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painting

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Making his blog debut, verge speaks to you of 爱.

Ai (愛) is used as a verb (e.g., Wo ai ni, “I love you”) or as a noun, especially in aiqing (愛情), “love” or “romance.” airen (愛人) originally “lover,” or more literally, “love person” is the dominant word for “spouse.”

The center of the traditional chinese character for love (愛) is heart (心), the simplified character 爱 is made only from the surrounding character, meaning “accept,” “feel,” or “perceive.”

Verge is happy to live in Alabama, Australia, California, Florida, Italy, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and Washington State.

If you’d like to invite Verge to your place, you can get ahold of him here:
etsy | society6 | RedBubble | Flickr

My time as a printer at VGKids probably came into play on this piece.  I built up the green mother-board background pattern through layers of ink and acrylic washes before stenciling the labyrinth of reflective silver figures.  I knew the result would depend on several interlocking process, and documented the different stages of development.  Loosely based on the pages of the kama sutra, these robots find a variety of ways to express their physical affections.

10 inch square, 1.75″ deep
acrylic, ink, and spray paint on reclaimed hand-made wood box frame with a protective gloss varnish.

robo-sutraThe box-framed surface and underpainting had probably sat in the studio for about a year before finding it’s way back to the easel; as the annual “robot-love” exhibit at good: a gallery was around the corner.  I began skething robots as blocky iconic couples, as a skyline, as lovers, composing different positions in illustrator and organizing them into the square.

robo-sutra
When I got to a composition I liked, I printed out two copies the size of the physical surface.  One print was cut for the silver of the robot bodies and registered to the painting.

robot sketch

robo-sutra

robot silver stencilUsing a light coat of contact adhesive on the back of the stencil, I laid down silver spraypaint.

On the second print I drew out the line work in a way that made the robots positions readable, trapped the silver border, and kept the stencil intact.

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Chimeric
24x24x1.5″
acrylic, silver reflective enamel, and ink on canvas

It’s always a pleasure to send my work out into the world, and I’m glad to start 2012 with a sale on etsy.  “Chimeric” is on its way to a good friend in New York.

This piece was originally shown with Launchpad Gallery in 2008 for their Dreams show, and again with Cravedog Loft Gallery in 2011.

Not to throw too many words at it, but for me this piece explores the grid vs. gesture structure I’ve worked with in other paintings, this time stripping the gesture character of line, leaving the ink work to only the grid, and employing washes for the curves.

As far as the “imagery,” a bird’s-eye view of city streets emerged and informed some of my choices – but that was never as important as working with layers, depth, reflective silver, and paint in general.  I think it looks pretty neat.

For the etymologists in the house:

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Starting with a primed panel I penciled a grid interrupted with arcs.  I brushed in ink as the hierarchy of line and curve developed.  An ink wash established values before washes of color layered over the top.  Keeping the color thin and the contrast high gave the piece the look of glowing stained glass.

spring gesture
acrylic and ink on panel, cradled box frame
37.5 x 48″

building
acrylic and ink on panel, cradled box frame
29 x 45.5″

This piece stands as one of my favorites from my years in Detroit, made in my studio with 555. Theme’s of shelter, post-industrial decay, reuse and sub-optimal weather were always close at hand in that strangely beautiful city.  “Building” was one of those pieces that came together without much fight.

More insights on Detroit, and moving there from a small town in SW Michigan, can be found at Jim Griffioen’s fantastic blog; Sweet Juniper.