Friday, February 24, 2012

Stop Trying To Make Sense

I’ve ruined promising drawings trying to make the best (read: weirdest) parts work better with the rest: Trying to make the whole make more sense.  Because of and despite its obvious offputtings I'd like the work to confound and frighten as few potential buyers as possible.  And of course because I'm obsessive etc, loosening up in any way imaginable- including leaving the weirdest stuff alone- remains an ongoing challenge. Note to self: STOP TRYING TO MAKE SENSE.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Ilo Oxa

Facebook has its virtues.  About the time you’re sick of tickers, timelines, political rants, pictures of kids’ feet, you hear from an artist like Ilo Oxa.  This is a drawing on canvas.  More great work on his blog.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

No Dream's End

No Dream's End
Charcoal, Graphite; 6 ½” x 6 ¼”

Twenty years ago I composed photos as best I could in-camera, and that was that.  If a story or poem didn’t work, I discarded it.  Photoshop and Word have made editors of us all, and these days I’ve come to consider unfinished drawings raw material as well. 

Opportunities to revise a work on paper are much more limited.  Working digitally, you can save the original, save every variant you like.  You can only push paper so far.  Then, like it or not, you’re done. But charcoal and graphite are forgiving, and erasers are a wonderful thing.  I saved one of my favorite drawings with sandpaper. It’s a last resort, it doesn’t work often.  And I’m not saying which one.

When I’m burnt on a drawing, when I’ve lost interest or confidence, I shelve it, move on to another project. The longer a shelved piece sits, the better: When rediscovered, it’s fresh, found art.  New possibilities are apparent.  They may have little to do with the drawing’s beginnings, and little of the initial work may remain by the time a drawing’s completed. 

This is true of those pieces whose development is uninterrupted as well.  I don’t sketch and transfer; I don’t plan; I try everything in-drawing.  What works stays, but abandoned explorations and attempts (sometimes, lots) are still layered in there too, and they contribute to the drawings’ depth. 

If this sounds like my drawings are salvaged fuckups– Yep, absolutely.  They say a good carpenter knows how to hide his mistakes.  Mine are raw material, and I try to make something better of them.