untitled, 2012, acrylic on paper,11 x 15"
What are you working on in your studio right now?
There’s always a mix of drawings, paintings, and various works on paper in progress. I’ve been making smaller collage and paper constructions (which is a recent new tangent for me to explore). I started my first works on panel at the end of last year and I have a dozen or so that are ready to go. I'm really wanting to do some printmaking again... monotypes and drypoints. I really enjoy the surrender that happens when working with a press; you become a victim to the physics at work and the results are shared between intention and consequence. In general, I just really need to maintain several bodies of work happening at once. I don’t want there to be any down time or for any one body of work to monopolize my time in the studio. It’s a way to keep ideas in constant circulation.
Can you describe your working routine?
My routine revolves around creating as much as I can whenever I can. When I’m not at my full-time job or doing family things you can find me either working in the studio or out enjoying my surroundings. The studio is next to my house so that provides a very efficient way to maximize my time. Most of my weekends are spent in and around the studio. I have some time during the work week but it’s less concentrated and I use that time for things like work documentation, studio organization and just looking at the work. My most productive time is definitely from Friday evening until Sunday evening. I love working at night, into the next day.
Can you describe your studio and how, if at all, that affects your work space?
My current studio is a repurposed storage/workshop building on my house property. It was remodeled several years back and it's a rather small but functional space at 10 x 20 feet. When it was remodeled, I pushed the ceiling up and brought natural light into the space with windows and skylights. It really wouldn't have felt like a proper studio without it. It's quite a wonderful space to work in but I am starting to feel some growing pains with it. There’s one main wall that I use for painting and looking at work. The opposite wall contains two large flat file drawers that are stacked and the top surface functions as a workspace. I also keep all my books on that wall. In one half of the floor space, I have a long table that doubles as a workspace and a printmaking area. The rest of the walls function as places to put up images for reference and reflection. It's mostly a mix of recent work, older work and other visual interests that I’ve collected. The studio mostly affects my work because of the close proximity between it and my home. It's always there when I need it to be.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
On an existential level, it really begins with the impulse to create… the wanting of ideas to be actualized; to see that energy manifest into physical form. My process takes place when the observation of our surroundings begins to trigger a response and I comply. The brain decides how to filter all these various inputs and it makes aesthetic decisions based on what’s visually important to me. This is what really drives my pursuit, creating something which did not exist before but yet informs me about my world in some new way. The visual information of everything we process becomes an instigator of investigation and experimentation. That’s not to say that all things have an equal value or importance but that my decisions are made through the interests of what I want to react to. It’s simply a process of discovery and trying to describe anything beyond would never suffice. Ideally, everything has an opportunity to play a part in my process; if I can see it, experience it, then there’s a chance it may surface in the work. In terms of what I do physically, it’s all about making marks that echo my thought processes. It’s a constant reiterative dance between the idealized and the actual. Some ideas have natural endpoints, where others could stay in a state of perpetual revision.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
I'm probably having the most trouble resolving the tangents that occur while working. Sometimes there are just so many possibilities of exploration that arise. Searching out every direction or idea is not a realistic or even feasible notion and that’s usually where I start to generate some anxieties. Choosing which directions to go investigate always feels like I’m sacrificing some unrealized discovery or something. I mean, I know that's part of the journey and experience of creation but still, I’d like to think I’m finding everything I seek. So, in actuality, there really isn't anything to resolve; it’s inherent in the creative exploration. It just comes down finding a balance between what's being realized and what I want those next steps to be and I know that the answers are found after the fact, in hindsight. I’m constantly driven by the act of putting all these pieces together that result in an experience and of course, the resultant object but that’s just evidence of creation, a visual container. I just don't want to leave any paths unexplored and that's a really nice problem to have as an artist.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I haven’t ventured too far away from the typical materials that are used for drawing and painting but I wouldn’t confine myself to only using those materials. I’m not actively seeking out different materials just to add bulk to the work. If ‘alternative’ materials find their way into my process then it will be because of what material does on some functional and/or aesthetic value.
What does the future hold for this work?
It’s quite open-ended and full of all kinds of possibilities. I know I’ll be happy just continuing on with what comes from my process of inquiry and realization. Ultimately, the artwork serves as a consequence of my thinking; physical objects of creation that leaves evidence of experience. In this respect the future of the work is to show me my past.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my work and thoughts. I’ve really enjoyed your blog over the past year and appreciate being able to be part it. It’s always interesting to see and read about what other artists are doing.
Sikuli, 2011, spray paint, sharpie
& china marker on opalux, 24 x 19"