The Art Vault 4: Bind

a sad woman with a ponytail crumpled up and drawn with an almost rock-like texture using charcoals, surrounded by white stitching

I’m honestly not sure when this is from…at a guess, 2001 or 2002 at the latest. I used charcoal to draw the woman and managed to get a nice rocky texture for her skin by using the sides of my charcoal stick. (it happened as an accident the first time, like most of what I do.) I added to her sense of confinement and hopelessness by stitching the matboard around her with embroidery floss.

I thought she was sold for the longest time, but then she turned up again the other day. I guess she’s imprisoned by my horrible storage techniques. I’ll try and remember to actually take her to my next show.

Phosphate, a lost (or rather, sold!) piece

brightly colored fish cut from paper, swimming in a phosphate polluted pond

Back in the days before I had an easier-to-use phone camera, the occasional odd work of traditional art would slip by me without getting fully documented. Such is the case with Phosphate, a piece I was actually quite proud of. I made it as a challenge to myself for last year’s Earth Day Art Crawl.

That year, the inaugural year of the art crawl, we participating artists were challenged to make art which was either environmentally themed, made from recycled materials, or both. I responded by making a phosphate-polluted pond with lovely koi-like fish below the scummy surface, digging out some neglected mod podge and a frame from an old piece of art. Little did I know that mod podge would soon become a frequent element in my traditional art pieces! At the time I just wanted a good way to seal up the old frame and effectively represent the uneven surface of a pond. Here are the progress shots I did manage to get of the piece:

You can see something of the finished piece in the last image, but alas! It is partially covered up by the next pieces I was working on, my “Fleurs du Mal” collage series. I was in something of a rush and I barely finished Phosphate before it was time to run it over to the gallery. Comforting myself that I would be able to document it once the show came down, my hopes were dashed when I discovered it had sold. (Certainly a piece of art being sold is something of a nice consolation prize though.)

I hope you’re happy with your new owner, Phosphate!

Online reader for 2010 Sketchbook “Down My Street”

two demons or lords of xibalba emerge from the parts of a car engine, resembling something from a painting by hieronymous bosch

At the time I made this post my book had not been uploaded to The Sketchbook Project’s digital library yet. I’ve updated the link in the original post, but I wanted to feature this work again since I haven’t spoken about it here since 2011. My sketchbook “Down My Street” helped me get back a great deal of my artistic momentum and it also helped me practice writing a compelling, coherent narrative over a long format. As one kind reader put it,

Hello there. There’s some lovely work on this site, but your sketchbook is probably the most absorbing one I’ve seen. I found the imagery and the stories fascinating, and liked the way you put notes at the back. It made reading it a second time, a different experience.

Thank you, Raccoon906!! Your art is awesome!

Amazing new work by Gary Logan Hobdy

Two lovers in motorcycle helmets painted in a graffiti style

I hope you’ll excuse my horrible camera photos. These are a few of the pieces from Gary’s new solo show: “Too Much/Not too Much” at PG Gallery and Cafe. The show runs until March 15 so get on down there if you’re in the Evansville area! I’m not exaggerating when I call it an “amazing” show, but see for yourself…the following are a few pics Gary graciously allowed me to share from the show.

Gary runs MiLKSOP STUDiO and is pretty much phenomenal! I don’t know if you can tell much from my photos, but he uses various collage elements in his work like music sheets, labels and graphs, and I believe he achieves his impressive linework with ballpoint pen among other things. His bold lines and bright solid colors remind me of graffiti. At the same time, he treats his subjects with a great deal of sympathy in a way I honestly find beautiful and touching. (Hopefully that won’t piss him off.)

I’ll be featuring more great local artists and shows as I go to them. I had intended to do so before because there’s no dearth of talent in my modest little city, but I haven’t had the occasion until recently. As you’ll see, I’m incredibly fortunate to work with so many amazing people.