Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Garages of Wilmette, Illinois

I'm spending the week dog/house sitting in Wilmette. The suburb is very quiet over the Holidays - then we had 3 inches of lake effect snow, then I developed a cold, and now the temperature has dropped to the low 20s. If it weren't for video on demand, (first season of 'Homeland' - amazing), and my new Kindle with loaded with 'Sweet Tooth' (Ian McEwan) and 'Gone Girl' (Gillian Flynn), I'd be going a little bonkers. But I do like Frankie the dog, and enjoy the walks, particularly through the alleys. I tote my camera with me and try to pay attention to what I'm paying attention to. Without comment, here is a small series of photographs of some of the garages of Wilmette, Il.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

30 Buildings In 30 Days

"30 Buildings In 30 Days" was the original idea for this series of digital images when I began it last winter. I was toying with an old photograph of mine from my series of Chicago housing projects which were very flat and patterned. I have acknowleged the connection between the toy building blocks I had as a child and some of the things I am doing in collage, both digitally and in paper. With 'Photoshop' as a tool it is easy to make digital building blocks, and your imagination can take off from there. All of these images are improvised off the one photo, and most elements reoccur in multiple locations. I like these resulting images, they read as buildings, admittedly fantastic and a little brutal, but still rooted in photographic reality. I tried to work quickly, not over-think, and avoid and impulse to be too critical. Hence the choppy nature of the buildings and most obviously the sky. I never made it to 30 buildings, but here are nine interesting examples, and I'll hold on to the title as an homage to my first impulse.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Available Drawing #2

This drawing is a couple years old and the medium is India Ink on Stonehenge Paper. It came from that period when I was using the edge of Foamcore or some other such material to make a mark for me. I would dip the edge of the material into a dish of India Ink and then impress the edge onto the paper. In an odd way the resulting piece exists somewhere between a drawing and a print. The drips on the piece are 'sincere', in that they occurred accidentally as I made the piece. At the time I was coming out of a series of much tighter grid drawings and the looseness and more organic architecture of this piece still feels very fresh. Materials: India Ink on Paper. Size: 50 x 18 inches.

Available Drawing #1

As I refer more and more people to my blog, I often have to clarify what is for sale and what is not for sale. So in an attempt to simplify things a bit I'm creating a new category on my blog. I'll call it 'Available Work'. As I post new pieces, mostly drawings, that are available for sale I will label them as such using the tag 'Available Work'. If a person specifically wants to look at my blog to see what could potentially be purchased, all they have to do is hit the label 'Available Work' and all such drawings should appear starting with the most current and proceeding backwards by date posted. In the text accompanying the blog posting I will attempt to include as much information about the piece that is possible at the time. The drawing below is my first attempt at this new category.
This drawing is titled 'The Numbers 1 Through 16 Cubed'. It looks like a building but the cubes, starting at the top, are a drawn depiction of the mathematical concept of cubing each number. For those of you who do not remember much of high school math, or is it geometry, the cube of a number is when you multiply it by itself. So for example 3 cubed is 3 x 3 which equals nine. 4 cubed is 16, and so on. The drawing is pencil on arches watercolor paper and the size is 28 x 40 inches.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Variation on My Grid Drawings

I've been in the mood to make a few more grid-like drawings, (and it is always good to have a few on hand), but I wanted to change them up a bit. In architecture school, one method of perspective drawing was to make an axonometric drawing, where diverging lines remain parallel to each other. There are a number of types of axonometric projection, (see the chart below, thank you Wikipedia), and this type where the angles are at a 120 degree pitch is specifically called an isometric projection. I think of these drawings as abstract, (as well as minimal and optical), but it could be a building too. This drawing is India Ink on Bristol Paper, and its' dimensions are 30 x 40 inches.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Prentice Womens' Hospital

I found this old, incomplete panoramic photo from a few years ago as I was digging through some old files. I apologize for the unfinished nature of the image. Pictured is the 'Prentice Women's' hospital designed by Bertram Goldberg. It is now threatened with demolition by Northwestern Hospital. There is not much point in reiterating the arguments on both sides of this contentious situation, we are all pretty much entrenched in our points of view. But let me say this in regards to this photo: the curvilinear nature of the architecture in the Goldberg building measured against the anonymous box-like structures of the surrounding buildings speaks for itself. And really, Northwestern Hospital can't make use of the giant empty lot in the foreground as opposed to tearing down a architectural landmark.

