Currently Reading - 08 July 2020
In the absence of being able to visit musuems, I’ve been looking through art books. It’s not quite the same, but it does give me a chance to get to know an artist or an exhbit that I might not otherwise know.
Currently I’ve been reading a Jasper Johns book by Michael Crichton. Yes, the same person who wrote Jurrasic Park and many other popular novels also wrote about Jasper Johns. Originally made for a 1977 exhibition at the Whitney.
It’s a different experience than seeing the art live, but it has exposed me to multiple pieces that I didn’t know about and has given me a few interesting tidbits to research more. It’s not a substititue, but it is a compliment.
There is supposed to be a simultanius exhbition for Johns at The Whitney and Philedelphia Musuem of Art later this year, but who knows if it will take place.
Art in Quarentine - 07 July 2020
I’ve been finding it harder to finish work. Somethings I’ll start throw away. Something will sit in some state of unfinshed. Others I won’t even start. It’s been difficult. I don’t really have the answer, but I’m trying to get myself sketching and making more regularly. I need the outlet.
Digital Nudes - 17 February 2020
My Second Zine - 16 February 2020
finished my second zine and started sharing it. Overall, reactions have been pretty good and this was a lot of fun to make. I went to six different museums and found inspiration in each of them. This is a more classical zine, filled with images cut with an Exacto night, some hand lettering, and cut out text. I played with typography, trying to find one that I felt like fit the charachter of the space.
I did a few quick one-off zines as a way to learn this specific style (8 panels on 1 side of a printed page), but this was the first larger scale zine I made and folded by myself.
I’ve done a limited run of 20 that are all signed and numbered. I primarily gave these as gifts to my teammates, I’ve also been selling the other few for $2 each. I plan to place copies in some of Art Museums featured as well. I think it would be fun for people to find them and hopefully get a smile.
I’ve saved the original, and I think I might do a second printing if there is enough demand. I also am starting to understand why Basquit enjoyed the xerox machine so much.
Park Sketches - 11 January 2020
It’s ridiculously warm in NYC right now. Unseasonably. Washington Square Park was as packed as you would expect. Sat on the south east edge of the fountain area with my pens and pencil. Noticed that my moji fountain pen is out of ink, but still had plenty of options.
I’d like to get in the habit of sketching outside again. Just need the weather to continue to co-operate. I hope it stays dry tomorrow.
I also want a real snow storm. Why can’t I have it all?
It was going well… - 10 January 2020
Until I took a bit too much ink on my brush.
I’ve got an idea for how to salvage this piece and I’m not too worried since I can always paint a new one with this original vision, but damn if I wasn’t a bit angry with myself when this happened. All in all though, I am really happy with how these are coming out.
Productivity - 10 January 2020
I’ve been fairly productive the last few days. Continued working on crosshatching #3 and it’s now 75% complete. Really happy with how it’s looking and thinking this design could make a really cool print.
I was super excited for the plotter, but then I haven’t even set it up. I think it’s due to art being an escape from computers and me enjoying not having a computer on at home most nights. Maybe tomorrow night I’ll get it done. I want to use it.
Finished designing and ordered part of my gift to my team today. I’m excited to give it to them in a few weeks. I think they will smile at this piece.
Crosshatching - 08 January 2020
The past few nights I’ve been working on some ink crosshatch paintings. These have been a lot of fun to do, in part since I can get them done relatively quickly and there is less waiting for paint to dry.
I wonder if I am going to feel the need to change mediums every once and a while. One of the things about Jasper Johns that really impresses me is how effortlessly he seems to move between mediums.
I started looking at art shows to potentially enter again. I want to try showing my work even though the fear of rejection is high.
I need to work on my zine in the coming days, so once I finish my next one, I think I’ll take a break from painting to finish that and a few other projects.
3 Galleries on a Saturday - 05 January 2020
I went up to the Upper East Side to visit a few galleries. It’s a little weird since you need to be buzzed in to many of these and I always wonder if I look “enough” like someone who visits art galleries, especially when I’m walking around in paint and ink-stained jeans like I was yesterday. But I got in, so I should just get used to this wierdness and the pretention that comes along with visiting these galleries.
My first stop, since it was the reason I made this trek. 11 works in many different media and at many different sizes but all based on the crosshatch that Johns has used extensively, especially during the 70s/80s when all of these works are from.
