Documenting Process (for July 5)

  • What materials do you use and why? How do you present or materialize your work?

After years of working in display with a capital D, where materials and ideas were disposable, I found myself drawn again to oil paint for its comparative permanence. I have worked on progressively larger mounted, stretched canvasses until arriving to Chicago. Here, I have rid myself of the stretchers and potentially of the predetermined length of the canvas and have begun to think of the canvas as fabric rather than as a tablet. 

  • What does your process look like?

I have come to understand that my process involves layering and mapping, or mind-mapping. Sometimes I work from an idea which I have mulled over, but often I find myself building something from nothing(ish). I have been trying to follow my instincts rather than over-researching and over-conceptualizing. 

  • What concepts are you currently exploring?

At this moment I am interested in what's precious or prominent within a painting, hierarchy in a composition, and perhaps the democratization of elements--from content to craft. I am also interested in the sculptural potential of canvas. I am also interested in accessibility. 

  • What kind of space do you like to work in? (What is your studio space like? Or, what spaces do you prefer instead of your studio?) What does your computer desktop look like?

I prefer to work in a large private space. But my studio in Austin is narrow and private, my studio in Chicago is large and exposed. My computer desktop, like my email inbox, looks like a landfill site, full of colorful garbage. 

  • What artists, specific pieces, or histories contextualize your work? What are some objects or places of inspiration or research for you right now?

Graffiti and mural-work have certainly influenced my representational painting--say, Basquiat and Diego Rivera, as the first famous examples who come to mind, but also street artists I know or have known personally or work I've been surrounded by. Regionalist work like Thomas Hart Benton or Grant Wood has been of great interest to me in the past few years. Morris Louis, Francesca Woodman, Katherine Bernhardt, Jenny Saville, Stan Brakhage are all people I think about a lot. Yayoi Kusama. Leonard Cohen! Always. Daniel Heidkamp. I'm interested in work that's a bit low brow, digestible, but creates echoes. I am interested in and researching the Situationists. I'm also reading about color. 

There's something really interesting to me about this Linda Ronstadt cover of the Bob Dylan song "Mama, You've Been On My Mind". You should watch it: