ARTOMATIC

Everyone, come down to Crystal City and support an amazing artist community.  Artists from all over the DC metro area exhibit a variety of artwork.  And— It’s FREE! You can find my art on the 6th floor — Gallery # 6107.  I’ll post some pictures soon, but definitely make your way down there for one of the special events.  This special exhibit lasts for 6 weeks!

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Studio time on a Saturday

It was kind of quiet at the Workhouse today.  While people were streaming in and out of our building I decided to do some much needed work on the big wall canvas I’ve been working on for the past few months. YES- I said “few months”.  I love this project and it’s been a lot of fun to create the layers and watch this huge blank canvas transform into this confluence of layers, lines and shapes.

I made a little recording of the part I was working on today! The painting is almost complete, and then it’s time to put all that effort into drawing.  I’m hoping that this piece will be ready for a debut in January!  Keep coming back and hopefully I’ll have more details soon.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m going to take a little break from the studio this week.  I’m going off to spend some time eating some good homemade food and enjoying company with friends and family.  There is a lot have gratitude for this year, even though it’s been a roller coaster of a year.    I hope everyone out there takes time to be with the ones they care about, take some time to reflect and refresh!

I’m adding a few Saturdays to my studio schedule during the holidays, so I hope to see you out and about and visiting the Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, VA. Continue to look for exhibition dates and schedule changes here.  I try to post new dates and updates to my schedule regularly.  It’s going to be a full year in 2017 and I hope you’ll be a part of the festivities.

This video was captured a couple of weeks ago when I was working on adding lines to “the wall” (title pending).  I’m hoping to complete this work by the new year in hopes of showing it at the Goodwin House Gallery in January.  It’s going to take much more time, and many more acrylic paint markers.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

New waves in the studio

As you know I’ve been working on a lot of new things this fall.  It all began with “the wall” but I also ended up experimenting with some new themes in my work.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fan of maps.  But – I inherited about 40 years worth of magazines that have really great pictures.  My intention is to play around with them, and alter them to see how I can use them in my artwork as another collage material.

I have to admit, sometimes I get distracted.  In fact, when I go to my studio space, I have good intentions of organizing my time wisely, but sometimes I just I have so many ideas running through my head that I wish I could somehow have more hands, more energy, and more time to work on them.

In these past few weeks, though, I’ve started filming my progress on the wall painting.  I actually completed the collage and am working on the writing.  The painting part is still in progress.  I actually ran out of the colors I was using, and I have to re-order them — local stores don’t carry my strange mix of colors.

So here are some current visual updates:

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Before Halloween I was working on finishing the collage.  This shows that I had to finish across the top and along the side.  It was hours of work to complete that part.
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A view from my comfy chair.
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Backyard art experimenting.  I was using a cleaning agent to alter pictures in a magazine. 
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You don’t really know what is going to happen, but sometimes things happen just right.
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Waiting to be painted.  I think the painting part will finish up right after Thanksgiving.
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Collage work finished! — So I had some snacks.
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New experimental mixed media pieces.  What if I used faces, instead of maps?
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Still enjoying the topographical line making on top of the altered images and paint.
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Did I mention I started making my own origami paper?
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First crane in this bunch. Only 999 more to go.

 

For your viewing pleasure: Artist at Work

I finally found my tripod.  So I decided to film a time-lapse video of me working in my studio.  I’m actually completely done with the collage portion of this GIGANTIC mixed media painting.  I can’t wait to work on the other parts of it.

This video is about half hour of work collapsed into about two and a half minutes.  I’m so glad I didn’t fall off the ladder.  At least you can see the scale of the work and actually how big the piece is.

An over due update

The wall has been going through some changes these last few weeks.  There’s been some problem solving, much needed breaks, and some breakthroughs.  I’m really having fun with this project and the idea has taken on a different kind of significance and study.  I feel like it’s moving forward.

So with the much needed breaks I’ve also been working on a few other paintings to keep it interesting.  I’ve ordered more wood to keep going on a series of smaller abstractions and of course wood panels.

 

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The collage work, it’s never ending, but so worth the effort.
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I need breaks, so I’m working on a couple of others.  This is one is one masonite board, and has a super slick surface.
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Oh, and I’m working on some origami paper, using maps as a guide to make the lines on the paper.
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Folding them into cranes.  This has been a long process, but I finally found the right paper and the right ink.
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The wall, as it shifts.
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Back to making origami paper.
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Sometimes you need a walk in the woods to reset.  And I still can’t get away from the impressions of nature.
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More map design on paper.
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Pre-treating the birch panels for the next project.
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Close up of collage.
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This is how it looked earlier in the week, you can see the small red piece in the foreground.
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Still shape shifting the collage.
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Decided to add lines.  It’s going to take some time, but I’m happy with it so far.
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Potomac River Basin in progress.
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More shifting, more color, more lines.  Nowhere near completion.

