New ideas

I’ve been playing around with some new ideas, and I think I’m liking it.  One of the benefits of having this studio and time out in the community at P22 is that I get to practice art.  Right?  I mean if you want to be good at something, you have to keep practicing, exploring and experimenting.  It’s just like anything else.  If I wanted to be better at guitar, or volleyball or cooking– I would practice.  Art is something that takes practice too.  There is a misconception that people just wake up as artists one day and they go paint a portrait, or draw a landscape. Very few people could actually do that , most artists practice everyday.  Yes, there are some people who have more of a predisposition to make art, but there are people with a predisposition who like to study engineering or cells.  All of us can take time to find out what we’re good at, but to practice takes passion.  Passion allows you to reach for something else.  To push yourself to uncharted territory.  Not someone else’s territory, but your own.  It’s your own journey, your own way to find out what you want to practice.  Now I get to be on that journey, and you’re welcome to come with me.

Yesterday I was at Palette 22, and here is a little bit of what I worked on:

Working on wood with thread.
Drawing maps on paper vellum and folding them.
Building up layers on new small topographic studies paintings.

Revisiting: Squares


I’ve decided to try to upload some of my old my work that I do, so that at the very least it’s out there. I really feel like I’m at a crossroads professionally. While I certainly enjoy being an art educator and LOVE to teach, I feel that I need to practice being an artist to make my teaching even better.

This “Blue” painting has a lot of layering. I created a collage on top of the canvas with calendars that I had been saving. Each of the calendar papers has a word a day on it. I let the overlapping of the collage dictate where to draw the dark lines for the boxes. All the boxes are different sizes, and aren’t meant to be equally measured. I added a mixture of colors and pushed them to create a border. Then I added an additional layer of writing with brush. The writing was slightly erased or lightened to create a more transparent layer. Then added smaller box in the center of each of the original boxes. Finally, after it was dry, I added ink writing to create an overall pattern in each square. The collage disappears under the layering.

A note about my writing. It’s something I have been developing over many years. I have been influenced by different kinds of scripts from various languages. Some of the writing might echo a true language, but it does not yet hold any particular meaning. (Although there do seem to be letters that appear– I just haven’t named them yet)

Having said that, I do call it writing. I feel that the writing allows people to read into the painting with their own thoughts or feelings. I may choose to begin attaching letters to my script, but for now I will leave it to the viewer.

Revisiting: Floating Squares


Ok, so I made this one like a super long time ago. Well, kind of. I prepared the background years ago when i lived in New Mexico (wow- like 9 years ago). When I moved back to the east coast, it was still starting at me. It said,” I’m blank, do something with me!”. So a move here and a move there, I finally just added my script.

I like it because it’s so simple. There are some some tones in the background. But really it’s a lot of color on the bottom layer, and then faded out by a load of white paint, and writing with an archival pen.

Still, one of my favorites, never to be duplicated again…probably.

Revisiting: Gridded Squares


Ok, so this painting is not really at all what I usually do, but i thought it would be a good one to go to next because the last one contained a few boxes with lots of writing. I like squares/boxes/windows/passages (whatever you would like to see them as). For the purpose of this one, I kind of think of them as bricks or blocks. the warm colors elude to some type of material like, for me.

I love word a day calendars for many reasons, but I tend to keep them and use them over and over again in my works. I mostly like them because they are attached to a calendar. But I also like them for their usefulness. You learn a word, with a definition, origins etc… You may not remember it, but you may recognize it. Or it may come back to haunt you in a scrabble game. Anyway, text is another reason why I like them so much. There is a variety of fonts, and if you cut them off you break up the definition of the word, which can remove the need for the entire calendar because it doesn’t make sense!

So, I saved them, I cut them and made them into squares. I arranged them mostly in rows, but then played with the grid I had made with the paint.

The grid. I drew a grid, and then offset the grid with the squares of the paper. I painted around each square and also made light and dark areas to draw attention to certain spaces. I kind of think of this work like a timeline or something. For me, there is movement going left to write. Almost like a typewriter.

In this work, the writing isn’t as prominent as it is in most of my other paintings. I feel like it fills the space where there are empty spaces and connects the squares to each other rather than drawing a line. While usually my writing is all over, it is only contained in a line.