Saturday, April 12, 2014

I Had To Try It!

I was occupied with a commission this week - triangles of cardboard washed with varying amounts of white acrylic paint, glued on to watercolor paper that has a wash of Indigo watercolor on it. See the posting from January 5, 2014 ( for an example.

But, I have been wondering what it would look like if I flipped over the cardboard and let the front of the cereal boxes show. So I made a few small studies, 2 verticals and the horizontal piece pictured below.
Recycled Cardboard, Watercolor Paint on Watercolor Paper - 6 x 18 inches
The amount and vibrancy of the color alarms me a bit, it's not exactly my palette. But it does suggest a few tantalizing possibilities.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

1122 Foster Avenue, Chicago

Rode my bike to the gallery this morning, this building caught my attention for some unknown reason as I went by.
1122 Foster Avenue, Chicago


Spillway7 - Acrylic Paint on Archival Mat Board - 32 x 40 inches

Pictured is the latest 'Spillway' drawing. They seem to be getting more dynamic as I move forward. I had a mock-up frame built to get an idea of what the pieces would like in a more finished state. There was an abundance of conversation about the color of the frame, everyone had an opinion. These blue pieces are as much about their background color as they are about the drawn elements, and choosing just the right frame seemed important to the finished product. Dark gray was my first instinct, and the gray pictured is perhaps a tone too light. I would match the tone of the gray to the tone of the blue. But just the right natural wood might be interesting also.


I'm asked quite a bit about the spills and splatters in these drawings. My response is, of course at first I'm frustrated, but then I embrace the lesson to let the material do what it has to do. And to except happenstance and a bit of chaos.  Many people tell me the drips are their favorite element of the drawings.

Computer Generated Studies

As I work on this series I sometime use the 'Photoshop' to flesh out ideas. Below are a few of the computer drawings I have generated so far.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Few Photos From The Reception On March 28th

I held a small reception in Las Manos Gallery last Friday to showcase a little bit of the work I made while using the gallery space as a studio. Great crowd, all my favorite people showed up, and we had a good time. Thanks to Jeff Janson for having the presence of mind to take a few photos.

The View From the Back Patio. 
The Party Get Going.

A Local TV Personality.

A Piece Made of Recycled Cardboard.

A Few Studies Pinned to the Wall. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Upcoming Event - March 28, 2014

I am planning an event for  Friday March 28th at Las Manos Gallery. On that day I will have been using the gallery as a studio for six weeks - it is time to see if that exercise has been fruitful.

'Paper Thin'
March 28, 2014
From 7 to 10pm

Las Manos Gallery
1515 W. Foster Ave.
773 728-8910

Untitled (Spillway3) - Acrylic Paint on Acid Free Mat Board - 31 x 40 inches

I have been making a series of drawings based on the physical and conceptual qualities of blue prints, moving them in a minimal, process driven direction. They still evoke the 3 dimensional world, but speak of the process of drawing and the specifics of the materials. These drawings are very difficult to depict on the computer screen due to Moire Pattern interference so stop by to see them in person if you get a chance. 

I will be piggy-backing with the Chuck Meyers ( painting show at Scout ( that takes place on the same night. They will open their reception an hour earlier at 6pm, and I will stay open later hoping to catch the crowd once Larry closes the doors at nine sharp. Chucks new paintings look beautiful and it will be an spectacular show. 

In addition, Derek Ottens and Christopher Ilth will be using the former 'She Art' space on the west side of Las Manos for a pop-up gallery that weekend, and they promise to fill it with their newest furniture assemblages and Chris's amazing collages Friday night. And I am hoping to install a piece in 'Wooly Mammoth' on the east side of Las Manos. (

Thursday, March 6, 2014

India Ink on Cardboard - Recent Developments

I had a call from Larry Vodak as Scout this morning insisting I stop by the store ASAP. Pleasantly surprised as I walked in his front door to see an older, difficult-to-frame drawing of mine in a very nice frame. The drawing is a map of Chicago, India ink on a found piece of cardboard - folds, dents, staple and all.
Map Of Chiago - India Ink on Found Cardboard - 52 x 70 inches app. 

In the studio I continue to enjoy cardboard as a drawing surface, it is plentiful and I like the idea of it having a second life. The colors are good too. And when I come across a pristine piece of cardboard I immediately go to work. Here is a recent piece inspired when Leif from Wall to Wall Framing gave me some of his old glass boxes and I found this lovely piece inside.
Untitled - India Ink on Cardboard - 40 x 60 inches
And here is an older piece, in this case the cardboard is from old cereal boxes, and you can see the color varies from different packages.
Untitled - Recycled Cardboard, India Ink -   21 x 44 inches
Scout -
Wall to Wall Framing -

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Drawings, New and Old, on the Gallery Wall

I'm settling into using the Las Manos Gallery as my studio space and I have managed to make a few pieces in the last week. There has been a surprising amount of traffic through the gallery, many of my friends and even a few walk-ins - distractions abound. But it is working on many levels, and I'm encouraged by the experience thus far. Pictured is one wall in the gallery this morning, with some new work, some old work and two pieces reconfigured.

  Left to right:
1. An old grid drawing cut apart and quickly reassembled. Looks like a figure from a petroglyph, maybe an ancient alien.

2. An old cardboard 'tapestry' piece. Recycled card board, India Ink washes, staples. There is a 'face' constructed within the piece, it is not immediately apparent in person but shows up well in photographs.
3. New India Ink Piece. Untrimmed top and bottom but roughly 22 x 58 inches.
4. Large India Ink Drawing. 45 x 70 inches when trimmed top and bottom.
5. Painted 12 x 12 inch panels. Acrylic paint pens. There are 7 panels pictured here and they can and have been arrange in many different configurations. Design your own contemporary painting!
6. New Cardboard and India Ink Drawing, 40 x 60 inches. I'm very attracted to the color of the cardboard. And it like the ubiquitous and mundane position in our culture.