I am drawn to these works as they seem to be Scratching at the surface, asking “what’s underneath?”. It was especially interesting as many of the works on display were accompanied by the same work done in a different medium or just slightly differently. Looking at Cicada, in both a dark and light variant, you can see how Johns sprinkles additional colors in that you need to look for. These paintings take the same form and at first glance are inverts of each other, but they require you to look a bit closer to truly appreciate the differences.
The three Corpse and Mirror / Corpse and Mirror II pieces are similiarly the same but simultaniusly very different. In the Gouache, graphite wash, and graphite pencil on paper version, there is a prominent X in the upper right that is missing in the red/yellow/blue colorful watercolor version and then is present due to knife work on the large acrylic Corpse and Mirror II.
Between the Clock and The Bed is a piece that I spent a lot of 2018 thinking about, both the original Munch that I saw at the Met Brauer and Johns take on it. I have a few sketches on my own variant from when I was caring for my mom in her final days. This is the first pastel I can remember seeing of Johns.
I’m left wanting to figure out what a Graphite Wash is as it’s a term I haven’t seen before. I also am more excited than ever for Johns retrospective at the Whitney and Philadelphia later this year. I also wonder just how much work he has that hasn’t seen the light of day or has only minimally been viewed. I am reaffirmed that visiting the same idea over and over is ok.
Some incredibly abstract works that at times felt like homages to pain, and others the resilience that comes from conquering it. The brick was the best part, with the Shinx being an especially interesting piece.
I want to figure out how to work with paper more which has been something I’ve gone back to more and more recently. I need to remember canvas shouldn’t be the only destination for my work.
These prints are getting me a little excited for the major exhibition The Met Braur will be putting on later this year. For these, the techniques were the most interesting part. I’ve been thinking more and more about unique editions and wonder if doing some additional ones besides my WP15 series and the elephants I made for my team last year would be fun.
Digital Nudes - 05 January 2020
Flower study #4 - 04 January 2020
Worked some more on my flowers using a much more single chromatic approach than the last few studies. Also cut up some canvas and sewed it together in order to add the depth I was seeking.
When I go for my actual painting here, I think I am going to want to have a few styles, but I want them to sort of all be the same. I have two other ideas for how I want to do this layered/sewn/depth that I’m going to do next.
I also wonder if I need to make a trip to a garden in the spring to take photos of flowers. I don’t know if I have enough in my mind to use.
My plotter arrives today, so I need to draft my narratives. I’m also wondering about constructing my own Braille and if that could be an interesting alternative. Fuck those will need to be big.
In Progress - 02 January 2020
Currently working on three separate projects/ideas. It’s a bit distrating having so much art in progress and easy to not make progress on any of them.
Abstract/Narrative – I have some ideas for improving the handwriting. One is using a plotter, which I’ve thought about getting multiple times in the past but finally pulled the trigger on. The other is stencils, and I ordered some transparency paper that I plan to print on and try cutting out. Then inking with a Breyer. I’ll give both of these ideas a try over the weekend
Geometric Abstract Flowers – I was looking at Take Your Broken Art and thought it might make sense to do something like this to give the depth I am looking for. I have a number of canvases in progress to work on this.
The fifth part of my NMU series is going to be something a little different. It’s still made of paint, but is much more constructed. I have a feeling that this is going to take me a few months to finish, but it’s something I’ve had in my head for a while so it’s good to be starting to get it out.
Abstract/Narrative - 01 January 2020
My working title for a series of ink-based pieces I’ve been doing is “Abstract/Narrative”. I’m starting to like where I’m going with these, but I’m still not in love with my execution. I wish my handwriting was better. I might have to try other ways of getting the text on there.
Human body sketches - 30 December 2019
Sketchbook Entries - 30 December 2019
Archiving here come of the items from my sketchbooks. I’ve been using non-white paper more as I also have the opportunity to use white/chalk in the drawings more. Hoping to post these here more frequently as I work on them, but these are from a variety of times over the last year.
Studies in Flowers - 29 December 2019
I’ve had this idea for sunflowers since I’m unoriginal and loved the contrast of Monet and Van Gogh sunflowers that the Met had last year in it’s Garden show. Starting to play with them, in part by adding ink as a giant contrast. Need to continue playing with this idea, but I like where it’s going.
