Buy This Painting or They’ll Put Me in Jail Where I Belong

“Buy This Painting or They’ll Put Me in Jail Where I Belong.” 2/7/18. Acrylic paint. 24×30″.

I’ve got a new organizational system in my head…

The period of time when I was at Tranquil Shores (beginning in 2012), all the way through to my relapse at the very end of 2015: that’s what I’m calling “ROUND ONE.”

In the fall of 2017, I left Jacksonville and got clean. I think it lasted about eight months before I relapsed. That period is ROUND TWO.

In October of 2018, Wallis and I broke up for good and I got clean again. This stretch also lasted about eight months and is ROUND THREE.

In March of 2024, Juliana and I broke up, I started sublocade for the first time, and I began making art in earnest again for the first time in five years. This is Round 4. We’re IN IT NOW.

I imagine this’ll come up fairly often in my writing from here on, so I want readers to have some idea what I’m talking about.

“Buy This Painting or They’ll Put Me in Jail WHERE I BELONG” is a Round 2 painting. It’s been on the website for a while but I’d never published the statement until now. I thought about giving some extra background but I’ll just let it speak for itself. The statement is exactly what appears in the big white “STORY TIME” block on the painting.

Okay –  STORY TIME: about three years after I started making art and quit shooting heroin, 2015 was turning into 2016 and I stopped fucking with paintbrushes and went back to needles. It wasn’t long before I regretted the trade-off but that didn’t help me undo it any. By October 16th though, I was trying pretty desperately to get clean. I made a plan with my friend, Jen, who lived outside Jacksonville in Nocatee. I would go to her house to detox so that – in a weaker moment – I couldn’t just call one of my dealers to get more dope to ease the pain of withdrawal. Since I could always just get in my car and drive [to Jacksonville] though, we’d also block my car into her driveway with one of hers. (She had THREE).

I think it was my second day of detox. I was NOT FEELING WELL. Jen gave me some xanax to help sleep it off. I took one (2mg) but didn’t really feel any better. Some time later,  I took another and fell asleep. When I woke up though, I still felt pretty terrible. I decided to take two more [for a total now of 8 mg]. I got in bed and fell asleep again.

When I woke up, I was NAKED IN A JAIL CELL. So… what happened? Apparently my car wasn’t blocked in when I woke up blacked-out and (presumably) got in my car and drove off.

After I got into some clothes and in front of a judge, they said I was charged with three DUIs (for allegedly hitting three cars) AND assault on a law enforcement officer. 

But… but… but… I was trying to do good!! I was trying to get OFF drugs! I didn’t have any intention of driving anywhere! I even took steps to ensure that I couldn’t drive even if I wanted to! (Not because of anything like this; I never even imagined such a possibility. I’m a JUNKIE! Not a xanax addict. I don’t know how this shit works!) However, yeah – I get it. Knowingly or not, whatever the circumstances, I was guilty of driving under the influence and people could have been hurt as a consequence of my actions. (Unless – y’know – I was abducted from the bed and framed (WHICH IS ALSO SUPER POSSIBLE). 

I pled the charges down to one count of DUI and got six months of probation. In the first two months, I took one of the two classes they said I had to take and paid all $2,000+ of my court costs and fines or whatever. And then – with three months left on my sentence – my probation officer told me a new rule had been implemented requiring all terms of probation to be completed 45 days before the termination date. And that the other class [that I still needed to take] had no open seats until after that 45 day date. Which meant that violating my probation was now an inevitability over which I had no control. So she filed my violation right then and there and told me to watch the mailbox for “what’s next.”

A letter came. It said to come to the courthouse within 48 hours so the judge could decide what to do with me. I called a lawyer to make sure they weren’t going to arrest me on the spot. (I didn’t wanna detox in jail again). (Because – OBVIOUSLY – I’d gone back to heroin right after the initial arrest and ultra fun jail cell withdrawal). “Seems they issued the warrant yesterday,” he said. “But I just got this today!” “Sorry.”

