A Curve in the Norrkoping Library

A Curve in the Norrkoping Library. Libraries are warm and free. The library in Norrkoping not only had books and windows for walls, but also a stone statue carving of a curve.

Which is nice.


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This library also had an indoor water fountain. I can only presume that placing a statue of a curve next to the water was an attempt to evoke a three-dimensional manifestation of a ripple.... We'll say, "A Ripple as it Emerges in Time". But, maybe not. I can't read Swedish... Actually, that's what's so nice about curves... they can be used to model lots of things...

Notice the English Bookshop bookmark?

A Museum Visit - Moderna Museet in Stockholm


A Museum Visit. Moderna Museet in Stockholm. The Four Elements by Alexander Calder.
Calder distills form and movement into essential symbols like few other people. I'm surprised he's so often associated with the Surrealists...

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I'm also surprised at the artificially driven kinetic motion of each element. I had no idea....

The English Bookshop Guestbook

The English Bookshop Guestbook. We were wandering around Stockholm, looking for a warm place to have an adventure. Enter the English Bookshop in old town Stockholm.

"Yes! Julie, they have a guestbook... Grab a book to read..."
-Which book?
"Any book... You only have to pretend to read it anyway..."

Little did either of us know that she would pick the Horrible History of the World. Which is my least favourite type of book. Hers too...

-Do I have to keep reading this? I hate it.
"Yes! You picked it... Just pretend that you like it."

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Sometimes I have a demanding personality. But fifteen minutes is not so long, is it?
The English Bookshop. Old town Stockholm, about 8pm. Fifteen minutes later, we were warm. Time for Julie to sign the guestbook too...
...so she signed the guestbook in the guestbook... get it?

Old Town Stockholm, Drawing in the Street

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Old Town Stockholm, Drawing in the Street. Cold. I was hanging out with Julie in Old Town. We had been walking for hours, so I begged to take a break and make a drawing of some buildings in a particularly picturesque old town plaza. Which meant sitting on the street. Which was cold. Ice cold.

My use of the word picturesque is a bit of a play on words.... only later did I realize that every painting, photography, and postcard shop in Stockholm has their own version of exactly the same buildings. It is impossible that I had not seen those pictures earlier in the day... We were scavenging through shops looking for the perfect viking t-shirt.

Which begs the question: Was I compelled to draw these buildings because they had an original glow? Or, was the glow a consequence of my seeing all the other pictures of the same four colorful buildings in old town Stockholm?

Julie with Blue Scarf

Julie with Blue Scarf. Sweden. October, 2008. A watercolour sketch. A pencil drawing. And nice wallpaper.

Waiting in Heathrow Airport

Waiting in Heathrow Airport. I was waiting in Heathrow Airport, waiting for a trans-Atlantic flight from London to New York. December, 2007. One of my last drawings from 2007, in fact.

From the Warm Blanket sketchbook.

A London Phone Booth

A London Phone Booth. From January, 2008. One of the first drawings from my Warm Blanket sketchbook. I was doing loads of drawings in red pen... like Two Chairs in the Camden.... call it a glow from the fire...

I'm still in Sweden.

Women Watering Plants


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Women Watering Plants. A women watering plants. North London, late-July, 2008.


I'm in Sweden right now.

Ewelina In Islington

Ewelina in Islington. The first drawing from our sessions. Black and White. Pencil on Watercolour paper. The Kings Head in Islington. June 4th, 2008.

I'm going to Sweden tomorrow.

Putting the Pieces Together

Putting the Pieces Together. Meg is amazing! I came home tonight and found a box sitting on the shelf in my anteroom. Postmark: America.
Not knowing what to expect, I carefully ran a slice around the perimeter of the box lid. Meg had taped everything together rather carefully.
Hmm. A puzzle. I knew exactly what to do.

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To read the letter, I had to put the pieces of my puzzle together.... so I did.

I love getting packages, and my favourite packages contain interactive art...
...Jackpot.

Interactive puzzle art via post. Never have I received such a package, such a letter, such an experience. A little adventure, sent to be had at my leisure...


Thank you, Meg :)

Sketch for Biba II

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Sketch for Biba II. Another sketch in oil from the same night.