The questions that stand out: How much contrast? Is shape and orientation enough of a contrast with the ink? The ink seems to add tension, but is it enough? How do I get the depth I want with a level of abstraction and otherness?
Ink Contrasts - 29 December 2019
I’ve been playing with ink, especially the contrasts created with water and solid. I’m not sure where exactly I’m going with this. I have this idea in my head of a abstract + implicit. A Jenny Holtzer meets Helen Frankenthaler. Not there yet. Colors are more recent ones.
Quick Whitney trip on a Saturday - 21 December 2019
Started on a Basquiat playlist, moved to Moran after the exhibit.
Art and themes
- Jason Moran is incredible.
- paying attention to who bought the Art. I want to buy more in 2020 and beyond, in part so some day I can donate it to a museum.
- I’m still seeing tension and contrasting as themes. But combined with uniqueness. Unique ways to share tension?
- is there a different story in the Joan Mitchell here and what MoMA has on display? It doesn’t feel like it.
- the dollar value I put on “being rich” when I was young is really the amount that makes me feel safe. Is real richness safety or has there just been that much inflation? Is it possible for someone to be “rich” if they weren’t born into it?
- What makes art worthy of purchase? I want to buy more, especially of young artists, but what are my criteria?
an hour at MoMA on a Saturday - 14 December 2019
Stopped in for a quick walkabout as I wanted to get a picture of the bathroom. Walked through Sur moderno, the 80s-now, Energy, and projects 110.
Art and Themes
- really liked Michael Armatige. Enjoyed the way he presented historical styles, like Pablo Picasso’s Les Desmoiselles D’Avignon in his world.
- first time going into these new west side 1st floor galleries. I’m a fan. They were intimate and open. I can see some good shows happening here, either in the way it’s setup or as a combined gallery (though depending on walls, that may be difficult)
- the latin/Dutch combination was very much on display.
- love the downtown NYC room on 2. Jenny Holzer, Kieth Haring, Jeff Koonz and Basquiat all together.
- the Haring has so much going on in it. Every time I see something new. Today: Mermaids!
- bathrooms is seeming like it will be interesting. I kind of want to drop some in various locations
- Geometric abstraction had a good showing in Latin America
- In many ways, going to so many museums is my art education. I am self-taught, but I am also taught by the masters who’s work I see. I’m influenced by the curators and artists that make NYC
Vija Cummings / Met Breur on a Friday. - 13 December 2019
Unexpectedly did the tour. Interesting to see the artist come back to the same ideas over and over again over many years. Also interesting to see the two phases of her career.
Art and Themes
- realism, similar to close in photo realism.
- she seems like a perfectionist who is ok not being perfect.
- also spent some time with Home is a Foreign Land.
- mixed media, but not necessarily mixed items or ideas
- String based line Art makes for fun shadows. Obviously
- white flag remains powerful as an opening for this shows name
Bathrooms of NYC art museums is definitely happening.
I want to experiment more with what I make my art on. Surface matters.
Iraqi War – MoMA PS1 - 08 December 2019
Nearly 3 decades of conflict and pain and destruction shown through work by directly and indirectly affected people.
Art and Themes:
War Books – Iraqi artists who had been forced to minimize how they make art, all working in books of often mixed materials, but a lot of India ink (which I’ve just started working with before seeing this).
Photographic Sketches – during part two, an embedded photographer sketched
Dates – one room with timeline, video, visual art. Dates were the second biggest export for Iraq before late 80s and the combination of triple war and sanctions has destroyed that industry.
Fake Jasper Johns White flag – I want to read up on this piece and artist. Very clearly appropriating other artists work.
AMUN hsc over multiple years? – 90 into 91 could be an interesting case where people are now forced to work with a different country.
Zine of Truisims – ink drawn zine of beliefs I like that transcend areas. Duel use things. “Configurable over Skinnable” “Analysis without numbers is only Opinion” “yes and”
I have an ever greater belief in peace and love, especially on large scales. It’s what we need.
I want to work more with ink.
My sunflowers continue to take shape in my head. Need to get to canvas soon, still not ready though.
I want to make videos of the homepages of major news sites. Something aimed at Instagram
Leci Is Not a blowjob - 20 November 2019
And I challenge you to tell me different.
