Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Switchback, Carnie Cart

These are trailer fantasies. Switchback shows my favourite type of trailer, a 50s Shasta, reaching a difficult spot through using a special platform that pads its way along steep slopes. Carnie Cart shows a magical circus trailer with unusual architectural and engineering features.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Journal Bulk, Tape Town

Journal Bulk comes from the engrossing experience of reading my large pile of journals, written decades ago. An older man touches the thoughts of himself as a much younger man.

Tape Town comes also from one of these journal/sketchbooks, where I depict a city maintained only tape. Just now I read accounts of New York blocks and streets exploding and burning due to ageing infrastructure-- a challenge that much of the US faces.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Capt. Balloon, Secret Vaults

Captain Balloon was partially inspired by Oaks Park, near Portland, Oregon. The amusement park stokes the historical imagination, taking me back to the turn of the century. I also recently read Erik Larsen's Devil in the White City, a historical novel about the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, evoking a colourful time.
Secret Vaults is a card version of a motif that I have made several versions of. It is about closets and compartments within compartments.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cross Walk, Going Spiral

Cross Walk is based on a ball point pen sketch I drew in 1989 during my first few weeks of living in  New York. Rather than just people watching I was people drawing. The surge of the crazy quilt of humanity crossing a cross walk required drawing quickly, capturing the cartoon essence of the people.

Going Spiral is inspired by the wedge shape out of which a spiral staircase can be built. Rather than being enclosed in a tower with a clear purpose of assent, this staircase has an uncertain, mythical reason for being.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Paper Chase, Monkee Mountain

Paper Chase: Archivist fans chase down papers fluttering in disarray, the legacy of one who leaves behind his traces.

Monkee Mountain: A childhood memory of face-like buttes marking a lonely stretch on the two-day car trip from Oregon to Wyoming.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Alchemists, Still Cleef Life

Alchemists: While Heidi and I were attempting to organise my piles of artwork some weeks back, we found many unfinished sketches. One warranted being turned into a card. It is from a time a few years back when I was trying to grapple with the idea that humanity, and especially science/technology, is surprisingly young, going back only a few hundred generations.  I depict humans as cupie-dolls or munchkin-like beings.

Still Cleef Life: a modest still life featuring some objects in my upstairs study, including my ceramic sculpture of one of my favourite faces, Lee Van Cleef.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Nite Lite City, Skin Leaper

Nite Lite City is an interpolation of one of my earliest memories, filtered through decades of later experience. My mom and I traveled to Missouri via Greyhound Bus. I may have been 6 or 7 years old and had never seen a big city at night. It may have been Kansas City I glimpsed, full of nocturnal, alien activity, intimidating but exciting and inviting.

Skin Leaper: shedding skins, leaping and changing into new personas over time.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Staten Island, Live Ruins

Staten Island seems to be America in miniature, with neighbourhoods of every different style. Some places take you back in time as well. This district, with all its wires above the street, recalls an early era.

Live Ruins is inspired by the ruins of Rome. The architectural ornament and forms seem eternal, as if they are the source, the beginning, forever referred to and reused, reincarnated.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Bone Butte, Book Cave

Bone Butte is inspired by the Red Buttes near Laramie, Wyoming. The winds of time have sculpted the soft, red sandstone into fascinating shapes, stoking the fantastic imagination.  Fossil digging and dinosaurs is also a big part of the Wyoming ethos, stirring my mind especially as a child.

Book Cave is a take on the "man cave". It's almost a portrait of my upstairs study or library, the hammock added as fantasy, to emphasise the wonders of ones comfortable collection of old books, so good to revisit and escape into.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Cellar Warmth, Loft in Space

Cellar Warmth is inspired by memories of a massive central heater, heart of the cellar. It makes all sorts of noises, especially at night.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

City Junction, News Scroll

City Junction: Inspired by fond memories of elevated train junctions in the outer boroughs of NY.

News Scroll: I'm an obstinate fan of print and paper, ungainly as it might be if one wanted to make a scrolling device. Scrolling technologies have their appeal for me still--film reels, tape reels, micro-fische .

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Face Traces, Mind Maze

Face Traces:   This piece was inspired by character actors, whose recognizability becomes weaker over time. Our collective culture gradually replaces them with newer faces. They haphazardly cover each other, like old bills on a wall.

Mind Mazes: An inner, cerebral maze matches the outer labyrinth that the figure walks through. He's inspired by a flat-toped, pre-Columbian statue at Tihauanaco.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Infinite Nostalgia, Wayback Club

Infinite Nostalgia: A one sided moebius strip, symbol for infinity, holds a display of gum ball charms. They're little objects that kids once received in cereal, crackerjacks, etc. They depict things in the popular culture of the time, and most are quite recognisable now. They give me a warm, innocent feeling.
Wayback Club: Pop or soul tunes seem to be known to everyone, old standards. When were they written? Why does everyone know about them? As if they are old as the hills, whose contours everyone knows. I can't tell when they were written.