Bailin Studio

He left a paper trail...
The Erasing • 2015 +
ERASING BANNER
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505 • 2017 • Charcoal, Pastel, Colored Pencils, and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 81 x 83 inches [206 x 211 cm]

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TEACUP • 2017 • Charcoal, Pastel, Acrylic, and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72 x 73 inches [183 x 185 cm]

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PASSOVER • 2017 • Charcoal, Pastel, Acrylic, and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72 x 107 inches [183 x 272 cm]

Halloween

HALLOWEEN • 2016 • Charcoal, Pastel, and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 78½ x 81½ inches [199 x 207 cm]

Lake

LAKE • 2016 • Charcoal, Pastel, Acrylic and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 79 x 85 inches [201 x 216 cm]

New House

NEW HOUSE • 2016 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72 x 80 inches [183 x 203 cm]

Raking Leaves

RAKING LEAVES • 2016 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72 x 79 inches [183 x 201 cm]

Lamp

LAMP • 2016 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 79 x 84 inches [183 x 208 cm] •
Private Collection, NC

SOFA

SOFA • 2015 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 79 x 84 inches [201 x 213 cm] •
Private Collection, NC

RED TIE

RED TIE • 2015 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72 x 84 inches [183 x 213 cm]

FLOAT

FLOAT • 2015 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

PANES

PANES • 2015 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54½ inches [132 x 138 cm]

Pillow

PILLOW • 2015 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 54 x 79 inches [137 x 201 cm]

I have never thought much about memory and personality, never considered the role memory plays in personality and the preservation and continuity of that personality in lived space. As an artist who is now witnessing the shattering of my father's personhood through the shattering of his memory, the question is, how to convey this devastating personal, human, experience without relying on visual clichés.
 
The final image in any of my drawings is largely the result of the pentimenti that moved the narrative along but did not resolve it. The under-drawing is part of the overall look and meaning of the work – it adds tonality and narrative depth. Sometimes though, the drawing fails as the pentimenti overpowers the final image, mirroring it like quicksand under a surface of marks and wipeouts.
 
However, these failed to drawings, with their layers of partially rendered scenes and gestures, gave me my visual and technical cues for this work. The frustration of trying to define what was not yet formed yet was intimated by what went earlier, the back-and-forth process of drawing in and erasing out, having an idea or image revealing itself one minute only to fall back into obscurity the next, mimics what I see happening to my father in his heroic effort to recognize in the moment his own personal narrative and memories.
 
Only ghosts are left.
The Last • 2015
The Last
The Last Politician

THE LAST POLITICIAN • 2015 • Charcoal on Gessoed Canvas • 11 x 14 inches [28 x 26 cm]

THE LAST POLITICAL PRISONER

THE LAST POLITICAL PRISONER • 2015 • Charcoal on Gessoed Canvas • 11 x 14 inches [28 x 26 cm]

THE LAST HERO

THE LAST HERO • 2015 • Charcoal on Gessoed Canvas • 11 x 14 inches [28 x 26 cm]

THE LAST AUTHOR

THE LAST AUTHOR • 2015 • Charcoal on Gessoed Canvas • 11 x 14 inches [28 x 26 cm]

THE LAST CLOWN

THE LAST CLOWN • 2015 • Charcoal on Gessoed Canvas • 11 x 14 inches [28 x 26 cm]

The Last Artist

THE LAST ARTIST • 2015 • Charcoal on Gessoed Canvas • 11 x 14 inches [28 x 26 cm]

THE LAST ASTRONAUT

THE LAST ASTRONAUT • 2001 • Compressed Charcoal on Gessoed Canvas • 27 x 30 inches [69 x 76 cm]

The skulls. While I am adding subtle visual cues as to skull’s history, I am more interested in the skull’s psychological impact as a physical reminder of our own end of consciousness, of personality, and of memory. The drawings are involved in a dark comedy that substitutes narcissism with extinction.
Dreams & Disasters • 2013 - 2015
DRIFT DETAIL
CRAWL

CRAWL • 2015 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

CLOUD

CLOUD • 2015 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 79 x 75 inches [201 x 190 cm]

SLIPPAGE

SLIPPAGE • 2014 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 83 x 78 inches [211 x 198 cm]

