Thoughts On Ice

#46 – Tuesday January 31

The hard way to editI wish I knew where it came from, the urge, the need, to put a particular color down or flowing line across but the longing is palatable. Even after relentlessly going forward and finding an exploration ill-fated, necessitating harsh measures (a hosing, scrubbing, then sun-dried and returned to the studio) the miracle is in the ability to withstand the assault. But this is a go-south requiem, and to knowingly follow paths toward unexpected endings is more than worth the effort. Refreshing even. Put things to right. Some things change, some stay the same. But not so simple as it sounds. So until the next time I make the trek out back, bucket, brush, and canvas in hand, I’ll follow this path, wherever it might lead.

Thanks for reading.


Limbo This and the Time Machine

Charles Kurre, Novum Organum (fan chair) 1985#22 – Tuesday August 16th

Having spent the last month working on my contribution to the SRAM pART Project, I’ve been thinking more about sculpture than usual, and while wandering around Arizona Art Supply, gathering bit and pieces for new canvasses, I stopped to peruse the magazine rack. Leafing through a copy of Art In America, I discovered an exhibition announcement for the artist Rebecca Horn. I first became aware of her work in 1984, a group of kinetic sculptures, exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. It was an amazing show, made more poignant by the fact, at the time, I was working on a group of viewer activated kinetic pieces, and while the intent behind my work was substantially different, seeing her sculpture certainly influenced my own explorations of motion. (A collection of my viewer activated sculptures was exhibited at Columbia College, Chicago in 1987. Illustrated is a detail of Novum Organum # 19 (Fan Chair), circa 1985) . I can’t say I’ve followed her work since, but stumbling across this announcement was the inspiration to reacquaint myself with her oeuvre. This is a video Rebecca Horn’s kinetic sculpture “Schmetterlingsschaukel” (Butterfly Swing), and a selection of her recent works to be shown at the Sean Kelly Gallery, NYC in September.

Music is an integral component of my world, and something is always swirling around the studio. I’ve eclectic tastes, and readily admit I’m attracted to the fast and loud with a killer hook . . . but there is a place for the quietly joyous melodic and that’s what’s been in the air this week . . . the band . . . DOS . . . the CD . . . Dos y Dos. Two electric bass guitars, Mike Watt and Kira Roessler. He bassist of the Minutemen, she the bassist of Black Flag, both seminal bands from the early days of punk, but what they do together isn’t very punk rather what David Krasnow called in his review on Studio 360, “delicate meditations in counterpoint from an instrument not known for its delicacy”. I find it mesmerizing . . . check it out HERE.

Two of the new canvasses dancing about in the wonderful netherworld of the last mark. I always try to have several pieces in play, traveling back and forth between . . . it’s the interplay, suggested avenues of exploration, a line drawn, and borrowed, a shape appropriated, and the necessity of time just looking . . . and others in the wings, awaiting their first mark. . .

Thanks for reading.


Lines trajectory invites dancing and the SRAM pART project begins

#16 – Tuesday July 5th

All in all, it’s been a quiet week . . . but a fun one in the studio . . . so for this Tuesday I thought I’d show the development in two specific areas of a painting I’m working on.  First the activation of a line segment ( in the bottom half of the canvas )  and second, just how one of the shapes that inhabit this painting is getting it’s groove on.

The line. To sketch in the line’s trajectory, I start out with 6b graphite drawing lead, ground to a very sharp point. The 6b leads are nice and soft, easy to smear and easy to erase, so the original path is determined with a light hand and thin mark ( image 1). Once I get the line to interact with the other elements of the painting in an appropriate context, I wet my fingers and purposely do smear the graphite, expanding the line’s influence. ( image 2 ). I go back in with dry pigment and paint ( in this case a Grass Green colored pencil, Burnt Orange Conte Crayon, and Titanium White acrylic, image 3 ) working, coaxing the line, instilling in it a dynamic personality . . . a subtle but essential process making the line alive with the narrative of life.

The shape. Volume, object, figure . . . whatever. I can’t seem to come up with an appropriate designation for this dancing form, however here is its history, and looking closely, past alliterations show the genesis how it came to be. Trial, error, experimentation and a workman like attitude. Joyous and playful.

On another note . . . my box of parts for the SRAM pART project to benefit World Bicycle Relief just now arrived . . . So here’s a little preview of the box and parts ( partially unpacked) that are my source materials . . .this IS going to be fun!

Thanks for reading.