Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ruth was on Holidays #1

So I had time to play around with materials....
This one started with a pencil drawing on 18"x24" Canson 1557 drawing paper. I wasn't real happy with the drawing, so it seemed worth victimizing first :)
I first glued the paper using Golden soft gel medium to a similar sized cradled & gessoed birch panel, and then experimented using Golden high flow acrylics, in some places using their airbrush medium as a sort of resist. The effects of that are pretty interesting and (I think) exploring more.

Inverting the colors gives and interesting result as well, this I think might make a good poster...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


One of the more intriguing articles I read recently pertains to AI generated art. The whole article is here on; the tl;dr version boils down to the (apparent) fact that computer generated art comes across to many as more human than human generated art. At least the stuff one finds in Big Art expositions, like Art Basel, and AbEx.
Where things get interesting, however, is when respondents were asked to rate how intentional, visually structured, communicative, and inspiring the images were. They “rated the images generated by [the computer] higher than those created by real artists, whether in the Abstract Expressionism set or in the Art Basel set.”
I don't want to get into the pro's and con's of the work; after all, it basically is just a study of commercially driven art  versus AI generated art as interpreted by Mechanical Turk users. Hardly a recipe for scientifically sound generalizations. But I think it does provide an interesting counterpoint to an aspect of art that very few people talk about these days.

That aspect is resonance. What do I mean by this? For a full development, I suggest one dash out and get Jan Zwicky's book, Lyric Philosophy [] and read it. I know that's how many of the formal ideas crossed my path, after Hanna GZ recommended to me several years ago. It's a relatively novel presentation, but the ideas have permeated thought for a very long time. For example, look at Nietzche's The Gay Science, Section 373, which I added to this site a few years ago.

Most are familiar with physical examples of resonance. If you have two similarly tuned violins, and pluck a string on one, the same string on the other will vibrate. When you push a person on swing in time with its natural oscillation, and the swing goes higher. Or for a little fun, jump in the bath, start sliding back and forth in a rhythm that makes the water  eventually slosh out of the tub.  Kind of like the Bay of Fundy, with you as the gravitational drivers.

So what is resonance in art? It occurs, or rather can occur, on many different levels. Start with everyday experience. Go to a beach or a hill or a park, where you can just let the quotidien world fall away. Or sit quietly with bit of music, or poetry, or a painting. It can take a little practice, but with a little luck you find yourself feeling more present, more attuned, more aware. And with a little more luck, imagination - timidly at first - begins to leave its cage. Rilke's panther can go free, if we choose.

Imagination is the set of mental metaphors we create in response to the resonance between aspects of our inner and outer worlds, between our unconscious and conscious minds. The physical expression of those metaphors is what becomes art.

(to be continued....)

Thursday, June 9, 2016


If you notice an improvement in the photos on this blog in the near future, thank Ruth. She's been doing a marvelous job getting photos up to date for work done over the last year. This in turn lets me produce much better prints, as well as much better pictures for posting. And it gives me much more time for drawing and painting.
Here's a few, all of which Ruth modeled for:

Moonrise: Acrylic and Conte on pastel paper, 65x50 cm.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Catching up....

Art has its own reasons:
Acrylic on Panel, 24"x48"

We are slowly catching up on photographing work - it's kind of hard to focus on that when the weather is so spectacular (it's not snowing!), and I would much rather be drawing or painting - but I guess it has to be done.

(more below)

Monday, May 9, 2016


Whoa, it's been awhile. Not that I haven't been busy, though probably a little too distracted by reading. Want some suggestions? I've got lots, from Schopenhauer to my most recent find, The Singing Neanderthals.
Or Arts and Letters Daily (how much time do I waste there?!). Or (especially) b.o.a.t scribbles, thank goodness Avalon Moore only does one page a week, or I'd never get anything done....

Anyway, I've been working with The Artist Known as Ruth for on a prett5y regular basis since last fall. She's a good figurative artist in her own right, which means she brings a lot of artistic experience and background to modeling. I'm going to start putting up more work as I get caught up with the more boring aspects of studio practice - there's a rather large pile of drawings collected over the last while, ready to be edited and either tossed or photographed, as well as a couple of paintings. So I hope to get these up as soon as I can.

But in the meantime, some from last week. All are Conte on either Canson Mi-Teintes, or Fabriano Pastel paper; 50x65cm.

Ruth is very good at rather difficult poses:
(more after the break)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Will and Representation

Reading Schopenhauer - such a delightful crank! - brought this about. Blame him.

Acrylic on canvas, 30"x60"

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Freyja and the Wanderer

Hard to believe I've been away from posting for two months!

This is Freyja and the Wanderer. 24"x48", acrylic on panel.

It will be hanging at the Permafrost show at the Craig Gallery, from January 13th to March 1st. The official opening is Wednesday, January 14th, 7-9 PM.