Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Still Salty

I got some really nice cubes, almost 1/4" square, on this piece of paper I had suspended in a pint glass. I dyed the solution green, which didn't affect the salt as much as the paper itself. I broke these off and I'm currently using them with all the other crystals I grew as seeds for something more arranged. We'll see if that works out...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I couldn't wait any longer. I had to empty the French press filled with saline solution and see what I had. The bottom was filled with a layer of evenly spaced salt cubes or clusters thereof . These are about 1/8" on average, and can be use as "seed" crystals later on.
I really got excited about the steel wire structure I had suspended in the solution. There are dozens of perfectly cubic crystals growing right around the rusty wire! I like the rust, but I'm not sure yet how it's affecting the crystals. This form is definitely going back into a solution so these and more crystals can grow. The cubic crystals only grow within the liquid, not at the top where the water evaporates, leaving white powdery crystals. These cubic crystals are solid and translucent.

And here's the sugar crystal cluster formed in the bowl sitting on my workbench. These crystals are shaped like peaked rooftops.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy. Sad.

Opening night at Four Walls was amazing. For the first time, I showed my drawings to droves of a discriminating, responsive public. My friends and family came. Artists I spammed came. I sold a drawing, and many people wanted to know the details of my process and inspiration. Meanwhile, I was wondering where Kate was. She was taking Henry, our kitty, to the vet because she had lost weight over the past couple of weeks, and had been to the vet a week ago and sent home. They said she was fine, and they didn't know why she was so skinny, because they said they could tell she was eating. That week home she deteriorated. She became very lethargic and at times spacey, staring off into the distance. We waited too long. Kate had to put her to sleep during my opening, and I didn't know until I got home.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

You probably thought I disappeared, but no, here I am. I hope you all haven't given up on me. I have been plugging away in my studio, and now I'm getting back to the point where I can step back a little bit to post on the blog. Kate and I are now happily married, and are so relieved to not have to get married again. The wedding was great! It was a sweaty day, but it sure looked pretty in the pictures. Here's a photo of the wedding party:
All you people who want pictures will get a "greatest hits" disk, don't you worry; however, I won't post any more here. This is my art space!

My drawing show will be up in November! Yay! It's a two person show with Matthew Mahler at Four Walls Gallery, 564 Congress Street in Portland. Please do check out I'm not listed on the website as one of their artists yet but I will be. The show will be a part of the First Friday Art Walk on November 2.

I just finished the drawing I posted on August 3rd. I said it would take between 13 and 106 days to finish, it took 69. I titled it Vessicle because it was modelled after cell components. Basically a cell wall without all the stuff inside (organelles) is a vessicle. These can be made in a lab. It's a tiny lipid bubble that separates watery liquid. Here's the drawing:
So that leaves one more drawing to finish, get photographed by Jay York, and get framed by November:
You thought the other ones were crazy. Sure, what's so crazy about a spiral? Well, the linear structure is organized into 4 sided polygons and grows from the center out in a spiral. The Innermost polygon is divided into triangles and each adjacent cell has one less triangle until the outermost big polygon is its own undivided cell. So the density within each big polygon increases as you enter the vortex. The area of each big polygon varies with the width of the band as well and this contributes to some pretty interesting value changes. The thin black spiral just counters and slices through the main spiral, dividing it into tasty croissants. The whole thing will be filled in.

I'm experimenting with crystal growth. I have no positive results yet, and I blame it on the humidity. Or better yet--I blame the internet. First, I heated up some water and then I mixed in some demerrara sugar until it would no longer dissolve. I made a super-saturated solution. Then I set a bowl of it on a bench and waited. It has been about a week and no real crystals yet. There is some crystal-like residue where some of the water evaporated, but I want rock candy. I might need to dangle string into a larger container full of sugar water.
I'm trying the same thing with a salt solution, but in this I suspended a steel armature, that in my wildest fantasies will become encrusted with huge square salt crystals. There is some small crystal growth, but this could also be called white residue. The steel is rusting, which may inhibit crystal growth. I'm worried that as salt crystallizes and is removed from the solution, the solution left with be less saturated and melt the crystal in a vicious cycle. This is why I hope my basement gets less humid so evaporation will get those freakin' crystals growing.I need to go to bed....later.

Monday, September 3, 2007

In lieu of wedding pictures...

...some honeymoon pictures from Montreal and Toronto:
(click them individually to enlarginate)

I promise more pictures with more explanations later!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Here's a new take on the cross-section drawings. I did several layers drawn on technical vellum, then I cut them all in half and reversed the order of one side. The paper isn't translucent enough for my tastes but this technique may prove useful later...

Monday, August 6, 2007

I just updated my website

It's all about my drawings.

