Creative, Trans

Next step on my TDoR painting

While I have only a working title for this and still have much to do to get to completion, I made the next step recently and made another time-lapse.

I did completely cover and hide the first part and that is my point in doing this the way I have. The final piece is important, but the process and what I go through is just as significant when I put paint on canvas. What music was I listening to, what did I feel before, during and after. What were all the thoughts I had during my work in each part and aspect.

Once I feel I have done what I need to and can tell myself I have completed a work a new stage can begin. That switch is from me and my experience to anyone who might come in contact with what I put myself into. I have to let go of all I did and felt to allow others to do what they do when viewing. Others will make assessments either consciously or just by being human, sub-consciously. The results could be anything I would think that a person could react, respond or have as a reflex. That is for them and not me, I did my part in creating.

As I mentioned there are numerous other parts to be completed, but here is the edit of the video.

My Opinion, Photgraphy, San Francisco, Written

Where Am I Going

I asked myself this question as I walked the streets of San Francisco. On this sunny Thanksgiving. I spent time with the city I love. I was going in the direction of Ocean Beach. As I cannot be with the people I would like to, I kept thinking to myself, where am I going?

After I opened the second package of Kleenex I used to wipe up the tears, I was struck with a thought carrying an inertia and a kinetic energy like the waves crashing on the beach with the power to destroy and sustain life.

I am already where I am going.

This transformed into an answer of what I was just asking myself in repetition.

Over the next mile to the beach I went up and down hills, both litteral and emotional.

I am still as I sit in Golden gate Park flowing over those mental and emotional hills.

I am already where I am going. Even as I have much to do in my journey, I am where I need to be. This in itself is where I need life to located. If I were at the end, then that is where I would be, not somewhere along the way.

I set out today after I created a playlist I titled ‘sad walk’ to find something I did not expect. To find comfort, just as I did.

As I carried my camera, some photos I took on my walk in the greatest city on earth, just exactly where I need to be.

Creative, Trans

Trans Day of Remembrance 2022

I made a decision about a week before on what I was planning to do on November 20th. I had decided that I was not going to attend an event or go out. I have been working on this project for what I feel is too long now and this day was one I was sure would be a day I was in the right frame of mind and mood to work on the next step.

There are multiple other steps before I can get to a place I am happy with where I intend to go with this piece, but those are just details not needed now.

My mind was busy as I mixed the colors and painted. I setup my space the night before and measured off the canvas. It was a ritual in the sense of the notions of duty, respect and expressing reverence. I teared up multiple times as I remembered those for which the day is for and the lives that were lost.

As a trans woman I am fighting to be alive and at the very same time survive. I say this as coming out brought me to life and is also a threat to my life. While I hope the probability is low and unlikely the impact is not. I am trans in spite of the knowledge that hate is real and poses threats. I have no doubt this is a shared experience among most in my demographic. The very thing that saves can also kill. The horrible thing is it does not need to be such. The hate and violence is taught, learned or manufactured.

A poem comes to mind as I write this;

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

BY Robert Frost

The world from the perspective I have can look dark and bleak, full of evil in disguise. And I think of a line from a movie, which is a quote some know from the movie “The Usual Suspects”

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

Here is a link for more on this like:

I setup to record a time-lapse video as I painted the part. I edited it a bit and adjusted the speed of playback. I didn’t want to put up a video almost 15 minutes long that would be far longer than most peoples attention span for that. So, I speed it up and brought it to just under 2 and half minutes, added audio and here is what I have.

I hope the owner of the audio either doesn’t mind or never sees this (the most likely of the two.) Dennis Lloyd – Alien. I recommend giving him a listen.

Back to the important topic… Trans Day of Remembrance.

If there is anyone or anything you feel needs to be acknowledged as having been a sacrifice, like Memorial Day here in the US. I feel as if remembering the Trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming lives lost to hate are as one might feel on Memorial Day a they are on active duty in a war-zone – every day and this day or any day could be the one that takes your life and still step out into battle. This is how it feels to be visibly trans in an evil, hateful and hostile world.

