October 2019 archive

Thesis Updates 10.20.2019 and feedback from Chang and Lauren

Feedback From Chang on 10/4/2019:

  • Look at the artist “Swoon” for inspiration on collage/large scale pieces.
  • Other artists: Chris Ware, Agnes Martin, Jess Johnson
  • Keep making, and make sense of it all later on
  • Maintain the Edge to edge routine–>both in style and markmaking
  • refine technical aspects (ie. anatomy)
  • Try working with a square blueprint and see what comes out
  • Push the density, and the visual and physical weight.

Feedback from Lauren on 10/18/2019

Recommendations for reading/listening:

  • “In our time” podcast with Melvin Bragg
  • Edward Belamy, “looking backward”
  • “Voices from Chernobyl,” by Svetlana Alexievich
  • “Swamplandia,” and “Orange World,” by Karen Russel
  • “Love in the Time of Cholera” and 100 Years of solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marques

She also noted that the mandala pieces I’m working on have a sort of spiritual language — They are not a narrative scene, but a distillation of what i am trying to communicate.  The other pieces are narrative and contain an entire scene/story.  Knowing that I am working in two different ways, is there a way to bring elements of one into the other?

Onward to the progress:

I’ve begun a new method of notetaking in research. All quotes from stories or articles go on note cards, which i can then use as reference to the specific piece I’m working on. This has bee really great for organizing notes, and generating ideas. Overall I feel really good about the project, but want to have at least 10 pieces by the time the semester is through.

In Philip K. Dicks story, “Dr. Bloodmoney,” a woman watches the first couple launching to Mars:

“She liked to thin of them as that, the first couple…like something out of a sentimental, old-time, science fiction story.  Adam and Eve, once over again….”

Below is the result of that passage.  Adam and Eve maintain their classical stances while suited up in spacegear. On Mars they eat the forbidden fruit, in essence bringing their sin with them to another planet, already littered with plastics and debris.  Around them, there’s vignettes of the planets Earth and Mars.  The large circle around their head shows an image of an atom bomb going off. Above them is a running skeleton, symbolizing how humans run from death, but ultimately succumb to it.


This piece revolves around the idea that reality is fragmented.  It’s still in it’s beginning stages, but was inked in this weekend.


This piece addresses how Apple products are the new religion that we’ve gladly sold our souls to.  It’s a strange sort of detached hell.  I spent some time making the squiggle lines darker, as well as adding the images people taking photos along the bottom of the page:  The bodies are submerged.  The people are more concerned with capturing a photo than they are about their own safety.


In this piece I added some darker areas and refined some squiggles.  I also removed the text that said, “DUCK,” because I thought it was too…Didactic?  Simplistic? I don’t know the exact word I’m looking for. Not much else has changed.

This piece addresses the blurring lines between reality and fiction.  Reality is littered with plastics, while mythological stories of Cerberus and and Odysseus remain pristine.  The figure in the middle is the barrier between these two worlds, yet is slowly bleeding into the world of fantasy, lamenting their role in destroying the planet, yet doing nothing to stop it.

In Heather Davis’ article, “Life and Death in the Anthropocene: A brief history of plastic” she writes
[…] a Du Pont chemist predicated in 1988, that humanity would ‘perish by being smothered in plastic.’
I added more fish to the sky as well as adding plastic bottles and bags.  I’ve slowly been adding subtle shading as well.


This piece is about how alternate versions of ourselves live in different dimensions simultaneously, but if we perceive them, they are only shadows.  I added some darker squiggle lines to the top right, and have been adding shading. 


My Notes!

Thesis Progress Update

Having a cold all week (and multiple sick days off from work) gave me ample time to work on thesis. Also, because I am traveling this weekend, I had to made as much progress as possible during the week since the larger pieces could not come with me.  I did manage to get my ink and pen nibs aboard the plane though, and plan to work on more smaller components while away from the city.

I’ve begun pasting the dahlias onto some of the pieces.  Rather than pasting them over the squiggly lines i have made small incisions to allow the flowers to pass in and out of the existing design.  I also made the decision not to alternate the flowers (ie. one white, one brown, etc) around the perimeter of the circular pieces.  Instead, I wanted to paste them in an organic way that would add visual balance with size, tone, and value.  This involved working slowly, adding one component at a time, and standing back to see what areas needed improvement.

The Mayan-esque monsters below may be added as motifs to to some of the works, but I haven’t figured out where exactly they go yet.

Notes from Chang 9.27.19

Chang suggested introducing a tonal color (possibly with Dr. Martins inks).  This would show larger shapes withing the composition and add density to the page.  Let the color bleed organically within a space (using frisket/masking liquid).  All color choices are a response.


  • Making is a clinical process
  • Establish a composition to create a methodical/meditative sense of pacing. Find an equation or a visual calculation.
  • Take the components to the edge of the work.
  • The edge doesn’t have to be defined


Playing around with adding elements to the page.

Flowers spill to the edge of the page. The edge doesn’t have to be defined.

Project Update 10.3.2019

At this point in the project, I am still making components:

Dalias, divers, bunnies, etc.

One major development is the addition of the “psychadelic” lines.  I wanted to build texture without overthinking the process. Creating “Breathing lines” on the work has been a meditative practice that allows me to let go of some of the perfectionist tendencies I have and allow for some spontaneity.

I’ve also been diving into science fiction novels, particularly those of Philip K. Dick.  Ignoring the fact that his female characters are all venomous bitches, the overarching themes within his stories are extremely relevant to my thesis topic. In “Now wait for last year,” designer drugs are used as a weapon in war, allowing the user to travel through time during their hallucinations, wherein the boundaries between reality and illusion are called into question.  Despite the dystopian fantastical elements, there are many distinctly human elements to the story: toxic relationships, the struggle for power, and fighting with authoritarian figures.

Cerberus, Depression, Snapshots of scenes.

Visiting oneself in alternate realities. Shadows are specters from another world.

Homage to Tech addiction. The world is hellish and dying, yet we are more concerned with getting Instagram likes and oblivious to everything outside of the screen.

Religion is disorienting and cult-like.

An old-timey diver.