Oblique Strategies

Update 1/9/23

Many readers may be familiar with this project by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. One of my projects for 2023 is to draw my way through the deck of cards. One prompt per day, for 100 days in a row. In addition to the structure of a prompt from an outside, disinterested source, I pick my drawing materials and music prior to reading the prompt- music choices when I’m in the studio really reflect my mood anyway. I also give myself a time-limit of 15 minutes. Each drawing gets documented along with the “dilemma” (and my music choice), and I also am keeping a separate, small note-book with some narrative around the choices I’m making.

So far most of the results have been roughly in line with my current pursuits, I’ll decide in future updates to this portfolio how many of the non-cube drawings to show and why. I like the aspect of this project that requires reasoning through choices.

Black Light Painting on Paper

It probably tells the reader quite a bit about me to say that the image above makes me happy on so many levels.

I’ve made work in the past that was intended to be displayed under both black light and with no light (by utilizing photo-phosphorescent paint).

The study in the gallery above (the first of several*) is a recent continuation, or, at least, a related body of work. I’m working with adding paint on glass to create a layer of physical separation and also layering the different paints to see how they mix optically. I’ll probably use my updates to document progress.

An implied light source is important to understand the illusion in a painting, even in the case of an un-natural, fictitious space or place. I like the contradiction/duality of the work also appearing to be a source of light, in addition to the duality of having more than one appearance or set of visual characteristics, given a difference lighting. Plus, the need to change lighting requires participation, emphasizing the experiential element of seeing art; and, the additional duality that black-light art is not typically “high art” gives a gentle entry point for more audiences (I’m totally good with “that’s cool” from the non-art crowd).

*if you want to see others, sign up for this blog- I do post a lot about other artists, but I give updates on my own practice every other week as well.

First time screen-printing

Glad to finally get some screens pulled after starting this project last December! Very pleased with the results on a lot of levels- not only composition and color choice, but the acrylic has the slightest sheen on the paper which is very pleasing. I ended up using acrylic paint (since that’s more familiar to me than Speedball inks) and mixed about 1:10 with gloss acrylic gel medium. The gel medium gives the paint a ton of translucence which looks really cool in several places. I went with a pthalo green instead of ultramarine to give more pop against the napthol crimson red- it makes the purple a little more grey but that actually worked just fine as a trap color.

The other thing I loved about these was that no computer was used at any point. The original drawing was done on paper (and has been re-used) and the template for each of the three screens were made using layers of acetate onto which I traced each color with an opaque paint marker. I intentionally traced somewhat loosely and am so stoked with the way that impacted the final prints.

I wish I had gotten some pictures of putting the photo emulsion on the screens and doing the exposures- next time (definitely doing this again).


Layering pastels with tracing paper

A heavy snow day (for NC) recently afforded me the opportunity to take a drawing from start to finish. Getting through the last template for my silk screening project freed up both time and space for this drawing I’ve been wanting to make since I loaded up on bristol board and acetate recently (the latter shipped with layers of tracing paper that I found to highly translucent).

First, I taped down and gesso’ed the illustration paper to get a slight texture. After drawing the grid, I taped down two layers of tracing paper and proceeded to work back and forth between the sheets to arrive at the order in which to apply colors to arrive at a painterly quality when these layers were combined. I finished this piece with a layer of acetate onto which I traced the grid structure in felt-tipped Sharpie, and then slightly offset.



Prepping for screen printing

I will do an update post once we get to printing… So! I’ve had an interest in finding ways to capture a composition and use the process of copying it to create even more works, both as a strategy to create layers of media for a drawing through the process of drawing itself, and also/primarily out of a desire to make more, lower cost images for sale through non-gallery channels. Then I found out my neighbor has a set-up for doing runs of screens and I decided it was time to take this interest to the next level. I’ve never done any print-making and I am very psyched to see what results we get.

I first created a drawing on paper, and added some shading to begin fleshing out the dimensional quality of the cubes/space. I then began created the actual “negatives” which we will expose to create each screen by setting registration marks, taping down a layer of acetate over the drawing, and tracing the color for each screen

My interest in making some serigraphs (screen prints) specifically goes back a while- Albers was an early fav of mine, although it was only after undergrad that I seriously studied his work on color (I also made a series of paintings when I lived in Houston that I put in a show called “Blips” that were open nods to Albers and Richard Anuszkiewicz).

Screen prints by others that I like with captions…

albersJosef Albers. Homage to the Square. 1962


Richard Anuszkiewicz. Rosafield. 1962


Frank Stella. A Squeeze of the Hand. 1988