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

Monday, November 2, 2015

Water monster

Today I fixed a painting.

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 two other 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?"