Updating “About”

Immaculate Conception framed

Firstly, I want to post a couple more pieces I have completed using the cut-out technique for the upcoming Art of the Solstice show.  At right is The Immaculate Conception.  The blue section is based on my original drawing; it is machine-cut from sky blue vinyl pasted on white cold press paper.  There is a slightly larger piece of star-patterned blue paper serving as a backing.  The text is laser-printed on the same white cold press paper.  It is the Douay-Rheims translation of The Apocalypse of St. John, 12:1-5.

I also completed Holy Family Revering, which you see below.  The darker shapes are again based on my original drawing.  For this image, I wanted to capture believable body language.  I combined multiple public domain reference photos with my own illustrative sensibility.  The drawing was then machine-cut out of a blue-brown mottled stationary and mounted on paper with old architectural designs.

Holy Family Revering framed

Holy Family detail

I should also mention that I’m making t-shirts for the show!  The company that makes my cutting machine also manufactures heat-transfer material, which can be cut out and adhered to fabric.

Immaculate Conception tshirt

About

To coincide with my new title at ChiPRC, I have streamlined my “About” page.  I want it to be a quick and comprehensible read for potential students as well as future workshop leaders.  My previous About page was a poetic description of my art process — definitely accurate information, but also a little esoteric.  The new text gets right to the point and should be understandable to anyone.

I don’t want the poetry to be completely absent from this blog, however, so here, for the archives, is all the text I removed from the About page:

I am a barefoot artist and born dreamer.  I work with the mythic forces of the inner realms and bring back communications from the depths.  I speak in the language of dream.

Greek theatre and Greek pottery — especially pre-Classical pieces from ancient Athens and Corinth — sing to me of the hidden side.  Picasso heard the tune.  His minotaurs and harlequins were avatars in the Dreaming.

My aesthetic is deeply informed by a childhood love of comic books.  Comic book illustrations resonate not only with Greek pottery decoration, but also with the formal characteristics of Synthetic Cubism, Constructivism and other fine art institutions.  I draw on all these visual idioms in my art.

Comic book tropes themselves are serious artistic statements, because they draw on a powerful wellspring of rituals and archetypes.  Take, for instance, the preponderance of superheroes who have suffered death only to come back to life.  Does this cliché not represent the same “death and rebirth” motif that is deeply rooted in the human psyche?

To the extent that comic book art has influenced my style, I have something in common with Pop artists.  However, I don’t pay much attention to popular culture, the major source of inspiration for Pop Art.  Instead, I look inwards for inspiration — to a realm of dreams that is informed by childhood fantasies but has also grown beyond it.  The artists who have most in common with my approach are Symbolists, those great dream-astronauts and art-shamans….

I use the humanoid figure to convey my ideas.  I am, however, curiously disinterested in depicting specific environments for these figures.  My subjects seem to float in or against a blank or ambiguous ground.  Likewise, they rarely wear garments that would connect them to a specific time or place.  There is something eternal and transpersonal in their non-specificity.  They can resonate with any viewer anywhere.  My pieces will connect with a viewer’s private dreams, because private dreams are also universal.