Sub-Substrates at Watermark Books.

There is a big part of me that views art as nothing more than evaluating a given set of rules in order to break them, then using that criteria to make…things. One viewer of my experimental paintings on paper remarked that the paper I used wasn’t “archival enough” to purchase. OK, no thing for you, and excuse me while I go make some more like it.

But, much of my work involves commissions, the world of preconceived ideas and opinions. And rules. Reconciling that is a tightrope walk. Part of the walk is connecting experimental processes with individual historical context. Proactively creating the six degrees.

Here we have a variety of substitute substrates…”sub-substrates”…that are interacting with processes a bit outside the norm. Much like the responsibility of the artist to define when art is finished, this experimentation dances around a definition of when art begins, or even if it is art. The surfaces employed include window screen stretched on bicycle rim, corrugated board (cardboard), graph paper, bubble wrap, sandpaper, and unprimed canvas.

As I looked for ways to extend the range of surfaces, I also gave myself permission to experiment with techniques and processes. Paint dripping from bottles begat paint flung from an electric drill. Painting can take the form of mark-making ritual, and these marks are experiments outside the realm of the usual and predictable. Very little paint-on-brush is used – these marks are paintstick, dripped acrylic, latex flung by electric drill, paint sprayed, paint poured, and shreds of paper as substitutes for marks.

For all the shows I have had over the years, the only thing that seems to matter is the inquisitive and problem-solving aspect of working through experimentation. For me it is the ultimate convergence of science and art, and it is the essence of that “six degrees of commission.” Experimentation + Mark Making = Connection.

May 31 – June 25, 2013,
Opening reception Final Friday, May 31, 6-8pm
Watermark Books
4701 E. Douglas, Wichita KS


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