Recent Series

A couple of years ago a friend who is an artist and instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago asked me if I had ever done any xerox prints. I didn’t know what he was talking about.

borrowed_pose_npg
“Enid as Young Bob Dylan,” 24″ x 24″, mixed media.

He described how you take a xeroxed image and transfer it to another surface using acrylic medium to glue the copy paper to (say) a panel, let it dry over night and then get it damp and carefully rub off the xeroxed paper. What is left is a more or less intact copy of the, um, copy. After keeping this in the back of my mind for a few months I decided to give it a try with one of my images printed on a thermal printer. I had been painting these entirely by had for a few years and I was done with that process because it is extremely time consuming. (See previous posts, “Paintings from Digital Images #1 – 8, where I describe the thermal printing/painting process.)

Someone offered me a small show at a coffeehouse and I thought this xerox thing might be a good way of coming up with a nice body of work. It proved to be true, if not lucrative and it was fun solving all kinds of technical problems. The least fun part was working with acrylics. I hadn’t had anything to do with them since high school and I see I was right to leave them alone. But they did the job, so I shouldn’t complain.

enid preturbed EAC 2TP grumman 2TP gillson south viewTP garage 2

The above are all mixed media using inks and acrylic paint in sizes ranging from 24 x 18 down to 5 x 7.

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Tree portrait in pen & ink #9

eagraffiti

I saw this tree in Paris close by the Eiffel Tower. Wherever a person could reach was  covered by carved graffiti, most of which could not be read at all. I always assume that people do things like this in a symbolic bid for immortality, which nature always seems to block.

I later made this image into a painting, which can be seen here. It is also somewhere back on my WordPress feed, as well.

This drawing is 9″ x 6″ using sepia for the lines and walnut ink washes.

Tree portrait in pen & ink #8

ceder in italy 2

This cedar is really more of a shrub that was clinging to a rock in a garden by Lake Como in Italy. What interested me most was the clumping scale-like leaves. Their arrangement reminded me of a flower in full bloom. It was also a pleasure to draw the winding branches.

This drawing is 9″ x 6″ on Sennelier Bristol, the ink is Kremer Pigments Bister, the pen nib is a No. 30 Spencerian Bronze Falcon. Lots of paintings to see on my website!

Tree portrait in pen & ink #6

cherry_tree_2

This is a variation on a drawing I did in of a cherry tree in Central Park, NYC. The original was done on the spot in my more traditional style while this one uses hash patterns to build volume. I did this simply because I liked the original drawing and I wanted to see what else I could make out of it. In retrospect I see that the marks and patterns are reminiscent of those used by Van Gogh in his ink drawings. That is not surprising to me as he is one of my favorite draftsmen (persons). I am, however, surprised that it took me so long to notice the similarity… One major difference is that his marks are much bigger and more varied than mine. He used a bamboo pen on large paper while this drawing is done with a metal dip pen in a 9″ x 6″ format.

Never hesitate to visit my website to see more work!

Tree portrait in pen & ink #5

sundered_tree

This tree is, as was the one in my previous post, from a tree seen in Sonoma County, CA. I can’t imagine what happened to it to cause it to grow to maturity split down the middle. It seems too small to have been hit by lightning.

This drawing was done in bistre ink on bristol board and measures 6″ x 9″. See more work on my website!

Paintings from digital images #8

venus

Well, this isn’t really a painting from a “digital image,” but rather a painting of patterns inspired by my work with digital printers on a commercial (cheap) plaster cast (see related work earlier in my feed).

I decided on monochrome because using colors would cause a confusion of competing visual stimuli. Black and white seems to keep the piece in balance. As with my “digital” paintings on panels, this required several coats of paint plus all kinds of difficulties getting around the contours of the figure. Overall, I worked on this for a year while also working on other projects.

“Aphrodite” is about 20″ tall and 13″ wide, it is painted in oils on an acrylic “gesso” ground.

My next task is figuring out a way to mount it on a substantial pedestal and cover it with a plexiglas box. It seems that plaster can’t be glued to another surface because it is too brittle… If anyone has any ideas, don’t be shy! See more work on my website.

venus back