Friday, February 23, 2007

Then again...

Seriously, I needed more sleep than I thought last night. Sometimes, ideas that come to you in a sleep-deprived state of mind should sometimes remain just ideas. For example, I set about working on some of the ideas I wrote about in my last post today. Sadly, I remembered that I'd already engaged said ideas last year sometime and had proof of their failure.

Basically, the 'stack' drawings with graphite and oil stick are best left to that medium; not enlarged from the 12" x 12" format they were originally done in and defintirely not with other materials. They just don't work. Today, found a couple of experimental works on paper where I used acrylic paint and medium in an attempt to replicate the smaller graphite stack drawings. The newer attempts completely lacked the spirit of the earlier drawings in two ways; the beauty of the graphite over-laid with oil stick was completely lost when I used ink or acrylic paint with brushes. The size, quality of line, and beauty of the pencil lines softened with a layer of clear or white oil stick are integral to the successes I had with the older drawings, most of which I did in 2005.

Some drawings are just never meant to be worked up into paintings. I have sketchbooks full of sketches and color thumbnails that have never made it to fully-realized paintings or other works; they might look great as a little sketch, but once taken beyond that realm, they'll sometimes just fall flat. That's the beauty of art, though. If you never attempt to push things, you never know what's possible or what's best left alone.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I don't need no stinkin' sleep...

Studio corner
Studio Corner

I didn't sleep enough last night (for a change). I was tired as hell today, but had to be in the studio.

Worked on a couple of small paintings and re-worked two paintings on paper that I began last week. Tomorrow I need to get going on the large canvas I stretched last week. The show is coming up fast and I don't have the work I want done yet. There's some things moving along, but not enough and not the works I want to show. It's coming together, though...I can feel it happening...


I've mentioned already that I'm tired and have the red eyes to show for it. Yet, my mind is racing with ideas and excitement when I should be sleeping right now. In fact, if it were warmer and I wasn't in such a need of sleep, I'd be up in the studio working out the painting ideas confined to my head for the time being. Just an hour ago I was just about to crawl under the covers until E suggested taking a shower. I always take a shower before bed but this was one of those nights where an exception was about to be made.

Before getting in the shower, I'm read a little of the latest book of writings of painter Sean Scully, when I started thinking about my work after reading something about his. Just like that, I almost felt fully awake. I don't know what to call it, but it was one of those moments when your brain snaps to attention and suddenly you find yourself thinking at a mile a minute. Just a moment before I would have fallen asleep on the bathroom floor. Now I'm ready to tackle a new idea...

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Two Artists Talking: Miami-me-me-me

I found the above blog post on Two Artists Talking (Joanne Mattera and Chris Ashley) and interesting for it's look at the possibile ways art practice is changing due to the shifting of art marketing in recent years. Basically, there seems to be a movement towards ever slicker, celebrity/personality-driven art fairs that are run on an "entertainment...consumerism" model of globalism, where, according to the post's author, Chris Ashley, "...mostly it is about the bottom line, profit."

LIke Ashley, I'm a fan of the 'album' approach to an artist's career, where you might get to see the development of their work over time in a gallery or museum show and not just 'the hits'. I like seeing works that might not have been completely successful but were important to a particular artist's development. Art fairs certainly have their place, but what disturbs me is if the bottom-line approach becomes the model for other arts institutions (galleries, museums, etc...). That's already what happens with block-buster shows museums come up with to ensure more cash flow at the front door. However, what will happen if that's the only model for exhibiting art.

I like to think that will never really come to pass on a large scale; that there will still be places to experience the album effect of an artist's career and not the top ten hits version. Retrospectives serve this very purpose, but if a 'for profit' model predominiated, who knows what we'll have...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

New show

New exhibit I'm a part of in West Philly at the Green Line|Powelton.

Here are the details:
AltGeo loosened structures for line and color
Chris Ashley (Oakland), James Erikson (Phila), P. Timothy Gierschick II (Phila), Rodney Harder (NYC), Jerome Hershey (Lancaster PA), Jeffrey Cortland Jones (Cincinnati), Tim McFarlane (Phila), Linn Meyers (Washington DC), Vincent Romaniello (Phila), Anne Seidman (Phila), Paige Williams (Cincinnati)
Curated by Douglas Witmer

February 5 - March 31, 2007
Reception Friday March 9, 6-9pm

Green Line | Powelton
3649 Lancaster Avenue Philadelphia