Indy Cartography

A few months ago I set about planning and mentally laying out a new show for the City Gallery at the Harrison Center for the Arts. I knew almost right away that it would revolve around maps. I would tie these maps to important places in Indianapolis, my home.

And, the work would be big - the first piece I started for this show was 4 x 3 feet. I had been itching to do larger paintings for a while. 

Sketchbook layout of the City Gallery  

Sketchbook layout of the City Gallery  

Three weeks ago, several paintings were in progress, some more than others, but nothing was finished. Also three weeks ago, a disc in my lower back herniated. Great timing, right? 

Spine model from my doctor's office, showing the offending disc  

Spine model from my doctor's office, showing the offending disc  

Many things became uncertain. For a time after I couldn't go to work, drive, walk up stairs, and certainly couldn't get to the studio to continue these big pieces. But, with everything I couldn't do, I needed a goal (besides all the things listed above) and that was to commit to this show, even if I wasn't sure I could make it to my own opening.

What you will see at tonight's opening and throughout January was created, in large part, in the last two and a half weeks. And I love it all. 

'North Split' in progress  

'North Split' in progress  

The work is much smaller, and all on paper, things I could work on from home. And I'm really proud of it. It's not what I originally planned. It's better.

'Herron Morton Place' in progress, from the couch. 

'Herron Morton Place' in progress, from the couch. 

While I wish I could have avoided injury, it pushed me to re-examine my approach and the results are on view this month. 

Deadlines drive us.  

Sketchbook Sunday: Honeybells

Each winter I get a shipment of Honeybells (sometimes called Honeybell oranges) - a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit, that are only in season for a very short time in January and February. It's a welcome bright flavor in the middle of the cold and snow.

This year's shipment hasn't yet arrived, but I've had them on the brain this Sketchbook Sunday.

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I'm also trying out my new travel watercolor set. It's a compact set of cake paints with brush with its own reservoir of water. It's an odd feeling to not have a cup of water standing by while I'm painting, but I like the ability to take paints with me on the road (or to the living room).