I haven’t written a blog for several weeks. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down I was full of ideas and couldn’t wait to write. But then I shifted focus.
With all the extra time I started walking — partly for fitness and partly just to get out of the house for an hour or two. I like to walk around the streets where I can find different textures and shapes that I can use in my drawings. I’m not a great outdoorsman so these qualify as my version of landscapes.
The more I walked, the more I decided that I needed to use the inspiration for some drawings. I decided to work on some ideas that might be developed into paintings later as I was shut in at the house and didn’t fancy going to my space at The Art Studio. I didn’t have a lot of room to work so I chose to work on 8 x 10 inches.
I did a couple of drawings with oil pastel, but it didn’t really work the way I wanted, so I switched to black and white pencil. At first I thought about adjusting the pressure but they soon began to include swirls and cross-hatching. The more I drew, the more I began to find a rhythm and style.
One interesting question that artists get asked is, “How long did that take you to do?” They ask as if it is some quantifier of value, which it rarely is. These small drawings were a great way to pass the time during the shutdown as each one took around three hours. The process was quite meditative, and when I got going I could lose track of time (which I had plenty of).
The Dishman Art Museum on the Lamar University campus was seeking entries for its third-annual “After School Special” art exhibition. I had been accepted as one of the six artists chosen last year (it’s a juried show) and hadn’t really planned to enter again as the work submitted has to be from a series of works and I didn’t have anything new.
A week prior to the deadline I thought I might be able to enter the drawings. The submissions were online and it was clear these drawings were certainly a series. I could enter up to seven and I finished a seventh piece an hour before deadline.
I didn’t stop drawing with those seven. I continued to produce more, with some going off in surprising directions. One day I walked after the rain and I noticed the cracks in the asphalt were drying at different rates. I saw the abstractions as if they were ready made drawings. I went home and drew a more realistic drawing — yet the “accurate” representation was still abstracted.
So far I have 28 drawings. I think there are a few more in me. Then I need to see how well the concept will transfer to a canvas, adding color and size. Maybe painting versions of the concept won’t excite me like the drawings did.
I got accepted into the show (for the second year in a row), along with Jakob Christmas, Justin LeBlanc, Courtni Meadows, Igalious “Ike” Mills and Andre Ramos-Woodard (their interviews are linked below). Because of the pandemic, it is a virtual exhibition (meaning I didn’t have to frame the drawings), and the link is attached here.
Typically, as I look at the pieces I entered I probably would replace six of them with newer pieces (but that’s always the way — the more recent works are always more favored because they represent an evolved style). But I’m pleased
For an interview I did about my work with Alyssabeth Guerra of the Dishman Art Museum, click here.
My individual drawings from the show are below.