It's hot as hell!
So, you may have noticed that my name is crossed out with a hot red line above. Pretty noticeable, is it? Well that's because, if you haven't heard, I am in the process of changing my name from Carol to Ayin. I realize that might not be the easiest transition to make at this stage in my life since I've been known as Carol Es the artist, the musician, and the writer for more years than I can count. I've been counting a lot of years, too. Even if I had double fingers and toes to use as counting devices, I'd still have a helluva lot more years left over to count.
So Why am I Changing it?
Honestly, I've always been uncomfortable with my name. It's too damn feminine. There's no mistaking that the name Carol is female (almost 100% of the time), and I'm just not. I am nonbinary. As a trans person, it's not unusual to change names. As an artist with a long exhibition history, it's a little daring. There's a good chance some of my following could drop off. My website rankings could go down. Or people from my past might not be able to look me up--not as easily anyway. (That might be a good thing though.) But I'm obviously willing to take all those risks.
What is Ayin?
Pronounced like "Ryan" without the 'R,' Ayin is the sixteenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. In Jewish mysticism, it has an important meaning that's compelling to me in a somewhat spiritual way, though I'm not exactly a spiritual person. It's really more of a philosophy that can simply be stated as "I am becoming." It literally means the indescribable nothing (or the no-thing) that exists before, or from which, everything can exist. Make sense now? Probably not. But it's an interesting concept, I must say. Feel free to look it up, or read Ayin and Yesh on Wikipedia for a very vague explanation. They don't have it exactly right, but this old rickety website does.
If you missed it, I sort of "came out" in my last newsletter, and have since made an announcement about it (along with news about my name change) on my Instagram feed. I actually got a lot of positive feedback and loving support. I'd like to officially thank everyone for that. It means so much to me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you with hearts and hugs.
With a new name comes a new press. I've always put out my own Artist's books on "Careless Press, Los Angeles, CA," but now that I have a new name and a new location, I've started Desolate Press. The name just works better. And the last real Artist's book I made was in 2017, which was the Spark.
Well now, I've started brainstorming a new Artist's book, though I can't tell you when it will be completed because I have no idea. It will need some time and funding. The title of it is pending at this time, but it has a walking theme. Kinda like going on a long hike. Though only in its concept stage, I consider it "in production" since I have plenty of notes and sketches. The fine details of it are coming fast and furious, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, I'm working on my new Ayin Es business cards, and I'm counting this as a Desolate Press project. Instead of printing out new ones, I am upcycling my old ones with cover stickers and rubber stamps. The cards were originally letterpressed on the backs of cereal boxes and I loved them soooo much. Now they will be almost just as cool as the old ones. (I hope!).
While You Were Gone
While you were sleeping and since the spring newsletter, I racked up some bit O' news, like the fact I was featured in Rappahannock Review's Issue 8.2! They published a few paintings from my Joshua Tree series, so woopie doo! Something nice for me.
Then, Create! Magazine gave me a special mention on their Instagram feed as part of their curated summer exhibition, which was very nice too.
Because I am always honored to be part of healing environments like hospitals, I submitted a bunch of donations to LAC+USC Hospitals in Los Angeles. They accepted three pieces and I will be delivering them soon. They are going through a couple of touch-ups first. I'm truly honored to have them on the walls there and hope they will contribute to healing in some way.
Here in Joshua Tree, I started working with a new business model called Art With Vincent that places local artist's work into vacation homes around town. It's a cool concept and their website helps promote the artist beyond the locality of the rentals. Their site serves as a database for the artists' biographies and their artwork like a one-stop gallery.
I made a few paintings over the spring--primarily small watercolors--only because I haven't had the circumstance to do much else since I was recovering from a medical procedure. Now I'm about 100% good again and have been painting more. But here are just a few of the watercolors from the pile:
Not a Black Sun, 10 x 7 inches, watercolor on Arches:
The Giant Beautiful, 10 x 7 inches, watercolor on Arches:
Turn of the Season, 10 x 7 inches, watercolor on Arches:
The two oil paintings I finished are featured above. The first one at the top is called Chain Mountain, 16 x 20, oil on clayboard, and the kooky self-portrait one is entitled, I'm Here for the Party, 24 x 24 inches, oil on canvas. That one I started many years ago, but I never ever really like it. Now it's the way I want it, and that's that.
Coming Up & Current
(Above: Off the Grid, 2017, watercolor on Arches board, 22.5 x 30 inches.)
Even though my show at Craig Krull Gallery went up some time ago, it continues to virtually endure on their site. It is called, All's Well in the High Desert, and pieces are still available for sale. So long as this pandemic lingers, I believe the exhibition stays up indefinitely. Please check it out if you haven't yet.
In July, my work will be featured in Inland Empire Magazine, a print publication. I don't know what will be available to view on their website though. It's a lifestyle magazine for the Ontario, Riverside, and San Bernadino areas. It's quite a treat to be included. They contacted me out of the blue! So cool.
And speaking of the San Bernadino area, I will be doing a BIG open studio thing in the month of October for the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours! This is a humongous event that happens every year throughout the whole Morongo basin that includes Morongo Valley, Landers, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, and Twentynine Palms--with over 100 artists participating. It lasts for three weekends in October and people come in from all over the country, if not the world. Joshua Tree National Park attracts so many people these days, it's kinda nuts. This place has become so popular, it's a bit scary for the locals. With these tours having skipped last year because of Covid, I imagine this year is going to be super busy. Airbnbs will probably be pretty booked, so book early if you're coming because it might be like Coachella or something.
I will send out a reminder as we get closer to the fall, and I'll be open all three weekends for the tour: October 9-10, 16-17, and 23-24. I'll let you know where the maps can be found once their website gets updated. Don't worry, there will be ample parking at my studio. That's a little joke because I'm located in the middle of the desert and you can park anywhere you damn well please.
Before I go, here's one last little watercolor on Arches called Landwalker, 7 x 10 inches. I'm going to try to make more smaller pieces for the open studio sale. I'll definitely have a lot of stuff here and I'm going to try to have "fun."
Well, that's it. That's all I got. Thanks for reading my schpeal again. I really do appreciate it, and you, your love and support, and your loyalty.
Yours very truly,