Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monkey Says

Here's the first scratchings towards another image with a speech balloon. This one's an etching.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Crow IV

Here's Crow IV. . . you can see its earlier state in the previous post. I'll probably put this one up for sale on eBay this coming Thursday night. So, after a long hiatus from online auctions, here's a chance to pick up something of mine over the web.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

cawcawcaw. . .caw.

This one's in progress. We'll see where it goes. This will eventually be the fourth of these crows, if all goes well. You can see the other three down below.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why Draw? William Kentridge.

drawing from Felix in Exile, William Kentridge
charcoal, pastel, and gouache, 120 x 160 cm

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev - You've often said that everything you do is drawing, and that you see drawing as a model for knowledge.

William Kentridge - What does it mean to say that something is a drawing - as opposed to a fundamentally different form, such as a photograph? First of all, arriving at the image is a process, not a frozen instant. Drawing for me is about fluidity. There may be a vague sense of what you're going to draw but things occur during the process that may modify, consolidate or shed doubts on what you know. So drawing is a testing of ideas; a slow-motion version of thought. It does not arrive instantly like a photograph. The uncertain and imprecise way of constructing a drawing is sometimes a model of how to construct meaning. What ends in clarity does not begin that way.

Christov-Bakargiev - So although you said at the beginning of this interview that for you drawing can become a self-centred process, drawing does not justify itself per se.

Kentridge - No, but I believe that in the indeterminacy of drawing, the contingent way that images arrive in the work, lies some kind of model of how we live our lives. The activity of drawing is a way of trying to understand who we are or how we operate in the world. It is in the strangeness of the activity itself that can be detected judgement, ethics and morality. Trains of thought that seem to be going somewhere but can't quite be brought to a conclusion. If there were to be a very clear, ethical or moral summing-up in my work, it would have a false authority.

from an interview in William Kentridge published by Phaidon

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why Draw? Jim Dine.

Athena's Night, Jim Dine, 1995
charcoal and isolated areas of pastel, 79 1/8" x 41"

Drawing is not an exercise.

"I don't make sketches. I don't make studies. A drawing is a drawing, a painting is a painting. There are certain subjects I don't paint. I don't paint portraits. I don't believe I have ever painted a self-portrait, but I've drawn myself a lot with great elaborateness. There is a lot of rubbing out, a lot of bringing back, and certainly working on it for many months. A drawing is a labor for me, not in a bad way, but in an intense way. I am able to search through drawing, for the age and personality. I look at the way flesh falls. I want to get it right, but right doesn't mean just anatomically correct, it means to get it right so it's convincing to me as an invention of the face. I have a total connection between my hand and my eye - it's just that I can't see sometimes. Sometimes I can see perfectly - by seeing I mean it's like an inner eye. It's not just two eyes seeing, it's the memory of how things look or the memory of how I want them to look. I'm very ambitious for my drawing. When I'm taking out and putting back, I'm not building necessarily - I'm taking out, hoping the next pass across the page will be a touchdown. I am not erasing because I couldn't get the object accurately, but because I am hoping for grace to come to me. I don't think hard work makes a good drawing. I have had a lot of students who worked very hard and after two weeks of drawing would turn out a drawing that was completely dead, even though it showed rigorous looking. It's not what I want. If I erase, it's because I didn't get what I wanted the first time, and if I don't get it by the twentieth time let's say, and the paper is halfway gone, then I start to patch the paper. Drawing is not an exercise. Exercise is sitting on a stationary bicycle and going nowhere. Drawing is being on a bicycle and taking a journey. For me to succeed in drawing, I must go fast and arrive somewhere. The quest is to keep the thing alive - the drawing and the state of grace. I get the endorphin high by the intensity of my looking and it is then that I leave my body."

"I need a lot of time to make a drawing. I always needed time for my incubation process, but now I need more time because I want so much more from the work and from my romantic unconscious. Drawing is the medium which has been the blood of my life. It allows me and others who are open to human emotion to experience a straightforward view without artifice, but with poetry."

excerpts from Jim Dine's essay "Putting Down Marks (my life as a draftsman)"

Why Draw? Mauricio Lasansky.

from the Nazi Drawings, drawing #2, Mauricio Lasansky, 1966
pencil, water and turpentine based washes on paper. 23" x 23.5"

"I tried to keep not only the vision of The Nazi Drawings simple and direct but also the materials I used in making them. I wanted them to be done with a tool used by everyone everywhere. From the cradle to the grave, meaning the pencil. I felt if I could use a tool like that, this would keep me away from the virtuosity that a more sophisticated medium would demand." --Mauricio Lasansky.

If you're unfamiliar with this amazing series of drawings, you should definitely spend some time here.

One of my best experiences as a grad student was installing an exhibition of the Nazi Drawings in the I.U. gallery - I was paying my tuition by being the gallery assistant that year. In this capacity I also got to chauffeur Mr. Lasansky around campus when he came to lecture and critique. As he was leaving he gave me a signed copy of the original exhibition catalog for the Nazi Drawings, from 1966. It's one of my little treasures.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Crows 2 and 3.

Crow II, linocut, acrylic, and collage

Crow III, linocut, etching, acrylic, and collage

Well, here are Crows II and III (see Crow I below). I'm pleased to report that these three pieces were selected by juror Robert Villamagna for "Altered States", a printmaking exhibition that will be on display this November at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Caw, caw.

Crow I, linocut and acrylic

Here's the first of what I'm thinking will be 3 images from the linocut you might have noticed a couple of posts ago. . .

By the way, there's a new feature over there in the right column, at the bottom, that allows you to "follow" the blog. If you want your avatar on the page, and a quick way to see new posts from FIMP, well, there you go.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


This is going to be the base of a few images. . . stay tuned.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ou est Philippe?

This month's book is Ou est Philippe?, which combines film noir imagery with French 101 dialogue. Darkly expressionistic imagery that will give you language lab flashbacks.