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.
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.
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.
This was requested by one of Joel's coworkers. He purchased the original painting from a garage sale and asked if I would please put a monster in the painting to liven it up a little. Without hesitation, I said I absolutely would. I stared at the painting a while before determining that, even though the water looked too shallow for a river monster, that's what was ultimately begging to be put into the painting. I figured too, that if this were a water monster it would have no problem fitting into any amount of water, because as we all know: Water monsters are cross-dimensional beings and don't particularly care how deep the water is.
For those curious about the original painting, it is a "Bangman" oil painting. Stylistically, it's probably from a factory painter in China. Here are twoother almost identical paintings by Bangman. When looking into the origins of the painter, many inquiries were made by others, such as "I found this painting at a garage sale for $11.00, have I found a masterpiece?" The answer 99% of the time is no, you did not find a masterpiece for $11.00. And this painting is absolutely no exception to that rule. These were mass produced works intended to solely fill that space in your heart and your living room for some "handmade art." So if you ever come across a piece of $11.00 art in a garage sale, look at it fondly and think to yourself, "Where does that water monster live?"