Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bypassing the image

Buh! still reeling from the Roches at the Chrysler Museum last night.
And looking forward to rafting on the New River tomorrow. Don't ya just love summer?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cats and birds

I think the best part of this drawing is the cat's face, the awkward, blunt lines. Marks not thought about, just made.
Today I was looking at a few drawing sites on line. I know I work too much in a vacuum, and sure can use some camaraderie. I'd forgotten how intellectual one can get about drawing... and I struggle with balance. Sometimes just doing it is enough for me.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Water images

Beached? Disemboweled? Laying eggs in the sand? Or merely sleeping.
It's Memorial Day and I worked on this drawing while we were up on the York River on friends' boat. Perfect perfect blue sky summer weather.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Small wonder

Sometimes the simplest, quickest drawings offer more than one that's planned and possibly overworked. Gesture, balance and tension... humor and even humanness. Thoughtful, bound and maybe even powerless. Teetering on the edge of that one last leap of faith.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Influenced by everything

OK, what fun to mix media. Allowing what might happen to actually happen. An ink/stick drawing, allowed to dry in my notebook goes with me and gets worked on throughout the day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bright moon

A manipulated image and its original ink drawing. I'm seeing these, after so many days, as moving, changing, morphing, growing, living, moving on. Like me.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Foreground and background

This is the image that intrigues me most from this series... I hope that's not because it is the most anthropomorphic. A last anguished cry at the universe; a father regretting his spilt seed. BUT, I continue to be fascinated by the contrast between ink brush and pen tool. Foreground and background, where the important stuff happens.
Today is a lovely day, balanced between art and hard, physical work building a brick break wall in the back garden.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Apple and Twinkie

I'm not sure where these are going, but I find the effect intriguing. The basis for these pieces is
ink drawing made with a bamboo stick. The large black areas are added in Photoshop and have an incongruous smooth edge to them. It puzzles me, sort of awkward and graceful at the same time. Both processes happen quickly. Zen and not-Zen. Sort of like broom and leaf-blower. Apple and Twinkie.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rip van Winkle ...

... wakes up from several days in dreamland. The idea that I've missed some days here, and not posted a drawing since Sunday, surprises me. I didn't know this would happen. What was I thinking?? Not thinking.
So, try to let go of my own expectation. Let drawing unfold as it will. Which, mostly it does. Dry spells can serve as a regrouping, recharging, re-energizing time. Today I feel I want to make drawings like I have never made before. Whenever that comes to mind, new work usually happens.
But, just now, I'm on my way out the door to work. My pea brain is working on a plan for a new animation, beginning with a story. This story must be subtle, enigmatic and smart. A bit of humor would be great, and an ambiguous ending. Dialogue? Maybe a few words here and there. I suspect that my Tai chi man will make a cameo appearance...
And blah blah blah. This is another addition to the ink/stick drawing series. Something slightly different about it...

Monday, May 14, 2007


Awp, I'm just home from work, it's late and I have no drawing to post. But, I have the next two days off, so I'll draw in the mornings and try to post early.
Sleep well.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

More mark making

Sunday's edition. Not a stack of pancakes... I love the marks made by this pen. So, not much more to say. Happy Sunday Monday.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday afternoon

Saturday after the chores were done, sitting on the floor of the studio with Hal, drawing on paper with bamboo and wooden sticks. Not meditation – but no-mind – dragging pen gently across paper, again and again.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mark making

I made this drawing with a bamboo pen I got from my friend Lori in Ireland. I actually did try to fine-tune the pen a bit, sanding and sawing etc., but it's best when I just forget about how a good pen should behave and let it have its way... and I'm working on paper that allows for lots of feathering.
I think about it a lot more after it's made than before – a good thing – at the time I was just dipping and layering. Noticing the negative spaces, noticing the repetition and the humor. After, I think the crop is important... accenting the listing of the stack. And preserving the 'tail'.
So much happens in a minute.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wall/not wall

I'd like it if all my walls and fences and trellises were made out of slim branches of willow or bamboo. Earlier in the week I was cleaning vines out of the pine trees in front of the house. I roped them into circles and love the way the leaves flow out of the wreaths... but they wither and die.
This is wall/not wall. It's as much there as not there. Shielding, but not hiding.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Drawing from within

This was such a good morning for drawing. The weather has shifted – from blustery and violent to foggy and mystical – and I feel much calmer. A deliberate meditation before drawing (why do I forget how good it is?) seemed to pull everything out of me through the bamboo pens so easily... if I hadn't had to go to work, I'd probably still be out in the studio on the floor, scribbling and daubing.
This one hearkens back to my early college assignments, when we wrote words to create form and shadow and light and volume.
Today's words? "Never, not ever."