I DON’T LIKE JAIL; I DON’T WANT TO GO TO JAIL. So for the last nine months, I’ve been “on the run.” When the cops started coming to my house looking for me too often, I left Jacksonville. Which I needed to do anyway if I was ever gonna kick heroin again. It worked. I’m four months clean now. I’ve started making art again. This will be my fifth post-relapse painting. I don’t want to turn myself in. I don’t want to go back to Jacksonville. I know myself: if I go back to Jacksonville, where all my dealers are just a phone call/stone’s throw away, I will wind up back on heroin. Could I get drugs in the city where I’ve been hiding out? Yes – OF COURSE. (I’m a PROFESSIONAL). But I have just enough willpower/self-discipline and enough good things going here that – in my weaker moments – I can be strong (enough to hold fast so long as scoring dope will require more than a single phone call). But if I get dragged back to Jacksonville, I’ll be homeless – crashing on couches of people who really don’t want me there. I’ll feel WORTHLESS and UNWANTED and HELPLESS and USELESS and HOPELESS and I WILL START SHOOTING HEROIN AGAIN.

Here’s what I would much rather do: complete the outstanding terms of my original probation and then contact the judge and make my appeal directly. I sat in her courtroom a lot. She seemed pretty reasonable; she did not want to lock people up for the fuck of it. When people were fucking up the terms of their probations – not doing shit – she would try to drag any reason out of them to justify giving them another chance. If I can satisfy my terms (taking that second class and completing fifty hours of community service – that’s all I had left) I think she’ll close my case. After all, before it was terminated, I was A MODEL PROBATIONER.

I’m scared to go somewhere to do my community service though. They’ll probably run a background check, possibly discover my active warrant, maybe have me come in only to have the cops come get me [in hindsight, this was pretty unlikely/paranoid] and – before I know it – I’m in jail awaiting extradition to Jacksonville, where – AS NOTED – I do not want to be for (what I feel are) pretty legitimate reasons.

But I know Carmen… We’ve gotten to be friends… Because (BEFORE I RELAPSED) she liked my art and (presumably) the fact that it’s all about my mental illness/borderline personality disorder and my histories with heroin and codependency and girls and BAD BEHAVIOR. And my constant fucking struggle to do right. And feel okay. And she has a fucking non-profit that’s all about art programs and mental health. That’s MY FUCKING JAM. (I only started making art because I was forced at knifepoint while in inpatient rehab for sixteen years). (Okay – it was only two years but whatever).

So, non-profits can dole out community service hours… Abridged conversation: “Yo, Carmen – what could I do for ‘I Still Matter’ to get community service hours?” “Paint something we can auction off at our next event and write a statement about why you support I Still Matter.”

In rehab, when they first told me I had to participate in “expressive art therapy,” I thought it was a contemptible joke. “I can’t keep a needle out of my arm and you want me to fucking COLOR? Go fuck yourselves.” But as I was worn down by failure and frustration and misery and just wanting a life other than the one I had, I stopped fighting and I started just trying to do whatever I was told. I started to make art. I was really bad at it. But something interesting happened. At the end of each art therapy sessions, we’d go around the room and talk about what we’d made – and when it’d be my turn to share, I’d talk about my piece and how I was feeling, and how those feelings were reflected and represented in whatever I’d drawn/painted/written. And people laughed. Or they cried. Or they smiled and wanted to hug me. Or they just told me how much they related to and/or how much they appreciated what I was saying. They liked the things I was making. And then something really interesting happened: I started to feel good about what I was doing. I started to develop SELF-ESTEEM. And for the first time in longer than I could remember, I didn’t wanna die anymore. And I was actually excited about living. I was finally able to envision a life for myself that I could enjoy (and that wouldn’t require heroin just to get me through each day). 

When I finally got out of rehab, they told me I needed to get a job. I had a law degree from Georgetown but I didn’t want any of that. I just wanted to PAINT FUNNY FACES AND SCRIBBLE ABOUT MY FEELINGS. So that’s what I did. And, before long, I was making enough [money] from art alone to support myself and build a new life. Now, OBVIOUSLY, SOMETHING WENT WRONG ALONG THE WAY (three years later). But that’s another (really fucked up) story; I don’t think anyone could’ve gone through what I did before I relapsed and NOT kill themselves or otherwise self-destruct. It’s okay that I relapsed. And now I’m rebuilding. I’m getting back to what made my life the kind of life I want to live. I’m getting back to art. Art is what saved me the first time and it’s what’s saving me this second time. ‘I Still Matter’ is important because it can do for people what Tranquil Shores [my third treatment center] and expressive art therapy did for me. It can turn broken people into something better. It can turn cautionary tales into inspirational stories. It can uncover talents and aptitudes that people never knew they had. It can radically change lives. Or – at the very least – it gives people like me something nice to do for a little while. A safe, welcoming place to go and something to do (not drugs) that can silence the anxiety, even if only for a short while. It offers a respite from the monsters that live in our heads. AND – in this particular instance – it can get me some community service hours to help sway the court’s opinion in my favor.

