“Normal” Septembers of past years included the beginning of classes, prepping paintings for the wet season, watching baseball, and cleaning the backyard from my golden retriever’s destruction of tomato plants. However, this last September was spent at the de Young museum creating a large-scale drawing (on a 42×360 inches paper roll) inspired by Andy Goldsworthy’s Drawn Stone and the wire/rock façade of Herzog & de Meuron’s Dominus Estate in Yountville. The artwork would have to be completed without my studio-mate (Trout) who passed away three weeks priors to the exhibit. Would I have strength to finish a piece without his presence, during a specific time frame, outside of my “normal” routine and while interacting with visitors?
Being a superstitious artist, once a piece of artwork starts at a certain location it has to finish there regardless of how long it takes for completion. As a result, if the drawing wasn’t finished at the museum, it would have stayed unfinished forever. I believe it had to be created and finished in the location it was influenced by. The line quality, light, and environment would be different anywhere else. Only Faber-Castell pens sized XS, S, and M were used for the drawing during specific layers. The artwork had to be gestural yet precise resulting in “organized chaos.”
Drawing photos from start to finish for the Patterns exhibit:
Six days prior to the end of the residency, the drawing made my stomach churn and was not a happy camper. However, that’s part of my process before finishing any art piece. A few layers prior to completion, I fight and am disgusted because “it” has to be “perfect.” As a result, knew the drawing would be finished at the museum. The last highlight lines were added and I took down the photos of my studio mate Trout. It took 55 pens to finish the drawing with 22 days physically drawing at the museum and 2 at home analyzing photos by making sketches.
September 2013 will always have a special place in my brain file of memories. It was a challenging and wonderful experience. It was a start of a new chapter in my life and art. It proved that if you dream, work hard, and stay focused anything is possible. Highlights included working with fabulous interns that renewed my hope for the future. Creativity will continue to be explored in new and old patterns. Looking forward to many more Septembers…
The top three patterns from the last week: