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.  

Monument Circle Art Fair, Year Two

I'm baaaaaccck! I grew up hauling art for my mom to and from art fairs, then I worked for one for a long time (shout out to the Broad Ripple Art Fair!), then I took a break from all of that because art fair life is hard.

Even with all of that, I had never done an art fair for myself with my own work. Until last year. I took a chance and got a booth at the first ever Monument Circle Art Fair. And you know what? It was pretty fun. So much so that I'm doing it again.

The 2nd Monument Circle Art Fair is next weekend, October 8 from 10am-5pm and you can find me in booth #7 (same spot as last year). I'll be bringing a new batch of paintings, prints, and postcards, including my new Color Me! series.

And for the second year, MCAF is featuring my 'Monument' mixed media painting in it's promo materials - look for the banner at 30th and Meridian Street! The original can be seen in a show at City Gallery at the Harrison Center for the Arts through the end of October.

Starting Over

Today I started over on three paintings. They have been in progress for weeks and today all progress stopped... or did it?  

They've been painted white again, back to the beginning, but they now have a little more texture, there are shadows of the previous layers, and will be the base for something new... one day.

 

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For now, they are sitting in a corner of the studio. Things like this make me wonder if I'll ever finish a painting again. I hate this feeling. 

Revisiting the Past

I'm in process of decluttering both at home and in the studio in an effort to own less stuff and have what I do own mean more or at least hold a regular, useful purpose. 

This has resulted in quite a bit of rediscovery of art that was abandoned mid-creation. Rather than tossing out bits and pieces of my starts and stops, I'm throwing them in one place with a goal to finish them out, even if it doesn't follow the original plan (because I'm not in that place anymore anyway).  

Here's the first of this blast from the past clean out project - I came across a short stack of small (5 x 7 inch and smaller) bits of paper from a time when I was experimenting with more saturated layers of watercolor. This was before my obsession with gel inks that can easily by applied over dark backgrounds. I combo'd another recent subject matter - hands - with a nod to a client's illustration project by circling the wrist with ranunculus.  

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I love the result and joining the past with present. Look for more to come here, on Facebook, and Instagram.

Sketchbook Sunday: From Start to Finish

Keeping a sketchbook is all about the process for me. I use it to jot down notes, ideas, quick sketches, or to doodle patterns for hours. Only rarely does a finished piece resemble an actual sketch. This is one of those stories...

One of my favorite recent paintings is called the Water Bearer. It's about the things we carry with us. These things are heavy and in motion and even though we shouldn't be able to carry the weight, we do.

Here's the original sketch, done in August of 2013 while I was visiting Portland, OR:

And here is the finished painting:

As you can see, the title changed, but little else. You can see Water Bearer in person in my studio at the Harrison Center for the Arts on First Friday, April 1 (no joke!) or at the Indianapolis International Airport from June through September.

 

Happy February

To my fellow February-born, be you Aquarians or Pisces, the amethyst is our birthstone. The word Amethyst comes from the Greek meaning "without drunkenness" and is believed to ward off poisoning. So there's that.

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I'm continuing this series of birthstones each month throughout 2016 with the plan to assemble them into some really cool project a little later this year.

More to come!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, you beautiful people!

I took a long holiday break from my website, blog, and even social media to enjoy some quiet and begin a new plan for 2016. I'm not much for making resolutions, instead, I make a lot of lists.

2016 list-making is in full swing - ideas for new art and products, plans for client projects, to-do projects for my house and studio... it goes on.

First up for this year though is revisiting a project I put on hold to work on other things. This series is all about birthstones/gemstones. I'll show you each new stone at the beginning of the month here, but you won't have to wait for the new collection. I'm working away on prints and other ideas for this small series.

Here's to January's birthstone - garnet!


Getting Growing Again

I've been working on this 3 x 6 foot painting for a client for about a month and am excited to show you its progress. While past paintings for this client have been shared with his household or in his company's new offices, this one is just for him and will greet him each day when he enters his own office.

It will be delivered in January and I'll show you completed pictures then, but for now, here is the progression over a month-long period. 

Greens. Purples. Gardens.