Monthly Archives: July 2020


Today’s drawing is charcoal and white pastel on a piece of my daughter’s handmade paper. The soft and uneven texture of the paper made for a soft focus image. It has possilities if worked along with fixative to build up layers, adding a few simple lines and values used to move the eye.

Viable Solutions

The studio door rolled up and space was cleared, long past time to see if the hands could really remember how to make this happen, and surprisingly, they did. It did take a break in sobriety to open the literal and metaphorical door. This is a decision that was (is) scary for me. I don’t want to return to a lifestyle of addiction. It did work though, and now that the door has been opened, I’m finding that I’m comfortable in the studio, even preferring to make my decisions sober. The reckless aspects of my decision making is being toned down. Toned down, but not absent. There’s still a value being placed on using inquisitive activity and calculated risk to move projects in directions that are unfamiliar.

The challenge this time around is to change without a monkey in the cockpit.
I’m 2 and a half years clean and sober and I want to see what I can do with that. Reliving the safety of past designs doesn’t possess the allure to keep me in the studio.

So this is the tip of the spear for this round of work. It’s a simple paper transfer process that resembles reverse glass painting, building up layers of underglaze and colored slip on newsprint and transferred to a leather hard clay surface. The process lends a flavor to the surface. The trailed lines are inherently loose and playful, and the surface has a peeled paint look and feel. There’s plenty of potential directions that this can (and will) be taken, but most importantly, I feel that it’s a working solution for bringing drawing to the surfaces that are being created.


How can there be an understanding of what is being done as it’s being done?  The firsthand  observation of process and an internal awareness of measured expectation is a notoriously different experience from an overlaying subjective meaning onto a finished work. Significance is given by each viewer by choice, not by the pronouncements of the maker. We are simply unable to make reasoned judgments regarding what is being done. What appears to be good while we are in the throes of process is often later reevaluated as mundane and pandering to the safety of the crowd, while similarly its the work that frustrates, forces decisions, and begs questions that in turn arouses interest when presented.


Inside of the “structure” of a target, there’s plenty of room for individuality to be realized… much the same way that stories are found inside the framework of language, or a drawing can be found inside of an image, everything between an idea and its attempted perfection is relevant to the experience.

A Safe Space

There’s a feeling that’s attuned to when I’m allowed to go to inside my head, when I’m able to make space to experience exploring. I would like to think of it as a safe space, I even tell myself it is just that, but it’s not as simple as that. It’s a space full of decisions, judgment, and disappointment… it’s also a space of wonder, elation, and joy. It’s a space that allows for a sense of control to be possible. A space where I can find a identity within myself. It’s an arena. It’s a stage. It’s a safe place to play just as it’s a safe place to fail. Any part of me is in bounds without need for self censorship.

Diminish time spent with this space, and I am diminished as well.

Inventing Targets

In the moments that questions arise regarding subject matter of the drawings that are being made, there’s a space that needs to be claimed. We all are allowed to use our interests to create our own targets, providing motivation and voice to our own experience of exploration and play. The end result needs neither meaning, sense, nor truth for it to be a valid experience…