen in 2005 and it created a cascade of events that led to me having to drop out of school. “No big deal” I said. I made art about it. I joked about it. It was just an anecdotal part of my story; or so I thought. It’s not until now that I’ve accepted how much this event wrecked my sense of self worth. Up until that point getting into art school was my greatest accomplishment. It was all being taken away from me because of something completely out of my control. I tried to advocate for myself and get the school to back me but I didn’t have enough leverage. My dream ended abruptly. I tried to pick up the pieces and create something that would bring me into the spaces I believed my work belonged in but I was alone and my pride wouldn’t allow me to accept my disadvantage. There are people who have helped me in the years since I dropped out of school. I haven’t forgotten. In those years I created work that I’m still very proud of. But things have slowly dropped off. My decisions became more safe. I became more concerned with making money at a reliable job than keeping odd hours to make art. The years passed so quickly. Now I’m married, in LA, and in a full “mid-life” trying-to-get-my-shit-together phase. I can’t believe this has happened to me. 16 year old me was desperate for this to never happen but here it is.

I’m re-bloging this painting from 2013 because it’s on newsprint. Probably the same newsprint I talked about in my last post. I mentioned that I like working on this paper even though it’s fragile and deteriorating. Is it too obvious of a metaphor for memory? Life? The body? Time? If this is too rudimentary for you I ask that you remember that not one paragraph ago your girl was quoting Belle & Sebastian. I just cried about an hour ago before discussing all this with my husband. He made me another martini and now I’m here finishing this post. We’re going to Joshua Tree for the rest of the week. If I can find a way to post from there I will.

The Third Post by Hermonie Byrd Baird

In my last post I mentioned that I wanted to make a drawing of stretched vinyl. Here is my first attempt:

06212019_stretch_drawing_01.jpg

i was really feeling it when I started the drawing but when I walked back into my studio after a break I was struck by how much it looks like a middle school submission to a county fair. Maybe I should’t be so hard on myself. My depression makes it difficult for me to stay motivated and complete tasks. I’m glad I had the idea to make this drawing and actually followed through with it. I’ve decided to make 10. We’ll see if I can actually get there. The drawing is done in graphite, charcoal, and pastels. The paper is newsprint I’ve been carrying around for years. I think I got this from my work study job at MICA in the Art Education department back in 2005 or 2006. The paper is fragile, difficult to work with, and steadily deteriorating (faster now that I brought it out of storage). There’s something I really like about working on this paper but I don’t know what it is and I’m not prepared to get into it today.