The Sketchbook Project

CoverIts been a year since Black Thumb Art closed its Oregon studio. We traveled to the East Coast, Egypt, and Turkey before relocating in Spokane. While the new charcoal studio is being built, I’ve been working with different media and processes.

miracle 3

For several years I’ve collected photos from the sports section of the local newspaper; images that remind me of religious Mannerist paintings with their twisting figures, mouths agape, and heavenward glances.  Before moving, I scanned and printed several of these photos onto paper.  I’ve been experimenting with them since, layering opaque watercolor (gouache) and gold leaf over the images.Two Saints

Recently I used this process in a book I submitted to The Sketchbook Project, part of the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Art Library and one of the largest collections of sketchbooks in the world.

My book, Angels in Egypt, has been chosen to be part of The Sketchbook Project’s Mobile Library tour this summer.  You can check it out (literally) if you are in one of the tour cities, beginning this weekend in Chicago’s Millennium Park.  The tour ends August 28th, back in New York at the Whitney Museum.  Here is a link to the full tour schedule.Mobile library, 4000 books

 

If you can’t make it to one of these cities, Here is a link to the scanned version of Angels in Egypt.

 

 

"Angels in Egypt" pages 19-20

“Angels in Egypt” pages 19-20. Colored pencils, Gelly Roll and Micron Pigma pens.

Scanned pic from the Corvallis Gazette Times.

Scanned pic from the Corvallis Gazette Times

Drawing Deeper

St. Maggie

“St. Maggie”, charcoal and gold leaf on canvas, 5″ x 7″ x 2″

I’m showing new drawings this fall at Chemeketa Community College.

This exhibit  features four other artists whose work is focused on the discipline of drawing – Debra Beers, April Coppini, Megan Vossler and Samantha Wall.

Balanced #2

 

 

“Drawing Deeper” will run from Nov. 4 to Dec. 4 in the Gretchen Schuette gallery, located on the first floor of Building 3 on the Salem campus. The gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, or by appointment.

 

Balanced #2 detail

“Balanced #2″ (detail), charcoal on paper, 65″ x 17”

Working Small


SmallWorks

An exhibition of small works at The Arts Center 

I’ve chosen four wildly different pieces for this show, which opens November 20— a book, mezzotint print, stitching, and a drawing on canvas. They are all exploratory experiments, which is one reason they’re small.

Blue Moon

Mezzotint “Blue Moon”, 4″ x 4″

Cyclops detail 1

Page from accordion book “Cyclops”

I’ve switched to less toxic media with these printmaking projects. The hand-bound book with intaglio print illustrations is my first collaborative project with author (and partner) Gregory Newell Smith.  It uses ferric chloride rather than nitric acid to etch the copper plates.  The mezzotint print also uses a copper plate as the printing matrix.  I switched to water-based inks from Akua (less toxic and easier clean up).  The color is built up by printing layer after layer of transparent ink.

Amorphous 7 scaled

Stitched and waxed print ” Amorphous #7″, 7″ x 3″

With Amorphous #7 I was looking for a way to attach a small print to a larger paper, using something besides glue. Stitches worked, and to a calligrapher, they looked like Neuland letterforms. With this piece, I’d stumbled into a way of combining image and text that was integral to the form.

Untitled (Doug)

Charcoal on canvas “Doug is Good”, 5″x 7″ x 2″

I’m currently working in the studio with charcoal on canvas.  This drawing, life-size though small, is an experiment with going frame-less.  A local artist, Jana Johnson, generously shared with me her method for frameless pastel drawings, building up layers of charcoal and PVA size on canvas.

Treed

 

drawing "Large Oak"

“Large Oak”
charcoal and gesso on paper
36″ x 24″

I confess, the month of April slipped past me and I neglected to post an announcement of the spring exhibit, New Work by 13 Artists, at The Art Spirit Gallery. The show ends today, but many pieces are still available, including the drawing above. Now that it’s May and things are less hectic, I’m ready to climb down the metaphorical tree, and back into the studio.

 

The Great Ship Prichard

Prichard Art Gallery Benefit Auction- Noah Kroese Illustration“If art is a journey, the gallery is the ship.” *

The  Prichard Art Gallery Benefit Exhibition will come to a close Saturday night, February 8th, with a live auction that begins at 7:00 pm.  As a contributing artist, I appreciate how the Prichard manages their benefit exhibits:

  • artists are allowed to set a minimum price for their work
  • artists have the option of contributing 50%-100% of a sale to the gallery
  • prior to the auction, the exhibition is free and open to the public

It’s always an honor to be invited to contribute your work to an art auction, but I am not inclined to participate without the stipulations listed above. They indicate respect for the artists and their work, while offering some level of access to all community members.

Tickets for the live auction are $15, and available at the Prichard, One World Cafe, and Book People.

charcoal drawing "Field Burn #4"

Field Burn #4

I have two charcoal drawings and a “moon” print in the auction. You can view all available work at the Online Auction Gallery.

charcoal drawing "Bill"

Bill

*Auction illustration by Noah Kroese

Drawn to the Wall Video

dttw6 I returned to the Gonzaga campus last month at the close of the Drawn to the Wall  exhibition to join with my fellow artists in painting over our drawings. However, they still exist in this 3 minute video, Drawn to the Wall V, which includes the artists at work on their drawings, the opening reception, and wall restoration.

Elaine at opening with "Two Phobias"

Elaine at opening with “Two Phobias”

Since this exhibit, I’ve continued to work with silverpoint. It’s a nice change from charcoal: using a silver wire the thickness of a paper clip rather than a fist-size chunk of messy charcoal–spending hours building up darkness and tiny details with line, instead of the gray values made with the smear of a hand across charcoal on paper.

drawing Two Views of the MoonYou can see the final image, statement, and details of the drawing Two Phobias  at my website blackthumbart.com, and read jundtan essay by Sheri Boggs in the Jundt Art Museum catalog.

Thanks to photographer Christian Woods and videographer Matt Green for their documentation of the Drawn to the Wall V Exhibit.

Two Phobias: Of Mice and Moon

Two Phobias

Drawn to the Wall V Exhibit, “Two Phobias”
-photo by Christian Woods     

     To a phobic, the depth of fear is wholly out of proportion to the actual threat. Fear of the moon—why is madness called lunacy? Musophobia—even the thought of mice or rats can induce states ranging from panic to paralysis.  Two Phobias explores out-sized fear in an over-sized medium.

 On the work itself, the isolation of space has been enhanced by hand-rubbing charcoal into the chalkboard paint background. Features of the moon are charcoal over white gesso. The mice are drawn hair-by-hair with a silverpoint stylus, a technique I learned at a British Museum workshop in Elizabethan art materials; the images will change over time as the silver reacts to its environment.

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Here are some photos, taken in August, as I worked on my wall drawing: