So… after months of drawing, painting, sewing, and beading, I am happy to be nearing the end of my current drawing with only a few milliliters of blood here and there (thanks to sewing needles and X-actos), and only one major mishap. For the most part, it has come together beautifully….
Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men. Apparently, paper is not always as predictable as I want it to be and can have a mind of its own, so one of the last steps of my drawing fell to pieces – or, rather, it did not work as well as it should have, so I tore it to pieces – and I had to rethink on my feet. Fortunately, my two favorite studio pastimes are 1) drawing and 2) figuring out a problem, so the mishap turned into a breakthrough.
I am really enjoying the process of finishing this piece, but I am resisting the urge to post full pictures until the piece is done (there could always be another mishap). In the meantime, here are some snapshots of the beading and stitching throughout parts of the drawing (click to see these pictures larger):
The good thing about working with paper is that if my current solution does not work, I can always tear it apart and start again.
The False Mirror show at Artworks in Trenton continues through this Saturday, February 22. Here is a review of the show.
And, lastly, a Strange Tale that was completed in December, “Equinox” graphite on Moleskine sketch paper, 8.25 x 10.5 inches:
Several of my drawings are included in a Surrealism exhibition that opens this Saturday at Artworks Gallery in Trenton, New Jersey.
THE FALSE MIRROR – SURREALISM FORWARD AND BACK will be on exhibit from January 11th through February 22nd.
The opening reception is this Saturday, January 11, 2014, 6-8 pm.
From the press release:
Almost a hundred years have passed since classical Surrealist works were first shown, and their irrational “snapshots” of the impossible were surely quite shocking back then. Today, however, we appear increasingly attracted to similar oddities: computer-altered talking babies, life-sized combative tacos, and flying cars probably now seem both plausible and trendy.
Its important to consider that current ways of thinking and seeing are largely the result of visual and conceptual efforts by classical Surrealists. Early and mid 20th century works by de Chirico, Magritte, Ernst, and Dali forever loosened the look and logic of thought and vision, and they forever twisted and morphed all that we now view and accept as possible.
To facilitate the curator’s idea of historical context and its forward/back idea, recent works will be grouped near prints by Surrealist masters. For example, Magritte’s EMPIRE OF LIGHT (1950) will hang near original new works which deal with the subjectivity of time and light. Visitors unfamiliar with art history will hopefully find this placement important for making thoughtful observations and connections.
Curator Frances Heinrich will present a short PowerPoint talk during the opening which relates famous historical works to the current “special effects” now surrounding us in film, tv, advertising, and fashion.
More information about the show and directions to the gallery can be found at the Artworks website.
My drawing “Selfie” will be on display from November 16th through January 5th at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in an exhibit titled PAPER WORK: Exploring the Many Ways Artists Use Paper in Their Work.
The opening reception is November 16th from 7 – 9 PM and an artist/curator talk is scheduled for Sunday, December 15th at 2 PM. More information is below and at the Ellarslie website.
November 15th, 2013 | Category: News | Comments are closed
The drawing I am currently working on is in pieces and parts all over the studio: once all of the separate elements are finished, it will all be attached (by various adhesives and thread) onto a larger piece of paper. The overall dimensions will be about 60 inches high and 44 inches wide. I do not have a title yet – I just refer to it as The Dryad. Below are photographs of The Dryad in progress (click the images to enlarge) - here is the tree:
The center of the composition is rendered in gouache and it will be embellished with tiny colored glass beads:
A detail of the gouache painting:
The apples (a branch on the tree):
I am still working on a couple of other drawings that will make up the rest of the imagery. I suspect that the entire work will take another 4 to 6 weeks to complete, if not more (the beading takes a while). The challenge with this drawing is trying to visualize and resolve the separate parts so the piece works as a whole once it is put together (I like this challenge: one of the aspects of drawing that I truly enjoy is the problem solving).
My main studio distraction over the past few days has been with framing a drawing that will be in an exhibit of works on paper – more details about that show coming up in a couple of weeks.
After having this piece professionally photographed, I had the opportunity to look at it on a smaller scale; of course I had taken pictures of the drawing while it was in progress, but only with my point-and-shoot and not with a polarized filter and correct lighting. The accurate smaller-scale photographs revealed there were value and spatial relationships that were not working as I had intended.
After a couple of weeks of denial and hiding the piece (from myself) in my studio, I had to spend a few hours pushing and pulling values to get this to where I wanted it to be…and I think I can now say that I am done.
And so here she is, reworked and once again photographed:
I am currently working on a new drawing – this one will be layered and sewn together with beading and perhaps a little something more; I am still considering some new ideas to finish the piece. What I like about working in pieces and then tying it all together is that it gives me some spontaneity with how the artwork is finished. Here is a detail:
Several of my new drawings are now properly photographed:
Share Your Thoughts (The Sibyl of Online Commentary)
Graphite and 12K white gold leaf on Arches hot press watercolor paper, 64 x 42 inches:
This is a sibyl for the comment sections of online news sites and blogs: the places where many people share their opinions, but few listen.
