Making drawings, paintings, prints, and books is a way of understanding experiencemages is an attempt to undMerstand experience,
I've been drawing, printmaking, painting, and crafting artifacts all my life.
On this website you will find excerpts from six bodies of work, and your feedback is very welcome.
Since retiring from a long career of teaching drawing, printmaking, design and artists' books, I began to expand what I had tried to do in the space and time fulltime employment allowed.
I rented a wonderful studio space where I drew 4' x 8' charcoal drawings in the field and inside, small still life studies, and oil portraits of self and other. I wanted to understand what made for a composition that WORKED, and applied what I loved to teach about design being built upon unity with variety. Everywhere I looked in nature, I saw that the world seemed held together in a push-and-pull of shapes and space, figure and ground, light and dark, and that "excerpts" of the visual world were satisfying in four directions because they were held that way.
So I embarked upon a series of large (38" x 50") drawing/paintings. I called them "Pulls" and then "Organic Abstractions". I made 40 and I'm still going strong.
Recently they record the surface of water and the detritus it flows over and through, in the bright sunshine of the California coast.
Four years ago, the WIldling Museum of Art and Nature in Solvang, California, mounted an exhibition by a very able plein-air landscape painter called Thomas Paquette. He showed many vast canvases, mostly of mid-American national parks and wilderness. But he also showed stunning small studies in an opaque watercolor painting medium called gouache. Many local artists saw and appreciated the show; several colleagues and I started exploring the medium, and began a regular plein-air practice, once or twice each week, walking the local land to paint it.
We've kept at it, and begun to develop our particular ways of working: small, layered, often ambitious in our desires to describe complex and immense landscapes.
These are some of my small gouache landscapes.
In graduate school at California State University, Northridge, I met a wonderful teacher, Vida Hackman, who, with Judith Hoffberg, introduced me to Artists' Books. Artists' Books constitute a category of artmaking that includes almost all the others: drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, printmaking, collage, bookmaking, media arts in all its forms. The idea is to craft an experience, or an object, that is related to the form and function of a book: i.e., units (pages) held together and sequenced (bound) somehow, meant to be activated (read) or experienced through time, often connected physically and conceptually. And often designed to carry content with specific intention in the design. I started making these, and make them still.
They're hard to picture, because, of course, they're more than their covers, or a single splay of pages. But they're very exciting to design.
I love to draw in every medium. Graphite seems satisfyingly basic, and, after all these years, deeply flexible and mysterious. But it's also lovely to try other tools. Here are some few of the many drawings I continue to make.
I taught printmaking for years and loved its rigors and history and modern evolution. Because I'm a book artist, I often think in sequence, and editions -- both intrinsic to printmaking, as it was always and continues to be, an art of the people (in early days it spread culture among the People, not just those who could read and had the purchase price for unique art ). Here are some recent prints, mostly etchings on zinc or the very convenient solarplates, also printed on an etching press.