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.

Let there be light

Final 4/29

Inspired by recent, more graphic paintings, and also by Jacqueline Humphries, I recently churned a new piece based on the small study in the top row, and using an existing shaped-canvas, which will have (drum roll) three dimensions- high-key color in normal light (1), fluorescence under ultraviolet light (2) and phosphorescence in no light (3). I’ve made work in this vein before (top left).

This will not be the last time I work with fluorescent paint, which will certainly be a new challenge as these colors do not exist on the normal color wheel. The “glow-in-the-dark” medium also gives a decidedly yellow-greenish cast. Technical challenges can not only be inspiring, but lead unknown places and teach the attentive creative.

This piece and the ones that will follow also relate to my installation work, which is time-limited, so that the experience- the presence and participation of the audience- is primary. The use of light will, I believe, foreground my emphasis on and prioritization of perception (specifically, the audiences’) as well. Below are some shots of the finished piece in all three “states.” Definitely going to revisit some of the compositional strategies I used in the early 2000s in the next iterations of this project.

When less is more

Final 11/2

The pieces below began out of an interest in exploring some new directions with painting, and despite having recently completed a couple of pieces that weren’t clean breaks, I definitely see this small series as a big step away from some aspects of work from the last two years to refocus on line and color (with much less emphasis on surface and implied space). The series follows through on some of the things that happened in the (finished) piece in the middle of the top row of the gallery below, which was a follow through on the study at the top left. I did some initial color studies and par usual the compositions are automatic drawings using isometric cubes (and transferred via projector).

Here’s a gallery showing the development of one of the 5 total pieces in this series. Despite the color studies, most of the color choices, as well as line and application decisions, are also made “in the flow.”

Here’s the finished version of above. Scale is 15″ x 21″. Not sure if it matters in the end if these are more like studies (since I’m using them to learn) or finished pieces. It is all part of the journey. Check out my main painting gallery for more finished pieces.