Friday, December 31, 2010

Julekalender - 24 Dec.: The End (Belated)

The end of the project. It came and went so fast. I missed drawing something on the 25th, though there were plenty of family distractions to not have me worry about it too much.

I purchased a brand new set of Micron pens to work on the last three drawings. My old pens were all on their way out. Split tips, missing tips, low ink. The new ones worked quite well on the Rives heavyweight paper I used.

Many thanks to everyone that followed along as I tried this little experiment. Scans should appear in a book soon. Look for it next holiday season. It'll make a perfect stocking stuffer. Any input on future projects, drawing- or whatever-related, is much appreciated.

Here's to much more art being produced in 2011.

Julekalender - 22/23 Dec. (Belated)

This diptych evolved as the first drawing (the one on the left, the 22nd) was finishing up. The second drawing was done on Festivus.

Julekalender - 21 Dec. (Belated)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Julekalender - 20 Dec.

The final Julekalender drawing done in Oregon. In honor of the supposed lunar eclipse (it's cloudy here), here's an ambiguous diagram that looks like it tells you something important, but really doesn't.

Monday, December 20, 2010

West Coast Biennial Show

Good news, everyone!

I just received word about the West Coast Biennial show happening next year down in Redding, CA.

Pretty excited to get this work into a show, especially with the faculty show coming up soon at school.

These works, motorbicycles, and LEMON PIE are from Sketches I, and can be seen in book form here or digital form here. They were both selected for the exhibition.

Julekalender - 19 Dec.

A few things about the Julekalender project:

1. I'm leaving town tomorrow.
2. I won't have access to a scanner for a while.
3. Because of items 1 and 2, there will be a slight disruption of the frequency of posting these images.

The drawings will still get made, they just might not show up every day. They might come in batches. They might be shoddy digital photos and not nice scans.

But you'll see the drawings in the end. And there have been rumblings around the home office here that drawings might continue beyond Christmas day. So stay tuned, I guess.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Julekalender - 18 Dec.

It was seven years ago. It was just a normal night in Ann Arbor, until I misinterpreted the layout of a regular sidewalk, and I was launched into the air when my bike brakes locked up.

The mayhem that ensued included finding out my roommate had been in a car accident that same day, getting into the ER to have x-rays, a cast, and 9 stitches in my chin, and figuring out how I was going to make it with one hand free for a couple of weeks.

This map is a brief visual summary of what happened that night, minus my roommate's car accident. This drawing has unlocked the following achievements:

- Largest drawing (9" x 12")
- Longest drawing (3+ hours)
- First drawing first planned on another piece of paper
- First drawing outlined first in pencil

A first-hand account of what happened that night (12/18/2003) can be found by clicking here. Please note this was from back in my emailing days of not capitalizing letters. Entire email was written with one hand. Names have been erased to protect the innocent.

*Warning: File above is higher resolution than normal. May take a while to load on slower connections.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Julekalender - 17 Dec.

Two things:

1. It snowed last night. And it makes everything look nicer outside. It had been getting to that mid-December-cold-but-not-snowy-and-everything-kind-of-looks-covered-in-soot look that kind of annoys people. So, the snow is a good thing.

2. Yesterday (the 17th) marked the birth of a good friend's new baby, and this drawing has nothing to do with that. It just so happened that I had an idea for a cake being struck by lightning. Nothing more. I swear.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Julekalender - 16 Dec.

Oh no! Those balloons are about to be cut loose by those scissors. Watch out balloons!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Julekalender - 15 Dec.

I've had two potatoes sitting around in my vegetable bowl for a long time. They were supposed to go into a recipe I was going to make a couple weeks ago. But I ended up getting a couple new potatoes and didn't use the original ones.

Last night, feeling a bit hungry in the later evening after dinner, I decided to slice up those older potatoes and see what they'd do roasted in the oven.

They turned out great. A little olive oil, some seasoning, baked a bit on each side, and it was like I was at a cool little restaurant where you can watch tv and draw.

So I ate my french fries and drew a picture relating to that notion. Where the handbag and slime ideas came from, I'll probably never know. But you need a place to keep your extra fries, right?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Julekalender - 14 Dec.

