Monday, November 24, 2008


6"x 4.5"

6"x 4.5"

6"x 4.5"

After working in my sketchbook all afternoon, three watercolors have sprung into existence. There have been numerous watercolor drawings on Etsy recently, and I've stumbled upon Sara Frankel's artwork. Sara taught a landscape drawing class I attended over the summer. Her watercolors are fantastic, and huge. I now understand her trying to get the class to attack water as a subject in our drawings.

And to remind myself and everyone else exactly how far I've come, I've started a Flicker page under mkkoala. I haven't uploaded everything just yet. So far I have work spanning from high school to my sophomore year. I'll upload more as I have the time to keep an eye out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008


So I'm taking a class called Arts and Images in Contemporary Art, a lecture and film based class where we discuss contemporary, modern, and avant garde art. The only grade for this class is a sketchbook to be turned in at the end of the semester. I've spent more than half the semester thinking up and creating this sketchbook. I've knitted and felted the cover, a process that took at least three different tries. The pages are hand torn 140 test weight, cold pressed watercolor paper.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fifth and Final Week of the Figure

After 5 weeks of working, that's 5 classes at 3 hr and 45 min totaling 17hrs and 15min, I have completed my figure. I was one of probably 4 students in the class who spent the entire time on one painting. I am very pleased with the outcome and received many compliments from my professor.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Figure: Week Four

Week four of figure, one more to go. It came a long ways this week, I think, and has lost some of its awkwardness. I now love that protruding knee. It's so 3 dimensional. In need to work the rest with such palpable roundness.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I really like these landscapes I've been doing. Oil on wood panel 14" x 16".

Yay Tablet!

I've been continuing to play with my new drawing tablet and re-learning the intricacies of photoshop. Here's what I've come up with so far.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Here are pictures of my in-class figure painting, in chronological order. So, you can see the development. Still two more weeks on this one.


New pen and ink drawing or did I just get an early Christmas drawing tablet?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And Through Struggle Come Small Pieces of Honesty

oil on wood
10" x 14"

oil on canvas scrap
5" x 7"- ish

oil on canvas scrap
4" x 7"-ish

After struggling with my self portrait for a few hours, I spit out another series of small landscapes. Having worked on such a large scale, there is something cathartic about scaling down and simplifying. These works again have a much more developed color palette than the self portrait.

Self Portrait in Progress

Each painting class I've taken has required a self portrait. I both love and hate them. I find them one of the most challenging because we are most critical of ourselves. So the portraits serve mangled, conflicting purposes; capturing the most idealized perception of myself, glaring self criticism, and reality.

Okay, Maybe Food Too

On Sunday I made Great Grandma Freda's rye bread and lentil soup. Both were fabulous.

For the soup I roasted a head of garlic in the oven, while starting my soup. When the garlic was done, I mashed up the cloves into a paste and dissolved them into the soup for roasted garlic-y goodness.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We've started a 5-6 week long figure painting. My teacher had us layout the scene as we liked. He gave us complete control, and of course, we didn't know what the hell to do with it. It took us the better part of 45 min. to set it up, until, finally our teacher came back and got us heading in the right direction. So, yes that is a skull in the lower right hand corner of the painting, that the figure is somewhat glancing down to.

This was taken after the first three and a half our session. I've scaled up the drawing and laid down some initial colors. I worked on it last week, though forgot to take a picture, so of course it no longer looks anything like this, as the figure changes slightly form week to week. On Wednesday I should have two pictures, and you'll be completely up to date on the piece.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Watercolors, Good Things Come in Threes

One of my required studio classes is called Issues and Images in Contemporary Art. It is a lecture, though is placed in the studio category because we only get graded on a sketchbook that we turn in at the end of the semester. I've never really been able to sustain a long term sketchbook, though I must admit a vice of collecting them. I've had trouble sitting down and making myself work on it. I'd rather work on a larger project. Though I know that working in a sketchbook will aid me in the end, I can't make myself do it, familial stubbornness, I guess.

I've had my watercolor palate sitting on my desk for a few days and it seems to me now that I work more reliably when I have a palate already set up, the dirty cup of water helps too. I don't worry so much about initially mixing the correct colors, I just dive in. And because of that my palate, the range of colors used in the painting rather than the object itself, had become more personal, if not more mature.


I've been intrigued by graffiti for a while now and am always pleased to find unique, interesting pieces. A tag might not be beautiful, but the way in which it is situated into a space might certainly be. Here I've found Jellyfish on the side of 595 at home. On the side of a highway is blatantly out in the open, but, because of the flow of traffic, the incline of the hill, situation of greenery, and the subject matter of the tag itself, there is a hidden innocence and goofy childlike spontaneity to it. I loved painting this, and I enjoy that it is currently hanging in my kitchen.


This was the first painting I did this semester after an artistically unproductive summer. We worked on it for two class periods, a total of seven and a half hours, which is the least amount of time we spend on an in class project. I find this piece pleasant, but not necessarily all that engaging.

Under the Bridge

This is the 'under the bridge' marsh painting I spoke of in the last post. The lightness of the foreground and the pillars does not explain the intense difference between the bright sunlight of the background and the intense shade caused by the overpass. Also the detail and texture is about as detailed as the smaller studies below, but the simplification of mark is not as effective on a larger scale. I plan on going back into this painting.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So Here We Go

Over the summer I took a landscape drawing class, four hours a day, five days a week, outside, drawing. It was fantastic. We went to some unusual, out of the way places, one of them being beneath an on ramp to the Cooper River Bridge. The area was as dingy and sketchy as any other dirt and gravel lot beneath a highway, but this one branches of into marshy wetlands and the Cooper River, the bridge's pilings, pillars wrapping off into the distance. Last week I did a painting there (I'll put the photo up when I get back to school). The painting itself is not extraordinary. Afterwards though, after calling it quits on that work, I picked up some random scraps of gesso-ed canvas, and spun out some delightfully spontaneous marsh scenes out of my head. They jumped out of me, fresh, energetic, and cathartic. Each taking a minute or so they lack the evident self doubt that develops through my longer works. It took making the larger, less affective painting to find these, as you cannot intentionally enforce spontaneity. 


The idea behind this whole project is to force myself to keep a better record of my progress through the next year and a half, to have an easily manipulated chronological view of my works, mishaps, and the artists that I look to, a virtual sketchbook if you will. For example I don't have any pictures of my paintings in various stages, yet, though, at times, I find some of the unfinished stages more appealing than the finished work itself, and so, though I have gained from the experience of the painting, I can't share that with anyone else, and sometimes feel like a loon for being extremely proud of a piece that in its finished stage is not so appealing. 

Comments will be greatly appreciated.