Sep 29, 2008

chashama North Open Studios

The artists residency I am on finishes in a week, and we are having open studios on Saturday 4th October. Visit the website for more info.

Sep 25, 2008

Farm yards


[click to enlarge]

For the month of time I've been at chashama, I've been working with one yard long lines. I've now started working on the largest project I am doing here, constructing a mural of farm animals where every line is one yard long. You can see the image at the 25 yard line point above - with several chickens, pigs, cows and sheep. Each line is drawn on a tablet computer as a single stroke, using software that measures the line. I output the lines in black vinyl using a digital vinyl cutter. I'll be working on the mural for another six days so it will probably evolve quite a bit, with lines being added and removed. Below you can see some of the current livestock:

[click to enlarge]

[click to enlarge]

Sep 23, 2008

Ten seconds

Last night I made a drawing on the architecture here at the farm, using a projector and my tablet computer. I drew at night, since during the day you can't see the projector image. I set the camera to a long exposure, pressed the shutter, picked up the pen, and drew until the exposure completed. It was fun to explore this style of exposure, but I think I have enough other work to be doing, I'm not going to continue with this approach right now.

Sep 15, 2008

Wall drawings


I've been working on the wall here at Chashama North, making large wall drawings using a digital vinyl cutter. The drawing above is called "Seventy yard line", and is constructed of seventy one-yard line segments. Its great to have a large wall to work on, and no distractions.

Below is another drawing, called "Thirty seven yard line":

Wall drawings

I've been working on the wall using vinyl here at Chashama North.

Sep 9, 2008

A typical day at Chashama North


I've arrived at Chashama North and have quickly settled in. I have my own bedroom in the "bungalows", and a studio in the main house, which is an old farmhouse.

All the studio/bedroom pairings are different, and are assigned based on artist needs. Each has a balance of positives and negatives. For example, my studio has the longest wall of any of the studios, a good feature. But my bedroom is one of the smallest bedrooms. Another studio has a smaller wall, but the matching bedroom has a chair and desk, so there is more private space. So far, everyone is happy with their allocated spaces.

My bedroom has a small leak and I had to air out my mattress on the first day, the phone line was down when we got here, and the washing machine appears to be on the blink. But these things are pretty minor and everyone is so happy to be out of the city with a month to work on a project. Spirits are high.

So far I am settling in and doing prep work. Here's a typical day:

Up at 9. Home-made bread and coffee for breakfast.

An hour of drawing exercises (currently drawing lots of shoes and chairs!), sitting outside by a field.

Quick walk into town to buy newspaper. Read newspaper, catch up with email.

At 2pm: we all gather for the big daily communal meal - every day two of us take turns preparing the meal. All with local organic vegetables from a lot that we are responsible for tending. Amazing veg as you can see in the photo above.

At 3pm, go to my studio, which is a short walk across a grassy courtyard. I have a sixteen foot long wall in my studio that I plan to fill with a mural, using a vinyl cutter. Currently doing preparatory studies.

5pm, go to the nearby lake, take a quick dip with the rest of the artists.

7pm small snack, glass of wine, then back to the studio for a few more hours.

10pm - Evening reading. Currently reading a book by Rosalind Krauss.

Sep 5, 2008

A new look

I've refreshed the look of my blog and homepage. For those who like fonts, I have adopted PMN Caecilia as my house font now. It is a great slab serif, a readable workhorse with a range of weights that make it effective for both titles and body copy. It is comfortable but with a few elegant flairs. Unfortunately I can't use it for body copy on the web, which has a limited supply of fonts, but I have been using it for body copy in letters and an upcoming book. I also considered Archer from Hoefler & Frere-Jones, but I found the ball terminals a bit too overpowering in body copy. See this history of slab serifs.

Sep 4, 2008

Visual arts news coverage in New York


Today is one of the biggest art days of the year in New York. lists over 80 openings tonight.

Why today in particular? Because most galleries are closed over the summer, and open their fall season at the start of September. Thursday is the traditional night of the week for openings here. And today is the first Thursday in September.

Reading the New York Times this morning, one would never know this. It is as if contemporary art doesn't exist. No articles, gallery guides, special gallery listings, summary of important openings, "must see" mentions, nothing.

The meager arts coverage in the NYTimes leaves me missing the London newspapers, which have a much stronger visual art coverage, both in terms of breadth and depth of coverage (IMHO).

Anyone else feel that the NYTimes visual art coverage is not up to scratch? Recommend an alternative?