Friday, July 12, 2019

watercolor book

I just finished a small 7 x 10 inch cold press Canson Watercolor wire-bound sketchbook. I usually work on more multi-purpose and, truth be told, quite indifferent sketchbook papers. This paper took the color better and allowed me to focus on different qualities in the painting process. So some new directions emerged and that's always good.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Restraining Order

Sometimes it's better to quit
(or stop) while you're ahead.

Artists can relate that it's not always easy to know when a painting is finished. The process reaches a point where there are no solid directives telling you what to do next. Only time can determine if the painting has been completed. Some works end with an inhalation of breath. Others are completed with a definitive crescendo. Below are a few recent examples me practicing of restraint. Perhaps it's just a pause or a slow birth of a new direction.

"Arctic tarmac"
watercolor, collage, ink
"Banana Republic"
colored pencil, collage, paint, ink
"Things are Going to Get Harder"
pastel, ink, collage, watercolor
ink, pastel, watercolor, crayon, pencil

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Binding of Isaac

"Mt. Moriah"
mixed media
What begins as a doodle, the defacement of a defenseless sheet of white paper, ends as a contemplation of an old story from the Hebrew scriptures to which, I have at best, a casual familiarity. This is the climax of the story of Abraham and Isaac. Specifically, "The Binding of Isaac". Oh, how lovely!

Theologians of varying affiliations, acting all lawyerly, have dissected the narrative to try to understand this twisted moment of insanity (one of many). Why does a father go through all the motions of slaughtering his son?
  • To prove his loyalty to the voices that command him to do it?
  • To prove that God really didn't intend for him to kill Isaac but to set up a stunt that would demonstrate God's covenant with Abraham and his followers? (God: "What does it take to get through to these people!"
  • Perhaps it's simply to show who is really in charge (Oh, sorry Isaac!).
Perhaps all these tales have to be accepted, warts and all. Just maybe, we can accept that this version of God could be challenging us to simply enjoy a good ripper (okay, even bad one) and interpret the darn things (but please don't go around chopping your kids' heads off okay?!).

From the safety of your armchair or your pew, imagine your life is bound up (pardon the pun) with a really hard to explain version of the Universe that suggests that you matter somewhat. That feels good right? —I do? Don't I? I think so…?

Maybe it's now time to go hike a mountain (not this one!) and sort things out for yourself. Take time to admire the view! Happy trails.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Owl & Tern Traveling Through a Graveyard

It seems that all Owl and Tern do these days takes them nearby or through cemeteries. Their bicycle does all the work, magically, and it seems to be unafraid of ghosts. Making Art is like riding this magical bicycle: trust the process. Trust in the non-verbal explorations and exhumations. Ghosts have stories to tell.
Owl & Tern on a bike


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