AGAINST THE DAY

AGAINST THE DAY • 2014 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 78 x 83 inches [198 x 211 cm]

PUSH

PUSH • 2013 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72½ x 76½ inches [155 x 194 cm]

KITE

KITE • 2013 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72½ x 76½ inches [155 x 194 cm]

PAPERS

PAPERS • 2013 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72½ x 83 inches [155 x 211 cm]

YELLOW LINES

YELLOW LINES • 2013 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72½ X 83 inches [184 x 211 cm]

BLOCK

BLOCK • 2013 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 73 X 84 inches [185 x 213 cm]

DRIFT

DRIFT • 2013 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72½ x 61 inches [155 x 184 cm]

LADDERS

LADDERS • 2013 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 73 X 91 inches [185 x 231 cm]

POST

POST • 2013 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72 X 76 inches [183 x 193 cm]

STREAM

STREAM • 2013 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 73 X 74 inches [185 x 188 cm]

RAINCOAT

RAINCOAT • 2013 • Charcoal, Oil and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 84 X 95 inches [213 x 241 cm]

PACKAGE

PACKAGE • 2013 • Charcoal, Oil and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 75 X 76 inches [190 x 193 cm]

CARS

CARS • 2011 • Charcoal on Paper • 84 x 96 inches [213 x 244 cm]

I explored in C the contrast between the rational geometry and clean surfaces of the cubicle and the chaos and disorder created by circumstances beyond one’s control. If that series was inspired by any experience it was the years I supported myself as a part-time, full-charge bookkeeper in New York City. I handled the books of two small midtown businesses. I would arrive in the morning, get a cup of coffee, settle into my closet office, spread out the accounting book, and sort the receipts and bills. All day I entered numbers into the ledger, reconciled the bank statements, paid the bills, wrote out deposits for the bank, and prepared a summary of the accounts. As a job for an artist it was great. Everything was in past tense and everything balanced to zero. And zero was what I brought into the studio from my day’s work. That is, unless the ledger didn’t balance. Then the gentle dull routine of my day turned into a snarled and agitated scuffle as I poured over the bills, receipts and columns of numbers to find the missing pennies. That was the cubicle─a mindless routine interrupted by the crisis of minutia.  

But over the years I forgot that during those hours of dull routine I dreamt ─I drew in my head the next painting, thought out a piece of theater business, experienced fragments of images and spoken lines. For me, those formless and fragmented daydreams that emerged between the debits and credits were more real and certainly more important than the ledger I worked over. And while the bookkeeping set the pace and place of my routine, those activities are now forgotten. My dreams in the cubicle, however, remain─timeless and placeless, exposed and personal and emerging in this series.

Dreams and Disasters is an extension of the C series─it is the dream of the cubicle.
C • 2011 - 2012
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HALLWAY

HALLWAY • 2014 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 62 x 52¾ inches [157 x 134 cm]

DRIP

DRIP • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

LIGHT

LIGHT • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

REMNANTS

REMNANTS • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

MISSING

MISSING • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

TACKS

TACKS • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm] • Private Collection, LA

PROW

PROW • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

LISTENING

LISTENING • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

HAMMER

HAMMER • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

PLUG

PLUG • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

FLY

FLY • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

REVISION

REVISION • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

TREASURE

TREASURE • 2011 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 54 inches [133 x 137 cm]

After a number of years wiping out drawings I’ve become adept at erasure. At points there were no real differences between the erasure and the drawing. I spent many hours moving charcoal from one point to another — tracking and tracing ghosts. More charcoal accumulated on my studio floor than on the drawing. In this cubicle seeing traces of my footprints provided significant evidence that some kind of life had taken place.

The cubical and the small office contain many stories. While the technology has changed, the cubicle has not and our movements and interactions within them haven’t either. I spent long hours in each doing work that at the time had importance but remain for me now only as activities— invoicing and reconciling, sorting, filing, trashing. Within those activities whole beings appear — clear, crisp and complete — evidence of our occupation like the charcoal dust left on my studio floor.

