Monthly Archives: November 2019

Post-it Note 11/29

When I said “I’m having fun”, what I’m hinting at is that I’m intentionally experiencing being in the flow of the process of drawing, doing just for the sake of doing. The drawing is an simply an artifact that’s carried away from that experience.

Evaluate and Move On

After walking through the seasonal local potters guild show last night, there’s a question that’s been left hanging over my head… 

“How would a person know if their work is bad if they themselves think it’s good?”

Ridiculous question, but I believe it’s a version of the Dunning Kruger Effect, we just don’t know what we don’t know. I’ve met too many “want to be craftsmen” that truly thought they were making high-craft, but were instead making garbage, too many too not question my own judgment regarding my own work. 

Just because I enjoy the work that’s coming out of the sessions, doesn’t imply that it’s worthy of consideration by anyone other than myself. It’s also is questionable whether I’m qualified to make any judgments beyond self reflective. I may know what I like when I see it, but I also know that artists can be a touch post rational when it comes to their own work, this can swing towards being unreasonably positive regarding the results, but it can also instead be inappropriately harsh. 

The point I was moving towards was questioning how a person would know if their work was any good… the easy answer is “Does it really matter?” This is fundamentally an issue of the personal subjective taste of an artist and the responsibility of developing the skills needed to satisfy that taste. Unfortunately this also means that it opens up the artist to the judgements of others when they choose to share their efforts. While anyone can call themselves an artist, natural affinities towards sofistication and good taste are rare and those with the talent to back up those natural affinities are even rarer.

Yeah… Well there’s always the option of not showing the work regardless of how good it is or isn’t, despite what is often repeated, art doesn’t need to be shared for it to be art.

So note to self… When in doubt, draw what’s there, make decisions, evaluate what’s been done, move on… make more work. That’s what you are doing anyway, don’t overthink it.

Follow the Action

Draw with your body, with the whole arm, not just your fingers and wrist. Move and dance as you chase the form and as you explore the shadows. Don’t underestimate the veiwers ability to follow the action and appreciate a playful line. Put the conté on the paper and go.

Much of what’s being done is based off of what was just said, “follow the action “, get in there and 

Made You Look

There’s no story behind these other than a Sunday session with Marcus. The finished drawings don’t even resemble him in the fine details, but he’s right there. The idea that  color play allows for a more visceral connection into the work is still being touched on. There seems to be some merit to the approach, I’m finding that a strict adherence to reflective naturalistic drawing has simply become boring and mundane. While these are not what I expect to find in a pile of finished drawings, I feel that, even as unsuccessful works, when I look at them they reengage me. They aren’t pretty or even good, but they do make me look.

Post-it Note 11/20

If collaboration was predictable and safe, I don’t believe it would hold the allure that it does. Letting the unexpected have permission to present itself is the game that’s afoot when pulling from Jess’s pile of drawings. It’s all the possibilities that play at the edges of what’s happened that attracts my daydreams, setting off a reverie as I slide into sleep.


Easily the best work to come out of this past years worth of sessions hasn’t been from the teachers or the students, or Jess, or me…

It’s been Andor’s work that for me has been raised as the standard for what’s possible. I delight in the pause that his drawings create.  The adherence to proportion, the playful variation in line quality, loose color combinations all lend a childlike sense of naive structure, and yet a gentle sofistication.

I’ve often said the mark of an reasonably interesting artist is the fact that others look forward to checking in with them again just to see what they do next, Andor has that.  I genuinely enjoy his being around and enjoying his work and I’m always looking forward to getting to see what he shares next.

Just My Type

Every new world needs a map…

Although it appears to take a particular kind of someone that feels compelled to build a boat, and another type of someone to explore and create the map needed for others to use to pilot the boat, and finally, it’s going to take a crew of “someones” to use the boat.

The Write Place is very similar to the boat that was built. A lot of effort was put into the dream of creating a book crafting studio in downtown Stockton, California and now it’s metaphorically moving its way out of port.

Nico and I spent the day together for the inaugural workshop learning the bare bones basics of typesetting and using the Golding Pearl Letterpress.

Upside down and backwards, the dyslexia is coming in real handy…

I’m pretty certain that I couldn’t find a media that’s more niche than typesetting and letterpress, but despite the lack of an audience, there’s still an allure to the archetype of the printed word. I grew up making my own zones and thinking of them as kin to the pamphlets Ben Franklin printed with an eye towards setting off a revolution. I don’t feel much has changed, it’s just that now, the changes that I have my own eye looking towards is amorè. 

That kind of change is just my type.

To be continued….