Here I am and I live in defiance of evil and hate! I step out into a hostile world to proclaim I am here in spite of that!

I was warned not to come here. I was warned. They warned me, “Don’t stand behind that coffin.” But why should I heed such a warning, when a heartbeat is silent and a child lies dead? “Don’t stand behind” this coffin. That boy was as pure and as innocent as the driven snow. But I must stand here, because I have not given you what you should have. Until we can walk abroad and recreate ourselves; until we can stroll along the streets like boulevards; congregate in parks free from fear, our families mingling, our children laughing, our hearts joined – until that day we have no city. You can label me a failure until that day. The first and perhaps only great mayor was Greek. He was Pericles of Athens, and he lived some 2500 years ago, and he said, “All things good on this Earth flow into the City, because of the City’s greatness.” Well, we were great once. Can we not be great again? Now, I put that question to James Bone, and there’s only silence. Yet could not something pass from this sweet youth to me? Could he not empower me to find in myself the strength to have the knowledge to summon up the courage to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task of making a city livable? Just livable. There was a palace that was a city. It was a PALACE! It was a PALACE and it CAN BE A PALACE AGAIN! A PALACE, in which there is no king or queen, or dukes or earls or princes, but subjects all: subjects beholden to each other, to make a better place to live. Is that too much to ask?

Are we asking too much for this?
Is it beyond our reach?

Because if it is, then we are nothing but sheep being herded to the final SLAUGHTERHOUSE! I will not go down, THAT WAY!

I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what’s within me is also WITHIN YOU.

City Hall 1996 – Al Pachino as: Mayor John Pappas

And as I close this post out I begin to tear up with these tears that build strength and I will EXIST, I WILL FIGHT BACK!

Creative, Trans, Written

Open Mic at Bazaar Cafe! (video)

This post is a special one for me as the results are very unknown at the moment to what may happen as this goes up. The first post I made on this blog was a written work by myself and this is video of me reading it in front of a live audience.

It took a bit of time and effort to get to this point. Many renders of the video is just one. I asked those whose sounds can be heard permission and obtained releases to use them.

I have to give another really appreciative thank you to Elliot Racine – I love your style and energy! The other musicians and people who chose to remain in the video without credit and of course Bazaar Cafe!

After I read and saw the next several performers I stepped in I to the garden out back of the cafe to rest and process what had happened. I was not there long when I received a spectacular compliment. She came and found me to say that way I wrote helped her understand more about what it means to be trans. She said as a supporter and ally my words spoke beyond my demographic to bring a description she could see bridging more than what is commonly found.

This is the reason I am taking the risk to put this out. To build understanding and bring people together.

Those that have read, heard or seen these words have their own way of expressing the similar ideas that this combination and order of words can resonate within and beyond the trans community.

My hope and dream for this is just that and I want to see this happen so much.

And with all of that, I give you:

I am going to try to let the video speak for itself and not further embellish.

Please leave your feedback, I especially want to hear how this helps people.

And the necessary details:

As for the details, Attribution, no-derivatives, Non-commercial rights. This means you cannot alter the video and you must credit me “EmpressEm” and no commercial use and no you cannot use this in any way for profit.

This leaves people to share this as-is without the need for additional permission as long as the above is met. For requests outside of this, please use the contact page on this site. (not that I have any anticipation of such.)


IRL vs. Digital

I know the importance of digital and remote communications in our lives. I am not blind to this and how it helps us connect with others we know and will never know.

With this I still strive to be as in real life as I am able. The conundrum in some cases is the difference between digital and physical art I struggle a bit.

To get the word out and have exposure for digital is an altogether other ‘thing’ than it is for physical art. I need digital as I need physical art but for not the same reasons or results.

When I think about how to mix and match the benefits of one with the other I often fall short. I do not have the answers. I am aware that if I make a choice today I risk changing my mind tomorrow, thus defeating my own cause is a threat.

With this rambling I am making a choice to share a digital representation of a work of my physical art to see what happens, if anything.

This is oil on canvas with a plaster texture. It does have a title, but that is for me and publicly this work is ‘untitled’. The painting measures 12″ x 12″.