Posts tagged background

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.