So, please, if it’s not asking too much…: BUY THIS PAINTING OR THEY’LL PUT ME IN JAIL WHERE I BELONG.

I haven’t spoken to Carmen in some time but – while I did eventually/successfully use this painting to satisfy the terms of my probation – I don’t think it was ever actually auctioned off. If you’d like to purchase it (and support a non-profit art/mental health organization in doing so) I’d imagine that can be arranged. I also have 12×16″ signed, hand-numbered prints for sale. Get in touch if you’re interested in either.

What Makes Life Feel Worth Living

“What Makes Life Feel Worth Living.” 6/16/24. Acrylic paint. 24×24″.

This painting was essentially the product of my second month clean and single. To be fully honest, I was still pretty hung up on codependency issues and  the fact that, for once, I didn’t have a girlfriend. I found myself experiencing kind a low-grade depression a lot of days, not really wanting to get out of bed. In my head, I kept thinking that finding a new girlfriend was the answer to all my problems but I knew that, really, that would just be a way to distract myself from my problems. In any case, I was too embarrassed to make a painting about that immediately following one about my ex. I pushed myself to really try to get at something deeper in my journal writing. It took a couple weeks and quite a few attempts before I felt like I got at anything remotely meaningful. That’s what’s written across this canvas (in the upper left and just to the left of the very bottom center).

I struggle a lot with meaning and purpose. “Does anything matter?” “What’s the point of doing anything?” “The world’s a mess,” “I’m a mess,” “is anybody really happy?” I don’t know the answers to those questions but – as long as I’m gonna not-kill-myself and keep living – I’ve gotta try. It’s really hard sometimes. I’m not alone but I feel like I am a lot of the time. One person can really make a difference in that. Whether it’s A GIRL PAYING ATTENTION TO ME or someone deciding to GIVE ME MONEY (for my artwork).

When I tell people about my first month clean and making art again, it’s a success story, mostly on account of the commissions I got from Rick, a stranger walking down the sidewalk. But because I was painting outside and because he stopped to talk to me and took an interest, it’s given me concrete reasons to keep painting and writing. Pretty random, very easily could have NOT happened.

It’s genuinely INCREDIBLE when someone tells me how much my art means to them (and I don’t wanna discount that) but when they PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS, it’s crazy validating in a way that’s rivaled only by A HOT GIRL WANTING TO FUCK (or date) ME. (Which is totally unrelated and indicates just how broken I am but that’s an issue for other days). It says that what I’m doing has actual value worthy of supporting human life – MY life. That hard validation can bolster my spirit against any/all of the negative feelings I have that could otherwise overtake me.

Even when everything else is wrong, one well-timed “yes” can make all the difference. A thousand rejections are nothing against a few key “yeses.”

These things are small and inconsequential in a world that’s so random and meaningless but when nothing matters, we choose what matters and I choose what makes my life feel worth living.

Taking a chance is worthwhile. Saying “yes” to someone is meaningful. Helping another person, offering encouragement, supporting an artist (ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S ME). These are things that count. We never know what small act might be HUGELY CONSEQUENTIAL for someone else.

I still don’t know if I’m going to be able to revive my art career and make a living like I was, but it’s working out so far thanks to just a few people and a few key moments and decisions. It reminds me of the last lyric from one of my favorite songs: “just one good thing, that’s all – sometimes that’s all it takes.”

I lined up a handful of commissions right out of the gate upon getting clean: paintings that I had no idea what they’d be but that were pre-paid-for before I even started them. Knowing that a painting is already sold while I’m working on it is really motivating. It gives me a push to get to work. That’s over (at least as of this moment; no one has pre-purchased my next painting). That makes me a little nervous but it’s also how most artists operate – not to mention the only way I’ll ever be able to amass enough paintings to ever have another exhibit. I’m on my own for the first time in a while and need to start hustling again – whether that’s going out on the street to paint in public while slinging prints or putting more effort and thought into my social media. Probably both. It used to come so easily to me but now it seems almost impossible – though much less so than it did even a month ago. One of the main reasons I stayed on drugs so long was because it was an excuse not to do anything else. I’m so afraid of trying and failing. But I’ve got to try. I’ve gotta put myself out there. And hopefully I’ll get the “yeses” I need to keep going.

