Graphic Art

A few of you might know that I once pursued painting rather seriously, when I was quite young. I was never really satisfied with my efforts to paint depictions of interior dreamscapes, and I found music to be a more satisfying way to express that hidden world.

Here are two of the only examples I have of work from my teen years, this one from around 1979:



32″x36″ acrylic on masonite

This next one, I had left unfinished for the last 40 years, and finally got around to filling in some sections:


24″x36″ acrylic on fine-grain plywood (door-skin)

And here’s an example of the sort of invented calligraphic languages I was playing with in the 1990s:

And some other gestures in ink from around 2005-2015.

Well, skip ahead to 2018 and I’m back at it. I’ll use this page to show some of the pieces I’m making and think out loud a little bit.

Gesture: This is one of the many ideas that connect music and graphic art. Both forms can document a moment in time and space, when a creative act takes the form of intentional gestures. When we ask ourselves, “What gives meaning to art?” we see that the act of making something involves many small decisions about what NOT to do, in order to shape the direction of the resulting piece. In making music, we spend a lot of time practicing to get gestural languages that are expressive – controlling vibrato or glissando for example, dynamics and tone. I find an analog in “the line” in art, and I love the expressive gestures of calligraphy for example. For this reason, I am exploring calligraphic gestures, black lines on paper. Yet, for some reason I find it interesting to divorce these lines from obvious human touch, like a brush or pen. I am using some indirect techniques of transferring paint from objects laid down on the paper, much as Paul Klee would have done a hundred years ago. I like the abstraction this creates.

Synesthesia: I experience a rather subtle sort of synesthesia when I work on music. In particular, I feel the musical textures on my skin. In fact I experience much of the world this way, as a variety of textures on the skin or in the body, somatically. What we call “proprioception” or the sensing of the inside of the body, seems to extend outside to the other senses. This is one reason I tend to make rather quiet music, and I get exhausted in loud or over-stimulating environments like movies or video games, which I tend to avoid. When I am exploring graphic art, I can experiment with these different sensations in a new environment. Some of the pieces use heavy impasto or thick layers of gesso to reference stone or old eroded surfaces. Some of these are directly referencing ancient rock art, and you might see a long fascination I have had with petroglyphs (a very early piece of mine on Trances is called “Cave Paintings” for example.)

Before 2018, I had not yet sold any of my paintings, but that is changing. With this renewal of interest, I am starting to offer these for sale to people who inquire. A few of them will most likely end up as cover art, but almost everything could be available if you contact me and make an offer. Regarding those that have already sold, I am not yet posting prices, but I will happily discuss in private.

Exploring MirĂ³:


14″x17″ oil, guache and watercolor on paper

Lines:


14″x17″ oil and watercolor on paper


11″x14″ oil and watercolor on paper


14″x17″ oil and watercolor on paper

Variations on lines:


14″x17″ oil and watercolor on paper – [SOLD]


14″x17″ oil and watercolor on paper


11″x14″ oil and watercolor on paper

More dynamic gestures:


18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper


18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper

Colors and dimension, looking at “wabi-sabi”:


Echo, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper


Open, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper – [SOLD]


Sumi – Yin/Yang, 14″x17″ oil and watercolor on paper


Wabi Layers, 18″x24″ oil, acrylic, guache and watercolor on paper


Two Figures, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper – [SOLD]


Dragon, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper


Embrace, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper


Tendrils 1, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper



Tendrils 2, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper

Here is a sampling of some of the petroglyph studies:


Glyph 1, 16″x20″ gesso and acrylic on artist board, April 2018


Glyph 2, 16″x20″ gesso and acrylic on canvas, May 2018


Glyph 3, 16″x20″ gesso and acrylic on canvas, May 2018

Here are two finished in mid-June, with large brushes and Sumi ink


Crossing, 18″x24″ ink and watercolor on paper, June 2018


Vertical, 18″x24″ ink and watercolor on paper, June 2018

Some small simple Sumi ink gestures


Jump, 9″x12″ sumi ink on paper, June 2018


Walk, 9″x12″ sumi ink on paper, June 2018

Trying some new approaches with gestural painting, whipping paint-soaked twine against the paper.