Rushed. Sloppy. Haphazard. In honor of the half birthday of Flag Day. Happy half birthday, Flag Day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Julekalender - 13 Dec.

Quite possibly inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow's appearance on Conan last night. She had an electrical gadget near the bathtub in The Royal Tenenbaums. Hey, tenenbaum is a holiday thing too! (Sort of.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Julekalender - 12 Dec.

A rough and stormy night called for a rough and stormy drawing. It's funny how some of these look best viewed full size on actual paper, but others look nicer when they shrink on the computer.

This one is one of the latter variety.

I have a sink full of dishes that is now calling my name.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Julekalender - 11 Dec.

More more more. Working on a humorous look at the holidays. Whatever. It's supposed to be a joke.

I'm thinking that when I'm through with the drawings, they'll all go into a new Blurb book. That would be fun, right?

Julekalender - 10 Dec.

Longest drawing so far. Probably a good two hours or more. Had to look up "wooden scaffolding" on the web for reference material.

Easily my favorite. I think I'll come back to this subject again before this is all said and done.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Insanity Continues

Last night's dream:

I took a break from whatever it was I was doing to go use the bathroom. While in the bathroom, I noticed that I was uncharacteristically congested in my sinuses.

I lean over the counter to look closer in the mirror. There's a small, red object coming out of my nose. I give it a tug. Out comes a medium-sized maroon, mesh football practice jersey. Out of my nose. Removing the jersey cleared up the congestion nicely.

Then, as I'm still standing at the mirror, I notice this blemish on the side of my nose. It's ready to pop. So I give it a good pop, and out comes this insect, which then flies around the bathroom for a while.

Then I woke up.

Julekalender - 9 Dec.

End-of-the-term revelry-inspired drawing. Note: the martini cannon is not a real thing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Proof Printed

The first image from my newest body of work The Our Father EP just came off the printer. There are some new things with this group of images (a few of which will make their way into the upcoming faculty exhibition at EOU), and I was just running a print to check color and texture on the handwritten elements. They look good. There will be much more coming soon.

I have a handle on the printing corrections for the new printer, and it's been making recent printing a breeze. The newest works will show up in a Blurb book sooner or later too. But until then, it's back to the computer.

Was Sammy Davis, Jr. Murdered?

This cold I've got has me taking NyQuil before bed. It helps to minimize my coughing so I can fall asleep.

The side effects are the dreams the NyQuil gives me. We won't get into the one the other night that involved Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of Kiss (and Dr. Pepper) nakedly wandering into my room.

Last night was a real trip. I found out that Sammy Davis, Jr. was murdered and his body was being kept in a tomb. He had been mummified and a girl who may or may not have been Alison Brie led me to the tomb for a reason that I'm forgetting at the moment.

So Sammy Davis, Jr's mummified corpse is in this large room that was padded with tons of red pillows. And you could climb up there and look at him if you liked. So I did. He was interred alongside some other female movie star that I'm also forgetting at the moment.

The whole thing made me think - upon waking - that maybe Sammy Davis had been murdered. Turns out it's not true. He died from throat cancer in 1990 at the age of 64.

Julekalender - 8 Dec.

Sometimes, you just have to speak the truth. And sometimes the truth is that all of the things are going in the same direction.

Incidentally, I find that I'm doing many of these nightly drawings while watching Conan on television. The drawings have nothing to do with anything I'm watching, but it's funny to look back on some of them and remember not what I was thinking about while I was drawing, but what was on the show I was watching.

Like the Kardashians. They're terrible. And their interview on Conan was about as big a trainwreck as I've seen on recent late-night television. (And I saw Harrison Ford's pseudo[?]-stoned appearance on Conan.) And all I remember is their stupid tangents and not why I drew a calendar and a thoughtful fish on December 2nd.

And I've started several sentences with "and."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Julekalender - 7 Dec.

Hanukkah is almost over. So there's that. And then vacation will be here. Vacation's a good thing. So is Hanukkah. So is sunshine. Today we have all three.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Julekalender - 6 Dec.

I wish that there was a giant dispenser of nog. At school. All the time. It'd be heaven.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Julekalender - 5 Dec.