I’m in danger of rambling now. I wanna say something about how those “yeses” are less-than-ideal external validation in the same way that female attention is, but that’s a subject for another time. The spirit of this painting was about the positive feelings that come making something meaningful that resonates with another person and the positive consequences of that other person’s response. Not everything needs to be overanalyzed. Nothing is perfect but sometimes little things spark joy and pride and feel an awful lot like fulfillment – even if only for a moment. And sometimes that’s enough.

The song quoted in my painting (on the little blue guy’s black t-shirt): “Precious on the Edge” by Drunken Boat

This painting has already been sold but limited edition 12×12″ signed, hand-numbered prints are available for purchase WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.

Baby Dick Virgin

“Baby Dick Virgin.” 5/1/24. acrylic paint. 16×20″.

In the past, the smaller text in my paintings tended to be raw journals, scrawled onto the canvas in the moment. For this, my first painting in five years, I sort of typed out the story of the piece as I was going and, then, transcribed it to the canvas a little later. For that reason, the smaller text featured in the painting, essentially, is my artist’s statement for the piece. It says:

I left my girlfriend again but this time we didn’t get back together because there was some baby dick virgin waiting to pounce the second she was vulnerable and she says she likes that he looks at her like a puppy dog and even though she says she’ll never love him as much as she loves me AND THAT I’M HER SOULMATE, that because I don’t believe in soulmates and because he’s “ordinary,” maybe that would be safer for her. That’s all obviously FINE AND FUCKING DANDY except for the part that’s DRIVING ME UP THE GOD DAMN WALLS trying to decide if I miss her because I’m in love with her or if I’m just a lonely little codependent fuck who can’t stand the idea of being alive while there’s not a beautiful girl who is ACTIVELY in love with me.

It’s been two weeks since I wrote [the [preceding paragraph]. I wanna write about how I’ve FUCKED HER since then, how she took pictures of it, how her fat uncle of a boyfriend saw the pictures, forgave her, and then I FUCKED HER AGAIN (and then some). But that’s just pettiness and spite and me feeling like I got a win that I need to advertise. I’m not trying to get back together with her. I would very much like to destroy their relationship. Not just as a fuck you. I do still genuinely care about her and she’s not going to get better while she’s hiding from her issues in that joke of a rebound. She knows now that she can literally do anything and he will never drop her because he’s too pathetic and broken to ever think he could do any better. I’m VERY tempted to name this painting after him.

I ultimately did. After committing it to the canvas in giant letters, I wrote:

Choosing this title is the pettiest thing I’ve done in my work. But it’s SUCH a ridiculous choice that I couldn’t help it that the thought made me smile as much as it did. (And I argued with myself and consulted with friends but kept coming back to it, so I clearly needed to EXPEL THE VENOM so/before I could move on). I know it’s shitty, toxic masculinity and probably only highlights my own lack of self-esteem that I enjoyed winning a DICK MEASURING CONTEST as much as I did but – you know what? I never did shit to that dweeb and HE called ME from her phone to SCREAM at me for no fucking reason, at a time when I was already fragile as fuck. So fuck him – he gets what he gets and he can live with the world knowing that [redacted] he wasn’t MEASURING UP (in any way).

I promise this will be my last painting for a minute that’s secretly about HOW GREAT my own dick is. Though I’m sure it’s the first of many more that’s ACTUALLY about how fucking insecure I am, in spite of everything. BUT I’M GETTING BETTER (I swear). Today is day 23 [since I got clean again].

This next, final part is definitely less of a journal and more a defense. I anticipated some strong reactions as soon as I put the painting up on my social media and I guess I wanted to kind of preempt some of the criticism.

