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I have not made a blog entry since May 8. I don't think my studio work is of importance to anyone but me and I have spent the last seven months mostly in my studio.

Facebook has been a distraction and a perversion of the basic, decentralized makeup of the internet. Scrolling up and down my Facebook page timeline, it is utterly impossible to remember...

What I was I thinking?

And that memory, a log of idea, an abstraction of a life; is that a blog?

Margaret Rouse writes:

A weblog often has the quality of being a kind of "log of our times" from a particular point-of-view. Generally, weblogs are devoted to one or several subjects or themes, usually of topical interest, and, in general, can be thought of as developing commentaries, individual or collective on their particular themes. A weblog may consist of the recorded ideas of an individual (a sort of diary) or be a complex collaboration open to anyone. Most of the latter are moderated discussions.

I have changed the format of this blog: Increased the HTML font size so that it will be easily read and increased the CSS link sizes so the navigation buttons are more easily touched on mobile devices.

To start again...

I ran out of panels, went to a lumber yard, and purchased a 4 x 8 foot x 3/16 inch sheet of maple plywood laminated on a pine ply (I think?) core and a rough maple (?) backing.

Out of it I cut 8 panels of 18 x 24 and 8 panels of 12 x 18 and four pieces of 2 1/2 x 24 inch scrap. It is a fairly good waste management considering that the standard (American) board size format is outside what is standard art sizes. I use standard sizes because standard frames are manufactured in bulk in those dimensions.

Don't ask me, I don't know why... I didn't create this craziness, I only live in it and try to make sense from it for my own sanity.

I added those I cut to twenty four 09 x 12 sketch boards. The set is achieved by halving the long side of each panel which is a corrupted version of the irrational (in that the numeric maths do not coincided with the geometry of the) Golden Mean.... outlined in detail at: click

The new series I have started with a working name of "Unknown" because I don't have an overall plan for its completion. This is the first time that I have begun a series without having set up a vague limitation of parameters since The Edge (1984-1993). Edge is a collection of self published lithographs in which I was exploring several styles at the same time. I was attempting to create a synthesis of modern tendencies and I came up with a few ideas which lead to further investigations. I called what I was doing "expresso-impressure". The major difficulty I had was unifying expressionism and impressionism. For my own purpose I had simplified the two movements into a theory that expressionism was a self-expression and that impression was a more traditional artistic trait, almost scientific, of studying the visible world and giving "voice" to "the other". I came away from The Edge with a belief that the highest power of art was impressionistic. In this attempt to explain myself I come up against the problem of trying to use language to explain what is essentially a visual and dextral endeavour.

In "Unknown" there are four major divisions or sub-series:

  1. Impressionistically painted but realist, "lens based" acrylic paintings.
  2. Expressionist graphite drawings made with my minor, left hand.
  3. Digital photographic "paintings" and photo arrays.
  4. The concurrent portion of my blog.

"Pathfinders" is an example of the first category begun on July 7 and completed on July 28. It is based upon a sketching trip to the La Cloche Mountains of Northern Ontario and consists of two 24 x 36 (61 x 91 cm) canvases and two 18 x 24 (46 x 61 cm) ash ply panels.

This untitled painting on 46 x 61 cm (18 x 24) ply panel suggested to me something that I have encountered as an art student in Montreal studying with the colour field painters of the automatist school. An important aspect of what they did was based upon a musical inspiration. It is as impossible to see music as it is to hear a painting. The senses do not cross over as easily as it is to see a word and hear it read aloud or hear it with a silent inner ear. But... there are aspects of visual art that presume to music. The automatist stated that instrumental music is the most abstract art. It does not represent, it is like an "abstract painting" (a concrete actuality) what it is, is, what it is. There are aspects like rhythm, colour harmony, and tonal structures (similar to a cord of notes) suggest that a visual music tableaux is a possibility.

Using memories and photographs of a musical recording studio we set up in Canmore Alberta, The Sixty Forty Sessions, I launched into an attempt to paint music.

With the painting, "Poet" on 46 x 61 cm (18 x 24) ply panel, I made my attempt within the limits of representational painting to suggest harmonious sound. The poet breaths life into the landscape. And... I made a shift in the continuity changing the landscape from the Canadian Shield to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, from summer abruptly and without transition into fall.

I had, during previous series dispensed with the continuities of composition, colour, mood, almost everything except for a continual development in brush strokes of a balance between chaos and order. The closer you get to the surface the less representational the brush strokes are with more emphasis upon abstract qualities like grace and gusto. But, the past series each had a continuity of time and space much like an animation, one frame followed the next in a logical progression.

Perhaps I am beginning to think of each painting as an absolute individual work only vaguely connected to the painting or subset of paintings done before it and after by the limitations of my abilities? Everything is subject to abrupt evolution for the sake of what?


Freedom from what? Repetition, boredom, and the drudgery of expertise? How can I make this more fun and exciting for me?

"Stepping Stones" on 46 x 61 cm ply panel is where I leave off the Sixty Forty sub series of Unknown.

We had gone as far as we could crossing the stream stepping from stone to stone. The trail became weak, we had gone as far as civilization goes, and we decided to return to the recording studio.

At the same time as the paintings, I have been working on a series of untitled, left handed, graphite drawings on 9 x 12.25" (23.5 x 31 cm) hot pressed Aovarelle Arches watercolour block. They are a continuation of an exercise I began after a hairline break in my little finger of my right hand November 2011. Surprisingly the new drawings are very similar to the ones I was doing three years ago.

Within the whole of the drawings there is a developing set of motifs.

They are expressionistic done in stream of consciousness, without forethought, unplanned. I thought it would be better to use my left because my right hand is too skilled. The left hand drawings don't use contemporary technology except to photograph them after completion. The subject emerges out of abstract lines that flow from an unknown source. I use an eraser, also held left hand, as a drawing tool. I like erasers, with them I can "knock back" the drawing to the underlying white paper highlight.
The digital works are done in photoshop. They hearken back to a time when Jeff Wietor and I were making the first few books of Iliad which are appropriations of images we found on the internet and manipulated for our own purpose. In that respect they are neo-POP. I don't limit myself to image appropriations. Most of the digital pieces originated with my own photographs:

They are, what I once called, "media appropriate". The media being this media, the computer, but can also be printed in the digital giclée printing technology. The prints have no fixed sizes and can be scaled to the extent of the resolutions which are not in the same formula either. Some are animations. Some are video.

That about brings me to where I am. I am not certain where I am going but, it seems, my goals are wide ranging and impossible for me to comprehend.

Jeff and I called our brand of expropriation "Experimentalism". Art, at some level, is and always has been:


And, since I have no reputation or patronage to adhere to, I am free to let myself go into the unknown.

Now... publish this page on my website and test it with a mobile device...

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