Sunday, March 13, 2016

Other People's Art

Over the past few months I have been in somewhat of an art slump. I haven't known what to create. There is a desire to create, but what to make has been elusive and I have felt more adrift than anchored in my creative practice. With that all being said, over the last week I have had the opportunity to experience some incredible pieces of art.

Last week my husband and I went to the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati where they are holding a Do Ho Suh exhibition. And it is absolutely fantastic. For those of you (seriously, is there anyone reading this?) who is in the Cincinnati area, please do yourselves a favor and don't miss this incredible show. The photos don't do the show justice and it must be seen in person because it is such a physical experience.

These are just a few of the pieces from the show, and only express one dimension of the show. Do Ho Suh's work is all about space and place. Several pieces are life-size replicas of places that he has lived in, represented in exacting detail through fabric, wire and thread, these are seen above. 

In addition to these amazing pieces are several videos that walk you through various places and spaces. One such video is displayed on three walls so that when one stands in the middle of the room it becomes an entire experience. The video walks us through London and Seoul, and is accompanied by the charming voice of his daughter who is riding in the stroller on top of which are the three cameras that record the passing surroundings. 

Needless to say, we spent two hours looking at this exhibition alone and I would happily go back again to spend more time experiencing the pieces. Each of the pieces felt so meticulously and intentionally created, it is very to spend a significant amount of time with each piece. If you are curious to learn more, read about it from the CAC here.

Another artist that I came across recently is Rowan Mersh, who creates a different kind of amazing that I have never seen before. Mersh crosses between drawing, tapestry, and sculpture, creating pieces that live somewhere in between each of those definitions. To me, these pieces look delicate and kinetic, but are often crafted with hard, unmoving materials like shells and metal--and that is what I find so compelling. The ability to create something hard out of something soft is something that we see regularly. For instance, thin wire can become a hard mesh, the soft tree pulp becomes cardstock, cardboard, with varying degrees of hardness. But to create something that looks so effortlessly soft out of something as unwaveringly hard like seashells and metal is magnificent. What's more, these pieces look like grasses rustling in the wind, or sea anemones flowing in the ocean, frozen in a moment.

I ran across Mersh's work rather serendipitously, through browsing sculpture images on Pinterest. I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest because it feels cheap, like a popularity contest for shit that doesn't matter (how many Likes something has). But I have found some incredible artwork and artists through it, and I do like that part.

Another artist that I found via Pinterest is Richard Sweeney. This is only partly true. I originally came across Sweeney's work in 2011 in Wallpaper Magazine, but I admittedly just didn't get it when it was presented in Wallpaper. It's an amazing magazine, he's an amazing artist, but for whatever reason it didn't click at that point, and I passed it by. But this time, on the much loathed Pinterest, it clicked.

Sweeney is another British artist, who primarily works with paper as his medium of choice. Sweeney's work is meticulously crafted, with clean lines, smudge and dent free. The paper seems to transcend its ordinariness and move in ways I have never seen paper move. His Pleated Works are enviably gestural, and endlessly compelling.

I would love to experience Sweeney's and Mersh's works in person and spend a good, long time looking at them from several angles. Because I'm unclear of how copyright works in blogging I've only linked to the artist's websites instead of including the digital images. But, because of that, you, dear reader, are able to take a longer look at their work and be able to find your own favorites.

To those that pass this way every once in awhile, thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Paper & pen

Some pen drawings I've done recently. The first is from the Meditations that I did earlier this month. The second is based on the trans-dimensional water monster in the doctored landscape painting from November.

Sketchbook drawings.

And these four drawings are from CD covers that I created for my boss. If he listens to the CDs, these are on the inside cover. The outside has the song/record/band information.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2014-2015 Collages

I'm working on an art swap with a friend; Gina created some artwork that I'm really excited to have, and I suggested that we do an art trade. She asked about some collages that I had done previously so I linked to those from my blog, then went to measure them. When looking for them I realized I had a dozen collages that had never been scanned and put on here. These collages are from this past year, with a few having been created sometime late last year.

Overall, I'm not exceptionally proud of a lot of these, but this blog isn't called "100,000 Bad Drawings" for no reason.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Over the past month I have been making an effort to use my Moleskine notebook more in order to get myself into the mindset of making "art." It has helped to keep it out within my visual range; keeping it on the coffee table, or setting it in my studio on my drawing desk. That being said, here are some of the doodles that have fallen out of my pen and brain recently.

One of the things on my what-I'm-going-to-do-after-my-Masters list was to work with charcoal. For some reason I felt like this meant a huge time-suck, and I wasn't even sure I had charcoal, a chamois, the right erasers, etc. (i.e., bullshit excuses), so I finally purchased some charcoal, a chamois, the right erasers, etc. (no bullshit excuses), and put them to the page today. It didn't take that long.

Then I ended with the more-than-familiar pens.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I had a moment recently when I was looking at the water dragon painting, contemplating how to make it better, when I realized that I hadn't done something like this in a while. Namely meditating on art. It's not like other forms of meditation, in that you are actively waiting to understand what needs to happen next in a painting, music, sculpture, etc. I never called it "meditation" whilst I was in college--that sounded too intentional, too formulaic. But now that I no longer daily work and live in an art environment I've stopped doing this action. All that is to say, when looking at the water dragon I realized that I wanted more of this active waiting, this meditation--and art. I have missed creating art, missed the action, the struggle, the joy.

This desire drove me to creating with the simplest tools that I am constantly coming back to: ink and paper. I didn't begin with the intention of creating anything besides marks on paper, and ultimately, I'm not sure that I created anything more than that. But it is satisfying in the most visceral fashion I can fathom.

Meditation 1. India ink & pen on paper

Meditation 2. India ink & pen on paper

Meditation 3. India ink & pen on paper