Monday, May 31, 2010

Mime Five

I've been thinking about the Mimes Studio especially of late because they are just finishing fours days of workshops and presentations.  Very sorry to miss it, and I've been wishing them the best.  Sounds like it is going very well.  To commemorate, I've begun work on a new mime drawing. If you're counting, the fourth one is still rolled up somewhere waiting to be picked up.  Better images may be a long time coming, so this composite will have to give you an idea of what the straight-on looks like:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Night Owl

Another new one, with almost a fully realized narrative at the start. Here's to good dreams for tonight!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Added an opaque layer over last Sunday's post.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Stages

A good night last night: a full moon, the town was full of great restaurant smells.   Studio wasn't bad either.   Finally getting some traction on one of the portraits I was lost on.  It changed so much, that I have to show an old image, or most would probably not recognize it.  Two nights ago, I muddled it over quite a bit and stopped at the second image, which is new.  The figure and head was a little too large, and somehow was reminding me of Leonardo' head of a warrior. I want the smaller portraits in this series to be clearly less than life sized, so I reworked it as you see today in the larger image.   I've always been imagining a small rabbit, and realized an association with Joseph Beuy's dead hare performance could be drawn.  I'm okay with that.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Yesterday's experiment in rising before dawn, and getting to the studio by 5am was interesting, if not repeatable today.  It allowed me to successfully dodge the heat before the studio boiled in the afternoon.  The dog  and I especially enjoyed the rich night smells on the walk there.  It's a bit cooler today, so I am risking the afternoon. Pictures:before and after last session. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Notebooks Unbound

I've got a confession to make:  I have never completed a notebook, journal, or sketchbook.  I have come very close, closest perhaps with a sketch journal I started in grad school. As an experiment in non-linear thinking, I would collect ideas organized by subject on different pages rather than by date.  It started out with a lot of profound headings, followed by free-associative riffs.  As I lived with this book,  the poor writing and bad drawings irritated me.  I started whiting out embarrassing bits, editing them over and recreating the book like I would a painting.  Eventually the pages became so fat the book had difficulty closing.  When it was finally abandoned, this notebook too had blank pages. (Punctuation?) While I can accept the book now as a snapshot of a 23-year old mind, I will never divulge the secret location where I buried it.   No one has to ever read it.  

I dislike the binding of notebooks.  Aside from locking information into a  progressive order, it also binds the good with the bad; nothing can be discarded.  I write down a lot of thoughts: ideas, rants, manifestos, bad poetry, great starts to short stories that I'll never finish.  If they were written down in a notebook, I would rarely look at them again.  My preference now is to write things down on scraps of paper and take them with me. My sketches also roam free:  I take them out of their bindings, pin them up on the walls, and place them in boxes and portfolios.  I tend to show my writing a little less respect than my drawings.  I think of Milan Kundera's definition of Graphomania from 1979, which all but predicts blogging, and places my abundance of words in perspective.  However,  I am reluctant to throw something handwritten away.   As a compromise, I've been tearing up the notes for the last year and saving some of the benign bits in boxes.   This past Friday, I started recycling the unfinished notebooks, pasting pages along with the bits together looking at the text as mark and collage. 

The dog doesn't care if I am doing this or painting. One act is just as strange looking to her as another, and both products bore her equally.  While it will be interesting to see if either of these "drawings" can be brought to any end, I don't imagine showing them in a gallery setting. Phrases pop out like in William Burrough's cut-ups, but no narrative is intended either. They are simply a way of loosening up the mind, an oddity of my studio process. I certainly find them more fun to keep around than old notebooks so far.  If only I could do this to the blog in a few years....

Monday, May 24, 2010


Latest start:  Using references for this one, a bit of a relief. 20x24 inches. I'm thinking about one hand or two, maybe a bit of foliage if outdoors.

As I sat down to consider my efforts last night, I made a sketch from the painting. I work most things out through the paint, but I do like to draw from my paintings as a way of thinking.  Erasure and contour allow me to project multiple ideas at once, so good luck deciphering.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


This a nocturne that has been kicking around for a bit.  For the longest time I kept it around as a toned ground-- I was in love with the swoosh of violet across the surface. While there is a little bit left in the upper left, it has been well covered over.  The figure got a new head today.  I'm starting to think of the figures like clay beings, something I might mush around while keeping the core mass.   The new portraits are also inching along. I really cringe at the second for now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dog Days

If you happen to think what an artist does in his studio is suspicious, imagine how my dog feels....
My way of saying I'm on still on the trail of new paintings with progress pictures to come soon.   Trying to get as much done before the metaphoric dog days of summer really begins.