This series was inspire by my experience as a part-time, full-charge bookkeeper in New York City circa early 1980s. I handled the books of two small midtown businesses. I would arrive in the morning, get a cup of coffee, settle into my closet office, spread out the accounting book, and sort the receipts and bills. All day I entered numbers into the ledger, reconciled the bank statements, paid the bills, wrote out deposits for the bank, and prepared a summary of the accounts. As a job for an artist it was great. Everything was in past tense and everything balanced to zero. And zero was what I brought into the studio from my day’s work. That is, unless the ledger didn’t balance. Then the gentle dull routine of my day turned into a snarled and agitated scuffle as I poured over the bills, receipts and columns of numbers to find the missing pennies. That was the cubicle - a mindless routine interrupted by the crisis of minutia.
Paper Trails • 2005 - 2011
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REPOSITORY

REPOSITORY • 2011 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 48 x 54 inches [122 x 137 cm]

PROCESS

PROCESS • 2010 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 51½ x 54 inches [131 x 137 cm] • Private Collection, Atlanta, GA

LEGACY

LEGACY • 2010 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 54 inches [133 x 137 cm] • Private Collection, LA

BOOK

BOOK • 2009 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 50½ x 55 inches [133 x 140 cm]

STRING

STRING • 2009 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 54 inches [133 x 137 cm]

PONDERING

PONDERING • 2009 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 33 x 49½ inches [84 x 126] • Private Collection, LA

THREAD

THREAD • 2009 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 55 inches [133 x 140 cm]

PLOW

PLOW • 2009 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 62½ x 56 inches [159 x 142 cm] • Private Collection, LA

FENCE

FENCE • 2009 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 55 inches [133 x 140 cm]

END OF DAYS

END OF DAYS • 2009 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 57½ inches [133 x 146 cm]

BELONGINGS

BELONGINGS • 2008 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 54 inches [133 x 137 cm]

HOW CAN ANYTHING EXIST...

HOW CAN ANYTHING EXIST WITHOUT SOMETHING TO HIDE BEHIND • 2008 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 54 inches [133 x 137 cm]

WHITTLING

WHITTLING • 2008 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 54 inches [133 x 137 cm]

BRIEFCASE

BRIEFCASE • 2008 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 55 inches [133 x 140 cm]

EVIDENCE

EVIDENCE • 2008 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 56 inches [133 x 142 cm]

PENDULUM

PENDULUM • 2008 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 56 inches [133 x 142 cm]

FALLS

FALLS • 2008 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 54 inches [133 x 137 cm]

OPENING

OPENING • 2007 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x55½ inches [133 x 141 cm] • Private Collection, LA

SHOE

SHOE • 2007 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 48 x 50½ inches [133 x 128 cm] • Private Collection, Little Rock, AR

DIVER

DIVER • 2006 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 48 x 50½ inches [133 x 128 cm]

SEARCH

SEARCH • 2006 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 48 x 50½ inches [133 x 128 cm]

PROOF

PROOF • 2006 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 54 x54½ inches [137 x 138 cm] • Private Collection, LA

MAP

MAP • 2006 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 54 x53½ inches [137 x 136 cm] • Private Collection, LA

ARCHIVIST

ARCHIVIST • 2006 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 54 x54½ inches [137 x 138 cm] • Private Collection, Little Rock, AR

APPARITION

APPARITION • 2005 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x55½ inches [133 x 141 cm]

CORNER

CORNER • 2005 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 53 x 52 inches [135 x 132 cm]

Paper Trails • 2009 - 2011
Paper trails refers to both my process of leaving a trail of torn newspapers and magazines in the wake of searching for interesting found images and text and my artistic life in drawing. While I have, after all these years, a body of work that spans 40 years and that has evolved stylistically and technically, as importantly is the flotsam of that development. Looking through those boxes is like looking through years of history. Naturally the images chart a change in fashion, design, and cultural but subtler things as well: it documents a change in what pre-occupied us as a society. The eighties are filled with South American coups and civil wars; the nineties the Balkans and power lunches; the aught’s, disasters, terrorism. Those are just the surfaces, the raw edges of the material in my boxes. And because it is a collection sprung from my own artistic and personal needs, it is a skewed view. Those images that resonated with me and that generated new ideas were/are like a personal Rorschach test. From life but sublimated through de-contextualization, abreaction and re-configuration. When I dig into those boxes I dig into an archeology of history and the personal. Success is measured when the product of those paper trails end up as drawing.
Drawings • 1999 - 2007
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LINE

