Monday, November 24, 2014


Since August I have not had access to a studio space.  Because of this I haven't been able to make paintings, but that hasn't restricted me from creating work.  I've been investigating and experimenting with drawing, although I have always made drawings, they were usually simply in support of a painting. I think this is a fine use of a drawing, but i also appreciate the aesthetics of drawings that stand alone.  So I decided that it was time to jump back in to this primary mode of expression.  Before I found myself in my current sans studio state i was excited about being restricted to making drawings.  I can produce them relatively quickly, I can approach an image in several different ways, and I have a lot of freedom to make something different from anything i've tried before.

To break down the process a little bit, I use painters tape to adhere a piece of drawing paper to foam-core.  This gives me a rigid, but soft surface to press against, allowing me to have a huge value range.  This also allows me to work on the drawing in a much more casual manner, since I am not strapped to an easel I can move to a comfortable couch and sit down to draw, or move rooms when there are too many distractions. To allow for more mobility I am using graphite exclusively, because charcoal would make too much of a mess.

Before I begin each drawing I begin with a grid system on the paper, this helps me with the placement of composition.  I could erase it when I have the final product, but I like maintaining a kind of history to the drawing.  You can see it a little bit in these drawings from 2012.
The Starry Heavens Above and the Moral Law Within
35" x 42"

One Among the Many
24" x 30"

These drawings were really great to do, and I really like them, but they are a little more straight forward, and the paper is adhered directly to a very heavy wooden panel.  So they aren't as mobile.  I want my drawings to play with dimensionality and flatness in the same way that my paintings do.  So I made this drawing, also in 2012.

Some Sort of Ghost in the Machine
36" x 24"

I loved focusing on the contours and line weights, with just enough dimension to make it stand out. This drawing became the inspiration for the work that I would make a couple years later. 
How Far Then, Shall We Say, That the East is From the West
24" x 36"

This is the first and last drawing I made at my studio space in Minneapolis, it is also the last drawing I made on an easel.  The paper was stretched and glued over a very heavy, but beautifully made (if i do say so myself) panel, prior to drawing.  I wasn't initially going to leave the background as simple as it is, but I was planning on making the clothes less detailed.  I'm really happy with the drawing as it is, but I've learned that there is a real art to understanding what NOT to do.  I'm still learning that.  

Below are the three drawings that I have made since i've been without a space.  The first is a study for what will be more like the two drawings above, but it was really fun to play with mark making, and seeing how much information i could convey while keeping a loose hand.  The other two are pieces that kind of occurred to me, as if I knew exactly how I was going to approach them as soon as I sat down to draw.  This has been a really fun way to approach making images, I think it has weaseled its way into my artistic practice so expect more in the future.  in the mean time i hope you enjoy these pieces and check my website for more in the future.  

Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw
22" x 26.5"

 Mine Eyes are Homes of Silent Prayer
22" x 26.5"

On the Threshold of Distinction
29" x 35"