This blog is my portfolio of artwork, a journal about my process of making art...and the things that I have no words for...


Sunday, February 24, 2008

One of my latest ones, and a few old friends...





A treat...more than one this time...a little "gallery".


The random flow of the pencil to start and then following where they will go, my eyes look ahead for the next turn, letting accidents happen, a broken pencil lead makes different marks than a sharp one, a dull point softens a shadow.


Winter Nocturne








Fluid Improvisation

As much as I love filling a larger sheet of paper with my musings, I really love making the long skinny ones, but they're very small, usually about one or two inches wide by six or so long...the small ones always feel more personal to me, more precise, where the larger ones can meander along, loping lines, loops and holes, bubbles and flow, a babbling brook of ideas played out...textures played with...





And then the wee one's like "Essence" are always special, more immediate and manageable...to look at this little one, in spite of its size, it has some big things going on in it that I really love, there's so much going on in that small space (about 2 x 2 inches) it's fascinating...to see one framed in a crisp white mat is delightful...


Last night before I went to bed, I took a brief inventory of my pencil stock, I have plenty of them in various stashes and carriers, boxes, etc...and I have the "chunk" a fist size hunk of graphite which is always a treat to use on a bigger project to make sweeping marks with, and to shave dust from...I often see them as paintings rather than drawings...they're dry media paintings, like pastels are often classified as such...


Storm, Winter Night

This last one is a recent bit, done on a 11 x 14 sheet, has so many lovely bits in it, my eyes have a feast, I don't know if anyone will ever truly appreciate them as much as I do...but I look at the textures and tones and see not only pencil marks, but I also see the natural forms that can be found outside my window, in my garden, on a tree, in the grain of wood, or the ruffles of lichen...the soft shadows of snow drifts on a stormy winter night...
All are beautiful to me...

They are my joy.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Shimmering Twilight, on painting dogs and ghosts,

Han Fei, a Daoist philosopher, (280-233 BCE) tells a story that I absolutely adore!

Dogs and Ghosts


The royal painter of Ch'i was asked by the king what objects were the easiest and what objects were the most difficult to paint.

"It is the most difficult to paint dogs and horses; it is the easiest to paint ghosts," the painter replied.
"Why?" asked the king.
"People know what dogs and horses look like. When I paint them, I have to make them look like dogs and horses, which is rather difficult. But nobody knows what ghosts look like. I can paint them anyway I wish, and yet no one can contradict me. That is why, Your Majesty, I have always preferred to paint ghosts rather than dogs and horses."

The king nodded in agreement.

I guess I am a painter of ghosts...this drawing Shimmering Twilight is full of them...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Windows


There's more than one drawing going on here...or so it seems, from about November to early January I blew through the remains of a pad of Bristol smooth paper. I love how the graphite lays down on this surface, it stands up to a lot of scratching and the soft leads take on a different texture, sometimes sitting up like brush strokes. The sheets are 11 x 14 (oops, I thought it was 16 x 20, but it wasn't, it just felt that way), so I had more space to run my pencil around in, but I still felt the need to scale down, make smaller spaces, yet have them overlap and connect, flow in and around each other...I tried to leave more white this time, but wound up going back and fooling around adding more...some of the white is too glaring, or just too flat, but I'm leaving it alone for now...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Winter Nocturne, the moon is riding low on the horizon

I just scanned this one yesterday...more to come another day.

The blackest blacks and various shades of gray...so many subtle things happening in there, I can sit and let my eyes roam and get lost in the nooks and crannies...I know it probably doesn't make much sense to most people as the visual journey I present to them appears complicated...it's is hard to explain what it is that I see while I'm working on them...it isn't so much what I see, it's what I do with what I see after I make a mark, and where it goes from there depends on what the next mark does, if the pencil is sharp or dull, sometimes if the tip is broken I'll work the ragged end to do something else, and grind the dust and chunks into the paper surface with the butt end of the pencil or smear them with my finger tip...what ever works, right?

Indeed, I have fun...it is my joy, my fantastic voyage, layers from white to black, sometimes they appear carved rather than drawn...I keep thinking about how I would translate these into 3-D, oh my goodness, wouldn't that be fun? Ceramic, wood, metal...spheres, curves, coils, curly-cues, holes, structures...maybe some day I will play that way...