I’m pretty embarrassed by the sentiment of this painting but that feeling often indicates when I’m onto something that’s significant for me and/or will somehow be meaningful to other people. It also makes me feel like a little bit of a BULLY but it’s not as if I have some huge platform these days. The dink at hand might never even learn this painting exists. I feel a little guilty – even having her approval – that the previews I posted online already caused some discord in her family and anxiety for her but… I can’t control or really even concern myself with other people’s reactions. So long as I’m being honest and my work is authentic (even when partially powered by spite), I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

The painting went online and, sure enough, even with my hedging, I still got some negative responses – even stronger than what I’d feared. One person told me they no longer wanted a painting of mine that they owned and asked for an address that they could ship it back to!  And I’m sure there were plenty more who chose the “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” path. But I also got some really great, positive responses beyond what I even hoped. People who saw past the pettiness and the ego and really seemed to understand, relate to, appreciate, and admire what I’d made. As an artist (especially a snarky little shit-eater of an artist) what more can I ask for?

“Baby Dick Virgin” has already been sold, but limited edition 11×14″ signed, hand-numbered prints are available for purchase.

What year is it?

I was gonna wait until I had something more “polished” to post but – let’s face it – it’s not like I have any semblance of a career at the moment and the reason I started writing and painting in the first place was for the sake of my mental health, so I’m just gonna get back to that for a second.

It’s been another year (and change since I last updated my blog). I relapsed again. Obviously. I’m on methadone right now and (in the process of) titrating off.

Motherfucker. Ten minutes ago, I was overwhelmed by the impulse to write but I made the mistake of showering and getting dressed first and now I can’t even remember what was so god damn important. All I know is that I want to paint right now and I hung up the piece that I need to work on and then just felt overwhelmed by anxiety.

I’ll have to get back to you…

Mental Health Services Available to Strippers, Junkies, Cutters, and Other SICK GIRLS

“Mental Health Services Available to Strippers, Junkies, Cutters, and Other SICK GIRLS.” 12/6/17. Acrylic paint. 3×4′.

GOD DAMN. Where do I start? As 2015 and my third year as an artist drew to a close, I relapsed. By February 2016, I was back to shooting up all day everyday and had completely stopped painting. My three years of art and clean time were over and I was back to where I started before I went to rehab for two years, discovered art, and gave up heroin. It wouldn’t be until September of 2017 that I got clean again and another couple months before I got back to painting. This was the first painting I made at that time. Unfortunately, after seven months off heroin, I relapsed again in April 2018 (and stayed fucked up through October) so I’m just now (April 2019) getting back on top of my game and doing the things I should have been doing all along, like updating my website and writing the statements for the batch of paintings I made in those 7 months of clean time that ended a year ago.

I did a fair amount of journaling on this canvas so I’m going to let it mostly speak for itself and just interject as I wanna supplement or comment on what I remember was going on in my head. For a little context though, I was living with the same family that “adopted” me when I was a teenager and that have been in my life ever since, I had broken up with Wallis, and I was trying to regain my footing but feeling pretty broken and lonely a fair amount of the time. Things were better than they’d been in a long time but, overall, I was just generally shaky. Regarding the title/main caption though (“Mental health services available to strippers, junkies, cutters, and other SICK GIRLS”), it was like a calling card. A casting call. I was putting it out to the world that I was looking for a girlfriend and making a joke about the kinds of girls that I attract and a joke about what I have to offer those girls. Anyway, here’s what else is written on the canvas (in chronological order, to the best of my recollection).

Yo – I am super fucking codependent. It’s been maybe two weeks that I’ve been “single” and I’m already fiending like a lonely little sad sack. Painting helps but it’s weird on a back porch instead of on the street with an audience and a stream of validation AND GIRLS.

I’m happy to report that, today, a year and a half later (after getting back together with Wallis, relapsing again, and breaking up again) I got over that overwhelming need to be with someone. I do have a girlfriend again at this point but – before I met her – I wasn’t sadding around and obsessing about finding someone. I was back to painting, spending time with friends, and – for the most part – I was pretty happy, even without a girlfriend for once.

I keep thinking if I could just find the right record to listen to or the right colors to energize me or the right title to plaster across this thing, I might get excited to paint and not just want to go lay down. I’m smoking way too many cigarettes, sitting out here, NOT painting.

I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

People say shit like, “You don’t know how good you had it ’til you lost it.” I don’t know if I knew back then. I honestly might have. (Certainly at times; in moments, I knew how lucky I was). One thing I know absolutely: I DON’T HAVE IT THAT GOOD ANYMORE. But I still got something. I still got SOME THINGS (people, a bed, whatever) to be grateful for. I’m thinking maybe this is one of those times to realize how good I got it before I don’t anymore…

HOW ‘BOUT THAT? A couple months after penning that shit, I got my girlfriend back, a couple months after that, I got a motorcycle – then my own home/apartment – and then fucking lost it all again and was worse off that when I was painting this.

