The Occassional Comment
On Sunday I’ll find out if five images of mine (including this one) will be selected to help out displaced kids at the Tibetan Children Village in Godalpur, India. Support for Tibetan human rights runs deep in the Czech Republic (or at least in Prague) and is one of the many surreal manifestations of resistance to the president here —imagine a deeply alcoholic Donald Trump without the global relevance and that should give you a pretty good picture of Miloš Zeman. He is, btw, one of the only European leaders who really really reaallly likes Trump. His fondness for Trump is followed pretty closely by his admiration of Xi Jinping. Whenever a Chinese delegation is in Prague (which seems to be quite often), large billboards of the Dalai Lama or of horrific treatment of Tibet by China fly up everywhere around the city and are promptly blocked from view by scaffolding. One would think that all of Prague is under construction during these times.
All of the participating artworks will be auctioned at the end of the exhibition with proceeds going to The Tibet Open House and the humanitarian campaigns they pursue (check them out here).
The exhibition and auction will be this fall at Školská 28 which is a really exciting gallery especially for new art (also worth checking out). Hopefully these five works will be part of the fall exhibition for Tibetan Children. Regardless, I'm looking forward to the show :).
This one was the going to be the first one on tinted paper where I included a teeny bit of black charcoal to extend the tonal range. Unfortunately, I was working at night under fluorescent light and subtle tonal gradations in the chalk against this paper were impossible to make out so I had to rely on using much more black charcoal than I would have liked for a series devoted to white chalk. Oh well. At least it's still got a lot of chalk :-). Time to move onto the 6th in this series.
This third one comes a day late cuz I was bedridden yesterday and couldn't do anything. Sorry 'bout that :(
Committing to producing and displaying a drawing a day for some period of time (usually a month) is a wonderful challenge and tradition employed by many. Of course I draw every day anyway, but most of what I doodle is not meant for human consumption. The Drawing A Day is a great way to deny oneself the luxury of fussing too much and imposing a period of disciplined focus. I’m going to give it a go, but just for a week. The unifying theme I’ll use will be a predominant medium, namely white chalk. For my first instalment I’m using it alone on cardboard. Drawing using a white medium requires an inverted process of seeing, focusing and prioritizing. It is not the image that is inverted as in a negative. Darks remain dark, lights remain light and midtones remain midtones. The inversion comes in the form of working primarily (or in this case exclusively) with the way light defines the subject. On a neutral tinted paper (such as this cardboard) all midtones reveal themselves in the negative space where no chalk has been applied. When only white is used, there is no explicit way to render anything darker than the background paper so extra care must be taken with the placement of highlights to evoke deep values that simply are not there (for example, making the pooch’s nose read as being ‘darker’ than the inside of it’s foreleg or the cardboard itself). I might have judiciously used a smattering of black charcoal to help in this but I am fascinated by the challenge of using chalk alone against a neutral background to be very instructive. I’ll throw in some black in future drawings in this series.
It would be great if other people try this out. I'd love to see what you come up with :-)
One of my obsessions when I'm neither painting or drawing is looking for the most affordable ways to get high quality prints of my works in circulation. This is not so much a matter of altruism (tho I enjoy being nice) as it is out of a desire to make it easiest for people to purchase my work without selling it at a loss. I need my images to get greater exposure but it's also important for me that any reproductions are of the highest quality. That's expensive :-(.
I am thrilled to have learned that I am now able to produce reproductions of my pictures at a much lower cost than before while maintaining the high quality archival paper (100% acid free cotton-rag) and superior fine art printing that I had been employing! Now at these prices I will still be able to earn a little on the side after printing and shipping and it will be much easier for anyone who enjoys my work to purchase them. I am sooooo psyched :-).
I hope lots of people continue to check out my site and perhaps even purchase some quality archival prints.
My apologies to the facebook community for pummelling y'all with multiple posts of the same image. I'm trying to figure out how best to integrate posts from my website with FB. Ideally I'll be using my site as the primary repository for my pictures and removing my paintings and drawings folders from FB altogether as I'm finding it unwieldy.
For everyone who has liked or commented on my images, you can really help out by directing those comments to my blog. Thanks :-)
łI had always thought that our nested oil and vinegar flask looked kind'a nice, but ever since I first noticed the variety of stunning shadows and light (both transmitted and refracted) that it casts, I have been mesmerized by it. Under many lighting conditions the cast image is even much sharper and brighter than the object itself. What I find most striking is the way the flask seems to interact with its image (or vice versa), turning what might have been a rudimentary still life of a trivially single object into a dynamic exchange between two entities. This has compelled me to produce numerous drawings, paintings and other renditions of the myriad scenes induced by the interaction of these two beings.
While I often project anthropomorphic social narratives onto inanimate objects (such as, say, a bent Coke can and a potted flower), discovering the powerful Noh drama performed by this featureless singular-dual character fascinates me.
At times, the interaction is one of diffidence where one or the other is willfully unaware of the other. Sometimes they appear to be proffering desperate mutual respite against the strange world threatening to engulf them. Under certain lighting and angles there is a glorious sense of awe as this conjoined pair suddenly become aware of the other's existence. That is what I saw and tried to capture for this iteration (my second watercolor rendition). Hence the title.
I hope to be exploring and learning from these two many more times in the future.