Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Drawings

I attempted to work while dog sitting in Wilmette last week. I had some material problems but managed to finish two larger drawings. Materials are acrylic paint (out of a marker pen) on acid free mat board. Each piece is 32 x 40 inches.

Garages of Wilmette Redux

It is spring break in the north suburbs of Chicago and I spent the week in Wilmette dog sitting. It took me five days to get into the grove of the north shore; big houses, cable on demand and driving everywhere. The dog walks were the pleasant exception to an otherwise uneventful daily routine, but once again it took me about five days, and a warm-up in the weather, to figure out my take on the experience. Frankie (the dog) and I found ourselves walking the alley as much as the streets. Walking the dog actually legitimizes what otherwise might be considered slightly irregular suburban behavior. If anyone glared at me aggressively I would mime dropping off the dogs 'little package' in the nearest trash container and we would continue on our way. The alleys are such a unique take on the suburban experience, literally the behind the scenes view of this privileged way of life. It is as if they let their guard down a bit, you see their garbage, and many of the standards that are upheld in the front facade are allowed to relax a little in the back. I use the work 'redux' not only because I'm reading John Updike right now, but because I made a similar photo essay about the garages of Wilmette back in December during my last dog sitting stint. Three months later the snow is mostly melted away, a few buds are appearing on the trees, and the light has changed dramatically. Below are three photos I made last week.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Opening Reception For 'Works On Paper'

The opening reception for the 'Works on Paper' show at Las Manos was last Friday. Great group of artist, nice work too. Below are some photos from the reception including me bar-tending out in the gallery courtyard on a very cool evening. But I was serving Hot Toddies (hot tea, , honey and a squeeze of lemon) and we had the fire pit going. Thanks to all who helped pull the show together.

Delaunay Triangulation

I continued to make drawings using 'Delaunay Triangles' this week. Checkout the Wikipedia entry on 'Delaunay Triangulation' if you want a complicated explanation to something so elegant. Here is a short quote from the entry - "In mathematics and computational geometry, a Delaunay triangulation for a set P of points in a plane is a triangulation DT(P) such that no point in P is inside the circumcircle of any triangle in DT(P). Delaunay triangulations maximize the minimum angle of all the angles of the triangles in the triangulation; they tend to avoid skinny triangles. The triangulation is named after Boris Delaunay for his work on this topic from 1934." I just enjoy the way they look. The drawings seem to describe three dimensional objects - to me they look like asteroids or some celestial object. The materials are acrylic ink pens on gray archival mat board. Dimensions: 32 x 40 inches.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I've been working on a commission this week. Two drawings in a specific size and specific medium. I generally don't do commissions, the constraints working against what it is I like about art making - the freedom to do what I want to do. But sometimes a commission, and specifically the suggestions associated with it strike me as a good idea. And that is what occurred this week. I made a drawing of this type late last year, but in my usual India Ink on paper. The client suggested I try the same type of drawing but on a darker background in white. There was some time spent exploring materials, and I could not fulfill every aspect of the clients request, but I am very much intrigued with materials and processes. Looking forward to creating larger drawings in this manner.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On a Tangent This Week

I like working in a sketchbook, and I have been neglecting the discipline lately. This week, with winter holding on with yet another snow storm, making a few small scale drawings in my current sketchbook seemed like a good idea. I retrnn to the grid as a starting point, and the materials (pigmented pen, straight edge) were at hand. I apologize for the water damage at the top right hand corner of each page. But one night out and about, something wet leaked in my back pack and my sketch book got a shot of it. I was annoyed for a few minutes when I discovered the damage, my want of perfection foiled again. And I'm only a short way into the sketchbook, do I abandon it or work through it? The damaged pages will be a reminder of the folly of pursuing perfection. Who was it that said "Perfection is the enemy of good"? This first drawing is the result of 'doodling', not unlike my activities in high school math class. This next drawing I'm playing with scale and progression. I wanted this next one to be more organic, break the rectangle. I've been thinking about the structure of wings and boat keels, both reflected in this drawing. Back to a more rectangular format. Thinking of Asian screens, but it was beginning to look like a city plan to me. Pushing the city plan idea a bit further. Until we arrive here, something that looks very much like a city plan. A little bit Paris, a little bit Manhattan, all from my imagination and created without too much forethought. And the last two days I've worked on this. Somewhat labor intensive, and requiring more concentration than I can usually muster. It may not be finished. 18 x 24 inches, pigmented pen on bristol paper. I prefer to think of it as abstract but you can how I arrived where I did.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Art-Making Changes My Eating Habits

I finally broke down and purchased breakfast cereals for their cardboard boxes alone. I'm working on a second 'color' cardboard flag piece and have been looking at cereal boxes for their color value. When I noticed 'Crispix' was on sale a few weeks ago I thought I'd give it a try, and the box was nice with it's one predominating color. Later, the 'Product 19' box caught my eye with it's clean, contemporary design. I'd buy that cereal just to have the box in my kitchen. Neither box yielded as much color as I would have hoped, but both contributed nicely to my latest 'flag'. Pictured is the 'flag' collage in process, no stars yet, but the commercial and branding aspects of the various cardboard pieces make a humorous point.