I tend to prefer busy compositions. They hold my interest longer as I can ponder all the micro-compositions contained within the larger context. And I like they way they make your eyes dart around finding details, patterns and inconsistencies. I like minimalist compositions as well, they just don’t keep me engaged in the same way.
I’ve considered naming my pieces with more than just a date code since I first started making them over 25 years ago. And I’ve always chosen to keep it simple and allow the viewer to interpret each piece without imposing the context of a title—until now.
I started giving titles to new work in late 2018, and later decided to retroactively title all the 2018 work since I hadn’t yet posted any of them. Now, for the first time since I’ve been making art, I can actually refer to each piece by name and remember them! That’s clearly a positive thing since I was never able to remember the names when they were just dates. But, titles “color” artwork by adding words to an otherwise purely visual object. And that’s something I’m not too keen on—at least for my own work. I’d really rather have the viewer take each piece at its visual face value alone. On the other hand, the titles can add a positive dimension to the work as long as the viewer doesn’t take them too literally.
I title the pieces after they are created, so the piece is not made to embody the concept of the title, rather the title is a reference to some (possibly insignificant) aspect of the piece that is just meaningful enough to me to allow me to remember it by name. That said, I hope the titles add a little something to the work rather than take away the freedom to interpret them on their own.
Since I haven’t posted to the blog in over a year, I’ve got a backlog of art to post and I’m still making art roughly on a weekly basis. So, my blog posts are going to be out of chronological order for a while as I post new stuff and gradually catch up on the last year’s work.
Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted any new art. I took about a seven month break from making art when I changed jobs and moved, but also fell out of the rhythm of posting to my blog and social accounts. So it’s been almost a year and half since I’ve posted anything. I’ve got a backlog of about 50-60 new pieces to post and I’ve been making new work at a pretty good pace, so I hope to be able to catch up and get back into the groove.
This piece picks up where I left off after about seven months. You may notice that it has a real title for a change! More on that later :)
There's a fine line between discipline and habit.
This piece is inspired by the the textures and tiles that adorn the buildings in Porto Portugal. I'm always struck by how a beautiful stimulating environment is at once inspirational and also a creative black hole.
There is no overt political, religious or social message in my work. But, I hope it inspires people to think a bit more deeply and abstractly.
The reason that everything has meaning is that there is a reason for everything.
Our ability to accept and drive the adoption of new ideas and technologies always seems to lag much farther behind than I'd prefer.
Isn't life all about adding layers? Seasons, events, cycles, repetition, all semi-transparently laid down and built upon one another, sometimes forming structures and other times just adding to the background stew.
"A leopard can't change its spots." But he can know his pattern and choose an appropriate environment in which to wear it.
I read that archeologists recently discovered artifacts from a village in Canada that date between 12,000 to 14,000 years old.
Robots, nuclear war, AI, dark matter, politics, jobs, multiverse, exercise, depression, electric vehicles, Mars colonization, religion, money, Instagram, art... Time for a nap.
One of the themes I play with from time to time is the relationship between two or three subjects. Sometimes I think of them as people, sometimes plants or animals, and sometimes just objects. This one had me thinking about a pair of trees growing up together—wondering if they are aware of each other.
I've had an interesting conversation with life-long friend from art school over the past couple of days. We've been back and forth on the pros and cons of technological "progress." Despite the romantic notion of a "simpler time," I definitely come down on the side of embracing the future in the hope that progress will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and cultural stigmas.
Self-similarity interests me on so many levels. It is the foundation of elegant design. It is the model of nature and evolution. It's true to its own nature from the atomic scale to the cosmic. There doesn't seem to be much written about its importance or role in the laws of physics, but it seems to me to be as fundamental as gravity itself.
Someone recently asked about the borders I incorporate into the top and bottom of my pieces. If you are inclined to look at my oldest work you can see that it evolved early on with some trial and error. At first, I simply experimented with it as a compositional element, then as I started to consider it more deeply, a few ideas emerged. As I'm working I usually make the border last. It gives me a strong sense that I'm finished and offering the piece to the viewer at that moment—literally as if I'm handing it to someone. Leaving the two sides "open" makes a subtle statement that you are free to visually enter and exit the piece—to walk through it. The open sides also allow my body of work to be tied together and experienced as a continuum.
I've watched a few art documentaries over past week or two. The first was David Lynch's "Art Life," then one about HR Giger's last days, and lastly one about Peggy Guggenheim "Art Addict." All interesting, and very different, but had a few things in common. They all lived art immersively with a blind obsession, never fazed by lack of talent, critical affirmation or even their own sometimes tragic personal lives.
The Golden Ratio (1:1.618). It's said that the human body and face, and many examples in nature, display this proportion. It's then assumed that we naturally prefer these proportions in made objects. There is a similar phenomenon in sound and music where certain frequencies (notes) and combinations of frequencies (chords) are pleasing to our ears while other aren't. I imagine that these things come from somewhere very fundamental. I consider proportion constantly as I'm making art. I virtually never break out a calculator or grid but there is definitely a point where compositional choices feel right.