Wednesday, February 27, 2013

E is for energy, and the ethereal...

Today in the studio...A thru E in progress

B gets a face lift while D continues to grow into a deeper blue indigo with the feeling of an old pair of blue jeans...

Monday, February 18, 2013

D is for Dreams...

Are the words equally as important as the art?  In this session I actually saw the word dream as I was painting the color blue. D is for dreams...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Artist Statement

The act of painting—the approach to the process—is about being present and my approach to painting is a mindful act.  Eckhart Toile’s book, “The Power of Now”, influences my approach to the process of painting. Tohle is a constant reminder that being present with oneself is the only true reality; and is my way of getting into that frame of mind I left behind during play in childhood.
I grew up playing in the wooded areas of Northern Virginia near a stream called Difficult Run.  My formative years were spent building tree forts and rubber tire rafts alongside this stream bed.  Today I still live close by the stream where I find and collect the natural forms for my work called “Earth Objects”.

“Earth Objects” are small pods, acorns, and leaves etc… that I collect during walks on the W & O foot trail.  I refer to myself as an “Image Archaeologist™.  And my personal iconography is based on the discovery of objects in nature in their native environment.  After finding an object, I take it home and digitize it with my camera.   I then manipulate the photo in a software program called Photoshop to uncover the objects underlying structure. The uncovering process is really a series of filters that I use in Photoshop to remove the objects “outer skin” and reveal its “skeleton”.  Once I feel I have the “skeleton”, I can then take the image to canvas.

I staple wet gessoed canvas onto my studio wall and project the image onto the canvas.  I then carve into the wet gessoed canvas with the butt of a paintbrush an imprint of the “image skeleton”.  I scrub into the surface ground with multiple layers of paint and rub paint into the grooves of the dried gesso surface.  Additional layers of paint are then brushed lightly over the beveled edges of the image to unearth the skeletal impression. More layers of paint are brushed on and wiped away as the image becomes the surface ground and the surface ground becomes the image. It is this process of digging into the canvas and discovering the object within the corporeal ground that makes it “Image Archaeology” ™. 
There is a constant searching for the middle ground—the space between the figure and the ground—through the application of paint and projected thoughts.  What remains behind or merges into existence is this exchange of energy between me and the picture plane that culminates into a work of art.
Currently my process is becoming time based.  I am developing time based videos of the studio process and the new work in progress.

David Betz talks about the art market

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

B & C were born today...and are up on the wall...ready to play...

A, B & C in progress today.  Its all happening and its all good.  A is for asemic is flowing.  



Friday, February 1, 2013


Thinking with my pencil

Thinking with my pencil
I am putting pen to paper and thinking with pencil and so the new work entails more of the "tulip tree" twig but with a language all it's own.  they are speaking to me and I am listening.  I have decided to configure them into letters for this series and create an alphabet with them.

A is for a-sem-ic

Today begins my journey into new work and post doctoral musings.  The ideas rolling around are based on my previous work in that I am using the "tulip tree" twig as a starting point to develop a series of paintings using the Latin alphabet.  In an effort to be less academic and more artistic, I am forcing myself to move off the research and into the studio.  My thinking brain really wants to rule this process but my body needs to stop thinking.

My research on the alphabet has lead me to correlations in my work with  asemic writing.  The definition I like best is that asemic writing is the continuum between text and image.  This is similar to the looping process that I discuss in my dissertation with regard to visual metaphor.  

Asemic Diagram

Tim Gaze and his Asemic diagram

Sinking Map Loops

A visual metaphor is a bi-directional thought.  For example: “the warts on her nose look like a big green pickle and a pickle looks like a nose with warts”.  Both the pickle and nose with warts are words that can be images and both images are bi-directional.  Because visuals have this bi-directionality, visual metaphors do not need to be based on logic since they rely on perception.  Barry (1997) states that “the creative mind is mainly oriented by perception and only in a later stage by reason” (p. 72-73).  Sinking maps develop visuals from cognitive thoughts or ideas.  This bi-directional process of when perception feeds conception and conception feeds perception forms a looping pattern.  According to St. Clair (2005):
There are other ways of knowing the world and they are not structured in the same way as language systems. Visual systems, for example, are not linear…there is the philosophy of structural communication. A significant part of this model is the reality-loop in which meanings are externalized into forms and already established forms are interpreted into a system of meaning forming a reality loop. Meaning takes place within these loops. (p. 85-101)

Figure 17.  Nautilus shell.

Figure 18.  Fibonacci spiral.  

The reality loop is the perfect way to describe what takes place when using the sinking maps.  By mapping a visual process with a conceptual mapping tool, a loop is established that can reverse manufacture itself.  In other words, concepts become visuals and visuals become concepts with the sinking maps.  The loop simply means that a word becomes an image and an image becomes a word. 
A great visual metaphor to represent this looping process is the Fibonacci spiral (figure 17).  St. Clair (2005) uses this diagram of a Fibonacci Spiral in his research on visual metaphor to show how mathematics is the conceptual formula for an existing visual in nature—a nautilus shell (figure 18).  The spiral of the chambered nautilus is a logarithmic spiral.  This form can be found in the human body and nature, for example the inner ear and the star
cluster nebula.