LINE • 2007 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 X 30 inches [66 x 76 cm]

ENCIRCLE

ENCIRCLE • 2007 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 31 inches [66 x 79 cm]

BRICKS

BRICKS • 2007 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 35 inches [66 x 89 cm]

SCAPE

SCAPE • 2007 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 30 inches [66 x 76 cm]

WITNESSES

WITNESSES • 2005 • Pencil & Acrylic on Vellum • 18 X 30 inches • Private Collection, Little Rock, AR

CAMOUFLAGE v2

CAMOUFLAGE v2 • 2005 • Pencil & Acrylic on Vellum • 18 x 36 inches • Private Collection, Little Rock, AR

ROPE v2

ROPE v2 • 2005 • Pencil & Acrylic on Vellum • 18 x 36 inches • Private Collection, Little Rock, AR

OMEN

OMEN • 2005 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 36 inches [66 x 91 cm] • Private Collection, NYC

WIND

WIND • 2005 • Charcoal on Paper • 26½ x 30 inches [67 x 76 cm]

CONTRACT

CONTRACT • 2004 • 72"x80" • Charcoal on paper • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

CACHE

CACHE • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 30 inches [66 x 76 cm]

POSSESSION

POSSESSION • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 x 31 inches [61 x 79 cm] • Private Collection, Atlanta, GA

CUP

CUP • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 26¼ x 36 inches [67 x 91 cm] • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

COLLECTION

COLLECTION • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 x 30 inches [61 x 76 cm]

FOUNTAINHEAD

FOUNTAINHEAD • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 30 inches [66 x 76 cm]

SUNDIAL

SUNDIAL • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 30 inches [66 x 76 cm] • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

CLOUDS

CLOUDS • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 30 inches [66 x 76 cm] • Private Collection, London, England

SEEDLING

SEEDLING • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 26½ x 29½ inches [67 x 75 cm]

LAND

LAND [MANIFEST DESTINY] • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 36½ X 30 inches [93 x 76 cm]

CAGE

CAGE • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 26½ x 29½ inches [67 x 75 cm)

SCHOONER

SCHOONER • 2004 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 29 inches [66 x 75 cm]

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MAST • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 x 29 inches [61 x 74 cm] • Private Collection, Boston, MA

TABLE

TABLE • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper • 26¼ x 36 inches [67 x 91 cm] • Private Collection, Boston, MA

AXE

AXE • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 35 inches [66 x 89 cm]

FOG

FOG • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 X 34 inches • Private Collection, Little Rock, AR

TREE

TREE • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 29 inches [66 x 74 cm]

CHANNEL

CHANNEL • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 x 29½ inches [66 x 75 cm]

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CLEARING • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper • 27½ x 28½ inches [70 x 72 cm]

MIRROR

MIRROR • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper • 27½ X 28½ inches [70 x 72 cm]

SANDCASTLE V2

SANDCASTLE [SELF PORTRAIT] • 2003 • Oil on Paper • 44 x 44 inches [112 x 112 cm]

GEYSER

GEYSER • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 X 33 inches • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

WATER

WATER • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 28¾ X 33 inches • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

PICK AXE

PICK AXE • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 29 X 36¾ inches • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

BUSH

BUSH • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 x 30 inches [61x 76 cm]

ROCK

ROCK • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 28¾ X 36½ inches • Private Collection, Montecito, CA

PATH

PATH • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 X 30 inches • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

ISLAND

ISLAND • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 X 30 inches • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

ARCHIVE

ARCHIVE • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 27½ X 36 inches • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

LAVA

LAVA • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 27 X 33¼ inches • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

NARCISSUS

NARCISSUS • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 x 30 inches [61x 76 cm]

PANDORA

PANDORA'S BOX • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 X 30 inches • Private Collection, Little Rock, AR

BRIDGE

BRIDGE • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 X 32 inches • Private Collection, Beverly Hills, CA

SACRIFICE

SACRIFICE • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 24 X 30 inches • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

SCARECROW

SCARECROW • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 X 34 inches • Public Collection, Conway, AR

SENTRY

SENTRY • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper • 26 X 32 inches • Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