Here’s the longest “journal entry” on this painting:

I’m not sure what’s motivating my behavior. I mean, I know I’m codependent. I miss her. But I’m not doing everything I could to get her back to me. Is that what I should be doing? I’ve been chasing other girls… “Chasing” is a strong word. I’m barely even casting my line out. But is it even fair to do that? Am I even looking for anyone as more than a temporary substitute until I can have her again? (I don’t like that I’m writing this, knowing it’ll soon be public record; no girl wants to be a placeholder; I’m not doing myself any favors putting this out there). Whatever. I’m lonely but I miss her. I’m lonely because I miss her. I miss her because I’m lonely. At least one of those is true. (Or more true than the others). I don’t know which one. I absolutely love her. But do I need her back because I love her or just because I’m codependent? I’m having plenty of fun without her but maybe that’s just because it’s easier to have fun when you’re broke and only one person – not responsible for a second person. Or maybe just because I’m going out more. Even if I had money right now, I probably wouldn’t go out as much if she were here. But part of that is because I’d be more content just being at home with her. Content. With her. That sounds like not a bad thing either. But if we’re apart for long enough for her to get over me, which I’m piss-scared of, I need to be (ready to be) over her. That’s probably not gonna happen unless I meet someone else. A right someone else. That doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world but, in my current state, doesn’t seem super likely. Then again, the sale of a painting or two could drastically change my “current state.” …GIRLS AND MONEY. [That’s what it always comes down to.] I’m no more substantial than mainstream hip hop. AWESOME.

And last but perhaps most significantly, a regurgitation of something I was taught in rehab.


That final parenthetical is a reference to the fact that a few of the girls that I’ve dated (casually or seriously) have been cutters. I definitely don’t ever look for or target girls that have self-harm scars, but it’s something I’ve found out about or noticed shortly after getting involved (to whatever degree) with more than a couple of my “partners” (or whatever you wanna call ’em).

On a related note, I’ve been struggling a little bit lately with something. In the past, I’ve publicized my partners’ personal issues in the same way that I do my own. I wouldn’t say I feel like it’s been exploitative but – even with consent – I just feel a little more uneasy about it than I used to. With that being said…

My new girlfriend, Juliana, has a history with self-harm. As time passes, I’m hoping it proves to be just that: history. But, in any case, it’s no coincidence that she (LIKE ME) “suffers” from some mental health issues. Honestly, if she didn’t – if she were completely well-adjusted – I have a hard time believing that she’d have any interest in me. She’s just too wonderful. Really, her only issue is insecurity. Especially when it comes to my past with other girls. THIS ARTIST’S STATEMENT IS CERTAINLY EXACERBATING THAT. For real, she cannot handle anything involving my past with other girls. It’s the only thing we “argue” about at all. (PLEASE DON’T BE UPSET WHEN YOU READ THIS, JULIANA; I LOVE YOU A LOT, YOU LITTLE TWERP; I’m just wrapping up loose ends/finishing old projects so I can put this shit 100% behind me). Anyway, I don’t know exactly why it’s such a sensitive area for her but I know that her previous relationships (to put it mildly) have been abusive. She has not had the loving partners she deserves. I’m very proud though of the fact that she is already repeatedly telling me that no one has ever treated her as well as I do and that I make her very happy. It’s my hope that – just in loving her and treating her well – I’ll be able to help her feel as secure, safe, and loved as she deserves. Which isn’t to say that she’s a “project” or that I’m trying to “fix” her. But I can’t deny that the title of this painting, which I made over a year ago, still has some application to my life presently.

So we’re both sick but I think we’re good for each other. WE’LL SEE HOW IT GOES…

At the time of this writing, this original painting is still available for purchase, as are 12×18″ signed, sealed, hand-numbered archival prints. Get in touch if you’d like to buy anything.

