Friday, June 27, 2014

Sweltering for art:

I am continuing my summer tradition of plein air drawings.  Today!, the crocodile tank at the Zoo.  The environmental conditions are accurately kept, so the morning was spent sweltering for art.


Sketchbook Aquarium drawing #2, marker and pen on paper, 9" x 12,"  2014

"Our organism’s complexity has spread a rich and noble life throughout sensations and thoughts; however, as a counterweight, this complexity has also brought us distressing fragility. We live with the constant threat of catastrophe. . . ."

by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Café Chats (translated by Benjamin Ehrlich)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Aquarium Drawing


Sketchbook Aquarium drawing, marker and pen on paper, 9" x 12,"  2014



". . . Faith vigorously promotes longevity, while doubt can doom us to an early death."

"Blessed are those who give their lives to a great idea, for they will endure in and for it! . ."


Both quotes by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Café Chats (translated by Benjamin Ehrlich)

Surrealism, Spanish birds, Romanticism and the great outdoors. Summer time is cake.


Graphite on paper, 14" x 17," 2014



Graphite and ink on paper, 18" x 24," 2014


“It is a moving sight to watch on summer mornings as young bees gather honey for the exhausted and dying workwomen who, before their eyes grow dim, receive a passionate kiss from the sun, our father of life. Hear the anxious cry of the dying—“Light, more light!”—from the great Goethe to the humblest creature. Might this universal plea signify an optimistic prophecy? After death’s darkness, will the sun of immortality rise? It is comforting to hope and to believe so.”

- Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Café Chats (translated by Benjamin Ehrlich)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Aquarium Explorations

This week I explored different types of space by observing the Aquarium at the Riverbanks Zoo.  Fish, crocodiles, and urchins.  The colors, atmosphere, and compression of the Aquarium demands a different palette and aesthetic considerations than I am accustom.  A new beginning, I will be returning to the Aquarium to do more drawings...Let's see where these drawings lead.

Sketchbook page, Aquarium Study #1, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, Aquarium Study #2, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, Aquarium Study #3, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, Aquarium Study #4, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” 

- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, May 5, 2014

School is out for summer...

...and so the sketchbook drawing commences.  Looking forward to the discoveries and activity everyday in the coming weeks!  To kick things off, some May Day celebratory drawings of flowers.

Sketchbook page, May Day Birthday #1, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, May Day Birthday #2, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, May Day Birthday #3, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, Finlay Park 2014 #1, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, Finlay Park 2014 #2, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Haymarket: May Day, by Burton Jerome Barnett, 1939
August Spies: You may strangle this voice, but there will be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.
Albert Parsons: O men of America, let the voice of the people be heard!

Still bright, and searing ignorance and fear, 
This stronger beacon that you tended burns 
And on this day of each advancing year 
The memory of that first May First
returns.

But now the widespread fingers strengthen, 
grow 
More lithe, and flexing at the wrist--
O fingers forming to the fist!

Now is the imminence of commmonweal--
The turgid lambency of molten iron
Hardening in even lines of steel.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Break

Sometimes nothing is better than long days filled with uninterrupted hours in the studio.  Newly completed work below.

Acrylic on Yupo paper, 26" x 40"


Details of the work, below:











Spring by Gerald Manley Hopkins

    Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         

What is all this juice and all this joy?         
   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,         
   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,         
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,         
   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.         


Friday, March 7, 2014

Mickey Puke

The third Mickey Mouse looks as though he is throwing himself up, or rather out.  Painting is a form of survival, right?  Or at least the best way to cope with a mouse problem.  Our house is now over run by many, many Minnie Mice!  I blame the character placement on Huggies diapers.  It has primed our little one to be a consumer of all things Minnie.






We have to create culture, don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you're giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told 'no', we're unimportant, we're peripheral. 'Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.' And then you're a player, you don't want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.

- Terence McKenna

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Finally Finished! Blue Cerberus, details and the completed work.

4/26/2015:  Since I am linking Blue Cerberus to this post from my personal web site, I am going to included some links below that show the evolution of the painting at various stages during its development.  Even though the work was completed during March of 2014, most of the paintings progression occurred during July of 2013.  With that said, the links that look back on the evolution of this work will begin with a link to the month of July from this blog.  To view the past posts, please link on through the dates listed below.

Many thanks, Dawn


  • Blue Cerberus evolving, posted throughout July 2013.
  • Drawing study for Blue Cerberus, posted 9/16/2014.
  • Blue Cerberus at a middle stage, posted 12/17/2013.
  • Blue Cerberus details at a late stage,  posted 1/20/2013.


Blue Cerberus completed, posted 3/4/2014:
I am finally finished, at least for a while.  I am please with the results.  I think the physicality of the paint throughout the image is working together:  the parts of this busy work are working together as a whole.  I would say the same for color.  It feels like, as in all my work, that there is more I can do.  The more will have to transpire in another work.  Sometimes doing more means moving on to other works...Setting sail tonight!

detail

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detail

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detail

complete work, acrylic and ink on paper, 36" x 48" - title forthcoming

detail

detail

It takes a long time to grow an old friend.

- John Leonard