This is a large drawing – the figure is slightly smaller than life size – so here are detail photos – click the thumbnail for a larger view:
Selfie (We Create Our Own Mythologies)
Graphite, acrylic, color pencil, and 22K gold leaf on Arches hot press watercolor paper, 30 x 22 inches
A detail photo – click the thumbnail for a larger view:
And, a drawing that I posted a few months ago is now properly photographed:
I’ll Be Your Mirror
Graphite on Arches hot press watercolor paper, 31 x 27 inches
This drawing is an allegory on art making.
A new drawing/painting/beaded piece is well underway in the studio, and I will post some in-progress images in a few weeks.
The opening reception for my exhibit at The McGraw Gallery at Newark Academy is on Thursday, September 12, 2013 from 6 – 7:30 PM. A collection of my traditional graphite drawings as well as gold leafed pieces are on display, so please feel free to drop by and see the drawings in person!
I have been busy in the studio this summer and a trip to the art photographer is scheduled for next week, so new work will be posted soon! A quick detail view of one of the pieces that I will have photographed next week:
“Selfie (We Create Our Own Mythologies)”
Detail snapshot of “Selfie (We Create Our Own Mythologies)” graphite, acrylic, color pencil, and gold leaf on paper 30 x 22 inches
My snapshots of the two most recently completed works are a bit lousy - thanks to the highly reflective gold leaf on both drawings - so I will wait to post the finished pieces until I have nice photos available.
The South Orange Maplewood Artists Studio Tour is a little over a week away and I am just starting to organize and prepare some of the pieces that I will have on display. In addition to drawings completed over the past year, I will also have current works in progress, giclée prints of many of my drawings, and an assortment of my sketchbook drawings.
Here are a few of my recently completed Strange Talessketchbook drawings:
Strange Tale #37: Theodora kept her wicked words precariously balanced at the tip of her tongue
Pencil on Moleskine sketch paper, 5.25 x 3 inches (For the flickr view click here.)
Strange Tale #38: She Could Think of Ten Reasons to Celebrate
Pencil and glass beads on Moleskine sketchbook paper, stitched onto Arches hot press paper, 8.75 x 8.75 inches. (For the flickr view click here.)
This drawing will be part of TEN: The Soul of SOMA, a group installation piece by artists who have participated in the South Orange & Maplewood studio tour. This will be on display at the Pierro Gallery in South Orange as part of SOMA: Engaging Art, which runs from May 23 – June 22. The gallery opening for this event is this evening, Thursday, May 23, from 7 – 9 PM.
Strange Tale #39: The Death of an Artist (for A.)
Pencil and glass beads on Moleskine sketchbook paper, stitched onto Arches hot press, 14 x 12 inches. (For the flickr view click here.)
The 10th Annual South Orange Maplewood Artists Studio Tour is Sunday, June 2nd, from 11 AM – 5 PM. This self-guided tour is free and open to the public. A map, as well as more information about the event is available at the Studio Tour website. If you are in the area, drop by and say hello!
It is hard to believe that it is nearly time for the Studio Tour! The 10th Annual South Orange Maplewood Studio Tour is happening from 11 AM – 5 PM on Sunday, June 2nd. The event is free and my studio will be one of many open to the public. It is a fantastic event and a fun, art-filled way to spend the day. If you are in the area, please come by, say hello and see my studio and new drawings!
Courtesy of the SOMA Studio Tour, here is a short video interview with me talking about my self-portraits and being a part of the South Orange – Maplewood arts community:
INDA 7, Manifest Gallery’s drawing annual is now available. I just received my copy in the mail and it is a beautiful book. My image Coelacanth is one of 126 works included in this edition. (I was excited to find out that I will also have a drawing included in next year’s INDA 8!)
Last, but not least…TEDxUGA
I was invited to participate in TEDxUGA – an independently organized TED event at the University of Georgia (my alma mater in my beloved hometown of Athens, GA). My video from the event has been posted here. Every presenter had such vibrant ideas to share; there was energy from simply being in the room during the presentations that was inspiring! I recommend attending a TEDx if you have the opportunity.
I feel somehow centered and refocused right now, when I had been feeling a bit adrift a few months ago. I came home after TEDx and started a new drawing the next day – impulsively and ardently – and I am thrilled about what I am working on in the studio. I am nearly finished with this new self-portrait drawing – I should be able to post a picture sometime next week.
And, after nearly a year of on-and-off working on a large drawing (my 5 x 3 foot “Sybil”), this will likely be done within a month or so, too. This piece has been difficult, not only for technical demands, but because something was lacking. I have really been passionate about the idea since the beginning, however the drawing felt unresolved until last week: while discussing the piece with a fellow artist/mentor, the solution came to me in such an Aha-Erlebnis! moment that it took me by surprise. Now, I cannot wait for this one to be done, too!
One thing at a time, though…and the studio has to be clean and ready for the studio tour which is only about three weeks away…