Wednesday, October 31, 2007

instant synesthetic reaction

SYNESTHESIA, according to wikipedia, is "a neurologically based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway..." blah blah blah. Google it if you want some interesting reading. We all experience it to varying degrees.
In the context of my work, this work in particular, it is as simple as a color associated with all the sensations that are associated with a memory (whether or not that memory is specific, vague, or the sum of many sensations)

The synesthetic experience goes beyond colors, into gesture; the gesture of a line, a brush stroke, the figure's position, shapes and composition.

these paintings are probably a combination of a reaction against the paintings that are very involved and take a long time to make as well as the past three weekends of crashing down hillsides in fast moving water in my kayak.

I wanted something that was fast and airy, work that was immediate and furious, an instant reaction to a feeling of movement.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

changing over time (process)

the other three are pretty much done. Actually, I overdid the square one, but that happens. (can't make a masterpiece every time...)
This one was never quite satisfactory so I keep working on it, searching for something. In a way it has been like watching rainwater fill up a river bed. It takes a long time and the characteristics change slowly.

This is the latest version. some of the white is just acrylic that is still drying. It will become more transparent with time. But this should give you an idea of where I am going (and as you scroll down, where I've been with this one)

if you need to see them seperately, just click on the image and it will open in it's own window for you

Monday, October 22, 2007

Give it a rating and help me out

click this link

I have an entire theme that will turn into a body of work for these competitions on-line. Saatchi Gallery is, well, I really don't know if I like it or not. It's kind of the annoying blockbuster movie that is really populist and full of spectacle. But, I must admit that, even at it's big-consumer heart, the gallery is trying to make the art world more connected and smaller.

Of course the root intention is to garner attention and therefore gain larger market share, but if it drags some unique work out from the shadows in the process then some good will be done. Also, there is a possibility that people who create art as a recreation, in their spare time, apart from their "real job" could be exposed as passionate artists with some skill, then bravo. After all, how many "artists" are working in the "art field" anyway?

So, as I've asked before, please vote for my work. Give it the best rating you think it deserves. Keep checking back for more updates and more artwork.

Thank you.

the creative side of kayaking

(or at least the more obvious creative side of kayaking)
is shaping the boats. I've made a couple of these on my own, but most of my efforts over the past 10 years have been directed towards helping my friend, Corran Addisson, with his designs. Sometimes I have done some minor sanding and shaping for him, but mostly he has a habit of sending me photos like these, begging for feedback and criticism. Then, of course, I get to paddle prototypes and really give him hell about the designs ;)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wave Cycle in Rhode Island

the upcoming show in January and February of 2008 in Rhode Island will be called "Wave Cycle". Here is what it is about....

I am interested in the cycles of nature, and am particularly drawn to the water, where I study repetitions in waves. They all have the same basic shape, but no two are exactly alike. This makes me curious about fidelity in reproduction.

* what are acceptable amount of imperfection in each copy?

* at what point does something differ enough so that it ceases to be a copy and realize a life, label, and nature of its own?

* how imperfect are the most "perfect" copies?

Reproduction, copies, replication are common terms in evolutionary biology. Since I am not an evolutionary biologist, I choose to continue looking at the waves to see their differences. Printmaking techniques offer the same questions. We are taught methods of reproduction that minimize imperfecctions, but the older techniques still reveal uniqueness in every print of an edition. Every print that I pull has the same basic shape and image as the others in its set, but none are exactly the same. Waves and prints are like family members. Some are twins. Others are sibilings. A few are simply the same species.

Stains and puddles

two views of each painting under different light which is a good way to show the subtle layers of color.

the intent of these experiments is to slow water's movement down by using a liquid with a different viscosity that can suspend pigment and flow like water. WAter likes to stick to itself to a certain degree, but also spread out low an dthin.
Have you ever looked at a puddle on a flat surface?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

vote for my work (actually it's a ratings thing)

click here to say how you like it...

there is lots of interesting work on this site,but as a friend of mine, please stop by and see my watercolor first and give it a rating from 1 - 10 (10 being the best). Vote the way you want and let me know how much you like it.

notes on misunderstanding

* how much art is influenced by a misunderstanding of previous work?

