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New Heralds

Sumi ink on paper, 2011

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"These drawings are the unexpected result of my return to artmaking after a long hiatus. They seem to be the continuation of my quest for the most direct connection between imagination, eye, hand and surface, involving as little conscious thought as possible.

"I first experimented with ink brush drawings in 1996, when I was in Los Angeles researching Korean art. I was inspired by the Asian tradition of large-scale calligraphy, which looks free and loose but requires long discipline to master. Just try to create a perfect circle with a brush, freehand!

"There are whole genres of traditional Asian brush drawing that consist only of a single continuous stroke, and that simplicity is the holy grail for me. Pictures with obsessive detail just make me tired to look at; that's more craft than art. And I find visual perfection boring - I prefer rough edges and assymetry.

"When I moved to New Mexico and finally had space to make art again, I didn't know what it was going to be. I got out all my old favorite materials - graphite, charcoal, and pastels - but ink was the only thing that really beckoned me. I experimented a bit and discovered Sumi ink, which had the sort of thick, velvety sheen I was looking for."
"My process is totally spontaneous. I use my left brain far too much as it is, and music production requires me to be super meticulous, so in my drawing I try to stay as loose as possible, sort of like returning to the scribbles of childhood.

"Some of the drawings are the result of just putting brush to paper and letting the brush be the guide, doing whatever feels right. Others are triggered by a spontaneous but vague shape or composition I'll suddenly see in my mind's eye. I'll start trying to draw that, but then the brush will take over, and it never ends up like what I visualized.

"Each drawing is an experiment in an ongoing series of experiments, an expression in an ongoing visual dialog, like my earlier pastel and graphite drawings. I work quickly, and I can't afford to experiment on fine archival papers. In place of Asian tradition and discipline, this work is unconsciously guided by my own diverse life experience, beginning in childhood with close observation of nature."
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