Contrasting Textures : Fabric Value Study

February 5, 2013 § 31 Comments


The Drawing II students are finishing up their second value study. It’s quite exciting to see their progress from the first to the second. As Juliette Aristides writes in her book, Lessons in Classical Drawing, “Each hard-won drawing allows you to bring a new skill to your next one.”

The studies are definitely an investment of time. 20 hours is a long time for a millennial with things to do and people to text. So why do value studies? I gave myself the task of coming up with as many reasons as I could think of. I’ll begin to list a few of the reasons here:

Learn to see

Nourish confidence

Increase awareness

Train to become a highly sensitized observer

Develop fascination with the mysteries of things to be found and seen

Practice intentionality

Pursue an understanding of light and discernment of value

Create the illusion of volume and space

Develop sustained focus

Intense concentration

Build a habit of keeping eyes wide open

Spend enough time observing to get past superficiality

Begin to see possibilities for metaphor/interpretation of visual experience

Give time for your eyes to acclimate

Cultivate a love for subtlety

Explore surface topography-heighten the sense of touch in your work

Practice your scales in order to have freedom and mastery in a lifetime of expression

Gain ownership of materials

Capture the uniqueness of your subject

Enrich your sight/life


Can you think of some others?


Winter Light 7:15am

February 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Winter Light 7:15am

Winter Light 4:28 pm

January 27, 2013 § Leave a comment


As if it Were Yesterday

June 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

My niece recently acquired P.D. Eastman’s Go, Dog. Go! for her growing literature collection (She’s 2.5). In the 24 hours since the book arrived at the house she has already learned a good percentage of the book, I think due to the Seuss inspired genius of captivating images to accompany language learning. Images so captivating in fact, that this one in particular made an indelible impression on my own 2 year old mind when I read it almost 30 years ago.

Micro Analysis

June 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Above: Robert Cox, Watershed

Below: Robert Cox, Confluence

 Small works are usually realized and experienced up close, but they’ve got to have enough presence from afar to pull you in. These two pieces above by artist Robert Cox do just that. Layers of graphite on film float atop a base of watercolor on paper. He has said that his work represents a mapping of miles traveled along mountains and bodies of water in the South. They bring to mind how physical places and our memories of them change and flow. They are currently hanging in the AVA Micro Analysis Exhibition. I had the privilege to also exhibit my 10 x 11″ piece Migrate, pictured below. It is part of a body of work that looks at the potential of storms to change the direction of our lives.

Twice Drawn

May 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m experiencing a new attraction.

Well actually its an old attraction, but it’s getting refueled.

Partly by this:

I saw this book for the first time at the CAA conference in February. Now I’m getting to peruse it a little more thoroughly and I’m newly fascinated with what drawing can be. The book is a catalog more or less of a couple of modern and contemporary drawing shows held at Skidmore. I’m taking it slowly and only a fraction of the way through.

When I got to the spread of Ernesto Caivano’s work, I had to pause a little extra. His combination of impeccable draftsmanship and rich imagination rooted in a variety of source material from asian screen prints to geometry to renaissance literature enchanted me. I was reminded of another favorite draftsman of mine, Aubrey Beardsley, who shared similar influences. In Ernesto’s work there are stories within stories that allow the viewer to begin to use their own perhaps rusty imagination again. But they are not fantastical tales that do not apply to contemporary issues. They contain current ideas such as how we alter the landscape and how it changes us and the abundance of information in the universe and how little of it we can actually understand.

Drawing is so alluring in this technological world!

Odd Pod

May 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

I saw this flower pod in the yard this morning just about to lose its white cap. I couldn’t not draw it.