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Next week we'll start on the formal painting.

I wonder what that will look like?

Sketch for Biba I

Sketch for Biba I. It's been a long time since I've painted a painting with a pallette knife...

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And, when I'm not drawing Teddy Bears, I'm painting and drawing women I don't know.

This is a quick sketch in oil for Biba, from last night: Thursday, October 16th, 2008. We're trying to work out the right composition for her formal pose.

Discrete Drawing: Architecture


Discrete Drawing: Architecture. Lesson #5: Architectural Studies Beneath Blackfriars Bridge.
It's easy to see the discrete, line-based marks within the images printed onto these tiles.
Also, what better way to further your studies than to take a field trip?
So, we went drawing under the bridge. But the music was too loud. Nothing like an accordian in your ear to distract from learning...

Five Sketches of One Nude

Five Sketches of One Nude. From the Long Dark sketchbook, sometime in January or February 2007. I like the way all five drawings exist on parallel planes within the same page.

Ewelina Has Many Faces


Ewelina Has Many Faces. September 27. 2008. We were going through my briefcase.


Ewelina was wondering why I carry so many sunglasses. So I explained how each pair carries a different personality. Which is when our conversation began to focus on image and projecting a certain character.
Which is when Ewelina admitted to having many faces.
Recently I've been fascinated with putting portraits and drawings together with thoughts... When I make this into a painting, I'm going to paint both panels and show them together. The portrait. and the context of our thoughts.

Sorph and Bobby at the Sunrise Festival

Sorph and Bobby at the Sunrise Festival. From the Sunshine sketchbook, June 2007.

Jeff Koons at the Met

Jeff Koons at the Met. The beginning of August, 2008. The roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York.
I like the way Jeff Koons makes a cartoon out of everything.
The Manhattan skyline certainly puts the commercialism in context.
I like the way he embeds our reflections in these sculptures, not just by his choice of subject matter.

Katerina and the Church

Katerina and the Church. A different day in Hampstead, we kept our feet in one of the ponds.
Walking back, we found a church. And some steps.
And a blue door. Blue is often my favorite colour.
This summer my favorite colour was yellow. You can see my new adventure pack on the steps.
We found it too distracting with people walking by. So, no drawings that day. But, here is a drawing from earlier in July.

Cups

Cups. I drink too much coffee. And sometimes, I drink wine out of coffee cups. The combination means that I often have a tower of cups watching over me. I can't help but see the beauty, the story behind each vessel.

Katerina I


Katerina I.

July, 2008. Pencil. Black and White. A sketch.

Black Lamp on the Southbank of the Thames

Black Lamp on the South bank of the Thames. Today was beautiful. Sunday, 21st September. 2008.
Blue skies and happy people walking along the river Thames.
I've decided to focus on some of the non-ubiquitous iconic Londonesque imagery...
... like this black lamp from the South bank of the Thames river. There are the most amazing fish at the bottom of each lamp.

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Incidentally, this is what I was watching just before I decided to draw...

Purple Flowers Waving in the Wind

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Purple Flowers Waving in the Wind. Imagine an outline of every purple flower that this plant has ever produced. Place each outline on top of one another. Every new flower would add another iteration, eventually approximating an ideal shape.

Picture that shape.


(Did you catch the Yoko Ono allusion?)

Katerina in the Park


Katerina in the Park. Hampstead. July, 2008. A sunny day. We had an orange blanket which we used to push down the wildlife long enough to make some drawings.

Circles are my favourite shapes.

Notice the use of symbols to approximate form. This is my favourite drawing with Katerina.

My Hyper-Dimensional Sketchbook

My Hyper-Dimensional Sketchbook. An edited version of this article appeared on EmptyEasel.com two days ago. Here's the original:

Blogging: A Hyper-Dimensional Sketchbook Medium
Don’t just use your blog to show off your old sketchbooks…. use your blog as your sketchbook! Blogs are free, easy, optimizable, customizable, searchamizable and updatamizable from anywhere on the planet. With a mobile phone or internet access you can represent the now… right now.

