043:365 a house from memory

043:365 a house

A drawing of a place some of you will recognize, and some won’t. From memory. Cleaner than in reality, but also fuzzier. Memory can play tricks.

I used to try to draw the cars on the CTA from memory. Then I’d go back the next morning and notice I forgot a nut here, or a bolt there, but the proportions were right. After awhile, we visual artists have a sense of space, though we may be lazy about using it; defining it.

We aren’t unique though. People take all sorts of things that they know for granted. That the roads won’t move between tonight and tomorrow, and going to work will be the same. That their shoes will be where they left them.

Then there are more nebulous things that we can’t put down on paper in the form of drawings, maps, or things. Things like how we feel about ourselves and one another. Those change all the time, and though sometimes we remember what it was like to be 3 years old, or 8, or 20, we are not that person anymore, and we feel create in our heads a fuzzy, cleaned up image of how it was. Or perhaps a stylized dark image. Or whatever image we have of ourselves in the past and the future.

Making clear nebulous emotional and spiritual markers for ourselves is as important as knowing how to get to work, or where we left our shoes, or what our child hood home looks like. But setting boundaries is risky. What if someone else defines the boundary of a relationship differently? How do we negotiate the price of it? What if that negotiation leads to loss?

So it goes. Every shoe wears out, every road needs repair, every house needs maintenance. Life, love, and being are work. So be it.

026:365 Cornered Star

026:365 Cornered Star

Today’s drawing is emotional rather than philosophical. I’ll let the motion of the drawing and the tension of the complementary colors speak for themselves. For the moment, this drawing is a visceral response to some wild dreams the last few days. Hopefully I get some more sleep soon.

021:365 This Way & That

pen and ink drawing in purple, orange and blue squigglesThis drawing is inspired by a combination of things.

Over time my work has become process oriented, meaning that I draw in an order and with a direction to create something that can be viewed as a series of events as well as an end product. Many of the oil-pastel drawings from the last several years were used to create time-lapse or stop-motion animations of ebb and flow.

Some of that orientation to process comes from my passion for fiber and structures that connect and go together in a logical way. The latest big project that I’m working on (the rag rug) is an example of that tendency. Each ring is executed in its own way with transition to, or contrast with the next one. There are rules that each ring follows that create the overall harmony for the piece.

Stretch! #ragrug progress with #cat for scale #catagram #crochet #craft

Today, instead of using a radial pattern, the sketch uses a variety of directional squiggles to portray how one would use texture to create a visual rhythm.  Complementary colors are used intermittently with analogous colors to add to the tension and flow of the piece.  I’m thinking about using it for another rag-rug when I’m done with my current one.  It is based somewhat on 004:365 Quilt:

Quilt 004:365


This drawing plays with a different family of colors, but extends yesterday’s play with motion by angling the outermost rays of the radial pattern. The angle has the additional property of creating a distance between the circle and its background even though there is no drastic change in color.

Sometimes the distance between people is just that: we aren’t so different in easily perceived character from the crowd, but we move in a different way.


Observing things from different angles or different vectors allows us to see things differently.

This seems like it should be common sense, but actually, in the moment of seeing, it is hard to imagine things from any other perspective.

Making art activates different levels of perception. This morning I made an image of a tree. It brings to mind a variety of ideas and forms. This evening’s piece is abstract. Instead of working from something I’ve seen, I chose to look at color and form.

Both pieces invoke a visceral meaning, an emotional one, and can both be interpreted from a rational perspective.

They are my own works, so perhaps this is a bit stilted, but, I’d say viscerally they are similar. They each use bright colors and contrast, which makes the eye vibrate in a certain way, emotionally one is more controlled, evoking the tree as a body in the world, and the other is form without definite boundaries. And rationally, one is based upon a remembered observation, while the other was created by following a formal rule, even though it’s result is less grounded.

Life is a little like that. We make choices based upon a variety of criteria. Our values for different parts of our lives and different qualities inform our decisions about what to do when and how. But if we don’t take the time to look at those values, qualities, and actions, we can continually make the same mistake, time and again.

When other people see our lives from the outside, sometimes they make judgements about our choices. But it is just as difficult for an uninformed observer to judge our decisions in the moment as it is for us to do it ourselves. Each of us has constructed a value system by which we elect certain qualities and acts over others, and each of our elections have changed the way we see the world.

In making art, I change perspective frequently, and while it doesn’t allow me omniscience, even over the vectors of my actions, it changes my fixed perception of the world and allows me to better understand the qualities of my actions in the world.

This piece is about the different spheres of perspective, value, and actions. They are all connected, rippling across each other like raindrops on a pond, but each one has it’s own vector and frequency, which create harmony or cacophony.