The work of Mike Varley

The Mike Varley Plain Dealer – Volume V, Issue III – The Goals of 27

April 8th, 2011 by admin

Hey all,
Before we get to part three of the year in review email, I just wanted to thank you all for taking the time to keep up with my creative pursuits.  Your participation in these emails, silent or vocal, helps me both to take stock of my progress and remind me that I do not exist in a vacuum.  The support is greatly appreciated.
Without further adieu, here are the lofty and oft-bent ambitions for the coming year:
Goals for 27
1. Finish Cord Project – I’ve begun in earnest on a third canvas presently titled “Our Electric Tethers.”  The piece will be mounted on a 6’x4′ board and involves hundreds of electrical cords I scavenged from recycling centers and street corners.  You can watch a video of the cord painting here.

2.  Bruce and Dom – This year, I plan on finishing Bruce and Dom, building a website for it, having DVD’s made, submitting to festivals, becoming an indie darling, sweeping the Oscar’s, handling my new found celebrity poorly, leaving my sitcom in the middle of production, going on a whirlwind interview tour, and spreading memes like Johnny Appleseed until eventually succumbing to an overdose of sobriety. 
3.  Writing Project – My last major writing undertaking was at the very beginning of 2009, when I finished work on The Events of Election ’08.  In those two years, I’ve done a handful of short stories, travelogues, and other bits of writing, but no all consuming project.  With the cord piece and Bruce and Dom primed to come off the burners, I’m looking forward to immersing myself in a paper project again.  The topic will likely be the nursing home, but it remains to be seen what form it will take.
4.  Couch Project – In the spring of last year, my parents renovated the family living room for the first time since 1970.  I took a 6’x4′ piece of brown shag carpeting and skinned the paisley couches for the fabric, recording it all on camera.  I think you know where this is going.  The only question is will there be time if I choose to take on a writing project.
5.  Songwriting – I have a number of songs in various degrees of completion rattling around in my head and I’d like to hear what they sound like finished.  I just finished a demo for song number two yesterday; ten seems a reachable goal for the coming year.
Finally, this year I went through my emails of the past twelve months to remember some of the interesting things that happened to me.  I recommend you try it; it gave me a great sense of accomplishment.  Here are twelve things that stuck out.
12. I got a paid gig teaching writing.
11. I had two curators come over to look at my work.
10. I had my car slammed into on Mother’s Day and had didn’t settle everything till the day after Father’s Day.
9.   I set up a gallery space for community art at the nursing home I work at.
8.   I went through 11 facebook profile pictures.
7.   I went on trips to Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C. twice, Texas (San Antonio, Austin and the Gulf Coast), Vermont, Gettysburg, and Niagara Falls.
6.   For the fourth year in a row, I hosted the World Series of Rafters Tournament at Bay Hills Beach.
5.   I made 61 new videos and posted them YouTube.
4.   I added 7 new pages to my ‘art’ section, thirteen new pages in my ‘stories’ section, a yearly update to the ‘about me’ page, 52 posts to the ‘news’ section and eight new additions to the ‘press’ section.
3.   I had four exhibitions of my art in seven locations and four boroughs.
2.   I starred in a short film.
1.   I sent out 507 emails my 26th year. In the four years preceding, I sent out 997 total.
Until next time, whenever that may be, stay well.

Mike Varley

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