Saturday, June 29, 2013
It has been a cool and wet spring in Chicago. Hence very lush and healthy foliage. The vines crawl over everything. And when the surface is flat and graphic it catches my eye. Mostly abstract but I think I see a landscape in there.
On my wall this week, in preparation for my Gay Pride Brunch on Sunday, is one new piece and one recently repaired piece. The cardboard piece is the repair. It was hanging on the walls of Las Manos Gallery when a sculpture fell into it, damaging a number of pieces both in the middle and at the bottom edge. I wasn't sure I could repair it, I worried it would be hard to get a stapler anywhere near the middle of the piece without having to open up the entire surface. But with a little persistence and a small stapler I was able to match and replace the damaged cardboard tiles. It looks good, and the face that emerges from the piece at certain distances in readily apparent. The second piece is an experimental watercolor directly derived from my 'Lake' watercolors (see previous blog entry). As I was making the 'Lake' paintings I was enjoying working on specific areas with specific brushes. In this case the brush I was using to create the skies made a mark that I thought was worth exploring a bit more. So essentially what I am doing is repeating that mark in a regular grid. At the same time I was mixing my own colors, working towards but not always achieving a gray. I also played with working the paint wet on wet and giving up some control.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
The summer windows of the Chicago Michigan Avenue Ralph Lauren store feature some Michael McGuire watercolors. Ralph Lauren has long supported and encouraged my work over an entire range of media. This latest collaboration was coordinated by Daniel Cornell and I'm happy to be a part of the endeavor. Below are a few photos of the windows. They are somewhat inadequate and I hope to get better images once the windows are professionally shot by RL. Thank You Ralph Lauren.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
This drawing derives directly from my watercolors of Lake Michigan. In this case it involves repeated washes of watercolor over the same area of the paper. I mix the gray myself and embrace the slight variations of color within the gray. I let the drips happen and they quickly became an element in the piece.
I will be spending most of the week crosshatching - I've accepted a commission and the deadline is looming. The job consists of four telephone pole drawings similar to the series I made in 20011. As I calculate it there are just enough hours to complete the drawings and overnight them to New York by next Monday. The limiting factor may be my hand, will it hold up over hours of intense hatching with a tiny technical pen. I have finished one and I am reminded of what I was after with these drawings; the ordering of something very visually complex, and the rhythms and shapes in the flatten images of urban life. It suggests to me a form of notation, like music or dance. Pictured if the first completed drawing, the dimensions are 13 x 18 inches and the media is technical pen on bristol board.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Sunday, June 2, 2013
I have finally cleared my living room wall of art as I transported all the recent work went up to Las Manos Gallery for the current show. But nature abhors a vacuum, and I dislike the unsightly defects in my wall, so I was hanging new work up there quickly. Two new things of interest: Firstly I found a collection of 'Kit Kat' boxes that called out to be cut apart and reassembled. And secondly, for a few months I've been thinking about the old Prentice Women's Hospital building, which I love, and wanted to make something related to that rare and unique building. I would be a crime if this structure were razed, and I'd be so ashamed of Chicago as cultural entity if they allowed it's destruction. Chicago that prides itself as an architectural city, that just last year held a show at the Art Institute to celebrate the architect, Bertram Goldberg, shame on you! You can tell I have strong feelings about this and I could go on, but I won't, only to say here are a couple of ideas related to the reuse of the building and the fact that no one associated with this situation cannot come up with a plan to save it show a distinct lack of imagination that perhaps defines Chicago.