Sunday, February 27, 2011

Identity Crisis as Sunset

This is a drawing that I really quite like. It is part of my bird series. (Of course, when don't I have a bird in a drawing?) This drawing represents for me an identity crisis. I abstract these birds to the point that I felt that they both had an identity crisis. I use shape, line, form, and tone to help define the picture and its forms. Obviously, the text is not in the original. I have allowed it to remain somewhat darker than it is in person. This picture is entirely in graphite pencil. I used a variety of pencils to find the full range of tones with this picture. In case any of my viewers or followers are wondering, I will be setting up a gallery shortly to showcase and sell work online, but I am still in the process of setting up the format of the business here. So, currently I am only showing, but please feel free to email me if there is  further interest in buying any of these works, or subsequent works that I put up here.

Graphite is, by far, my favorite medium. If I had to pick only one medium, which I do not, but I would pick graphite pencil. There is a directness and immediacy that cannot be achieved in any other medium. I can sit down anywhere and create a drawing. It can happen as easily as writing a letter. There is also a practicality to it that is so easy to access. Yet, there is a vastly historic and timeless tradition with drawing and pencil work. It can go back to Michelangelo and Da Vinci. While their paintings are obviously more famous, if you have ever seen a drawing of either of these masters, the timeless tradition of drawing is something that cannot be described. I feel like I strive to find a mastery of pencil so that I can communicate on another level, unlike in any of my other works. Drawing just speaks to me differently, therefore I use it differently than my other mediums that I practice.

I let one form flow to another, cross over into another, and strive to create multiple layers and images within images so I can say more in a piece than one simple idea. I look to say many things. I do this by allowing myself to respond to the lines and shapes that evolve on the paper. Each drawing is an adventure when I sit down to create it. Truly, it is something special for me. I hope it is a unique experience for each viewer as well.

Thanks for visiting, as always!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

American Birds

American Birds is a slightly older picture than the last ones I have shared here. I am still working on the Kenpo series, so I don't really have any others quite ready to post. However, this piece is in a similar style that I used for the others. This picture is in a larger size than the others and I use bright colored shapes combined with black ink shading to define forms, along with line. I have always been fascinated with masks, birds and flags my whole life. I have a variety of photos that I use for inspiration, but ultimately these come from my my way of thinking. It is another type of visual journal entry that I use to help define my way of thinking. I grew up on the Sacramento River in Northern California. Birds were always readily visible, and as such I can never escape their image when I sit down to draw. I see them in every line and image that I make when there is nothing else in mind. I start with a blank slate and just let myself respond to the direction and feel of each line that I draw. This is how my mother draws and it is how she taught me to see the world. Just respond to where my pen or pencil takes me. In addition to this, it is also how my niece draws. She often draws what comes to mind. While the three of use often just respond to the pen on the paper, we do have our own images that we call forth as we draw.

I don't know if I will ever grow tired of the immediacy for drawing and the feeling of having a visual journal with each drawing. I think, also, it is a process by which I can let things out. Every stroke of a pen or pencil releases an idea or feeling. It is a hand made creation that not only reflects a way of thinking, but also a way of feeling in that moment, and often in a larger sense as well.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or share your comments. If anyone has a request to see or buy anything, just email me. Have a great day!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Way of the Warrior

In "Way of the Warrior" I use color pens and a ball point pen in a six inch by six inch format. I continue to be fascinated by the personal feel of this small format. The small size invites a viewer to come in close and share the moment of the picture. I use the simplicity of line and shape to guide the viewer through the composition. The eagle, dragon, and mask are familiar to me. The eagle has multiple levels and layers of meaning. It gives a sense of majesty and freedom, as we use it here in the US. Neither is it any small surprise that Kenpo is an American system of martial arts. The dragon, the ultimate goal and aspiration of any martial artist, takes center stage and flows into the eagle. I use the colors of green and orange on the dragon to help it stand out. These were two key stages in my own learning process in Kenpo. I remember orange and green belts with exceptional clarity. So, it is obvious I would use these to help define my dragon. The mask came from two influences. I have always been fascinated with the masks of tragedy and comedy and how they convey so many emotions. But, I use an influence of a samurai mask to help shape the expression - and the samurai masks have an unmistakable aura of fear. It again goes back to the multicultural influence in Kenpo. There are so many places around the world that have contributed to the development of 'the dragon' in Kenpo. The knowledge is always developing, and recognition has to be paid to its origins.

What I have experienced in Kenpo is an immense amount of freedom to operate. At the same time, we are called upon to conduct ourselves with a level of composure and morality from the beginning through an understanding of the Kenpo Creed. This series is new and I am excited to explore it more. As I write more, I will continue to push new ideas within this framework and expand the boundaries of my thinking. Responses are always welcome. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Origins of Warrior and Scholar

"Origins of Warrior and Scholar" is a recent piece that I created. I use abstracted forms of the Japanese rising sun and a dimensional abstraction of the Kenpo Universal symbol. It is done in colored pens and ball point pen. There is a certain freedom in drawing, and an immediacy, unlike in any other medium in two dimensional art work. The size of the work is six inches by six inches, and it calls to mind, for me, a journalistic type of reference. A journal in the sense of a personal journal one keeps. For any Kenpo practioner, it is known that we are called to think about our art extensively. Some people may keep a written journal, which is useful for me, but there is also a use for a visual journal. In this image, I tried my best to include every color used to denote the ranks that we pass through to get to black belt. While proportions are not really equated with the number of practioners, it is an interesting thought to to create a piece based on color and the perception of what one goes through in that particular belt. What may not be noticeable in the image here is the line quality in the drawing. I love the use of line and what it can say and communicate to a viewer. I had the opportunity recently to view Cezanne and Monet at the SF DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park.

It was amazing what the brush strokes could communicate to a person. Lines and strokes communicate, among other things, movement, personality, texture, and form. That is to name only a few things. It also speaks about the personality of an artist. Given that I enjoy the surrealist influence so much, I wonder about where my subconscious leads me when I compose a piece like this. An intimate work like this is really a response piece. I sit down and start drawing, and the vision forms as I go. It is rare that I sit down and an actual formal plan, at least at this size of work. It is about an intimate journey through life and experience for me, specifically my experience through kenpo, in  this case.

Thanks for visiting. :-)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

A New Journey

Hello Everyone,

this is new for me. I just want to introduce who I am and what I am trying to do here. I have three layers to this page. I still am figuring it all out as I Well, I have three key interests.
  1. education
  2. art
  3. martial arts
So, this is what this page is about. In a way, each idea and endeavor is an art for me. So will be more visual than others. At times it could be more philosophical. However, I will try to make this place as interesting and entertaining as possible. I am working through this process of expanding my network in education and art, so there is a lot happening right now.

I will post new ideas, work, concepts, musings, and a variety of other things here for friends, followers, and the casual reader to read and respond to if they like. I will try to put in useful links and creative concepts. If you do stop by, please try to at least drop a note. I appreciate all the feed back. Thanks for reading this first entry. By the way, the website I entered previously was really interesting. If you are at all interested in getting your art out there, check it out. Also, I highly recommend getting a LinkedIn is so very useful and helpful.

I will see you all soon!


This looks to be a useful site for artists who are looking to market their work.

As I develop this site, I am constantly overloaded with information. I found a site that looks really invaluable, so I am going to post it here for people to check out as they see fit. This is not much of a first post in terms of some ground-shaking idea or discovery, but I think it will be useful.