Sunday, December 1, 2019

Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box 
oil on canvas

For the better part of a year (mid-2018 to mid-2019) I worked almost exclusively with the Zorn palette. Pandora's Box was the first painting I made with a full palette after that year-long experiment. I was curious to see whether 13 colors would seem garish in comparison. I deliberately set up the most colorful objects I own against a neutral background to force myself to actually use all 13 colors; I wanted to test their range on a variety of surfaces, from most to least saturated. 

I've always loved Mythology. From reading Edith Hamilton in freshman english class to making my first body of work about contemporary sirens, those iconic stories still hold a particular fascination for me. My painter friends were right - it was definitely time to let color back out of the box. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Upcoming Exhibition

Solo Exhibition at Western Illinois University 
Featuring new oil paintings and recent pastels

Reception: October 1, 4:30–6:30pm
October 1–November 1, 2019

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Working in Series

Vent 15, 2019 
chalk pastel on paper, 7x7"

Vent 4, 2018 
chalk pastel on paper, 7x7" 

Vent 16, 2019 
chalk pastel on paper, 7x7"

I map studio spaces. The studio interior and its accompanying detritus has been my primary subject for the past seven years, and I document the perimeter of each studio I inhabit in some form or other. This particular round of tracing the edges of the space led to a series of drawings of the eight vents evenly spaced around the room. 

Initially I was intrigued by formal qualities - the arrangement of rectangles, lines, and planes of color divided the square composition in an aesthetically pleasing way. For me, drawing the same subject over and over forces me to observe more carefully with each drawing, considering the decisions of the previous drawings while trying to create something new every time. I was thinking about Monet's cathedral paintings, how changing light and different atmospheric effects make the same subject appear radically different and full of surprise. 

Finding that sense of surprise, of seeing something with new eyes, and in doing so appreciating the seen all the more... is part of why I continue to paint. There is always more to see. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019


demos from DAAP Camp Drawing Intensive

recent figure drawings, all made at Manifest Drawing Center

 photo credit: Michael Everett

photo credit: Michael Everett

Last week was the DAAP Drawing Intensive High School Day Camp. I've taught in the Drawing Intensive camp for the past four years, but this was my first year also running the camp. It was, as always, an intense and joyful week. We had so many great students who were curious and enthusiastic. The other teachers and college student workers were inspiring and empathetic, and they made the camp not only an incredible education but also a lot of fun.

I feel very lucky to be able to split my time between painting and teaching - two jobs that I absolutely love. There aren't many photos documenting my teaching, so I'm grateful that Michael Everett at DAAP was able to capture these moments. The book I'm holding in the first photo is Drawing Lessons From the Great Masters by Robert Beverly Hale, one of my favorite teaching resources.

That being said, the planning in the months leading up to camp as well as the actual camp last week made a serious dent in my studio time. Hence, this month's late blog post (my apologies, dear reader). I'm back in the groove this week. I have a couple of shows coming up later this year and a studio full of new (mostly finished) work that I can't wait to share with you.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sketchbook Selections

Left: after Hiram Powers, National Portrait Gallery, DC
Right: after Edwin Dickinson, Helen Souza

Left: After drawings from Fifty Figure Drawings
Right: After John Frederick Peto, An English Breakfast

Gestures from Open Figure at Manifest Drawing Center and planar analyses of the head after George Bridgeman

Left: Figure studies from Manifest Drawing Center
Right: After Hiram Powers, Anna Sinton Taft

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Zote, Dickinson, and Post-its



Today was my semi-annual brush-cleaning day in the studio. Pictured above is one of my favorite soaps for cleaning stubborn oil paint out of tired brushes. You can find Zote at just about any Mexican grocery store. One bar costs about $1; it works far better than the "brush cleaner" you might have seen at the art store, and it lasts much longer. 

This quarter I'm teaching a class on master copies at Manifest Drawing Center, and today was our first meeting. It was interesting to see the artists that my students chose to copy... and there's nothing like starting class with an impossible assignment: to make a faithful copy in under three hours. I worked alongside my students on this study after one of my favorite Edwin Dickinson paintings. 

Last month was pretty teaching-heavy, but I'm optimistic about having more dedicated studio time this month. Here's a small detail of a painting I wrapped up in the studio this week. More to come...

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Recent Exhibitions

Excavation, 2018
oil on canvas, 20" x 20" 
private collection

I'm honored to have had paintings in two exhibitions at Manifest Gallery in the past month: SINKS & CHAIRS and, currently on view, ONE SHOT. Manifest shows are always special, and these were no exception. It's always a pleasure to meet the other artists and see so much interesting contemporary work in person. 

(above photo credit: Jason Franz) 

If you're in the Cincinnati area, be sure to stop by the gallery! Also on view are OHIO, KENTUCKY, INDIANA (Regional Showcase), FRAGMENTS: paintings by Mihee Nam, and OTHER SELVES: Painted Trompe-l'oeil Constructions by Ron Isaacs. The exhibitions run through April 5th. 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Finding Colors

new work-in-progress

I spent a good portion of last week cleaning and reorganizing my pastels. It was quite a process... multiple boxes, upon opening, were full of sticks that all appeared to be the same dusty grey-violet. Meticulous cleaning revealed colors I didn't know I had. I was surprised to discover an abundance of the same five or six colors. Apparently I'm drawn to the same handful of neutral tones each time I go to the art store. There's something about mars violet that just speaks to me.

With my materials in order, I'll be able to draw more efficiently and make better color choices. I have a couple of shows coming up later this year, and I'm excited to have the next few months to focus intensely on making new work. Stay tuned for upcoming experiments in composition, color, and subject matter.

"To express what is nature, in the visible world, this is what matters the most to me...
However, I believe that there is nothing more surreal and more abstract than reality."
- Giorgio Morandi