Ah, the first cold of the holiday season. Not the outside cold type of cold. The head variety. Small drawing to accommodate the lethargy of lying on the couch while your sinuses do their thing. Better to be ill now than in a few weeks when your time is truly free.

(It's supposed to be an ice pack.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Julekalender - 2 Dec.

Christmas carp. Hanukkah halibut. Kwanzaa koi. Diwali danio. Festivus flounder. Solstice sole. Yuletide yellowfin.

Ok, I'm done. More tomorrow.

I've also decided all of the pieces for Julekalender will be drawings. I don't draw enough. So that's what I'm going to do.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Julekalender - 1 Dec.

Tune in every day for a new piece. This will go on until 24 December. Not every piece will be holiday themed, but I'll get to some eventually.

Monday, November 29, 2010


While looking into the history of the Advent Calendar, I stumbled upon a blurb about Advent Calendar-styled television shows in Scandinavian countries. What a revelation. The shows are usually holiday-themed, no doubt.

I've devised a similar project to rekindle the creative juices this holiday season. Starting December 1st, I'll create a piece that I'll post right here. Sometimes it might be a drawing. Sometimes it might be a collage. Or a photo. Or a food sculpture.

But it'll be something. And there'll be a new one each day, from the 1st to the 24th.* So, stay tuned, I guess.

* Images from the 21st-24th might be delayed as I'll be away from a scanner and computer during that time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More New Work

"Bummer," from the upcoming EP Our Father.

Final pieces from this series will be on view at EOU's biennial faculty show in the Nightingale Gallery.

Our Father will also appear in book form, in my Blurb bookstore. Yay.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


After self-publishing (one copy) of Sketches in May of last year, I decided to throw the files online and publish it again, this time with Blurb. Blurb worked wonders for my John Hubbard thesis book and helped me snag a spot in a show in New York.

Now, both Sketches and Sketches II are available through my Blurb bookstore. They're tiny little things, and aren't too expensive. I just got the test pressings in the mail and they look pretty good.

And, with a collective finger-crossing propelling my destiny, the two Sketches books and the Hubbard book will make their way to New York in the hopes they'll be selected for a photobook exhibition. Wish me luck.

All three books are available for purchase and preview at my Blurb bookstore site.

PS. Copyright apologies to the creators of The Critic, and to John Shaw, who is the only person I know that will get the joke.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Artist Statement #3

There is a slew of photographers whose artist statement says something to the effect of "I take photographs of the beautiful things/moments other people don't see."

That's mean. That's a mean thing to say. Why say that?

Capturing a moment (and is that even possible?) no one else sees and then (presumably) showing it in photo form to the person (or people) that have missed it eliminates the chance of said person (or people) witnessing that moment for themselves. It cheapens the moment. It deprives people from looking for things for themselves. It insults the average viewer by insinuating that they missed something, the way you feel when you miss the comb hidden in the tree in the puzzle in Highlights.

A statement like this also defers ownership and responsibility on the part of the photographer. The modernists all photographed their subjects because they thought the subjects were beautiful and they were personally moved by that beauty. The postmodernists photographed their subjects because they had things to say about photography itself.

The contemporary photographer is let off the hook by making a sweeping, bland statement about their photographic vision. It doesn't say anything substantial; it merely says that they have a keener eye than the average person and that makes them a little bit more important. And that's something that should be assumed of any photographer any time they frame something and put it on a wall for someone else to see.

I don't want to be told that you're witnessing a secret reality that can only be seen through your lens. That's ridiculous. I want to know what it is about you that makes you take these photos. With that knowledge, I'll be more inclined to understand what it is about myself that makes me appreciate them.

Or, if I can't figure that out, it'll make me want to go make some of my own work.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Artist Statement #2

Art cannot change the world.

There was a time when it probably could, like Fountain or Guernica or Raft of the Medusa or David or the Sistine Chapel ceiling or photos from Vietnam or the moon or whatever. But we've evolved past that. Long past that. Postmodernists probably feared changing the world, and we've probably moved past them too (though they're still out there, lurking in the shadows).

