Category: New

Meta: denoting something of a higher or second-order kind.

Macro: very large in scale, scope, or capability.

Micro: minute in scope or capability.

See levels of observation. Charles & Ray Eames Powers of Ten film.

Poetic Synthesis, Linking older work to newer work, Finding a “Golden Thread” in my lifetime of work. Examine poetic knowledge, poetic critique – possibly the work of Donald Kuspit.
Continue with the search for the parallels in meaning, especially how my faith informs my work. Faith informed process? What does that look like?

Pop Surrealism / Pop Expressionism: Both allow a contemporary context for all of the varied, and disjointed issues that may arise in one artwork.
Consider a work of art to have as many as 10 layers of meaning. Each level of depth may be a possible new direction. What motivates or drives each new work? How does my audience affect my work?

There are many audiences for my work, can there be something for each of them in the depth of it?

Take notice of the visual mapping, grids, diagrams, patterns, connections that continually take place in your ideas.

Imagine walking the same grounds, yet each time, with more experiences and new insights the paths change. Or the paths become more granular — you see new, and more intricate directions to go. Somewhat like walking up a mountain, each turn of the path allows new vistas of the same landscape. The next elevation and angle you attain becomes a completely new view. This can be a means of discovery and development of who you already are.

Study Meta, Macro, Micro levels of observation. Charles & Ray Eames Powers of Ten film.

 Some of my early sculpting on an idea of the specific redwood tree as a sanctified example. On Sunday I was reminded of how a tree is one thing while it is alive and once cut down we think of it as being “dead” but it has gone on to become something else. I thought of the horror of the cross. It was used to bring us life. A tree had to be cut down and used for that purpose. What might that tree have looked like? How amazing that one tree out of many can be considered for that duty. A common tree for an uncommon end.

This sculpture showing a long trunk and a carved chair is my first attempt at creating a 3D version of the sketches from an earlier post. This will be with the mindset of these trees being redwoods. I am not sure of the way to depict scale, but I am working on that concept now.

One of my favorite places on earth: Patrick’s Point State Park, near Trinidad, CA.

January 2015

Over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend our APU MFA program will re-convene and have a 3 day critique session. I am currently preparing everything to hang and then, preparing all of it to get packed into my car for the trip to Azusa.

On the way I will be traveling with my dear friend Bill Van Vlear who has spent the last two weeks building a walk-in shower for us. I will be taking him, his tools and my artwork to his house first, then on to APU to check into my place for the weekend. 20th Century Motor Lodge.

On the left here is just one of the pieces I will be displaying in Darling Hall for the arranged one-on-one critiques.

This is an attempt to put the construction and engineering on the exterior of the piece and the “design” and aesthetics on the interior. I wanted a vehicle that made sense to me, so by putting the reversal into this cube helped me to visualize what the construction could become without being too contrived.

This shows the vertical alignment on a toned wall
so you are able to see the white-on-white.

here it is in the studio to see scale.
it’s approx. 60″ tall.

Some thoughts regarding an introduction to an additional illusion with the panels. Here I have a foam core board maquette that could be built with either panel or stretched canvas.

This process can give the added experience of moving around a piece for a new view to the artwork. I have been thinking of how I can address the discussion of making my work more dimensional, or even 3D in some instances. This is a step in that direction. I see this opportunity to make paintings that move into a person’s space and allows one to create new compositions based upon your vantage point to the artwork.

Each photo represented here is of the same construct, but from different angles. This gives us a surprisingly different perspective on the viewer’s experience. I can even see very traditional painting taking on a different feel with this. The question of why I am doing this is not clear yet. I feel like this step is merely an approach at moving the artwork towards the viewer.

evidence of the hand of God in creation, with surrounding circumstances

Recently finding some more writings of Mako I keep getting inspired with the concept of our responsibility to cultivate culture — all the while we are immersed in a world that works against our vision  of eternity.

Makoto Fujimura:

“To me, to paint is to practice the “Presence of God” in the process of creating. Whether I have a market for my work is secondary to the practice of the “art of seeing” that is fundamental to my being. I urge you to do the same: whether your “art” be painting, writing, theatre, dance, music-or being a first responder, or a nurse, or an engineer-develop your “inner eye” and create with faith.”

I am a fan of Mako’s position in the art world. He is able to influence our generation of artists who’s work has been informed by a Christian world view. With Mako’s reputation he is able to navigate both worlds of contemporary art and faith. He has gained the respect of critics, galleries and publishers and he uses that influence to stand for truth.

Having spent some recent time thinking about the before & after occurrence of an idea in our brain, especially me trying to describe to my 2D design class how to “brain storm” this article popped out at me.
Isaac Asimov wrote a paper in 1959 for a spinoff of MIT called Allied Research Associates that addresses some considerations in regards to how this thought, an idea may be sprouted. This article about creativity and “How do people get new ideas?” has recently been discovered and posted into Technology Review.