Whats On My Wall - November 25, 2012

Time to get back to blogging more regularly, I've been less than diligent with the gallery moving and then the Thanksgiving holiday. As a start, a photo of my living room wall made yesterday morning. An opportunity to see one new piece, just finished this week, and the things I hang on my wall to contemplate. The tall column like cardboard construction toward the left will be in the December Show at Las Manos Gallery along with a companion piece. That show will open on December 7 at the new space at 1515 W. Foster St. Also pictured is some old work brought back to my living space as we cleared out the old gallery. Note my old school television, the metal yard sticks on the floor, and a very cool vintage wood relief that I found in a thrift store years ago.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The New Las Manos Gallery Space

Just a couple quick photos of the new Las Manos Gallery space. Located around the corner from the old location, now at 1515 W. Foster. Plywood walls will make hanging art much easier and the new clean look is refreshing. I'm still sitting in the gallery on Sundays from 11 to 5pm. Stop by if you get a chance.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween 2012

Halloween is almost here. If you are planning to attend the parade on Halsted Street feel free to stop by my home for a drink before, and one to take on the road. I don't know if Andy Warhol will make an appearence this year but I will have my camera and hope to make some photos ala Warhol. The parade kicks off at 7Pm and cocktails will be served at six. If you can't make if for a drink join us at Cornelia and Halsted Street in front of 'Taco and Burrito Hut perhaps we will dine there afterward. RSVP

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Post-Show Recap

Last weekend was a big one, and it's a relief to get it done and move forward. This week too has been very busy with submission to the CTA for a public art project, and many follow-up details from the shows at Scout and Las Manos. I am posting a photo of the finished 'Flag' piece at Las Manos as it hangs on the walls there. It is constructed out of old cereal boxes with India ink on them, mounted on Arches watercolor paper.
And the weather was good this week, cool but sunny. The light has shifted into the fall mode, longer shadows, less contrast. Not much time to make photos but shot this quickly thrown together panorama on my way to the gallery on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reception At Scout October 2012

The reception for the Scout show was Friday night. Great party, great people. The evening flew by in a whirlwind of friends, art, music and a really good time. Thanks to Wil Vodak for making this panorama with his cell phone.!?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Busy Week - Show This Friday at Scout

I''m facing a very full week. My show at Scout opens on Friday and Las Manos opens its' last show in the current space the same day. I'm in pretty good shape for both given I work diligently all week and no unexpected dramas occur. I have previewed many of the pieces that will be in the Scout show, just take a look at the last few postings. I of course want to take part in the Las Manos show too, given my history with the gallery. So in keeping with the concept and materials of the Scout show I'm working on a large flag like piece for Las Manos. It has completely taken over my living room and until it is finished I won't get it back. The piece should be finished in the next 24 hours, if everything goes according to schedule and I don't run out of 'Mad Men' reruns. Below is a photo of the piece in progress. Hope to see some of you this coming weekend. Materials are; India Ink on recycled cardboard, mounted on Arches Watercolor Paper. Size approximately 45 x 90 inches.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Save The Date - October 5, 2012

I will be showing forty or so 'Constructed Drawings', both framed and unframed. Their will be some new 'Lake' watercolors, but I'm working in a smaller size this summer. And I have a few 'Swimmer' drawings too. Exact time yet to be determined but most likely 6pm until 10pm.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

October Show At Scout

For my upcoming show at Scout on October 5th I have made a series of 'Constructed Drawings', which by the time I done will number forty or more. Lately, when I begin an idea, I work through it in a series, staying within a format and using like materials. This series began with recycled cereal boxes and an idea I had regarding some fabric I had seen at the Art Institute. The latest constructions, working from the same format and materials, have become much more structured - even architectural - as you can see in the image posted. My aesthetic has always overlapped with Larry's from 'Scout', and the notion of creating a series specifically for him and his amazing shop makes sense. I'm very excited to be able to present these at Scout beginning Friday night, October 5, 2012, which will be the kick-off for Andersonville Arts Weekend.
Overall dimensions 18x 24 inches. India ink on recycled cardboard mounted on Bristol paper.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

More Constructed Drawings

Each Piece 18 x 24 inches. Materials include recycled cardboard, India ink, Bristol paper.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Constructed Drawings

In preparation for my upcoming show at Scout, scheduled for October 5, 2012, in tandem with Andersonville Arts Weekend, I have been making what I have come to call 'Constructed Drawings'. Stemming from my collage work, and making use of recycled materials, I've created a series of these pieces, which now number about twenty five. Be sure to save the date.
Each piece is 18 x 24 inches. Materials include: India Ink on recycled cardboard mounted on Bristol Paper.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Second in the 'Swimmers Series'

What could I call these drawings? 'The Swimmers Series' sound like a reasonable title at this time. Until I can fully pinpoint what these are about it will have to do. Here is the second in the series.
Pigmented black pen on school paper. I'm playing with the margins and the placement of the image on the paper. I hope to make three at this size and then it might be time for a large one.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Drawing

Finished this yesterday. Quick photo of it on my living room floor. Can you make it out? It is a bit about my fading memories, and nostalgia too. Pigmented pen on school paper. 8.5. 11.5 inches.