SHORE

SHORE • 2001 • Charcoal on Paper • 48 X 54 inches • Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, SD

RAFT

RAFT • 2001 • 72 x 89 inches • Charcoal on Paper

VISION

VISION • 2000 • 72 x 89 inches • Charcoal on Paper

PASSAGE

PASSAGE • 2000 • Charcoal on Paper • 96 X 128 inches • Public Collection, Hot Springs, AR

JETTY

JETTY • 2000 • 72 x 76 inches • Charcoal on Paper

CORROBORATION

CORROBORATION • 2000 • 72 x 84 inches • Charcoal on Paper

HIDING

HIDING • 2000 • 72 x 97 inches • Charcoal on Paper • Public Collection, Jonesboro, AR

DESERT

DESERT • 1999 • 72 x 80 inches • Charcoal on Paper

MONOLITHS

MONOLITHS • 1999 • 72 x 97 inches • Charcoal on Paper

MOUNTAIN

MOUNTAIN • 1999 • 72 x 101 inches • Charcoal on Paper

JACOB

JACOB'S LADDER • 1999 • 72 x 73 inches • Charcoal on Paper • Private Collection, North Little Rock, AR

SANDCASTLE

SANDCASTLE • 1999 • 72 X 72½ inches • Charcoal on Paper

BOAT

BOAT • 1999, 2014 • 72 X 84½ inches • Charcoal on Paper

TREES

TREES • 1999 • 72 x 84 inches • Charcoal on Paper

COLUMN

COLUMN • 1999 • 72 x 84 inches • Charcoal on Paper

FOOTPRINTS

FOOTPRINTS • 1999 • 72 x 73 inches • Charcoal on Paper • Private Collection, Columbus, Georgia

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Studies, Drawings destroyed or reworked • on-going
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Lake Underdrawing v2

LAKE UNDERDRAWING V2 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 83 x 78 inches [211 x 198 cm]

Lake Underdrawing v1

LAKE UNDERDRAWING V1 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 83 x 78 inches [211 x 198 cm]

House Underdrawing

HOUSE UNDERDRAWING • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 83 x 78 inches [211 x 198 cm]

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DESTROYED 1 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 83 x 78 inches [211 x 198 cm]

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DESTROYED 2 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 83 x 78 inches [211 x 198 cm]

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DESTROYED 3 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 83 x 78 inches [211 x 198 cm]

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DESTROYED 4 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 83 x 78 inches [211 x 198 cm]

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DESTROYED 5 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 83 x 78 inches [211 x 198 cm]

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DESTROYED 6 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 50½ x 55 inches [133 x 140 cm]

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DESTROYED 7• Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 50½ x 55 inches [133 x 140 cm]

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DESTROYED 8 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 50½ x 55 inches [133 x 140 cm]

For two years I destroyed nearly everything I created. I learned a lot about erasing, wiping out, and what Milton Resnick called 'the pit.' I survived but I kept a record of the work so that I will remember.
Preface on Contemporary Drawing
Two events shaped my concept about what a great work of art is and what contemporary drawing should embody.

55 years ago, I saw a Bugs Bunny cartoon in which Bugs, dressed in an artist smock and beret, and dipping a large brush into a bucket of paint, paints the Mona Lisa in two passes of his hand. This was an amazing thing to watch. I could never figure out how he did that. Every time I lifted a brush it appeared to be so limited. But later I realized what that joke really meant for the artist: create the greatest amount of significance with the least amount of effort. You see it in masterful work. It only seems like the piece just appeared fully formed and effortless.

While studying art history in Italy, I visited the Convent of San Marco in Florence. Walking into a dark cell from a long sun drenched corridor, it took a while for my eyes to adjust and I noticed that I could only make out parts of a fresco. As I waited for the image to fully appear I made out a crown of thorns, and then a stick, and a bloody gash. And then to my astonishment, I realized that there was no complete image. Fra Angelico had created a painting that every monk could complete in his own way. He had produced the most devotional piece of art I have ever seen.

Both of those experiences came to define my approach to art and to contemporary drawing. For me, that meant finding out what was extraneous to image making, discovering how far could I go towards developing a story without losing an image. And that meant no color except for distinguishing form, no printmaking, painting or chemical/digital processes at all…just simple mark making.