third floor process
third floor process
third floor process

3rd Floor

3rd floor is comprised of wood blocks with images glued on them and arranged in a collage format. To start out I had the main face it would be centered around and then arranged wood blocks of various shapes into a pattern which would become the foundation for the collage.

After finding an arrangement which worked, I cut out drawings I had on paper and napkins to glue to the blocks.

I altered the arrangement when putting the blocks back on the board in terms of what images worked together. After everything was in place and glued down I cut pieces of pallet wood to form the backing which the whole piece would be mounted on (see gallery image). They were painted black, sanded, and fastened together. I cut pieces of a larger frame down to fit around the square, and used multiple coats of polyurethane to finish the collage and frame.

cooperation process
cooperation process
cooperation process
cooperation process
cooperation process
cooperation process

Cooperation

Cooporation had a similar process to 3rd floor in that I had a main image I wanted to focus on with a collage around it. For this piece I used a drawing I had done on newspaper as the main theme. I glued other images on paper and napkins to wood blocks to use for the collage and arranged them on the backing. I found a large piece of wood with bracing on the back outside of a gallery which served as the canvas. The frame was cut from pieces of old wood from the apartment building I was living in. I really liked the wood but the pieces were all too short so I cut each side of the frame in two sections which were mounted next to each other.

After gluing all the wood blocks in place I expanded the drawing which was done on the newspaper to extend from the collage. The whole piece was coated in polyurethane. The sides of the frame were stained with 8 coats of a dark wood stain and more coats of tung oil to blend the frame on the front with the lighter pieces which brace the back of the piece. I did a resin pour on the front as a final finish (see galley image).

faces process
faces process

Faces

Faces was an image I had drawn on a bar napkin and wanted to recreate it on a larger format. I kept the napkin and used it as a reference to draw the image on this piece of plywood. Alot of my pieces are done on ⅛ or ¼ inch pieces of plywood which I found outside A & A printing in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, WA. They routinely left pallets and toppers (thin pieces of plywood) out in front of their shop to be disposed of. I lived about a 25 min walk from there so I would bring a handtruck with me and regularly get as many pieces of the plywood as I could to bring back for art work. Faces is done on one of those pieces. I used crown moulding and some smaller moulding pieces for the frame. I had glued on the crown moulding first and needed to arrange clamps with scrap wood to put pressure down on the smaller inside pieces of moulding. After everything was set I coated the whole piece in polyurethane.

framing process
framing process
framing process

Framing

The way I currently make frames has somewhat changed from when I first started. I used to make the frame around the piece as I was making it and would use multiple pieces to brace together the final piece. Now I usually make the frame and treat it with Tung oil all before the art piece is mounted. My process usually starts with 2x4’s or 2x6’s which are then cut into wide slats. I use a router to cut a groove out of one of the sides leaving a bottom lip and side wall. Those pieces are then cut at 45 degree angles into lengths for the frame. These pieces will then be glued and doweled together. I use clamps to hold them in place while drilling the hole for the dowel which is then hammered in with a mallet.

After the frames are assembled and sanded I use wood filler to fill any gaps or blemishes in the frame. After the filler dries they are are ready to be sanded again and sealed with oil. Sometimes I have a piece already made or at least the backing picked out which i’ll measure the dimensions of and make the frame for those specifications. I try to use as much of the wood as I can, so other times i’ll use whatever framing pieces I have around to create a random frame size and then will make pieces designed for that frame.

Treating the frames with Tung oil is a multi step process comprised of two steps repeated until the desired finish has cured. The two steps are sanding with a high grit sandpaper, and applying oil. To save space in the curing process I hang all the frames on long pieces of wood which can be slid into the bars of metal shelves and the weight of the frames keeps the wood in place. After each layer of oil has cured, the frame is sanded lightly, cleaned of dust, and then the oil is re applied with a rag. The number of times this is done depends largely on the type of wood used and desired finish. Most hard woods tend to not need as many coats to feel finished and the feeling I look for is a smooth matte surface which usually requires a minimum of 4 coats. The frame style I use is designed to be able to drop the piece down into the frame and use a combination of glue and dowels to fasten the backing to the frame. I then pour a two part clear resin on top to seal the top of piece and fill in the gaps between it and the frame.