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Rock paper scissors

I think I think too much sometimes, complicate what should be simple. So, here's to simple drawing.
It's been a long busy day, full of creativity – a little of mine and a lot of the people around me. Fortunately, it seems to be catching.
Tomorrow is meditation and ink-drawing day. I'm looking forward to reinterpreting some of these graphite pieces in harsh, or shall I just write 'truthful', black ink and stick drawings on paper. Yikes.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Amy Sillman

So, I've got a few drawings, but none of them say much to me. Is there such a thing as drawer's block? Yep, I think there is. Much of the time I can draw through it. Days like this, there just isn't any time left. It's late and I need to sleep. Tomorrow is another long day of work that will take me away from this.
I hope to always post work that has value, even if it's only to me. When I don't have that, I'll try to link to something that makes sense. If you haven't seen Amy Sillman's paintings, please take a minute and check them out now. I love her work, so fluid and lush and loose. She makes me want to paint:

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Live drawing with pencils

Hal took this photo this morning, the current wing drawing under way. I feel the 'plannedness' of it. It's not like me, premeditating, predrawing; it rankles in a way. But, it's certainly worth doing, a small step on the way to wherever I'm going. While right now I feel confined – by my own hand of course – I ache to finish this part of it and move on, make progress. Next up I think are gestural ink drawings, spontaneous and unthought. Then oil stick painting. Big and physical and quick.
This work makes me appreciate the fleeting quality of all living things. Studying the hawk – just 4 or 5 weeks dead, seeing how quickly the earth reclaimed his living breathing self – I'm left with only the records of my experience with him. And the ways I draw from him reflect the ways in which I can understand life, living and death.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Saturday night

Here I am again, it's late Saturday night, just home from work and no drawing worthy of a post in site. So, have a great night and I'll be back to posting tomorrow. Cheers.

Friday, May 4, 2007

The other side

Okay, here's an illustration for today's business page in The Virginian- Pilot. It was fun and a rare occurrence.
What I like the most is the contrast between making art for the reader - helping to tell a story - and making art for me. This morning I was working on the big hawk wing drawing, lamenting its stiff quality, the way it was preconceived and sketched out and now is being filled in. Not what I usually do. The tension for me is between what seems to be static and what is ephemeral.
All things are temporary, here for just a short while.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The day long

This was a big drawing day: working on the hawk wing in the morning with big 6bs; then an illustration for tomorrow's business page about lying on one's resume.
So, this picture is one of last night's small drawings... so many fish bodies unwrapped. Or bowling pins. Or tubers of some sort. Why-o-why do I indulge in this game of trying to figure out what it is? I should just go to bed. Good night.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


So it seems I have carcasses on the brain. This is one in a series of tiny drawings I made tonight. I'm sure I'm influenced by working on the Big Wing this morning, the hawk hanging, drying out, in my studio. Got some good work done on it, but nothing really new or worth posting yet. Sometimes making art is just slogging through. I both appreciate this (the idea and the media are already chosen, so no indecision there) and rue it (so much work in a big big drawing).
Anyway, here I am again, thinking about thawing out chicken breasts from the freezer and arranging them in poses...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hawk Wing Big (detail 2)

Today's progress on the big wing... less than I'd hoped for, but figuring out how to do it is everything. Hal is interested in how realistic it is, but it's early days. This is the top 20 inches or sol
Spent the afternoon working in the yard, pulling huge red honeysuckle vines out of my live oak trees... such a lovely day. Topped it off with beer and Italian sausage at Harbor Park (Tides over the Durham Bulls 2-0). I love Spring.