Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall - The Climbing Vines Change Color

I'm making photographs of the climbing vines again. Now that fall is in full swing and the colors are changing here in Chicago, the vines are taking on significant color. These vine flourish all over the city, but are often lushest in places where they are mostly neglected. Settings like parking lots and alleys where these plants are left unattended are where they grow best in the urban environment. I shoot them head-on, flattening the composition to landscape like configuration. There is something in them that remind me of the sensibility of Asian folding screens, paintings and scrolls.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Drawing and a Few Variations

I made another drawing with a skewed grid of 'galaxies' as the subject matter. I place the grid in rudimentary two point perspective to give it a sense of depth and movement. A drawing like this is a perfect candidate for my 'Squaring the Square' thesis. When you take a subject that is largely squarish or rectangular, and in Photoshop, correct it using their grids as a guide to what is truly square on the computer screen, and leave the original edges of the image, you get an interesting artifact of the original that depicts the distortions along the edges. I'm not explaining it particularly well, but below are three photos that illustrate the process. The first photo is the original drawing, watercolor and acrylic paint on Arches watercolor paper, shot on the sidewalk in front of the gallery with four glass weights to hold the corners. A simple description would be a distorted rectangular grid of 'galaxies' connected by thin white lines. The second image is the same subject matter after I have 'corrected' the white grid in the original to make it square. This is a simple Photoshop step using the Distort, Skew and/or Perspective manipulations. I let the edges expand or contract as needed. And the third image depicts further manipulation of the image by bringing the original grid back to a somewhat rectangular configuration. When I look at that third image I get a sense of falling into the drawing, the sensation that the white grid of the drawing and the edges of the paper exist in different planes if pronounced. NOTE: The change in the four corner weights, which in reality are the same size, as they mutate through each step.

Untitled - Watercolor, Acrylic Paint, Arches Watercolor Paper - 40 x 26 inches

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Recent Commission and One Happy Accident

I had a commission this week, fairly straight forward, but labor intensive. The two drawings are from my 'Second City' series and I would describe them as abstracted notions around buildings and perspective drawing.

Second City 6, Second City 7 - Acrylic Paint, Pencil, Arches Watercolor Paper - 40 x 26 inches each

 For drawings of this sort I make fairly precise preliminary underdrawings in #6 pencil as a guide for the later aplication of acrylic paint. The pencil drawing always takes more time than the painting itself. It is a juncture when everything is measured and made just right in terms of position and composition. Once the pencil is competed the remainder of the work is more about the process and focus. During the course of this commission I did make a mistake. The pencil drawing was finished, but about five minutes into the painting portion, I lost my concentration and let the paint pen slip. The result was a wayward line that could not be repaired or covered. I had to start from the beginning. Once I had finished the two drawing for the commission I returned to the 'mistake'. I covered the slipped pen mark with a wider line, and then proceeded to fill the entire page with the grid-like intersecting planes. The result is like an illustration out of a algebra book. I cannot decide which way is up - Both orientations present a unique reading - planes recede, edges move forward. I quickly made a few shadow studies in Photoshop. I'm not sure they help define the space in the drawing, and that is not really the point, I consider these drawings abstractions. A fun exploration and a lesson about making use of missteps.
Untitled - Acrylic Paint, Pencil, Arches Watercolor Paper - 40 x 26 inches
Same Drawing Rotated 180 Degrees
Misc. Computer Shadow Studies

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Drawings - October 19, 2014

This week I had some time to draw on two of the sheets of Arches watercolor paper I had previously stained with India ink and Windsor Newton watercolor. I'm experimenting a bit with a strategic use of color, and I continue the exploration of Delaunay triangles and how they can define a sense of space and structure. 

Oort Object 3 - India Ink, Watercolor, Acrylic Paint Pen, Arches Watercolor Paper - 40" x 26"
Red Bundled 2 - India ink, Acrylic Paint Pen, Arches Watercolor Paper - 40" x 26"

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Homage to Frank Stella

I have always felt an affinity to the early Frank Stella 'Black' paintings. The geometry in them relates to many things I think about and create. I finally broke down and am making a few drawings that directly quote him.

Untitled (Stella Study) - Indian Ink, Acrylic Paint Pen, Arches Watercolor Paper,  26 x 41 inches

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Andersonville Arts Weekend

The Opening Night Reception is Friday, October 10, 2014 - from 6 to 9pm. I will be hanging out at Scout on Friday and will be showing four beautifully framed drawings from my latest body of work there.

Untitled - India Ink, Acrylic Paint, Arches Watercolor Paper, 40 x 26 inches

I will also have unframed work at Las Manos Gallery. Michelle Peterson Albandoz and Tricia Rumbolz will also be showing new work. Stop by both places if you get a chance, it will be a fun night.

Monday, October 6, 2014

New Drawing

Michael McGuire - Untitled - India Ink, Acrylic Paint, Arches Watercolor Paper - 40 x 26 inches