You know how when a musician releases a new album, they revamp their website in the same style? That's what I'm doing. This website is all stark and cold but focused and hopefully interesting. I tried a new javascript to randomize quotes from Bruce Mau, a hero of mine. I'm not obsessed with him or anything, he just helps me. Refreshing the page will likely get you a different quote. I hope you like it. I will add some stuff and fine-tune what's there soon enough...
Here it is:

Friday, August 3, 2007

more animation followed by a balancing act

You probably get the idea, so I should stop posting pictures of this until it has completely finished, which will be approximately 26 1/2 working sessions which could take anywhere between 13 and 106 days from now.

And yes, these are the wedding rings. They're 14k Palladium White gold and I made them. They're a little small so I'll open them up soon. I'm sure the humidity makes them tighter.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Forever Beginning

I started a new drawing based on a cell floating in a puddle of goo the day before yesterday. I decided to draw the entire grid beforehand, and then I can decide what to do within the cells. My plan at this point is to fill in the geometric cells with ovals like I usually do, but there are so many paths I can take from this point that I want to just sit back and assess it for a bit. If I ran off quality prints of this grid on several sheets of the same type of paper, I could explore various outcomes from this initial condition. I could record and print the various drawings as I draw them, and I could make a taxonomic evolutionary progression, displaying them as such. If I were printing stages of an etched plate, these progressions would be easier to accomplish. Chances are, this grid will remain unique to this piece and there will be no progression and no taxonomy. I do get carried away with certain ideas that have infinite possibilities. I don't intend to pun, but I do have to draw the line somewhere.It's so hard for me to take a decent picture of black and white drawings. First of all I don't take the time to set up good shots with even lighting, because I always say to myself, "I'll just take it to Jay York" (Portland's art photographer) to get a "real" photo. Also, I want super high resolution images so I can at least have the option of enlarging them to 12 feet wide . The white of the paper never looks white unless I do a fair amount of editing in Photoshop. The drawn area itself is 14 1/4" by 22", and I really wish I had a flatbed scanner that was big enough.

While drawing that, I noticed this in my window:
And soon after Henry jumped through it and erased it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sadness and Queen Anne's Lace

I irreversibly messed up my drawing. I noticed the ink was coming out of the pen more than it usually does, and it left wet puddles that I didn't expect. I smudged a little part and I panicked, wetting it with my spit, then tried to soak up the spitty ink with my t-shirt. It was working. Then I used a pink pearl eraser to get the faint grey areas off, then I wiped the pink eraser bits off the paper and that's when it happened. It was still wet and it smudged like crazy. I was sad and angry and then I pretended not to care. I should probably have a plan of action for mistakes, but I don't. I just plan to not make any, a method that is surprisingly successful except when its not, and then I cry.
I'm looking at plants in more detail than I used to. I checked out a plant biology textbook from the library so I can get my learn on. I'm mostly interested in the arrangement of plants' molecular and organ structures, which have informed my work forever, I think. I can also dissect them without remorse or disgust, and they stay still so I can take photos.

Friday, July 6, 2007

more is all around

I finished an ink drawing on Independence Day that I've been working on for what seems like all of time. It's hard for things like this to not finish anti-climactically, but it takes a long soaking period to decide for sure whether it's crap. Working for so long on it, keeping focus and not going astray is a fairly good indicator IMHO (LOL) of its worth.

On a more colorful note, we decided to go to the land for the 5th , just to see what was going down. It had rained moments before.

The mosquitoes and flies were going nuts for the CO2 coming out of our car's exhaust and our mouths. I went wandering in the woods. I came upon a porcupine that started to climb a small pine tree when I approached. He moved slowly and deliberately, like a sloth I saw on the TV once. Unfortunately, the sun was behind him so the picture of him could be any random blob in a tree.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


For months (years actually), I've been gearing up for a drawing show of my own called 'A Simple Complex', which will open the first week in September at Nielsen Smith Metalworks in Portland. The gallery space is small but I really want to show about 25 drawings and hopefully my rice and seaweed pod accumulations. The drawings are black ink on white paper. Here are some previews:

Friday, June 29, 2007


So I've begun taking photos of objects that are easily accessible to me and my plan is to turn them into fantastic scale-free collages. This is one of my side projects that apart from the actual erasing of backgrounds isn't too time consuming. In the future I may turn them into Monty Python-ish animations, but the goal at this point is to amass a pile of clip-art objects from my own life and set up interesting impossibilities that aren't just rivers flowing inside churches.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

This past weekend we went up to 'The Land' in Farmingdale, where we camped it up with the Sylvains on Hutchinson Pond. Our first wedding gift was an acre of land abutting the Sylvain's 4 acres deeded to us from Kate's Mum Debbie. Yay! We're very excited. There are beautiful hardwood trees, swampage, frogs, snapping turtles and countless other things to keep a wannabe naturalist like myself busy. I found some diseased raspberry plants that were beautifully disgusting. I found ferns growing in every direction. Baby spiders were huddling on a leaf for safety. Suzanna and Johnny made a teeter-totter out of a dead tree that I pushed down. I found loads of carnivorous sundew plants.