Three New Collages

India Ink on recycled cardboard. 18 x 2 inches.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

41 Train Rides #24

The Elevated Train in Chicago continues to become more challenging to use as the economy stagnates. More riders of all sorts crowd on as the CTA cut services and personnel. I had a beach day and dinner in Wilmette today - caught the train at 9:45 - and it was a wild ride home. It is a Saturday night, and hence a party crowd. Students heading into the city for a night of revelry and assorted riders in various states of sobriety crowd in to the cars. At one point I had to change seats when a group of students (four females, one male) got on neat the Northwestern campus. They talked so loudly, the entire car could hear their catty and unkind conversation about fellow students in some sort of seminar they all participated in. You can always tell the newbies to the train, oblivious to their surroundings and unconcerned about the riders all around them. Later in the ride people in the car in front of me evacuated from the car in front of us saying something about someone smoking. Smoking what I don't know. The woman next to me, who up until this point had her head buried in a book, mentioned she hope it wasn't a smoking device. They stopped the train between stations and the conductor had to enter the car, I don't envy him his job, and some how resolved the whole thing. I never found out what it was all about but the slight scent of marajuana was in the air. I was happy to jump off at my stop at Addison, where another large crowd of party people jumped on.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 6 - August 12, 2012

I've been under the weather most of the week - something I ate on Wednesday evening upset my stomach, and I can't quite get beyond it. The worst part is feeling like I missed some spectacular days weather-wise, and barely accomplished any work. Fortunately earlier in the week I had been productive and made another large collage out of recycled cereal boxes. I hang them on my wall like this, suspended by white masking tape, because I have no where else to store them.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Two New Box Drawings

Amidst the inhibiting heat and my being occupied with a couple commissions, I felt the need to change it up a bit media-wise for an afternoon this week. I've been wanting to revisit the idea of the box drawn with India Ink for awhile now and with the sale last week of one of my few remaining boxes from the older series, this Monday seemed like a good day to pursue that impulse. These two drawing were the result. Both are India Ink on watercolor paper. Approximately 28 x 40 inches.

What Color Is Blue?

Yet another lovely day at the beach. A later start than usual, the day was so warm it was not comfortable until after 6pm. And once we arrived we chatted for another hour before entering the water. The sun was just dipping below the horizon as we swam. I finished a bit before Laura, and wandered the nearby beach. I came across this array of blue chairs, and the variety of blues prompted thoughts about the nature of color, not only as we experience it, but as it translates to photography and ultimately onto the computer screen.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What's On My Wall - July 28, 2012

Brand new collage on the wall. Materials include recycled cereal boxes (mostly 'Corn Flakes' and 'Coco Krispies') and India Ink. The whole thing is mounted on good quality watercolor paper.

If the world was flat I'd probably swim off it. ~Author Unknown

If the world was flat I'd probably swim off it. ~Author Unknown

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wednesday, July 19, 2012

One of the few advantages of the hot weather is the potential for thunder storms. We need the rain of course, and Wednesday night, early Thursday a nice storm rolled through. I have a summer cold, scratchy throat, achey, and couldn't sleep comfortably, so I was awake at three in the morning as a second wave of storms moved through. The storms were on the south side of Chicago, not so much rain where I live. But my southern view is perfect for viewing such weather events. I set up my camera on a tripod and repeatedly shoot five second exposures, hoping to get lucky with a lightening strike. I discard ninety percent of what I shoot but every once in awhile...

