Friday, November 30, 2007

aesthetic operations

"...aesthetic operations are what artists do. Knowingly or not, when you are choreographing a dance or composing a piece of music, you are formalizing, exaggerating, repeating, manipulating expectation and dynamically varying your theme." - Ellen Dissanayake

Click on my entry title for the article "The Dance of Evolution: or How Art Got it's Start" by Natalie Angier in Wednesday's New York Times' Science Times section on the origin of creating art.

Sincerely yours,
aesthetic operator

Thursday, November 29, 2007

sound of breathing

Inspired by a conversation with my friend Ana Hernandez, an excellent conversationalist and artist herself, I've decided to post these images of 3 paintings/drawings I did a few months ago. This work was the beginning of an idea that I'm currently working with. In the midst of trying to create "prayer flags" of my own media and prayer, I began to transcribe the sound of my breath onto the surface. I was processing ideas of prayer, simple goodness, open space, clarity, even nothingness that prayer flags represent for me. I'm taking that process and working with it on the larger scale now - 5.5 sq feet and also keeping (at least for now) a white field of space. I'm coating the canvas in gesso and while it is wet, I write with graphite the sound of my breath as I breathe. Direct. I'm creating a field on which I want to include birds in flight, a silhouette abstraction really, to reference the 3 dimensionality of space and time that exists in our breathing. The vastness of our breath and the connectivity and the environment that it creates.

This is enough about this for now - here the images of the three works.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


By choosing to write what I am about to write, I believe I am that much more committed to producing a relative result. I wonder at my own ability to perform without assignments, deadlines, due dates… This is something like making those for myself.

The “relative result” would, in fact, be a work of art by myself. It may seem silly to write about this as though I am not already creating art on a regular basis, but I feel there is an undercurrent of creative ideas and theory that stays mostly in my mind – others do not experience any more than my seldom excited attempts to explain a sudden idea. I do occasionally create a work of art that is related to what is happening in my own undercurrent of course. I might do a series of 5 or 10 drawings or paintings that represent a kind of “sketch book” of my loftier visions. These are very valuable pieces of work to me in that they are visual notes reminding me of the grandeur that could exist by the effort of the same hands.

I have thought for about a year now that I am at a crux in my art making by which I have not yet been able to pass… I feel a sort of teetering and I’d rather teeter into the side of focused, committed art making (rather than just thinking about it until I’m blue and wondering why I never did what I wanted…). Now that I have a studio space, the greener grass on the other side of the fence seems more attainable.

I’m going to make a painting. I think it will be 6 square ft. on canvas. I will continue to address the concept of breathing in metaphorical relationship to art process. I have done 3 paintings/drawings most relevant to this idea, but they are smaller and different in scope as they relate to ideas of prayer flags. This is not so. I am still into the silhouette form of birds in flight and envision that form as part of the work. Whether there will be one large, one small, or a flock of smaller, I haven’t yet decided. A silhouette large enough to fill the canvas seems appropriate in some ways as it is then morphed into something else, an abstract shape of unrecognizable proportions and something abyss-like. A smaller, or group of smaller, speaks to reality and offers more negative space to the work, which is very important to me. Both proffer a sort of open void of space in their own right. Maybe 2 paintings are in order…

As for now, I leave you with a rather hilarious photo from my trip to Sedona, AZ with Christian over Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for stopping on the highway Mr. Butler.

Monday, November 19, 2007

slow down

I'm apt to overload and overachieve, it's a pattern of existence not so unfamiliar for many who grew up alongside me. At the same time, I find myself seeking to slow down, thinking about how to practice clearness and spaciousness in my mind and in my time. Thanksgiving is coming and I believe I am most thankful for my life's freedom to fill or not fill my time with "to do" and "I can."

As I make art, most recently, I find that I want to put less and less imagery, texture, media into the work... and if I do include those things, I don't want it to seem that way. Even in my drawings of real subjects, I want to pair down to silohuette and basic defining lines. I want my work to express what I desire in my life: openness, spaciousness, simplicity of breathing and sounds and colors. It isn't careless. There is an element of seriousness in my letting go and pairing down... a kind of hard work and attentiveness that allow release.

I've been going through a period of art making where I've felt like I'm in a stuffy room and suddenly, as I reach a point of completion in my work, it is as though I've just walked out into a crisp, clean Autumn day. It is as though I am breathing in twice as much with each breath and my breathing reaches far past my lungs to the ends of my body.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's a very special day in the neighborhood

That's right, it's my birthday. And I'd like to take this moment to honor my very special sister Erin (who you see pictured above with me... we both have long hair now, just thought I'd mention). It's her birthday too. You see, we're twins. She's the same age as me today, except that she will be 26 at 4pm and I will be 26 at 4:06.

Some things you should know about Erin: She's beautiful. She cares. She's lighthearted and fun. She's tough. She's intelligent. She's my womb-mate. (ha, that's a ridiculous term... I just made up).

I hope that all of you who are reading this, whether today or any other day, are now smiling and realizing how worth it it is to have a great day in honor of a great day: November 7th, 1981.

peace peace be with you my dear sweet sister.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


...the many faces of jack. Amy, Jon and I carved these pumpkins to impress our trick-or-treaters. As for today, Happy Day of the Dead! credit for photos goes to Jon Engle.