Inspired by views of Mount Watkins, from my December hike on the Snow Creek Falls trail. Color studies.
Sometimes the incorporation of printed images feels like cheating — a quick solution? Or relying too heavily on someone else’s skills? (I’ve have an aversion to spending hours of my life trying to paint or draw anything photorealistically). But as I’ve been thinking about appropriation and general theft of imagery, it seems that media has made it’s way back into my artistic vocabulary.
During a December trip to Yosemite, I was looking for a beautiful hike with minimal other hikers and opted for the Snow Creek Falls Trail.
Starting from Ahwahnee, I walked the loop trail over to Mirror Lake just after sunrise.
You can buy “artist” without ever wondering if your work has depth and meaning, or if it’s all bullshit, or if it’s deep bullshit.
I encountered a coyote during a morning stroll. I painted. I ate more sandwiches. I considered the span of one year and what it meant for me and how that fit into the lifetime of this place.
“In this way, yes, there is an intentional reference to the Supreme brand, as well as OBEY (Shepard Fairey's brand) -- both of whom must certainly have been influenced by Barbara Kruger whose work was appropriated by Supreme as their logo in the early 90s.” - from email exchange with custom printing company
I’ve been thinking about the commodification of experience. How common elements of a lifestyle can be branded and sold. The power of logo to shift an object’s value. What does this mean for our relationship with the natural world? Can we brand the wild? Can we counterfeit the mountains? Is the journey for sale?
I dated a sailor from Maine who was always telling me there was this place I’d like. “You should really go to Mount Desert Island. There’s hiking; it’s beautiful. I think you’d really like it.” Fifteen years later I made it there. He was right; I liked it.
My 2017 resolution was to “master mug making.” I did not succeed, but I did some other cool stuff instead. So for 2018, I tried again with the slightly adapted “get better at making mugs” because best case: I’d get better. And worst case: I’d do other cool stuff instead, again. It’s going pretty well.
I find joy in understanding the contexts of things: the multilayered narratives, the why and how behind the what. It's in that spirit that I collected images of the work I've done in the past year, inspired by last summer's adventuring in Iceland and printed a book:
Namaskard vases are restocked (the first series of these sold out over the holidays).
translating this view of Yosemite Valley from my hike to the top of Eagle Peak in December. oil on a very large unstretched canvas
My ceramic goal for last year was to master mug making. I didn't really -- there wasn't enough studio time. I'm trying agin in 2018. Here's the first batch. Actually not too bad -- mug bodies are consistent. Just need to work on getting more comfortable and consistent with handles.