Turned A Corner. Wallpaper. Lists. Digressions. Songs.

Turned a Corner. 22x30. Colored pencil, acrylic gouache, collage on Rives BFK. 2014.

Turned a Corner. 22x30. Colored pencil, acrylic gouache, collage on Rives BFK. 2014.

I just made this drawing and thought it might make a nice wallpaper, so here are some files you can download. And if you like to read stuff about stuff, there's more stuff after this. 

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I've been making a lot of lists lately. I've always liked them, but they are starting to seem essential lately.  I probably have at least 10 active lists going. Three or four in the kitchen, one by my computer in my studio, a few on my phone, some in my sketchbook, and then all the ones in my head that I haven't written down yet. Most of them are mundane things or big things that need to be done to get ready for our next baby. Like shopping for a minivan since we will have three kids in car seats soon. And getting more celery. And finding the play food I bought for our daughters a year and a half ago. Could be anywhere in the towers of boxes lining the edges of our basement.

It might be nice to make some lists that are less pragmatic now and then. For instance, yesterday happened to be a great day to hear songs I actually like while running errands. I'm not the snobbiest of listeners, so it wasn't really about taste as much as nostalgia, and hearing those songs connected my past with my present in an inspiring way.  I heard a lot of songs that I have 'history' with.  So, one idea for a non to-do list might be to write down all those songs that I can remember from yesterday and put them on a playlist. And maybe make some notes about the songs. It might be fun to share with my kids one day. 

I digress. My biology teacher in high school used to say that a lot. 

Here's a list of things about this drawing that might be interesting to some of you: 

1. The lines that look like fold lines are from tiling multiple scans together. I have a regular letter size scanner, so if I want to scan a big image I tile everything together. My scanner is from the year 2000.  This whole process feels very dated, but I haven't found a better solution yet if I want a super crisp image of my image right this second. I left the shadows because I liked them on this piece. Its digitally enhanced I guess. 

2. This idea came to me in a way that felt very immediate and spontaneous. However, I think I am at the point creatively where ideas that feel immediate and spontaneous have been stewing for a while. To extend the cooking analogy: the ingredients have been in my imaginary pantry for a while, and now and then a new concoction turns up using the same old stuff. 

3. I love drawing on paper. Its like a favorite pair of sweatpants. So comfortable. Especially right now for some reason. 

4. There is something about the spatial illusion in this drawing that I really love. It feels flat, yet dimensional at the same time. 

5. I'm not sure about the lower right corner. 

6. I like that there is a lot of breathing room in this piece. It probably reflects the sense of relaxation and refuge I feel when I'm making images at the moment. There is a lot of stuff and noise and detail and busyness around me at the moment, and I'm learning to let my work be a form of relaxation. 

7. I might add this image to an online sale that might happen before my baby is born.  I will make announcements here and there online if that is the case. 

Observations about observational painting.

I'm working on a painting idea that involves observational painting - ideally in my imagination there are photo realistic components in the image. I'm getting started, just a couple hours in and wanted to share a few thoughts/notes to self: 

Observational drawing seems to overlap quite a bit with mindfulness/meditation practice.  

It is a constant process of noting how you perceive something, and then realizing how far off your perception is, and then adjusting and re-recording. There seem to be an infinite number of refinements that can be made to bring my notes closer to the reality that I see. 

What I see is always changing even if I am looking at the same thing. 

Nature/life is far more beautiful and amazing when I slow down and really look at it, and see how much I am missing. 

I like that there is a feeling of progressing towards some concrete visual goal, but I also like that this concrete place will be within the more open unpredictable space of my typical painting style. 

Parallel Worlds opens Thursday February 6

I'm thrilled to announce the opening of my show with Andrea Wan and Sandra Dieckmann. 


Parallel Worlds
with Andrea Wan and Sandra Dieckmann
Compound Gallery, Portland
February 6 - March 1, 2014

Opening Reception: Thursday February 6 from 7:00 - 10:00 pm. 

If you would like to see a preview of the work, please sign up for my newsletter.  The work will be online for the general public sometime later this week.

Thanks for all your love and support. 

Seeing, thinking, and drawing.

I plucked a few quotes from A Short Guide to Writing About Art by Sylvan Barnet.  Just picked this up last night. Pairs well with back to school season. 


"A picture is not thought out and settled beforehand. While it is being done, it changes as one's thoughts change. And when it is finished, it still goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it. A picture lives a life like a living creature, undergoing the changes imposed on us by our life from day to day. This is natural enough, as the picture lives only through the man who is looking at it."  

 - Conversation with Christian Zervos, 1935, reprinted in Picasso on Art , ed Dore Ashton (1972) 


"No two people see the external world in exactly the same way.  To every separate person a thing is what he thinks it is- in other words, not a thing but a think"

 - Penelope Fitzgerald, The Gates of Angels  (1990)


 "To know what you want to draw, you have to begin drawing" - Picasso

Wishing you peace and productivity.