Arc, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper, June 2018


Crossing, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper, June 2018r


Harvest, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper, June 2018

In mid-June, I found some chunks of cut climbing rope in a trash pile. I took a few pieces in curiosity, wondering if it would make a more aggressive line when whipped against the paper. I had mixed feelings about the results, so I added some Sumi ink to the lines that the ropes created.


Converge 1, 18″x24″ oil, Sumi ink and watercolor on paper, June 2018


Converge 2, 18″x24″ oil, Sumi ink and watercolor on paper, June 2018


Converge 3, 18″x24″ oil, Sumi ink and watercolor on paper, June 2018


Converge 4, 18″x24″ oil, Sumi ink and watercolor on paper, June 2018

Then there’s this oddball, which started out as one of the earlier twine-splatters, but I thought the results were simplistic. I attacked it with experiments in colored fountain pen inks and additional lines of black oil paint. I prefer the results after trying extra gestures.


Horizon, 18″x24″ oil, alcohol inks and watercolor on paper, June 2018

I am still experimenting with thick gesso. The top image is a Glyph made specially for some friends, and it is now at home with them. The second is a pure experiment with sand and gesso. I consider it a failure, but showing it here to give an example what I am trying.


Glyph for R&L, 14″x14″ gesso and acrylic on canvas, June 2018


Sand, 9″x14″ gesso, sand, acrylic and inks on canvas, June 2018

July 2018: I am stretching out into some playful approaches with wax resist, pressure transfers (“decalcomania”) and trying to get more deeply textured surfaces. I’m enjoying the discovery of some modernist Chinese artists, like Liu Kuo-Sung and the Fifth Moon Group, who blended traditional brush painting techniques with modern materials and new colors. I am throwing away some of my experiments, but getting some vibrant textures as well. Here’s a smattering, sampling from several series of color experiments.


Atoms, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper, July 2018


Blue Plane, 18″x24″ oil and watercolor on paper, July 2018


Impact 1 (left and right), 9″x12″ oil and watercolor on paper, July 2018


Impact 2 (left and right), 9″x12″ oil and watercolor on paper, July 2018


Plumage, 9″x12″ oil, acrylic and watercolor on paper, July 2018


Resist – Dark 1, 11″x14″ oil, acrylic and watercolor on paper, July 2018


Resist – Dark 2, 11″x14″ oil, acrylic and watercolor on paper, July 2018


Resist – Dark-Brush 1, 11″x14″ oil, acrylic and watercolor on paper, July 2018


Resist – Corrugated, 11″x14″ oil, acrylic and watercolor on paper, July 2018


Resist – Red Contact 3, 11″x14″ oil, acrylic and watercolor on paper, July 2018

Now in early August, I am posting some of the better results from new experiments. I feel that I am touching my toes into some new waters, as I am exploring some mixed media marbling techniques with very good effect.

Here are some variations on the marbling experiments:

And here are a few new brushworks and lines. I am especially happy with the first of these below, as it comes close to the textures that I love from Paul Klee’s multimedia work on paper.

Now it’s getting a bit wild. I am blending my own inks from raw powdered pigment, and soon planning to use some handmade paper. Here is a generous sampling from a week of pure experimentation. Most of these are small size – 9″ x 12″, but a few are on larger test papers, around 20″ x 30″. The influence of modern Chinese abstract brush painting is showing more.