Swimming With Chuck

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Another ninety degree plus day. Worked in the studio most of the day, but my air conditioning is noisy and inadequate. About 3pm, tired of making watercolors of the lake, Chuck called and said he was swimming in the actual lake, and there was a bit of relief from the heat at the waters edge. It was a steamy and unpleasant ride to Lake Michigan, and the relief extended only about 20 feet from the waters edge, but once there, it was a delight. Chuck had found our old swimming spot from last year, difficult to identify due to lower water level. The rocks look altered and the logistics of entering the water vary from year to year, but this is a great spot with a stepped series of flat rocks that lead you into the water. Chuck had even scraped off some of the slippery algae to make the footing more secure. The wind was from the south, and in Lake Michigan on the west shore that means the warm water is being blown north and the cold water from the lower depths is brought to the surface. The water was cold, probably seventy two degrees, a nice surprise as the water in the pool in my condo building has be over eighty degrees for weeks now, much too warm to bring relief. The plunge into Lake Michigan was shocking for a moment and then you take in the clear coolness of the water. Chuck swims up and down the shore line, attempting to get in some real yardage. I'm more of a plunge in the water, float a bit, and out to drip dry for awhile, then repeat for as long as you are near the water. I brought along a thermos of ice and a couple sparkling sodas and we enjoyed our shady perch on the rocks. Chuck does not like to have his photo taken, but I persuaded him by falsely claiming this would be our one and only photo of him this summer. We were having a great time, until later, as the sun was low in the sky, first one, and then three raccoons made their appearance. They would pop their heads out of the spaces between the rock as unexpected places and Chuck made the comment that it reminded him of 'Laugh In', that show from the sixties where the comedians would pop their heads out of a wall and tell a joke. But no joke here, as cute as raccoons are, I'm a bit afraid. And Chuck was teasing me, he would brush my leg and claim it was a raccoon, or pretend to see one by my backpack. He eventually picked up a small rock and banged it against the ground to scare them away. I didn't do much, these raccoons are so used to people I was sure they were after our sodas. We literally made a run for our bikes and breathed a sigh of relief as we peddled away.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday July 14, 2012

Up early, coffee with Melissa. Home to work on a few watercolors and listen to NPR. Took train up to Wilmette late afternoon. A bit of a journey; Cub's game letting out as I got on the train at Addison. The train moved slowly, they seem to be working on the tracks north of the Sheridan stop on weekends. I had to wait ten minutes at Howard as I transferred from the Red line to the Purple. And then as I'm approaching my stop, Laura texts me to say she is at the beach with her friend Kathy and can I walk there from the train. Thirty minutes later I arrive at the beach. We all go for a long swim, the water is very warm for Lake Michigan. There are tents set up down the beach for a wedding and we swim down to take a look. Later, after a cocktail and a few nibbles we get into our groove. Other than the two girls having to manage their phones it is the perfect summer afternoon at the beach. Later dinner at Laura's home. Dave cooks chicken on the grill and we plow through a dozen ears of corn. Long train ride home but I keep myself busy crosshatching in my sketchbook.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another New Collage

This collage was made in two pieces, each about 19 x 12 inches for an overall dimension of 19 x 24 inches. Materials include recycled cereal boxes, india ink, Bristol paper, white archival glue, and a little color.

Four Days of Extreme Heat...

... not much I could do but hunker down in my barely adequate AC and work. I continue to make collages using recycled card board. I then draw with India Ink on some of the pieces and cut and reassemble them into a new whole. As the week of hot weather went on, the collage grew larger. By the time a cool front moved through, four days later, the dimensions of the collage were 45 x 100+ inches and a challenge to frame.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

At the Beach - Late June

Summer is barely ten day old and I feel like it is August already. The weather has been extraordinarily warm for days at a time. I have run my air conditioner more this June than I did all of last summer. And yesterday at the beach in Wilmette the water was as warm as I can ever recall, which in Lake Michigan makes it about 75 degrees. It was gorgeous at the beach yesterday; many people out and about, great light and a nice lake breeze. I was with my friend Laura who insists on doing a little exercise while at the beach so on top of a long swim we walked the beach south to north and back again. We came across these kids as we walked north along the waters edge and I was struck by the varied nature of their construction, and the texture of sand looked beautiful. The theme of people at the waters edge still holds much attraction for me. And the 'meaning' the structure they have created is charmingly ambiguous.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nieces and Nephews at Wrigley Field

I was so happy to have family in town last week. The warm weather challenged us a few days but the nieces and nephews were troopers, (much more so than 'Uncle Mike') and we managed to cram quite a few Chicago highlights into our too few days together. One of the hottest days we made our obligatory visit to Wrigley Field, just a few blocks from my condo, and I shot off a quick panoramic photograph. Miss all of you already.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Whats On My Living Room Wall

It has been a very busy week, relatives in town, crazy heat, and much work. So in the mean time here is a photo of what is on my living room wall. Can you spot; an old B+W photo from college, 2 new collages utilizing recycled cardboard from cereal boxes, vintage 70's audio speakers, small constellation watercolor, two recent acquisitions from Scout (cool black leather chair, metal file storage things), Jeff Janson painting, 'Law and Order' marathon......

Saturday, June 9, 2012