Studio Chairs 2002
24" x 34"
Artist Statement: Lately, I have been thinking more and more about drawing, and some of these
ideas are becoming part of the work I make. I draw the same motif (a tree, a
chair) switching between a brush and a Wacom tablet, and play around with the
differences. For someone like me, who has both a painting studio and a digital
studio, drawing with line is one of the options that bridge the gap between
media. I still don't know the right term to use, because though I usually end up
with a giclée iris print, I do not feel I am a digital printmaker, a computer artist,
or a digital painter. If I identify this work as "drawing," and my larger paintings,
which use similar techniques, as "drawn paintings," then I am getting closer.
What excites me is the continuing convergence between painting, photography,
and the digital. The processes, techniques, and, of course, software can be so
rich and surprising I sometimes feel like standing back and letting the pictures
make themselves without any interference from me.
I have been using prefabricated components, sections of cardboard that I paint
and build into temporary constructions before photographing. When I reassemble
these drawings, which are overlaid with digital drawing, I may introduce quite
arbitrarily an unrelated photo, a street scene. This may hold the attention and
subordinate the rest of the picture, but it can also lift the mood of a picture and
activate latent contrasts.
In "Studio Chairs," there are two chairs, one a small model in cardboard. The
"drawing" is laid around the floor, the picture surface, and I suppose the overall
atmosphere is of uncertainty: the confusion and mess that is often the necessary
prelude to a spell of creative activity.
"Drawn Trees" reflects on the interplay between the drawn and painted motif,
which is more or less repeated, not by copy and paste but by my autopilot memory.
Gouache drawings, trees painted on boxes, are photographed, and pattern
brush drawings (sampled from the gouache) all coalesce in the same space.
The "Pigeons, Kyoto" title refers to the central motif. The rest of the piece
consists of large-scale cardboard paintings and structures reassembled and
drawn over. I poached the central motif from one of a series of works that
emerged from a trip to the Nagoya ISEA conference in 2002.
"Figures in a Landscape" is the title of a picture that used a much larger (12 feet
x 10 feet) initial study as a ground, which consisted of motifs developed from small
doodles, derived from an evening spent at a flower-arranging demonstration
(I was the only male there, but got through my embarrassment by realising the
dandified geometry/botany had possibilities for the digital artist). I tried several
ways to resolve this in its digital stage, but one night I recalled that I never quite
made proper use of one of the hundreds of photos I had recently taken in Japan.
The couples with the umbrella are in Kyoto, and there could be some small affinity
between the wetness of the paint and the rain.