Art Institute of Chicago / Google Translate / Pen, Charcoal, Pencil, Chalk and a shitty Starbucks coffee (but it’s across the street, so it worked)
St Louis Art - 06 November 2019
Writing this up a later as I realize that November had very little art in my life. Post dating so it fits in with my own chronology.
German art. So. Much. Germany.
I really was impressed with “The Shape of Abstraction”. I bought the book.
Every Renoir I see makes me think of one person. Some artists do that.
MFA – Boston - 21 October 2019
Wandered through the halls of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston today. Two things stood out:
- This place is small compared to the Met (aka, it’s a normal museum).
- There are lots of really interesting pieces.
I started by looking at some african art, specificly carving and sculpture from Benin. While I recognize the extreme craftsmanship that goes into stuff like this, it remains of less sustained interest to me. I looked at a few pieces, and enjoyed the pattens and textures, I don’t think I’ll ever make extensive use of it in my work. I do want to keep looking at everything I can though.
Next up was Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death and this was fantastic. I really like how this show was centralized, but throughout the museum, Bloom pieces were sprinkled amongst work that influenced him. I loved the way he contrasted ideas while staying consistent with shapes and styles.
— Forgot to type up the rest. Whoops —
Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum - 10 August 2019
Had some free time on my last day in Columbus, so I stopped by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum and it was fantastic. It’s very inspiring to see Art that isn’t afraid to be outspoken, loud, and tell a story. The exhibit on First Amendment cartoons was especially timely having just spent the last week amongst others working in the media and publishing industry.
Having done so much abstract work lately with my geometric series, I kind of want to try moving back towards the literal. Maybe even get my sketching style nice and simple so I could try a political cartoon. Just need to practice, practice, practice.
Sky’s in the Met - 03 August 2019
I walked around a section of the Met I rarely visit, the pre-1800 European art which has way too much Jesus for my taste. I figure it’s good to look at the style I reject and the people who influence me rejected as well. So much of it feels derivative and without a passion I can sympathize with.
What I did enjoy was how it portrayed the sky, and really how that’s something that was consistently portrayed until the post impressionists said fuck it, let’s use colors.
Self portrait from Sunset on the roof of the met - 06 July 2019
I’ve been playing with Procreate lately and took a photo of myself and turned it into this drawing. I’m enjoying digital art because it’s easier to make changes and easier to do on the go, but physical art is still more relaxing. I’m wondering what it would be like to print some of these and then add some physical paint to them.
Nancy Spero – Paper Mirror - 05 May 2019
Having seen the Leon Golub exhibit at the Met Brauer just a little over a year ago, it’s easy to see how both he and Nancy came from the same place. Studying together as part of “The Monster Roster” at School of the Art Institute of Chicago they both have used abstract human forms early on. But then they went in different directions as Golub continued down the road and Spero turned towards a combination of further abstraction and the use of text in a considerable amount of her work.
This exhibit did a great job of showing me Spero’s unabashed feminism and opinions on the hurt that is war. I also like how she embraced paper and worked almost exclusively in it. I’ve been wondering if I should embrace paper more, maybe this will be the impotence to do it. Or to get back out my Dremel brush.
Restoring Fin de Siècle II by Nam June Paik - 28 March 2019
As a part of member night at the Whitney, listened to the efforts that Richard Bloes and Reinhard Bek took in order to recreate this monstrous work. From the sourcing of TVs to the building of new platforms and a new video controller, a lot of effort went in to making it possible for this work to be displayed.
This is the fourth or fifth time I’ve seen this over the past few months, yet it feels like it has been on display for ever. Hard to believe that I thought the same about the protest art exhibit previously in that space. Each time I’ve been able to see it slightly differently.
The restoration allows for this to live on. This is the second time the Whitney has displayed this work. It always amazes me the amount of work that isn’t on display. That people never look at. And this is the work that is successful. That lives on in the public trust. That’s not considered to be “private”.
Digital Art - 15 March 2019
I’ve been trying digital art recently as I upgraded my iPad and got a pencil. There are parts of it that are really nice, but I don’t think it can completely substitate for making something physical. I think where it will come in handy is when I travel. I’ve never been able to perfect my travel art making.
The Adobe tools, namely capture
Going to continue playing with this as yet another medium.
