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: Cat Lady Edition

It's been a rough week. I lost my buddy, Buddy, on Tuesday night. He almost made it to fifteen (which after some scares surprised a lot of people) and my house feels strange without him.

For this week's #SketchbookSunday drawing, here's a little doodle of this cool cat...

And here he is during healthier times...

And on a lighter note, happy first day of Spring!

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.