Molly and I spent a weekend in Cincinnati this summer, and I happened across the Miller Gallery during a short walk. The gallery owner looked unbearably artistic and stylish, dressed entirely in black with platinum white hair and a New Zealand accent. She was as welcoming as she looked intimidating, and though I was initially attracted to some pieces by Bruce Riley, it was her comments that made me stop and appreciate the beauty of the work.
I’m not a huge fan of abstract art. That’s why I was surprised to find Riley’s work so compelling, and I’m painfully aware the links I provide will express very little of the works’ incredible grace and sensitivity. One reason is scale. They are generally quite large, some as tall as six feet. The second reason is the dimensional quality of the work. He creates them by pouring resin over a huge wooden panel, allowing it to dry, and painting in oil before pouring the next layer and repeating the process. His flickr account contains close-ups that hint at the layered quality, but they don’t express the the way light filters through the paper thin layers of translucent resin. It’s best appreciated in the flesh, so to speak.
The whole experience was a surprising treasure in the midst of a beautiful weekend, and I’m grateful for it.
I created three ink & watercolor drawings as a wedding gift this weekend. It’s been years since I created some finished artwork entirely by hand — there’s an element of excitement to having no option to “undo”. I drew the herbs from life, tying and hanging each to draw. Then I took a photo for color reference and added the watercolor using the photos.
I added the labels by printing them backwards, making a laser photocopy, and transferring the ink to the drawing using xylene (a wonderfully toxic solvent/cleaner). The transfer came out far too light, so I used a 005 micron pen to trace the type by hand. It was the last detail I added to the finished drawings. The effect is perfect, and after a half hour my nerves had sufficiently recovered from the ordeal.
May 15 was the 27th Worldwide Sketchcrawl. Molly took the kids solo one more morning than usual that week, and I took Smartbus 460 to the Royal Oak Farm Market. Results:
I’m getting ready to go on the annual Kimball family week-long vacation. My parents rent a huge place for a week, and my three brothers and I (+families) come and stay for as much of the week as we can. My parents now have ten grandkids under the age of 10, so it gets pretty crazy when we all land at the same time.
I’m looking to repeat an activity I brought a couple years ago: readymechs. They’re an ongoing project by the design firm FWIS. They’re small, robot-like throw-away toys you make yourself. The beautiful little creatures come to life by printing out the 8.5×11 design sheet, cutting out the design, and following the assembly instructions.
Last time I printed and brought a bunch of them the whole family (adults included) had a blast constructing the various designs. By the end of the week they were pretty much destroyed by the kids playing with them, but that’s kind of the point. I even imported the PDFs into illustrator and deleted the color, so some of them were a coloring/constructing combo. I don’t have time for that this year, but they’ve added a whole new series of mechs since we did it last — I don’t think we’ll get bored.
A couple years ago I stumbled over Enrico Casarosa’s Venice Chronicles, an online serial comic now available as a book. At the same time I found Sketchcrawl, a drawing marathon he started that has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Update: Check out these results from Oxford, UK. Beautiful.