Archives for July 2013 | Blogging at


from Dealing With The Digit(al)

1. Many artists that I have met worked the same style, technique, and materials over and over again. I am very interested in growth, change, and technical development. Computer graphics (thanks to master Sanford Greene) is just another skill that interests me. I live at a time when technology is a dominant force in our lives. I see it. I explore its possibilities. I seek to master what I require for my own artistic development. No fear. No preconceived notions. Simply, curiosity for a 21st century technique. If we combine what we already know with something that is new to us, by all of God's grace, what could we achieve?
2. Charcoal, or pencil, paints, pastels, I simply chose what I would have used if I was in front of my easel. I have always told my students that an effective use of value to build a drawing is the doorway to all studio art. A person who understands this will most often find his way into many techniques. You just have to want it. After all, drawing is an acquired skill that can be mastered by many. Just one artist’s opinion.
3. Like I said, it is a contemporary technique. I can tell you this, in all of the artwork that I have created in my life, if I had to repeat them all it would still be the paint, brushes, charcoal, etc. Nothing replaces this. I can see how it works for some illustrators and that is fine, but the granddaddy of it all is based in the history of the creative process. Right now, I am having fun learning something that I did not know. I think that this is enough for the moment.

from The Body As Monument #2

Do you feel virtual spaces have increased or decreased our need for bodily gestures? How so?
Virtual spaces can decrease our need for bodily gestures. They dictate the number of people who can participate in a given function. Gaming, music videos, etc. are designed to isolate the individual; Facebook (and similar mediums) to saturate them with virtual reality.
And of course, one of technology’s primary functions is to proliferate capitalism; which makes it inherently political. Technology is one of the primary agents in how we mass market narrow ideologies to individuals. We have more access to information than ever before, yet our children know less. Much of their day is spent communicating with others through screens. My youngest daughter is in her late 20s and perhaps her generation is the last to experience the world without this oversaturation.
Computers looked nothing like they do now. When my children were growing up, cell phones were still these new things. My children played outside, spent time with their friends. They read books and wrote letters. They learned how to communicate and be present with others. They learned how to be alone. And of course, now they have smart phones, Macs, iPads, etc., (as do I) but these things came after they learned how to be active participants in the world.
Technology should be a tool that supplements lives, not the teacher. There are emotions and moments that can never be communicated from behind any screen.

As an artist, do you feel nomadism (or the opposite- permanence) is an important part of your process? Why?
I believe that all things require balance. I lived in Nigeria for 7 years and one of my most endearing experiences was the Fulani nomad. I found that it was spiritually uplifting to be able to visit the different locations where they lived for short periods of time.
One of my goals was to spend a season traveling the countryside with them. The sense of freedom from the burden of contemporary living would have been wonderful. However, marriage, children, work, western upbringing and other responsibilities, was a prohibiting influence that demanded permanence.
But still, even with those things I have managed to see some of the world beyond my windows. I feel that experiencing the world and the communities of others is important for the ego as well as for developing empathy for others. Even though I do not travel as much as I once did, I have instilled in my children the necessity of seeing the worlds of others.
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