Blue and Black Marbling, acrylic on special paper, 20″ x 28″, August 2018 – [SOLD]


GuiLin, acrylic on special paper 20″ x 28″, August 2018


Starmaker 4, handmade inks, 9″ x 12″, August 2018


Starmaker 3, handmade inks, 9″ x 12″, August 2018


Starmaker 2, handmade inks, 9″ x 12″, August 2018


Starmaker 1, handmade inks, 9″ x 12″, August 2018

For a few weeks in mid-August 2018, I found a breakthrough with a combination of these homemade inks made from pure mineral pigment, using techniques like suminagashi and decalcomania, along with marbling using acrylics. I consider a few of these to be among the best things I have done so far. The results are rather hard to predict, though, and my next task is to push the process out of my comfort zone to find the boundaries, and to better control the outcome.


15Aug18-4, marbling on paper with acrylic and sumi ink, 11″ x 14″ – [SOLD]



15Aug18-9, marbling on paper with acrylic and sumi ink, 9″ x 12″


15Aug18-1, marbling on special paper with acrylic, 20″ x 27″


15Aug18-5, marbling on paper with acrylic and sumi ink, 11″ x 14″


“Shrouded Lattice’ inks on paper, 18″ x 24” – [SOLD]


“Blue Forest”, inks on paper, 11″ x 14″



“Blue Swim”, inks on paper, 18″ x 24″


“Ice Caves”, inks on paper, 18″ x 24″ – [SOLD]


“Blue Storm Clouds”, inks on paper, 14″ x 17″


“Blue Galaxy”, inks on paper, 14″ x 17″


“Blue Brown Waves”, inks on paper, 18″ x 24″


“Hourglass”, inks and acrylic marbling on paper, 18″ x 24″


“Forest, Mountain, Mist”, inks on paper, 11″ x 14″


Marbling on canvas board, acrylic, 16″ x 20″


“Red Rock”, inks on paper, 11″ x 14″


“Red Blue Dunes”, inks on paper, 11″ x 14″


“Light Cave”, inks and acrylic marbling on paper, 18″ x 24″

Now in September, I am trying to push some boundaries of this ink decalcomania. It seems to work best at small sizes, but I would love to develop some techniques to make it bigger. A few recent sessions did not really help me much, in my quest. I changed a few methods around, to experiment with my tools and procedure. I got some decent smaller size experiments, but the larger ones are less than what I was hoping. Here are some of the better results.


Imprint Canyon 1 (14×17″) 15 Sept 2018


Imprint Canyon 2 (14×17″) 15 Sept 2018


Imprint Texture 1 (14×17″) 15 Sept 2018


Imprint Texture 2 (18×24″) 15 Sept 2018



Imprint 1 (9×12″) 15 Sept 2018



Imprint 2 (9×12″) 15 Sept 2018



Imprint 5 (9×12″) 15 Sept 2018



Imprint 7 (14×17″) 15 Sept 2018



Imprint 8 (14×17″) 15 Sept 2018

Quick survey of experiments in early October, inspired by the spores of a fungus called Pisolithus tinctorius, which I have been observing for years but had not yet tried using it to make ink. These are a few of the better results from those experiments. I feel like I am reaching a place where the work looks like it was a natural occurrence rather than an act of creation, and I am very happy about that development.

Week of October 15 (2018) I tried to push some limits with both ink and marbling. I really don’t feel that I had any breakthroughs, though. I like a few of these, (maybe I will comment later on). I am only showing some that I liked better – and not showing some that I will destroy or maybe try to rework.

Early November, back into the bath of fungus inks and mineral pigments. Some of these are rather interesting, in that they feel like they came from natural phenomena rather than through human activity. A few of these might get another little bit of work, if I decide they aren’t finished after staring at them for a while.


Alien Planet, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Burlwood, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Cave Opening, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Floating Lakes, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Green Canyon, 11×14″ 6 Nov 2018


Open Pillars, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Quixote, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Remnant Haze, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Running Land, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Sandstone Horizon, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Sandstone Shore, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Sediment Crossection, 11×14″ 6 Nov 2018


Sweep, 14×17″ 6 Nov 2018


Topography, 18×24″ 6 Nov 2018