New work from my studio. This is a new ongoing series of charcoal drawings based on memory and using on-site sketches to recall selective elements of space and time. I am really excited about these new works and ideas I have for showing them to create a unique experience for the viewer.
We decided to get away for Thanksgiving, chasing the sunshine and trying to escape the rain storms that swamped Austin. Planning for Big Bend we changed gears last minute and headed for the Dragoon Mountains in south Arizona based on a route we found on Bikepacking.com Before the trip, Suzan Bright gifted me her vintage Nikkor lenses from her college days as a photo major at Pratt. So this trip I shot full manual with 35mm and 105mm Nikkor lenses adapted to my Sony a6000 mirrorless camera. The setup was great as it is very packable and the lenses are fast to change and intuitive to use. The fixed lenses increased my battery life by a long-shot which was great for covering this 3 day trip into the backcountry. [gallery type="square" columns="4" link="file" size="medium" ids="1050,1064,1063,1067"]
- Heading to the mountains
- Big skies and views
- With Turkey Sausages, stuffing and mashed potatoes we brought some tasty vittles on our ride. We enjoyed our T-day in this field of grasses with a old working windmill and pump well for company.
- Sketching at sunset
- Conté and charcoal pencil
- Rugged granite of the Dragoon Mountains
- Challenging hike-a-bike up and over the Cochise Stronghold.
- Singletrack and views back into the valley are our rewards
- My trusty steed: CHUMBA USA STELLA, with Shimano XT 11speed, Maxxis 27plus Rekon tires and complete Multi-cam bikepacking bagset from Wanderlust Gear.
- Enjoying the trail off the backside of the mountain.
- "It gets flat over there."
- A hard day of pushing and riding had us setting up camp sore and tired. The stars and clear night sky were a delight to enjoy during dinner and stretching.
- Thanks to Postmaster Bill for the photo, he's got one heck of a view. I rode back into town to fix a flat. Luckily the small town hardware store had flat kits, since mine was resting nicely back in the truck...
- Michelle is enjoying her first bikepacking trip.
- Kody and Jenny roll through another road lined with cottony desert brush.
- There's a jail over thar
- "Joe Bono's" abandoned historic building provided some nice shade while we supped on the last of our food stores.
- ***POP ROCKS***
- Historic Gleeson Jail, one of a few old jails we saw on the route.
- Big wheels = Big smiles
- Michelle, happy to be rolling the smooth downhill back to town. The Dragoon Mountains we rode over rest in the background.
- and they rode into the sunset.
- Cold beers back in historic Tombstone, where the whole town greeted us in costume!
Thanks to CHUMBA USA for the unstoppable bikes, Wanderlust Gear for our flawless bikepacking bagsets, Maxxis for our burly test tires, Smith Optics for our stly'in helmets and Shimano for our smooth new XT 11 speed drivetrains! Our mix of gear certainly made for a reliable trip!
I am busy preparing for my solo show, Simultaneous Passage, at the Southwest School of Art in July. The exhibition will be on view from July 18th to August 23rd. I had posted some earlier stages of this piece, “Tagia” about 3 posts back. It is built up of many layers of rust, oil and glaze mediums that are brushed on, applied by hand, wiped, scraped, sanded, smeared and gouged. The show will consist of a variety of paintings drawings and prints.
Rain Barrels such as the one pictured can be found @ EcoWise
My new series is about the final voyage of the whaleship Essex and its demise by ramming of an angry sperm whale leading to a harrowing 89 day, 2500 mile drift by whaleboat. Accounts from the few survivors have inspired sections of the whale attack in Melville’s, Moby Dick, and cannibalism in Edgar Allen Poe’s Narrative of Author Gordon Pym.
To me the voyage and tragedy represent a different era of American history. One that is built primarily on the quest for whale oil. Aside from the obvious romanticism of man at sea and the hardships thereof, the dubious task of taking down so large a mammal by hand relates humankinds ability to willingly enter into stupendous circumstances and risk everything. Harpooning a whale could take the better part of the day, with the whole whaleboat team rowing for miles upon miles to kill the whale and then haul it back to the boat for processing. That of course is if the whale didn’t rend their boat to splinters and send them all awash with a flick of its tail. Whaling was a primal enterprise and truly, few lines of work were as dangerous or as grizzly. These whale crews were also explorers, escaped convicts and slaves, outcasts, and men searching for themselves at sea. Their trade put them not only at risk of the elements, but presented enormous strain on their bodies, psyche, and thus their futures.
My series is not about glorifying the hunt or the killing of these whales, but it is about the idea of setting yourself adrift and truly pursuing something. I am interested in thinking about what these people experienced not in the eye of the whale or moment of the hunt, but in the world and sea around them as they drift the vast oceans and brave the unknown and volatile environment so far from the comforts of land. The pieces focus on place, in fact specific points on the map, and distinct moments as I see them through the eyes of those who may have traveled before me. They are not based on photographs and internet queries, but narratives and course plotting’s of travels past and of ideas of an invented ocean that perhaps my history as a human knows better than my own eyes.
This series is still being built and the ideas around the pieces must to have room to grow and evolve, but for now this is the path I have laid out to navigate.
These two pieces are going to be shown in a juried exhibition in Bend, Oregon at Atelier 6000, through the month of February! Their show Survey Charts, Maps, Ledgers, Navigation, is a great fit for my new series of paintings following the last voyage of the Whale Ship Essex.
Come by Studio 31 @ the Torpedo Factory between July 10th and August 10 to see some new work!! This month I’ll be making new woodcuts and encaustics.
Diego Gutierrez Map of the New World, c. 1562