Sunday, April 29, 2007


(*click photo for larger size*)

New business cards arrived in the mail today, courtesy of Moo. The front images are from recent paintings and the cards are small, but functional at 28mm x 70mm. The paper stock is nice and heavy, also. If you have a Flickr account, you can have cards printed from photo images you have online. You get 100 cards for $20 (plus shipping which brings it to around $24). You can choose the color of type and they give you about six fields that can be filled out with text.

I love the cards and they seem to be a hit with people I've given them to, also. This is the second set I'm working with; my fianceé surprised me with the first set when she came here in December...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

behind the lids

Just over a month before the show and things are typically up and down. Mostly up, I have to admit. There's just a lot to attend to at this point in the process of getting ready for an exhibition. My grand plan was to be up at the studio by 9 or 9:30am today to get some painting done. Then, I would deliver a couple of paintings to be photographed for the exhibition card and Gallery Guide ad. The latter part was accomplished, but I didn't get up to the studio until nearly 12:30, which means going straight to the gallery, grabbing the paintings and a cab.

Got back to the studio, had lunch and promptly fell asleep on the couch. Didn't get a thing done while I was up there except some magazine reading after the nap. My studio mate came in and after relating how non-productive I'd been all afternoon she said something to the effect that "sometimes it's enough to just be in the space looking at what you've done and thinking". A good point. One that I don't think about often enough. When I'm in the midst of completing work for a show, I feel like I have to get something done in the way of either painting or prepping canvases in order to feel like I'm getting anything accomplished.

Art is as much about the looking as it is the doing. I do a fair amount of thinking about my work as I'm painting. There are times when I'll work on something for 30-45 minutes and spend another 10 or so looking at what I've just done; figuring out what is working and what isn't. It's rare that I'll spend whole afternoons or days, even being in there and not physically doing anything. Today I couldn't muster the mental nor physical energy to do much. I ate lunch, napped, read, and stared at paintings getting a feel for where I am with the finished ones and what I might do with the ones in progress.

The longer I sat there, the more comfortable I was with the thought of leaving without having laid paint to canvas. I just let it go and rode home looking forward to tomorrow...more rested and ready to go...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

slipping from here to there


Today was supposed to happen this past Saturday. I had big plans to get in the studio for most of this long holiday weekend, but I wasn't feeling good and wound up losing out on two of those days. As I like to say, life happens...

It was a different story today altogether. I met up with Jessica Puma for art conversation in my studio. We talked about the new stuff I have in various stages of completion as well as some older works. It's always good to talk with someone about what's going on with the work. I live in my head with it all of the time and it's very difficult to have perspective sometimes.

She took off to meet a friend for lunch and I headed over to Utrecht to pick up a couple of things. I'd had a 20% off coupon from them sitting by my computer for over a month and today was the last day for it to be used. There have been quite a few of those things that I've just forgotten about. I usually find them a month or more past the expiration date under some god-forsaken pile of bills, exhibition invites, and whatever else... I was proud that I even remembered to take it with me. I bought a grinding stone to use with a stick of sumi ink Jessica gave me last week when I was at her studio. I also got a pack of four 'gesso panels' to experiment with, as well as a box of water-soluable paint sicks.


Back in the studio...after painting for a couple of hours, I had one of those moments that I don't notice always, but it happens. I realized that I'd slipped into my working groove for this project, this series of new paintings. Of course I'm worried about finishing everything and wondering if it will live up to my standards, but I'm feeling more in control of the process. The past few weeks I've been fueled more by panic than anything else, because of my late start. Now, though, I'm not panicing as much. Instead, I'm seeing several works begining to take shape, ideas flowing from one to the other and a real dialogue is starting to happen for me.

That wasn't there last week. I had no works that I considered finished, but that's changed this week. Several pieces are getting to the place where more minor changes in details are needed, while I've designated others 'finished'. I'll see how I feel about those in another week or two, but right now I'm ready to leave them be...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Studio visit with Jessica Puma

Jessica Puma studio visit (4.06.07)

Went to a friend's studio for the first time today. I've known Jessica Puma for about a couple of years. We've been talking about trading studio visits for at least the past year. You know how life goes sometimes; you're busy, they're busy, you fall out of touch and back again. Anyway, we finally got our act together and hung out at her work space for a bit Friday afternoon...

*click photos for larger sizes*
Jessica Puma studio visit (4.06.07)Jessica Puma studio visit (4.06.07)Jessica Puma studio visit (4.06.07)Jessica Puma studio visit (4.06.07)Jessica Puma studio visit (4.06.07)Jessica Puma studio visit (4.06.07)Jessica Puma studio visit (4.06.07)

Jessica is a painter but for some months now, she's been working on drawings with collage elements in them. Her formal concerns are architectural, but on top of that base she forms layer upon layer of emotional content. Part of her process involves using parts of old drawings and bringing them into the new work, forming new surface and emotional textures.

According to Jessica, her drawings evolve "organically", meaning there's no preplanning involved and resolution comes slowly. There's a lot of going back and forth between unfinished drawings, letting them sit for a bit then adding lines, forms, or glueing something down here or there until the drawing is completed.