Thursday, February 3, 2011

February Events at TraillWorks

Back when I was entering my last year of study at Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts, I took an advanced drawing class with then, visiting artist, Cara Tomlinson. Prior to that class I had been pretty entrenched in realism and traditional ways of seeing. It was in that class that Cara expanded my notions of process and outcome in drawing, and created some experimental pieces which I'm digging out for this show.

I can't recall all the details of the class, but what sticks out in my fuzzy memory of eleven years ago was a drawing assignment influenced by the I Ching and a daily drawing project. The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese text, which I recall Cara referencing quite frequently throughout the semester.  The balance of opposites, process of evolution of events, and acceptance of the certainty of change are at the core of the text's philosophical and cosmological systems. We had to develop a composition which was purely based on a system, and it was up to us to determine the system, but we had to stick to whatever structure we developed. I created a gridded charcoal drawing, broken down into two rows of rectangles, each rectangle assigned a number. It will be interesting to look at this piece again, because I can't recall exactly what I drew into each "cell". I have the notes from this course somewhere in my studio, and will try to find them for my gallery talk on the 12th.

The daily drawing project was literal. Our only criteria was that each day of the semester required some sort of drawing on a 9" x 12" piece of paper, Arches was recommended, and to this day I still love drawing on Arches hot press, 140lb. paper. And the drawing, dictated by our own definitions of the act, had to be on paper. So, a drawing a day for an entire semester; I should have about 80 drawings. Many of the works I did were preparatory or thinking drawings for larger paintings, others were pure abstractions exploring color and media, some attempts at drawing from memory, and then towards the end of the semester I started doodling on note-laden post it notes that were affixed to the Arches paper. Hmmm, certainly beyond my boundaries of the definition of drawing the time!

Please join me as I travel back in time, to where my ideas began to open up. You'll be seeing some of these works for the first time in a decade, as they've been boxed, rolled, and traveled all over NJ. RSVP your attendance through our event on Facebook.

The opening reception, more like an open house, will be held at TraillWorks on Saturday, February 12th from 1 - 8pm. At 4:30pm I'm going to give a gallery talk in the hopes of bringing clarity and possibly some background behind the drawings.

And, throughout the day on February, 12th, also a 2nd Saturday, Main Street Newton and many participating Spring Street merchants are hosting a Sweetheart Walk!  From 1 - 5pm, you can participate in a word jumble and enter to win one of two gift baskets filled with prizes and gift certificates from merchants. Stop in at TraillWorks to pick up a jumble form and get more information about the contest. Additionally, many shops are open late 'til 8pm, offering specials and events. Some of the highlights, An Open Book is hosting the Jumble, Mother Moon Baby Boutique is holding a Valentine Party from 2 - 3pm, and all three Spring Street-centric restaurants are offering special Valentine's Day dinners.

And, if you missed David Ohlerking's exhibit at TraillWorks, it's traveling . . . to Andre's! As of tomorrow, barring any major maladies, David's work will be hanging at Andre's Restaurant at 188 Spring Street through the middle of March.

Whew! I think that's just about all the events a teaching artist, gallery owner can handle. Well, maybe too much. I'll be getting into that studio soon, so keep an eye on a post soon about new artwork by yours truly. Until then, hopefully I'll see you on the 12th!

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