The Met with kids - 10 March 2019
Went to the Met today with some close friends and their kids (5 and 7) it was the first time the kids got a chance to see the Met. Explored the Egyptian wing and Arms/Armor with them. Super fun to see what excited them: Mummies, and weapons were huge hits.
One of my favorite parts was showing the youngest an Ankh and then encouraging him to point one out each time he saw it.
Elephants - 09 March 2019
I’ve continued exploring elephants as a motif. It’s fun to see all the different ways I can play with the same idea. My elephant isn’t a complicated shape, but it feels powerful.
Blick Purchase - 07 March 2019
Jerry’s New York Central - 04 March 2019
I decided to wander up to Jerry’s since they have a good selection of tape and it’s a chance to see a different store. Immediately confronted with going out of business signs. I only shopped here on occasion, but it’s still disappointing to lose an option.
I spent way more money than I should have. I’m in search of four yellows that distinctly are yellow and distinctly are themselves. I also got some willow charcoal since theoretically, it will be cheaper for me to draw than paint even though it’s painting that actually brings me more joy.
40% off. Goes up to 50% on the 12th. I’ll be back I’m sure.
Geometric 3 - 27 February 2019
What was going to be Geometric 3 didn’t quite work. The yellows were too faint so I decided to try adding a contrast outline to the triangles.
This is unintentionally reminding me of the people in shapes and colors I did last year, which is some of my first uses of acrylic. I’ve been thinking about revisiting that style anyways, mostly as a way to revisit my more life like portraits.
Blick Purchase - 26 February 2019
Geometric 2 thoughts - 26 February 2019
The monochromatic geometric design turned out interesting. I think I might do it again, only maybe adding some outlines in a contrast. Or I might add another shape besides the two types of triangles. Either way, I need more 9×12 canvases.
MoMA tonight - 25 February 2019
Fauvism - 25 February 2019
Of all the modern mediums, the the colors of Fauvism that bring me the most joy.
Joan Moro – Birth of the World - 25 February 2019
I’ve never seen member night so packed. Like worse than near starry night on a free Friday packed.
Miro describes one of his pieces as poetry and painting not being any different, with symbols being words. I wonder what my poetry is saying in his language.
Unprimed - 25 February 2019
The only unprimed canvas stuff I have done was after screwing up and not wanting to waste a pre-primed canvas. Frankenthaler and Pollack’s paint stains on unprimed canvas make me want to explore this method some more.
Glazing Medium - 25 February 2019
I’m really liking the way glazing medium and high viscosity acrylics allow me to have some fine lines and high gloss. I have been doing my knife thing (I need a name for it, especially since it’s my “thing” right now) and I love the way this combination looks, especially when I do layering.
I think next I’m going to try and combine some of the color layers I did with It Took a Part of MeAnd geometric patterns to see how that turns out.
Geometric - 25 February 2019
When I made my recent cutting based work, I covered it with tape before cutting. This gave me the idea of using tape to make a pattern and forcing myself to paint within the lines without forcing me to paint cleanly
Jasper Johns Recent Paintings and works on paper - 23 February 2019
My favorite thing about Johns is how he revisits things. He brings back shapes, patterns, words, and themes continually over the course of his works. I love this quote of his about working towards an idea:
My favorite part of this exhibit was the evolution of the skeleton and all the ways he explored it.
Cutting canvas away - 23 February 2019
Whenever I am cutting part of a piece of art away, I think about what I could do with the leftovers. I don’t think of it as waste, I think of it as a compant of a piece of art waiting to find a home.
Brushes - 23 February 2019
When painting Acrylics, I’m not really using a brush these days, at least not in the traditional sense. I don’t think I ever will have the ability to use one as well as masters of the craft so for now, I’m sticking with a knife.
Julio Le Parc 1959 - 22 February 2019
Le Parc’s paintings remind me of frames of an animation. You can almost see them moving. Some actually move of course, but even the static work shows motion.
The roles of the work and of the spectator are modified. Emphasizing active participation in the work is perhaps more important than passive contemplation, and it can develop the viewer’s natural creative conditions.Jultio Le Parc, 1962
Lucio Fontana – On The Threshold - 22 February 2019
I knew I couldn’t have been the first artist to take a knife to his canvas, but seeing Fontana’s work makes me recognize that I should do more of it.