Song Bird

“Song Bird” 2022, Zygote


Ideally, a drawings success isn’t measured by how accurate of a representation is given, but instead the drawing’s ability to train the minds eye to see and be open to feel. It’s an exercise in being present to the feelings of the moment… In this case, drawing my wife is an intentional activity of seeing her and enjoying how seeing her in this way makes me feel. To pour over her contour, the roll of shadows, the study the folds of her ears, her lips, the tilt of her nose, the dimple of her chin, her lovely coaled eyes, her black hair as it falls over her ears…

I enjoy learning to see all the tiny subtle character elements that makes Jess the person that I Love, to recognize and pay tribute to romance and muse.


Preface: I apologize in advance,this is an embarrassingly self-indulgent bit of drivel, whose only purpose for being submitted is to get it on the page, and out of my system (at least temporarily, but still I know I’m likely to do it again, so….

“Caprice” 6”by 4” charcoal on recycled paper

The act of drawing has always been an effective way to disrupt my feelings of anxiety… always. As long as zero outside expectations are attached, sitting down with a sheet of paper and making marks on a surface has proven itself as a reliable strategy for attempting to maintain a sense of mental health as well as self-respect.

A new nugget of insight into myself has clued me into an element of my personality that I really don’t care for, it’s an element that I recognize as unarguably true and feel that I must embrace if I want to make this whole “life” thing work… It’s just that I simply resist being told arbitrary what to do. In ceramics, this has manifested as a resistance to being asked to produce work with an expected end result in mind. The problem is that the easiest way to run a craft studio is as business model is as a service industry, making works on speculation is chancy as it is, but to make work on speculation that serves self interested idyllic notions of romanticism are a folly.

this is a fundamental element of business and that in typical customer/gallery dynamics where they request a product and Im being asked to fill that expectation, I simply choke at the finish line.

“Shroud” 4”by 6” charcoal and pastel on recycled paper

I haven’t run into this problem with my drawing and knowing what I know now, reenforces a strategy for moving work out of the studio, which is to allow patrons to pull from existing work and strictly shutdown requests for commissions.

“Lady Alphonse ” 7.5”by 7.5” charcoal on paper

Spring Blooms

“Spring Blooms” Zygote 2021

What if… we buried the design under a glaze. Give it a possibility to peek through. A gift susceptible to chance and the hand of practiced skill, encouraged by a proficiency of failures. Lots… lots of failures.

It’s interesting and beautiful not because of the lean towards the risk of failure, but because it plays without concern of what success looks like.

Contentious Worth

Value is subjective… Worth is transactional.

“Garden Bloom” 2021 Zygote

An item’s Worth is its cost of when it’s bought or sold. (It has a value at the point of transaction. The value of which can change, becoming greater or lesser after purchase, but it’s only worth what it can be resold for.)

I know the value of what is being made. It worth is up for discussion.

Coming to the End

I thought that coming to the end of this project would somehow feel more satisfying than the end of a project usually does, but it not feeling any different, instead it feels as disappointing as it usually does.

It shouldn’t though. Over 30 works made in 3 months. A dozen of which are admittedly, surprisingly successful.

In my minds eye, I wanted 12 figure drawings, of the same format, the image size, and the same medium. 12 drawings that could be matted and put up on the walls of a coffee house for 2 weeks.

I want to entice others to play the game of show and tell. I want to show that we don’t need to be great artists to make work to share with others. That work doesn’t need to be about economy or to feed an ego. That making work can be just because making work is important to you. I want others to feel that it’s ok to share what’s important to them as well.

Putting the work up is a form of permission.

Still… the dissatisfaction and disappointment is there. I think it’s because the project is coming to a close. Its time to buy the frames and choose the work. But then the project is done. There’s not going to be any climatic pay off of connection. Any kind words will be dismissed and any dismissive words will most likely soak in.

Where I find the satisfaction is in the process, in the curiosity the challenge, not in the result…

But still… the results are pretty darn nice.