 

 

 

 

The wall and chitta vritti

It’s been one of those weeks where I have been completely distracted in general.  I can’t seem to focus on one thing at a time.  I start doing something, and then my mind leads me elsewhere.  I guess that is one of the reasons I’ve been back at making script patterns again.  It’s like meditation.  I’m focused on my hand moving and making lines, they swoop they twirl, they split.  It’s a great practice for my brain that seems to want to hang on to the noise.  In yoga we call that the chitta vritti — or monkey mind.  Even so, I’ve made some progress on the wall, among other things.  But as promised, I do have a few pictures for you.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time in my other jobs this week.  I also work part-time, teaching art at a local school, and I do some consulting work for NalandaWay (a Chennai- based arts non profit, where I was for the Fulbright).  It can be quite a hectic week.  So my studio can sometimes be the place where I do focus in, I do find a sense of calm, and I do get down to work.

This coming week will be much of the same– work on the wall, work on some secret art stuff at home, teach, and consult.  I have to say, though. I do like this cycle.  It’s like having the best of all worlds.

So in the meantime, check below for where I am on the wall this week.

 

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Progress so far. The collage is starting to go on top of the larger shapes.  Thinking of other things to do, as this progresses.
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A close up. All the map pieces come from one atlas. I think I’ll have to use only one atlas.
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To hinder the monkey mind, I also shut my door and made a make-shift curtain. Next week, I’ll be wide open.  I don’t like shutting out on-lookers and do love to chat with the patrons that come by.  Sorry to have missed you, if you came around!

The Wall part 2

It really has been interesting to see what people say about my wall these days.  New people coming through the studio building immediately ask: What? Why?  The regulars (mostly artists), come through and give moral support, like:  Go for it!  This is awesome! and I get it!

So what am I actually doing?  Why?  What is it?  And yes, I’m going for it.

This week I added on another layer.  I painted in shapes on top of the pattern, using a mixture of a blue and green paint.  You can see through the layers, but there are hard edges around the shapes to give them from.  These shapes are what formed when I drew out the paths of all the rivers I’ve lived near:  Potomac River, Rhine River, Carrasco Creek, Nile River, Adyar River, Rio Grande, and Clarion River.  Instead of drawing them as separate bodies of water, where they merged or overlapped, I let them connect to make one abstract body of water.  In turn there were spaces left that could mimic  “land spaces”.

So that’s what it is.  The why part is a little more difficult to explain. And I’m not sure I need to say why.  Is it a challenge?  Am I merging ideas of past and present? Is this some how a self portrait of a different kind?  We’ll find out.  There is an explanation somewhere, but I don’t think I need to share that at this point. I’d rather let the viewer decide for themselves and see where it takes them.  However, below, you ‘ll find some of the work I’ve done this past week.

The next step is collage.  I’ve already started at the bottom, and this week it will grow up and around.

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The wall

This week I decided I wanted to tackle something large.   Not just4x6 feet large, like a whole wall large.  I somehow ended up with this canvas that has been sitting in my basement for years and decided to finally do something with it.  I unrolled it, put grommets in the top so I could some how hang it on the wall in my studio.  I was able to hang it up, but I would definitely need some sort of step ladder to do the work.

As I was hanging this gigantic sheet, I was thinking about what I should do with it.  Is it an open sketchbook of sorts?  Will it be a final piece, will it be something I just dabble with over the next few months. I had no idea.  The only idea I had was to bring back my pattern.  My script pattern.

It had been a while since I’ve used it.  I think the last use of it came in 2012.  I had been starting the river and tributary series and let go of the script.  I hadn’t taken it anywhere, and it didn’t evolve.  I was actually tired of looking at it, and decided to move on from it.  However, during the course of my last reception at the Workhouse, a few people noticed an old little mixed media piece I had made.  It was only script, but had the collage elements.  They wondered.  And I wondered.  I told them the story about how I let it go, but maybe someday I’d bring it back.

Well, that some day is now.  I am bring it back in a big way, the size, the layers.  It’s coming back.  I’m not sure where it’s going, but it will get there.  I plan on working on this piece while working on other things.  I still love working with bodies of water, but I think I want to find a way to use both.

Here are a few shots of the progress this week.  I’ve spent hours already:

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