Friday, December 30, 2011

Makin' Canvases

I got to use a sander yesterday, gotta say any chance to play with power tools is a good time.  Borrowed it from my father, whom is one of the best men in the world.  Chatted over coffee for half an hour with him, the most valuable time I'll spend this week.  Very psyched to be working on wood, these pieces I'm starting should be hanging in public in two weeks!  More details on that to come.  Very happy about progress lately, 2012 is going to be a stellar year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Good Habits for the New Year

I do believe that if you allow yourself to pay attention, that helpful suggestions or themes will manifest themselves and even repeat in your life.  In this sense it seems lately that the Universe has been suggesting I reevaluate my relationship with my artwork and mend our differences.  Not an easy task.  I have begun by establishing a sort of morning constitutional with the drawing board, a pot of coffee and the Beirut Pandora station.  It's been good so far.

One snag I have not been able to figure out is the encaustic studio issue (ample ventilation, something not possible in my apartment setting).  To keep forward motion I have been attempting to gain the effect of encaustic layers through other mediums.  The experiment today was acetate and vellum, which was a learning curve but ultimately successful. 

charcoal and acrylic on vellum

So this was a doodle on vellum (fyi: the difference between the two is vellum is opaque while acetate is transparent).  I enjoyed the painting, but didn't like that the loose vellum was wrinkling drastically.  So I stuck it on my acrylic painting on top of an acetate layer.  (And I did paint it a bit pinker.)

acrylic, charcoal, acetate, vellum, not finished!
This is beginning to look like something I'm pretty excited about.  A lot of the detail work and the shine from the acetate gets lost on the blog of course, but for lack of a studio/studio-mates to share it with this will have to do.  I ultimately want layers of line work in these pieces.  This has been an intriguing method to achieve a degree of this goal.

Also today I worked on #2 from my last post.  Now this particular painting has been pissing me off every time I looked at it, I was very unhappy with it.  I mentioned it to a friend of mine who commented that it was surprising I was even trying for abstract.  That's when the lightbulb went off and I threw that goal out the window.  I re-attacked #2, and now it's something I can be much more proud of.  Not done, but it looks waaay better:

I have no idea why these shapes keep reappearing with me, but I love them.  This still needs a few more hours of work, and the colors are a bit sickly in this picture, but I am so happy to have this appearing here to show progress from earlier.  Looking forward to where these pieces will end up.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Been working on a second abstract for a series I've been tentatively considering, with the focus on connections.  I think this one is mostly done, but will have to sleep on it a few days to know for sure.  Decided to take this semester off from grad school to consider my options and potentially re-evaluate what the hell I'm doing.  No deep thoughts yet, but I guarantee they're brewing.

Also pulled out my oils for the first time in I don't know how long today.  Here's what I noodled around with.  My patience fails with oils, but I think it's worth it to resurrect the paints and give it another go.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Smokin' SMoca!

Got a chance to visit the Museum of Modern Art in Scottsdale, AZ this past week.  I was super impressed by their current exhibit, artists tell stories (mostly about themselves).  The three artists I was quite taken with in this exhibit were Simon Evans, Andrew Kuo and Deb Sokolow.  Fantastic, text based stuff!  

Simon Evans, Shitty Heaven (detail) 2010
 This is a tiny closeup of Evans' approximately 3'x4' work of paper, whiteout, pen, and tape.  In some of his other works he also used laminate to add depth, very cool stuff.  His work seems the most organic/least planned out of all three artists, something I enjoy.  Also his snarky witticism I can relate to. 

Sokolow seems to be strongly influenced by crime/detective stories, layout design, bookmaking, map making, directing the viewer's eye movement, and self reflection.  Looking at this gigantic work below one kind of gets the feeling you're watching the show Castle.  I love her use of deliberate line combined with casual mark making/self editing.

Deb Sokolow, You Tell People You're Working Really Hard on Things These Days (detail), 2010

Deb Sokolow, You Tell People You're Working Really Hard on Things These Days (detail), 2010

I love this stuff, I would kind of define it as a visual thought process.  This is something I can relate to.

Andrew Kuo takes it to the next step and uses his art to make graphs representing his time, whether that be throughout the day, or the time devoted to his thoughts, etc.  Quite awesome, professionally executed stuff.

Andrew Kuo, The (Roughly) Three Hours and Forty Minutes before Finding My Glasses in the Fridge/Today's Problems Were Last Night's Solutions.

Andrew Kuo, The (Roughly) Three Hours and Forty Minutes before Finding My Glasses in the Fridge/Today's Problems Were Last Night's Solutions (detail bottom center)

These three artists seem to document a period of devoted time, all three with different levels of humor and intent.  The curator did a fantastic job.  This show at SMoca is stellar, very happy to have attended.