Monthly Archives: May 2020


“Train Window” 5”by5” charcoal

Most of the time, I feel as though I never really grew up, that I’m still a child, trying and wishing to be something more than what I am… not someone different, but different in understanding. An understanding signified by a manifest ability, an understanding and ability gained through experience. It’s this desire that propels a felt need to rush towards experience. It’s the idealism of wishing to be more than what I am that continually feeds the desire to grow. It’s not work ethic, it’s neurosis.

“MayB” 5”by 5” charcoal

A Swing of Attention

I swing between want of detail and the need for feeling. Consequently, I land somewhere in between. This isn’t meant to be a generalization of the figure. This isn’t meant as an abstraction. It’s a distortion created by the lens of my attention, not a manifesto of aesthetics.


“Adiline” 5”by 5” charcoal and white pastel on paper

There’s an arousal in deciphering the familiar from a collage of marks and lines. It taps into a scanning response that hums away in the unconscious coding of adults that were raised in unpredictable or unstable environments. Art has the ability to safely activate this state of mind and tantalize it with the visual swish and flick of an experience intended to jostle thoughts and feelings.

Teasing out a pattern holds an allure that I’m strongly drawn to. It’s reflective in my preference to move away from definitive drawing and instead towards suggestive figurative drawing, towards stream of consciousness with threads to pull on and unravel.

This particular drawing isn’t that, but it’s hints at a drifting away from the literal and instead letting a drawing be a drawing. Joy being found both in recognition and the physical experience of mark making.


The trajectory of tonal changes can imply direction of a timeline. In this case the shift to darkness is just that… a shift to rather than away from. It’s the cultured habituation of left to right scanning, but it could also be a current lack of optimism.

Note: return to using cut outs and stencils to build up a layered image using guash, charcoal, pastel, and graphite.


As we wallow around in midlife, raising kids, going to a job, worrying through our problems… how often do each of us take time to start something new just to experience the feeling of sinking back into the uncomfortable, familiar feeling of being bad at that something?

After work, it feels good to just relax into a chair and draw for a bit, making one decision after another, and seeing how it plays out as another mark is made. A drawing being steered towards completion, rather than executed, it’s course constantly being adjusted with each new mark. Making the drawing itself is the experience, not the end result. The resulting drawing is merely a map made along the way.

5/19 Figure it Out

It doesn’t need to be to the moon and back…. just a few lines to hang some color onto is worth a moment of peace.
Redrawing a drawing is turning out to be and unexpected exercise of restraint. Straight out of the blocks, there’s a feeling that what’s being done is doing the initial drawing a disservice, the original being interesting enough in the first place for it to have gotten pulled out of the stack. Although now that I’m looking back at these two, it’s not all that reasonable to assume that anyone would be able to say which drawing came first. The unexpected exercise of restraint is referring to an inability to stick to this particular project for 2 weeks without becoming diverted or disheartened. A figure pinned to a page can easily be a failure of character development. The most exciting and interesting thing going on is usually the dynamic nature of active lines. If it’s a problem of disinterest, add interest to what’s being done. Figure it out.

Still Life With Strawberry

Sit down and do what’s in your head… Moving the old bronze skull that Jess planted up with a strawberry daughter a few weeks ago, out onto the ledge of the porch, and drawing that while relaxing, that’s what was in my head.

“Still Life With Strawberry” 5”by 8” pastel on paper

…and it worked(ish). I didn’t have a clear vision for what I wanted. I thought I did, but now looking at the result, I suspect what I had was a vague image connected to a feeling. The image I had in mind was darker in tone, and frankly, I whiffed it on the feeling I wanted to achieve. I don’t know how to describe what I wanted other than to say I wanted to feel it in my lower gut on my left hand side. (Sounds weird saying it, but that’s what I wanted.)

Still… the idea is out of my head, now it’s either play with it, develop it, or move on.