Art still has meaning in it, but art only touches people on personal levels these days. There's no overwhelming consensus on Joseph Kosuth or Kiki Smith* or Banksy. A Family of Man-style exhibit could go over well in certain contexts (provided there were enough famous photographs in the show to draw big enough crowds), but overall responses would sound more like "Wait, that's supposed to be me? That's not me!" than "Oh my gosh! We're, like, all the same! Hugs!"

Famous works of art have an easier time changing art nowadays than changing the world. And even changing art is a difficult task, considering art changes all the time or not at all, depending on who you ask.

There's too much individualism in movements and actual works for any singular person or piece to change the world.

That's not a bad thing. Not in the least. The bad thing is the people who are kidding themselves by thinking that their work - or anyone's work - is going to change the entire world.

* Kiki Smith is German. Did you know that? I did not.

More From Art Camp, Day 5-ish

Much more progress on the new book front. The printer I ordered was on its way to Grand Rapids by mistake, but has now been rerouted and will be here shortly. Then printing will begin.

Next week, Art Camp will focus on the production of physical books made on the typewriter.

In the meantime, enjoy another sneak peek from Sketches, Vol. II.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sneak Preview

Art Camp* began today. These sketches have been sitting on my computer for more than a few months and it was high time I get a move on and do some work. They follow in the footsteps of Sketches (Vol. 1), which I finished and turned into a small book in May of 2009. I can't believe that was over a year ago.

These new scans come from the same filmstrips and will ultimately end up as collages in a similar book.

A sneak preview of one of the images can be viewed by clicking the small image above.

Images from Sketches (Vol. 1) can be viewed by clicking here.

* "Art Camp" is my feeble attempt to sequester myself from outside distractions in an attempt to get my art-making on the right track for the rest of the summer. The only other activities I will engage in will be eating, sleeping, the occasional shower, and maybe some tennis.

Monday, April 12, 2010

And I Made Something

Last term was a train wreck in about 30 different ways.

But, as a great philosopher once said, "don't dwell on the past. Always move forward."

And on March 29th, the spirit moved one Oregon photographer to take an exceptionally boring image. Everything starts somewhere, though, right?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Artist Statement #1

A recent lecturing artist I saw reiterated the idioms for creating good art work when in a pinch:

1. Make it big. If not, then...
2. Make it red. If not, then...
3. Make 1,000 of them

These are all gimmicks. They're things to get people to pay attention to work that otherwise wouldn't merit attention. We've all done it. At least I know I have. Maybe minus the red part. I've never really been a fan.

Gimmicks are abundant in photography. Selective coloring, hand coloring, printing the leaders, soft focus, cross processing, the unsharp mask, the image macro, and the granddaddy of them all: HDR.

But all photographers miss the one major thing inherent to their medium: photography itself is a gimmick.

Photography alleviated painters, drawers, and printmakers of the "need" to work representationally. Photography was a novelty, albeit a cosmically amazing one, when it was first invented.

Thus photography's relegation to the backseat of the artistic merit bandwagon.

Photography is an even bigger gimmick now, when anyone can pick up a cheap digital SLR, throw a high pass filter on their work, get a million hits on Flickr, and rake in a few decent paychecks on Smugmug.

But rather than get caught up in the fickle fight to rescue photography from its gimmickry, we should embrace it. Let photography do what it does, and let's not worry about what all of those painters and drawers think.

Now go and make some LOLcats.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Philadelphia (And Other Updates)

On Thursday, I'll leave Oregon for the first time since January for sunny Philadelphia and the Society for Photographic Education's National Conference. Hopeful highlights: food, friends, and presentations that had better be good.

The end of March will see some of my work in two shows in New York's Climate Gallery. Book pieces. Small ones.

An overhaul of my website will take place once the conference and this hectic term are at an end.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Real Life Artist

Word came down from the heavens Friday that the postcard I submitted to Postcards from the Edge, a show in New York's ZieherSmith Gallery, was purchased for the astronomical price of $75. (Note: all postcards were sold for the same price.)

You can click on the above link and find the Flickr group of un-purchased postcards if you want one for yourself. It supports a good cause.

My image is below.