drawing

Gardenia Riot

Gardenias are incredibly beautiful, delicate and fragrant flowers. We have three large plants in separate pots on our patio. They flowered beyond our wildest dreams this year–we were completely overwhelmed with white blossoms and their heady perfume. Of course, I’ve been photographing them a lot–but this spring I was so taken with them that I simply had to use them as subject matter for some drawings and prints.

This one was simply perfect!
Wishing you could smell the amazing fragrance!

Most people know I can’t do things halfway (yes–I am just a little obsessive)–and right now I’ve got 5 new print editions based on my gardenia photos and drawings. There will be a few more print editions and maybe even a painting or two. Here is a look at a small portion of the work I’ve been making. There are dozens more computer-generated ideas, color studies and patterns.

Gardenia
Gardenia; ink on paper; 2019
Gardenia Stripe; Ink on paper; 2019.
Gardenia Stripe Mirrored; ink on paper; 2019. This drawing will soon find it’s way onto the press as a photopolymer print with a split fountain color background.

And now for the prints…they are based on the first simple line drawing of the gardenia above. Future prints will be based on the second drawing with the two different stripe widths. The 5 editions (below) were all printed by Brent Bond of Santo Press this past month. Brent selected the colors for Gardenia Riot Pulse and all I can say is WOW!

Gardenia Riot Lace; 2019; photopolymer relief; image size 12 x 9.5 inches on paper 16.5 x 13.5 inches; edition of 10; printed by Santo Press; $150.00.
Gardenia Riot Pulse; 2019; photopolymer relief with split fountain; image size 12 x 9.5 inches on paper 16.5 x 13.5 inches; edition of 10; printed by Santo Press; $150.00.
Hot Gardenia Riot; 2019; photopolymer relief with split-fountain ground; image size 12 x 9.5 inches on paper 16.5 x 13.5 inches; edition of 10; printed by Santo Press, $200.00.
Gardenia Riot Blue; 2019; photopolymer relief with flat background bleed print; image size 12 x 19.5 inches; edition of 50; printed by Santo Press. A.P.s available for $100.00
Gardenia; 2019; laser-cut linoleum block with photopolymer relief; image size 9 x 9 inches on paper 13.5 x 13 inches; edition of 10; printed by Santo Press; $150.00.
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The Mandala Series

I have completed 7 mandala drawings (2 of them this past month of January 2019) and wanted to feature them all in a blog post. Each one is drawn with a mechanical pencil on Stonehenge paper, 22.5 x 22 inches. Five of the Mandala drawings (numbers 1 through 5) are currently on exhibit in my solo show “Patterns of Obsession” at Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum through April 14th.

Here they are in order–Mandalas 1 through 7:

Mandala 1 (Ribbonesque)

 

Mandala 2 (Leaf)

 

Mandala 3 (Nest)

 

Mandala 4 (Brilliant)

 

Mandala 5 (Tulip)

 

Mandala 6 (WolFish)

 

Mandala 7 (FlowerWing)

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The Mandala Series: A Peaceful Center in a World Gone Mad

Mandalas have fascinated me for a very long time. It coincided with dreamwork and my study of Jungian symbols (of which mandalas play a primary role) and the vast richness that transpersonal psychology holds. According to Jung in Memories, Dreams and Reflections:

“The mandala is an archetypal image whose occurrence is attested throughout the ages. It signifies the wholeness of the Self. This circular image represents the wholeness of the psychic ground or, to put it in mythic terms, the divinity incarnate in man.”

In the late 80’s I made a few colorful mandalas using watercolors but have no idea where they are now–probably hidden away in a drawer of my flat files where they shall forever remain.

Then in 1992 I was fortunate to watch Tibetan monks create a beautiful sand mandala for close to a week at The Frick Pittsburgh. The monks created a Chenrezig Mandala which is a manifestation of compassion and was meant to be viewed as an architectural plan or structure. I brought my sketchbook and made a few quick studies of the designs but (sadly) I don’t think I took photos. It was pre-digital cameras–and cell phones were just phones.

Study of Tibetan sand painting mandala; sketchbook page; 1992

I went almost every day they were there. One day they permitted me to try using their tools and colored sand. As can be expected, it was much harder than I thought to get the sand to fall evenly in the designated area. Have a look at these beautiful photos of a Chenrezig Mandala–this mandala was created in Salisbury, England in 2013 is very similar to the mandala I saw being created.

Jumping to the present day, I wanted to create circular patterns based on my own version of repeating patterns within a circular (mandala) form. I sought to make a mandala based on quadrants but bisecting those 4 quadrants into 8 separate spokes to form a more complicated pattern. Are these mandalas representations of my inner self? I really don’t know, but I do think they are my attempt to create a sense of wholeness and a place where I can feel a peaceful center in a world gone totally mad.

Here are the first 2 mandalas (with detail shots) in this new series. Hopefully the third mandala will be finished today–there are at least a dozen more ideas ready and waiting in the wings.

Mandala 1 (Ribbonesque); Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

Mandala 1 (Ribbonesque) detail; Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

Mandala 2 (leaf); Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

Mandala 2 (leaf) detail; Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

Now completed–the third one!

Mandala 3 (Nest); Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

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1967 Swirl

Today I completed a new painting 1967 Swirl that will also be made into a relief print by Brent Bond at Santo Press. The painting is a combination of two patterns that meld The Sixties series with my Swirls series.

The idea was haphazardly generated in my sketchbook when I collaged both patterns on one page. I really liked how it worked and after mulling it over, decided to push it further.

I wanted the pattern to be a very “clean” image (unlike the above collage) knowing that I wanted to make a laser-cut relief print out of it. So, I bit the bullet, and made as precise an ink rendering as I could manage of a one-quarter section of the pattern.

The above ink drawing was then scanned and mirrored in Photoshop.

And then I painted it…

The finished acrylic gouache painting is 15.75 x 20 inches (on paper 18.5 x 22.5 inches).

Look for the print (which will be smaller) to be released in a month or so.

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