Saturday, September 13, 2014


Tendonitis continues to be the one factor that limits me. A few weeks ago, I finally put a coat of prime on the outside of the boat. I had never used the type of paint that I chose. So the first coat had some issues. So instead of a quick sanding between coats of prime, I had to perform a major sanding. A few hours into that job, and I had to stop. I could no longer use any pressure without my elbow screaming. But I didn't stop. I switched to my electric, orbital sander.

Pushing myself too far is my continuing, obstinate stupidity. I should have just stopped. By the end of the day, my elbow was even worse. I decided to take a couple of days off. But here's the thing: If one has tendonitis in the elbow, one tends to start favoring and using one's arm in a weird way. Soon, my wrist tendonitis flared up. And then my shoulder tendonitis made its first appearance in 12 months.

Of course, I had to stop rowing. I thought I could do some very light work on my rowing machine. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. I had to stop that, too. For the past week, I haven't done any activity that's stressed my arms or shoulder. But If I'm going to stay somewhat on track to row from Martha's Vineyard to Mattapoisett, I have to keep my stamina. And the effort required of sliding-seat rowing is 80% legs, so I've been biking a lot.

A week ago Thursday, I rode down to New London to catch the train home to New York. 108 miles. On Sunday, I participated in the Transportation Alternatives NYC Century. 117 miles. On Tuesday, I got up early and rode out to Orient Point at the end of Long Island. 108 miles. And I took the ferry across to New London, then rode up to Providence. 60 miles. I taught my first classes of the semester; then, yesterday, I rode back to Mattapoisett. 44 miles. 437 miles in all. My leg stamina is doing fine.
Riders at the starting line of the NYC Century.
Stopping for a break along the Coventry Bike Path (RI).
Biking has been a passion of mine for at least 25 years. I wouldn't be surprised if I find a way to directly insert cycling into my work. The time I've spent with the Buzzards Bay Coalition and the New Bedford Rowing Center gives me some notion of how to bring something like cycling directly in sync with my artistic practice.

Already there is some synchronizing (or synchronicity?) going on. One of the Buzzards Bay Coalition's main fundraisers is a cycling event that takes cyclists through the watershed that feeds the bay. I've done this ride twice already, and I'm doing it again this year. Of course, this means that I have agreed to raise at least $300.00 as part of my Watershed Ride. As an incentive for people to donate to my ride, I am putting one small artwork in as a raffle item. One person who donates to my ride will win this artwork. My next project will involve making large watercolors combined with text-image works (like those that I have been producing for the last ten years). I've been doing some small watercolors as tests. The small work (pictured below) uses text from the introduction (written by Amos Elon) to Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem and presents the image of mayflies. You could win the work pictured.

The Buzzards Bay Coalition has helped me learn a lot about Buzzards Bay. But, more importantly, the organization does a great job at advocating for water resources, monitoring water quality, and preserving key resources throughout the watershed. And it's incredibly well-run. Not all non-profits can claim that. If you donate to my ride, your money will be used wisely and well. And you could win this artwork. Meanwhile, I'll be on my bike preparing for this ride -- and for my row -- and preparing for the thousands of hours of artmaking that, oddly enough, take more stamina than riding my bike 437 miles.
The Banality of Evil, Introduction (part 1.0).  2014. Watercolor and acrylic with pigment print on paper. 7"x9" (print #4).