* what is the fine line between misunderstanding and reinterpretation?

* how much do critics and art historieans really understand about any given work of art, and ho much (that they write) is a projection of what they want to say?

Any viewer projects a certain amount onto a piece of work, which a minimal approach values highly, but then why all the super-intellectual diefication of any given minimalist work? especially if the view is the most important thing (wouldn't anything a viewer feels or says be correct?)

My favorite minimalist/conceptual piece is the monolith in 2001:A Space Odyssey. It is a physical sign of the mysterious unknown, which like God, people can only speculate about. It is the variable, the symbol of unknown mystery that we are hunting for.
I always called it "the rock you are free to bang your head against"

How many times do artists, when confronted with quotes, analysis, theories about their work repsond with a shrug and statement about how they were just creating something and they didnt' have a perfectly formulated concept? I don't know ho many times my guitar teacher told me that I need to learn the rules through practice, but when playing with other people, actually creating music, I should just play.
Addionally, coaches run athletes through drills and skill building exercizes, but when game-time arrives the players just need to perform with their instinct, relying on the training without concious awareness.

* how much "misunderstanding" is the IMPETUS for new work?

* is the low fidelity transimission of an idea part of the creative process?

We have a natural tendency to create narratives, come up with reasons, explanations and justify things. Is that tendency, to fill in the gaps, what gets our creative juices flowing?
The desire to understand drives us to create reasons, to experimnet, to explore.

* what do I think?
* what do others think?
* how can any of us really tell; because what is lost in the translation?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

thick yet transparent

the first picture is when the paint is first applied
the second picture is three days later after it has become mostly transparent
the third is a week later

Friday, October 05, 2007

a MoMA response

While Richard Serra was blocking 6th Avenue yesterday, and another "big" show was being installed at the Modern, I was left with more time to ponder the permanent collection. Seemed like they might have had out a couple of extra Gorky's and DeKooning's out, being concious of both the presentation (last night) of "The Collector" (a documentary about Allan Stone, as well as the upcoming Christie's auction of a large part of his collection), in addition to the scheduled show of DeKooning drawings at Allan Stone Gallery.

There was an interesting (although not exceptional) installation of minimalist drawings. Sketches from minimalists fall a bit short esthetically, but I think that was part of the point.

Keeping the abstract expressionists in the regular/permanent collection in mind, contrasted by the minimalist show, I mannically scribbled down a bunch of notes in my sketch book. Here they are...

reconciling the (stupid) animosity of the early minimalists against the abstract expressionists.
both have repetition and imperfection
abstract expressionist (specifically Pollack) seem initially unordered, but it's easy to see a rhythm and fractal geometry explains the non-periodic order (chaos) that exists, perhaps as a result of the limits of the human body.
the minimalist directive to remove the artist's expression, by creating repetitive sanitary marks and put the expression (burden or privledge?) onto the viewer. Yet they fail to remove all trace of the artist; at the very least some kind of intention remains, even if only the will to creat; and very often the artist's hand is revealed in the imprefections of the work (something I addressed in the changing block print pieces from 5 years ago).
Minimalism and Abastract Expressionism are arguing siblings.

Does the repetition have to be contained in the same work or can it be a repetition throughout a body of work?

Does the repetition have to be geometric or semi-geomentric or can it be more organic and unplanned?

I suspect that a minimalist movement was partly a reaction agains a perceived large ego fo expressionism. But, forcing an umbrella of intellectualism over expressino just shifts the source of ego, instead of getting rid of it (or supressing it)

Monday, October 01, 2007

first solo show of 2008

just found out I got the solo show for January/February at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.
i'll post more details when get them.
Now I have to get them a quick bio and an image by next week so it can be included in the annual catalogue.