useless drawings

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I just took down a show of my work at Sweet Lorraine Gallery in Brooklyn. I am happy to report really positive feedback, though no sales. Part of the work was a drawing/painting on the wall of the gallery – 12′ high x 15′ wide. I did it for a number of reasons: I wanted to see what it was like to do a large-scale work; I wanted to prove to others that I could manage something more than a 6 inch square; I wanted to break out of the scale in which I had been working; I wanted to learn something.

My critique:

I don’t hate it, but I also don’t love it.

1. I didn’t have the time to prepare that I needed. I wanted to do 10 or so studies to work from. As it was, I only did four. I needed more to work with, and I made some on-site decisions that didn’t work well, and didn’t have enough time to work them to change them.

2. I kind of like the concept, which was an idea of a split between a kind of traditional world and a world of invention. It is something of a split within myself and a split in our culture.

3. The initial idea was to extend the space of the gallery into another space. I was extending the space of the gallery. I think that this concept hindered the work, locking it into a normative spatial organization.

4. I didn’t think enough about the process of painting. I started to draw directly onto the white wall with vine charcoal. I should have first painted the wall with a medium warm gray ground and then draw with compressed charcoal. The vine charcoal just fell off the wall when it got hit by the paint. I should have drawn out the overall space and then gone in with pre-mixed varying tints of gray. Then start adding in details.

5. Ideally I need to work in color, and come up with ideas for working in color, a system.

I put in about 16 hours on the drawing. I could certainly cut that time, and improve the quality. I’d love to do more of these.

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