Oblique Strategies

Final 4/29/23

Many readers may be familiar with this project by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. One of my projects for 2023 was 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.

Below is a gallery I uploaded about 2 months in showing that most of the results have been roughly in line with my current pursuits (drawing cubes). In addition to the benefits (for a formalist) of daily drawing, I also appreciated the aspect of this project that required reasoning through choices. Careful observers will note one composition that this process has generated that has shown up 3 times now…

Sometimes things went the way they were meant to go even if I didn’t generate a usable drawing.

In the end I did not finish all the prompts, having ended up with some great starts for new drawings and paintings.

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).