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.
A batch of glacier-inspired paintings wasn't working for me. I revisited them a few times but they were exhausted and so was I. In a final effort to salvage the lines and colors, I cut them into components and assembled them into new works. These attachments are working much better now.
A typical studio flow:
laying out a grid of surfaces and working on them at the same time.
Usually one or two turn out right.
Here are some from this weekend. I will probably rework these but in the mean time, here they are in progress...
Sumi & acrylic inks layered for depth with a touch of pencil and oil pastels
mixed media on paper 22" x 36"
These bundles of green cling to tree branches all over Austin. Their strikingly creative name is "ball moss" (it was pretty easy to find them when I googled "mossy balls in austin trees"). But contrary to their name, they are not moss at all. They are air plants! Bromeliads. Tillandsia recurvata. Names aside, I collected a bunch and brought them inside to paint.
I popped-up at a local venue in San Jose over President's Day weekend and it was suuuuuuuuper sloooooow. (Seriously, I sold 2 things and made $11... which is made worse by the fact that I paid nearly triple that to participate). [insert sad trombone sound] Thankfully, I had packed my paints so I was able to turn my sad pop-up shop into a happy pop-up studio. Busted out a bunch of lichen inspired abstracts. Here they are drying after getting sprayed with fixative:
Some of these are pretty fantastic and seem finished. Others, I want to rework a bit. All are gouache and oil pastel on 5x7" paper. Here are some of my favs before getting scanned + a sneak peak into how they'll look when I post to my webshop:
Creating these is my mediation: fully present in the process.
I live with a nearly constant feeling of division: one foot over here and another over there. If I had a third foot, it would probably go off and occupy a third space too. And so, it is a joy whenever I can "ah-ha!" and bring any two parts of my world together. I've been experimenting with grayscale texture studies for months now -- and with cacti for nearly year. It took a holiday weekend to merge them together; feeling pleased with the result.
4x36 inch sumi ink and white acrylic on paper.
Throughout the Google campus are office galleries, managed by employee volunteers. I feel fortunate to have caught the eye of one gallery owner who invited me to show work in one of the Sunnyvale buildings.
During a visit to Joshua Tree in the spring of 2015, I became obsessed with opuntia basilaris (beavertail cactus). The bright pink flowers of this minty, matte plant punctuated the desert landscape: a pop of party life in an otherwise neutral environment. I brought photographs and sketches of them back to the studio where I began exploring their shapes and essence in different media. Now, I seem to find members of the opuntia everywhere -- prickly pear farms in Morocco, a beavertail at the foot of a sculpture in the Musee d’Orsay, and in the gardens of neighbors in San Jose. Each sighting brings a sense of joy and familiarity.