Back and on the attack (just like that Voodoo Glow Skulls song except not stupid)

OKAY – how many times have we done this now? Just twice, right? MAYBE three times? Who cares. Here’s the obligatory first-post-after-a-long-relapse post. “WHAT WENT WRONG THIS TIME,” YOU ASK? Again – who fucking cares? Here are the only details that I feel are relevant:

  1. I got back together with Wallis in January 2018 after just three months apart.
  2. Shit went off the rails sometime in the spring when I started using.
  3. Shit went WAY off the rails by October and we split up.
  4. I called Brandon, he agreed to take me to detox the next day.
  5. Before that happened, that same night, I got arrested for more drug charges. (Surprise!)
  6. I got bailed out by my sister ’cause she’s a sweet girl and it WAS ALMOST MY BIRTHDAY.
  7. I went into detox and moved in with Brandon and Amanda.
  8. Two months later, I switched it up and moved in with Ellen.
  9. I started painting again.
  10. I’ve got two new pieces. One’s already sold; the other hasn’t. (I’ll be posting and writing about all of my “new” art (from this year and last year) here, very soon).
  11. I’ve been in outpatient treatment since I got out of the hospital.
  12. Oh – speaking of which – I also had some broken bones around the same time as my detox, from a motorcycle accident. (More on that later (MAYBE)).
  13. Shit’s going fucking good. (Not “well,” but GOOD; fuck your grammar; language is for communication; I don’t care about rules).
  14. I recently started dating someone new and I like her a wholllllllllllle fucking lot but I’m not gonna write a lot about her here just now because I learned from experience that – even when the girl is cool with it – parents don’t seem to like it when their daughter starts dating an artist with no sense of boundaries or propriety and writes all about their beloved child’s private life on the internet. Her name is Juliana though and she’s just wonderful.
  15. Oh – and because I know YOU KIDS WORRY, I’ll just say this much: No, she is not now (nor has she ever been) a heroin addict. And I’m pretty sure she’ll be good for me and I’m gonna do everything I can to be good for her.

Cool? Cool.

More substantive (or at least art-related) posts coming very soon.

Here’s a recent photo of me on a day I was wearing an “employable human” costume – because I don’t want to post the photos of my new paintings just yet but because blog posts should have SOME kind of graphic, right?

I didn’t (proof)read this post after typing it because I’m in a hurry just this minute. If I wrote something wrong, maybe I’ll fix it later, MAYBE NOT.

Love you nerds. Thanks for caring.

5 months clean

Tomorrow marks five months clean. Everything’s going pretty well. I’m a little bummed that I haven’t been able to share decent photos my post-relapse paintings on here yet (there are five finished paintings so far, another that’s in progress, and a drawing that’s in progress as well). I should be able to get most of them photographed sometime this week, at which point I’ll start writing the ancillary statements for each so that I can give each one its own proper blog entry AND start offering prints for sale.

The big news lately (as those that follow me on Facebook already know) is that I got Wallis back down here and back off drugs. (Things took a (predictably) bad turn for her when we split up and she went back to Jacksonville). There’s no judgment in that statement by the way; if I had been in that situation, I very sincerely doubt that I’d have fared even the slightest bit better. Anyway, initially we (I, with the help of some friends) got her into inpatient rehab but – for reasons I’m not going to get into – that didn’t really pan out as well as we might’ve hoped. So she’s been back out now for a few days and I’m scrambling a little bit to figure out where to put her. Art sales have been going as well as could be expected considering I’m just now getting back to it after a two-year hiatus/relapse but the brief period that she was in rehab wasn’t exactly enough time for me to make enough money to find a place for her to live. (She’s, of course, going to be getting a job and paying her own way but someone has to cover her first month’s rent and who’s that gonna be if not me?) Toward that end, I swallowed ALL OF MY PRIDE and actually got a “real job” for the first time in ten thousand years. I’m not super happy about it; it feels a little bit like an acknowledgment of failure; like maybe I can’t support myself (and someone else) off art alone but history’s already proven that that’s not true and I’m confident that this isn’t the new “state of affairs” and that I’ll be able to return full-time to art in the relatively near future. It basically boils down to the question of what’s more important to me: my pride and my image or providing a safe place for the girl that I love to recover/heal/rebuild in the same way that I was so recently given the opportunity to do?

I guess that about covers it for now. Hit me up if you wanna buy some art. Apparently these “JOBS” have these things called “pay periods” where you don’t get your money until, like, two Fridays after you do the stuff that you do and I’d like to start renting a place before then. But – you know – whatever. It’s all gonna work out regardless. IT SORT OF ALWAYS DOES.

photo, Thursday, 2/15/2018

Sam struggles with borderline personality disorder and heroin addiction. When not on drugs, he has his art and writing to thank for it.