Leonardo Da Vinci may be the most famous sketchbook artist of all time. Initially collections of loose paper, his drawings and sketches gradually came to inhabit bound sketchbooks and his
Codex Leicester has the honor of being the most expensive book, ever… Covering topics as diverse as anatomy, engineering, and architecture, Da Vinci sketchbooks are famous for combining both drawings and ideas on pen and paper. Created hundreds of years ago, few other sketchbooks have surpassed their shear brilliance. But even Leonardo Da Vinci could not have created a sketchbook equal what is now possible.

I first began to keep an active sketchbook three years ago, and since then I’ve filled two dozen volumes with drawings, watercolors, and sketches. My sketchbooks tend to summarize my daily adventures and they’ve most recently chronicled my move from Richmond, Virginia to London, England. Scanning and emailing pictures of those drawings to friends, family and patrons (i.e. clogging inboxes with hundreds of random images) seemed very impractical… so I started my blog,
paintings.drawings.arithmetic.

At first, I had the goal of publishing one piece of artwork per day. Only later did
paintings.drawings.arithmetic. begin to take on new life as an outlet for the present. I found myself putting up drawings and sketches for paintings that were still in progress. Then, I found myself putting up drawings and sketches for paintings that would probably never be completed. Actually, I began to use paintings.drawings.arithmetic. as a sketchbook in its’ own right, incorporating not only drawings and paintings but also photography and video.

While Leonardo Da Vinci was constrained by the 3-dimensional nature of his sketchbooks, modern artists have a completely new hyper-dimensional platform available.

Here’s why:

1) Blogging Breaks the 3-Dimensional Limitations of a Traditional Sketchbook. Moving pictures (in the form of
videos) can be added to a blog quickly and easily. Incorporating the notion of change, videos allow for a dynamic depiction of reality that is not easily possible with 2-Dimensional or 3-Dimensional media. Even sound is a possible medium.

2) Blogs Allow for Quick Referencing. When writing, I sometimes allude to specific cultural phenomenon (for instance the movie
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”). With a blog, I can link to that event and put my drawing in context, something not possible with a standard sketchbook. While it’s certainly possible to mention watching this movie in the margin of my drawing, links allow for the nearly instantaneous elucidation of the reader. Traditional sketchbooks can only offer a limited amount of space for footnotes and references. Furthermore, links can be included on a blog as transparent page elements. With a traditional sketchbook, notes and references have aesthetic implications.

3) Blogs are Non-Linear. Western books are traditionally read front-to-back. Blogs, however, can be read backwards, forwards, sideways, horizontally, vertically and zigzag. By tagging articles and linking to old posts, artists can express an infinite number of relationships and cross-references. Actually, people can enter your sketchbook at any point. Blogs allow your sketchbook to have no beginning and no end.

4) Blogs Transcend Physical Boundaries of Space and Time. Posts from an
online sketchbook written by an artist in London can be seen by an artist in Manhattan, instantaneously. Via fiber optic cables, ideas can spread as fast as the speed of light (minus small considerations for processing and diffusion). Artists can react to the ideas and work of contemporaries even faster than it would be possible to transport a traditional sketchbook the same distance.

5) Blogs Allow for Dynamic Editing. Post a painting. Write about a drawing. Don’t like what you’ve written? Press the edit button. As your perception of significance changes, edit your old posts. And for all but the most sophisticated internet user, there will me no big blotchy mark to leave a trail. Like traveling back in time, you can use the future to put your past writings into a more knowledgeable perspective

Blogs give artists a greater scope of creation than traditional sketchbooks. Though a
hyper-dimensional online sketchbook can be neither held nor touched, such a sketchbook allows artists to communicate and render reality via an entirely new medium. By allowing artists to inject the dynamic into a traditionally static endeavor, blogs allow an insight into the process of creation that has never before been possible.
Thank again to EmptyEasel.com for including this article on their website!

A Studio Visit

A Studio Visit. With Mike, from Detroit Transit Railroad. Sketchbooks hold the secrets of our lives.

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They keep and capture the fleeting thoughts of an active mind.

One day Mike made a marquette. 2-inches tall.
He's designing plans for a dwelling, as tall as a water tower. With an observation deck.