Posts in process
2018.

Looking back at 2018 and feeling a bit wistful. If all goes according to plan, “Interwoven” will most likely be the last major sculpture project of my career. It was the only big piece I created this year, and, to me, probably my best. A look back:

The original concept as a rendering in Rhino3d.

The original concept as a rendering in Rhino3d.

Illustration showing the scheme I came up with for dividing the form up into panels for fabrication.

Illustration showing the scheme I came up with for dividing the form up into panels for fabrication.

Assembling the panels.

Assembling the panels.

Finishing up the assembly.

Finishing up the assembly.

Showing it off before hauling it off to its new home in Little Rock.

Showing it off before hauling it off to its new home in Little Rock.

Done!

Done!

I have a whole bunch more “making of” posts over on the Exocubic Studio blog.

"Mnemonics" Tetraptych (Quadriptych?)

A little insight into the working process behind creating a set of images; this is a series of four that explores memory and recall. References both the concept of memory as a quality of the mind, and a metaphor for the imagery of memory itself.

This is the raw vector geometry that began this project (believe it or not). This was created in the Assembly App in about 5 minutes. I often begin with very simple shapes and let the iterating process introduce complexity as I go.

This is the raw vector geometry that began this project (believe it or not). This was created in the Assembly App in about 5 minutes. I often begin with very simple shapes and let the iterating process introduce complexity as I go.

This is an early iteration, using Watrlogue app to introduce some painterly randomness. The transition from solid black to a more ephemeral blue spawned the idea of memory as motif. From here, I start adding layers and masks using the Union app. Texture variations come in from Stackables and Mextures apps.

This is an early iteration, using Watrlogue app to introduce some painterly randomness. The transition from solid black to a more ephemeral blue spawned the idea of memory as motif. From here, I start adding layers and masks using the Union app. Texture variations come in from Stackables and Mextures apps.

A version with no circles in the background. I like this, but it doesn't fit the concept as nicely, so it got yanked from the group. The circle packing additions come via the Percolator app, which has become a central pivot in all my 2d work.

A version with no circles in the background. I like this, but it doesn't fit the concept as nicely, so it got yanked from the group. The circle packing additions come via the Percolator app, which has become a central pivot in all my 2d work.

"Memory." Overlapping masks and textures, some Percolated and some not, produces an almost lacy effect; this reinforces the diaphanous nature of memory. This is the seed design that drove the remainder of the iterations. Accident and randomness help to not just infuse meaning, but keep the starkness of digital at bay.

"Memory." Overlapping masks and textures, some Percolated and some not, produces an almost lacy effect; this reinforces the diaphanous nature of memory. This is the seed design that drove the remainder of the iterations. Accident and randomness help to not just infuse meaning, but keep the starkness of digital at bay.

"Amnesia." Second in the “Mnemonics” series; exploring the way our perception of history and memory is malleable and subject to influence by emotions and other factors. Repressed memories; searching through the darkness.

"Amnesia." Second in the “Mnemonics” series; exploring the way our perception of history and memory is malleable and subject to influence by emotions and other factors. Repressed memories; searching through the darkness.

"Elegy." Number 3 in the “Mnemonics” series.  A remembrance of that which has gone.

"Elegy." Number 3 in the “Mnemonics” series.  A remembrance of that which has gone.

"Reminiscence." Final member of the “Mnemonics” tetraptych (or Quadriptych). This one shows the embellishments we add to our recollections.

"Reminiscence." Final member of the “Mnemonics” tetraptych (or Quadriptych). This one shows the embellishments we add to our recollections.

New.

Well, hello there!

Welcome to my new presence here on the Intertubes.

I’ve spent the last 25 years crafting artwork in metal, primarily for large-scale public art projects. There’s quite a bit of documentation for that aspect of my work here:

The most obvious hallmark of my sculpture practice was the need for a massive and cantankerous toolset— including welders, grinders, worktables, clamps, hoists—as well as space to use them.

Underpinning my creative process was another layer of yet more stuff: desktop computer and a host of software tools for modeling, documenting, and fabricating the sculptures. Arriving at a toolset that is both capable and rigorous enough to ensure a successful project took years and many thousands of dollars, not to mention the brain space taken up by learning and managing all of it.

Dealing with all that stuff becomes a way of life, and a way of operating in the world that carries with it a heavy environmental cost. I am no longer willing to blindly continue contributing to the destruction of our beautiful planet.

Enter the iPad.

I’ve be a fan and avid user of Apple products since I was a teenager. The benefits of a digital workflow were self-evident at this point, and the seamless experience when enmeshed in the Apple ecosystem had been simplifying my life since I got my first iPhone. Watching videos of artists drawing directly on their iPads opened my eyes to new possibilities. Being able to sit down with this simple rectangle in my lap and just let my imagination roam was a revelation. After much trial and error, I arrived at a method for making that hinged on what I ended up thinking of as “accidental imagination.” I start with very simple vector shapes, arranging them into a composition that just “feels” right. Then I add filters and effects in a host of different apps, all the while establishing a kind of call-and-response interplay with what’s happening on the screen. Usually, something bubbles up randomly that sparks my imagination and I run with that idea. It feels like a way of producing the kind of unexpected imagery that occurs when using traditional media, but in digital form. I love the variety and playfulness of this method, and have enjoyed all the feedback I’m getting from friends and followers on social media and in meatspace, too.