Robert Genn painting from his
flat-bottomed scow, on the
Nicomekl River in British Columbia

This article from Sara Genn, the daughter of Robert Genn, a Canadian landscape painter who I admire not only for his landscapes and abstractions, but his clarity of writing and observation. I get these writings weekly and they really inspire me to continue delving towards the center of what my art is about.

Historically, my intentions have been to let my work speak for itself and for it to retain a mystery. There is now a push for me to begin to define my work in words as well as visuals. My writing is weak, and the course of learning about describing my work must be developed. The thought of presenting questions instead of answers will be an important direction for me to address. A couple of observations and quotes from the article linked above:

In 1976 Leonard Bernstein lectured on art at Harvard University. “A work of art does not answer questions,” he said, “it provokes them.” He called his talk The Unanswered Question, borrowing his title from the 1908 symphony composed by American modernist Charles Ives. 

“Why talk when you can paint?” (Milton Avery

Writing to understand why I make art is going to be a large part of my next few years of exploration. I am not sure what original ideas I may have, but one question that is starting to loom larger in my mind is about “ideas” — where do they come from, and why was there nothing in that place in your mind before?

 As I concern myself with why I am using this shape as a foundation or building block for these abstractions it continues to keep my interest thinking about this type of “grid” that can grow in various directions. The forms that appear when arranging the different pieces together still give me a sense of fun and surprise. Even though these are organized shapes, the compositions remind me of graphic molecules and natural patterns.

This group of tiles are utilizing the similar mark making and palette from the previous set, but this time starting off with a much thinner roll out of clay caused a different approach to the marks. This time the carving and drawing affected both sides of the tile, so I had to be much more delicate with the application of pressure.

So, on this project I wanted to convert my drawing into 3D. I made a small sculpture to work out what this might be like as a dimensional concept. This maquette is 6″ tall at the back of the chair, and 5″ wide at the very bottom of the tree stump.
In this I am continuing the thought of what does it mean when a tree is cut down, yet used for a higher purpose? Thinking of the definition of sanctification as defined in the Dictionary of Biblical Theology:

“The generic meaning of sanctification is “the state of proper functioning.” To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. A pen is “sanctified” when used to write. Eyeglasses are “sanctified” when used to improve sight. In the theological sense, things are sanctified when they are used for the purpose God intends. A human being is sanctified, therefore, when he or she lives according to God’s design and purpose.”

An opportunity may exist here in talking about this concept without making it a “spiritual theme” upfront. This might be a way to talk about stewardship and design from a direction that does not seem overtly didactic.

It seems to me that people, in general, are interested in efficiencies and engineering with a nod to pure design that would allow me to have a dialog that can be essentially from a vantage point that can later lead a conversation back to God.

So far this fastening option has not been successful. I am trying some various types/gauges of wire to see how will be the best solution to assembling the tiles the way I envisioned this project. Braided wire is not working but solid core 12 & 14 gauge has worked out well. It’s fairly stiff and tends to hold its shape well, but when I lift these, and hang them on the wall they are very floppy still. Not the best solution yet.

wall hanging.
Hanging on the wall finally

Sanctification Sculpture

I decided to build a small maquette of my “sanctificaton” idea. This is a 3d version of the drawing I envisioned. It reminded me of a time when I was working in clay doing special effects on a TV project that never got picked up. I spent a lot of time sculpting and doing mold making. Also, with a few simple drawings under my belt — it was a nice opportunity to envision and realize what a dimensional version might do to my thinking of this concept. Maybe this will be a bridge, or maybe a cul-de-sac. It’s too soon to tell, but I am thinking of how I will build my next maquette!

2nd round of tiles.
These are thinner too.

Also, another round of rhombus shaped tiles with bas relief carving and drawing. These have a “next generation” feel to them. I little more confident, and possibly a bit more elegant. This time around I will be more familiar with the glazing choices and application too.

These are in the leather hard to bone dry phase of drying. Soon we can candle them, soak them up to full temp for bisque firing.

Fresh out of the kiln.
I will need to spend some time with these

Here’s the whole group – 12 tiles total.

I have been experimenting a bit with some drawing on clay – then glazing/firing them to see what effects may be found. I hope to do another set soon. I will be continuing with this group for a while longer. This will compliment the “auto-mono-prints” that I started last week.

These are approx. 1/2″ thick, and I will be doing some that are a bit thinner. I like the heft of them, but we will see what happens with my engineering on the hanging mechanism for the back.

There will need to be some experimenting as to the best way to connect these on the back and see what a good way to hang these (or if they will hang at all!) They may end up as coasters or ash trays or something inglorious.