Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Perfectly Respectable (progression drawings for April 2013)

April 30, 2013
All the drawings in my progression drawing series are approximately 7 inches by 9 inches.  The media in which they are created varies from day to day.  Each drawing (save the first drawing of the month) is created by tracing the previous day's drawing onto the new page.  Elements are then pulled out of this new drawing.  Sometimes I have clear ideas about where the drawings should go.  Sometimes the drawing is just kinda found there on the page.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pink Deer

watercolor, graphite, and collage on paper
43 inches by 56 inches
Work currently in progress

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Maine Feminist Paper Doll Project 2013: Margaret Chase Smith

The project is to honor and bring awareness to the rich history of feminism in the great State of Maine. (The official blog page for this project is Maine Feminist Paper Doll Project and dolls will be added weekly beginning the first week in April 2013 and ending, maybe in the last week of October 2013.) We started a Pinterest board of some of a few people we know have made great contributions to women's equality (and equality in general)! We know there are many more women and men who have contributed as well, so we are taking suggestions. Please feel free to comment with ideas!

On June 1, 1950, Margaret Chase Smith spoke out against "McCarthyism" in her speech "Declaration of Conscience."  In this speech, she railed against the stifling air of fear over one's thoughts that had descended upon the nation.  She spoke of the loss of:

            The right to criticize;
            The right to hold unpopular beliefs;
            The right to protest;
            The right of independent thought.

She finished her speech by saying: 

As an American, I want to see our nation recapture the 
strength and unity it once had when we fought the enemy instead of ourselves.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Resistance: draw on your town's sidewalks with chalk, please...

A fellow artist here in Maine, wanders the streets of Freeport and draws monsters and other creatures with chalk on the sidewalk, trash cans or the signs of willing store owners.  Last year there was a write up in a local rag about how he received a ticket for drawing with chalk on public places.  Vandalism.  Graffiti.  with chalk.  that washes away when it rains.  or if it is walked upon.  Hmm?

Recently, he was told again to stop by the local police because he was making the town look bad.  Vandalism.  I'm curious about the drawing of chalk monsters on the edge of manhole covers as being a wanton act of destruction.  Interesting too is how drawing yellow buttons on bricks is an act of malicious damage.  Personally, these things make me smile and let me know the community has a sense humor and a vibrant arts presence.  I would want to be in a place like this.

Graffiti historically is a record of presence.  We know that someone was there before us.  It is a visual cue to what the community holds dear.  My friend's playful chalk musings cue whimsy and openness.  There are numerous instances of folks being charged with vandalism because of chalk drawings. One instance in Doylestown PA left a teen who was drawing sea turtles facing summary citations and potential fines.  Chalk drawing in this case was cited as a gateway attempt to large vandalism.

In Los Angeles last July, a chalk walk was organised as a way to practice free speech.  Police intervened and began lobbing non-lethal projectiles into the crowd after it sounds like it got too large. (to be fair it sounds like some of the "chalk walkers" began throwing rocks at the police...)  Tear gassed because of chalk drawing.  In both of these stories, the chalk was gone after the first rain washed it away.  If not photographed, there would have been no evidence of "vandalism."

Which brings me to the definition of what vandalism truly is: Vandalism is a "scrap" that remains long after the person who made it has left.  Think cave paintings or marks in the Roman catacombs.  And those bits of graffiti act to tell us what was going on from the perspective of the undervoiced.

So my friend's chalk drawing might be a gateway venue to broader graffiti with spray paint, but it's not.  He likes chalk.  It is impermanent   It goes away.  It is ephemera that must be caught and then let go because it will leave anyway.

What needs to happen perhaps is a mass chalk drawing event.  Go to Freeport Maine or perhaps just to your own town or city and draw on the sidewalk with chalk.  Gently let folks you were there.  Also, let some of the uptight folks that are hounding my friend that you have his back.

separation of the nosy dick...(progression drawings April 2013

April 4, 2013

April 5, 2013

April 6, 2013