guts process

Guts

The main image for guts was drawn on a napkin which I unfolded and used a layer as a duplicate. I drew a series of pathways to connect the layers which began as somewhat symmetrical and become very asymmetrical. I like to use wood in different formats and for this piece I mixed sawdust with gesso to create a chunky white paste which I built up in layers over the pathways. I went back over the pathways with black ink to define areas where they overlapped and expanded. I framed it in quarter round, coated the whole piece in polyurethane for a finish and did a resin pour over the image (see gallery image).

napkin process

Napkins

When I'm at a bar, or coffee shop, or anywhere really, I like drawing and writing on napkins. They are usually very easy to acquire, “free”, and don’t require carrying around a notebook to have something to work on. Napkins are also great because they offer degrading duplicates of whatever you drew which can be used in a large number of ways. I keep napkins and scraps of paper with drawings on them because in time they can become the main focus of larger pieces. They can be cut up and glued into all kinds of formats and provide a unique delicate texture. The pieces in the main focus of this picture were the foundations for two degradation sets, wormhole, and several other pieces.

pipedreams process

Pipe Dreams

Pipe Dreams is another piece which began as a napkin drawing which I glued onto a piece of plywood and expanded the drawing. Napkins have the advantage and disadvantage of being very delicate. This attribute is great for image transfer, texture, and glueability. However, drawing with a pen on a napkin will inevitably rip the surface and eventually the whole thing will fall apart. To take a drawing on a napkin further, I’ll glue it onto a piece of wood. I was then able to add more layers of ink and gesso to create a dense texture on top of the napkin. I then framed it and coated the whole piece in polyurethane (see gallery image)

pouring resin process
pouring resin process
pouring resin process
pouring resin process

Pouring Resin

The process for pouring resin consists of multiple steps and ultimately trying to keep it as clean as possible. When I started using resin I would fill the gaps in the back of the frame with wood filler which is very inefficient. Later on I used plaster of paris which was quicker but also required a coat of paint to seal it to prevent chipping and leaving plaster dust everywhere. The coat of paint never looked very good and so eventually I started using plasticine to seal any gaps in the back before pouring because it can be peeled off and reused and is fairly quick. When pouring, its still always good to put down some sort of protective layer to catch unexpected drips and spills. All the pieces need to be level so I elevate them on blocks and shim the sides until they are level before pouring. Resin is both expensive and time consuming to work with so I try and be as efficient as I can when using it. This means pouring in batches to make sure you can use all the resin you’ve mixed up. It’s a two part mixture and you have a certain amount of time after it is mixed to be able to work with it which varies depending on the temperature of the room.

In the images with the large window and scribble face images, those pieces were being glued and doweled to their frames while I was also doing a Tung oil process to finish them. In both of those processes they don’t need to be exactly level so they were just stacked to save space, while the smaller images around them were leveled for pouring resin. Below is a video of pouring resin on a series of square scribble face pieces. I use a torch to get rid of bubbles which occur in the process. Small bursts of heat bring them to the surface so they can pop, you need to be careful not to over heat the resin because it will start to “burn” which results in it becoming very warped and uneven.

Shadow Marking

For the Humans piece (see 2014-2015 gallery), I use images glued onto pieces of wood to create a pattern. After the image is glued, I cut the outline of the image from the piece of wood and then slice the shape into long bars. These get sanded and are placed in an alternating pattern to create an uneven shape. I’ll use that shape to create other elements of the piece by positioning a light at different angles to cast a show of all the corners which get traced with pencil. The traced lines can be filled in to mimic the shadow or just retraced to create geometric shapes derived from the alternating bars of wood.

Tribute to Ray

Tribute to Ray is a piece I made in homage to Ray Johnson (1927 - 1995). His ideas about cubism, collage, art, and life in general are a driving force which I find to be essential to the things I find exciting. His thought process always seems to reveal something new upon revisiting, a trait which is strongly reflected in the things he did, art work and otherwise. Something Ray did was cut out images of the Lucky Strike cigarette logo which became part of his collage work. I saw a Lucky Strike logo in a magazine and wanted to make a dedicated spot for him so I could feel some connection to someone I admire but could never know. Comprised of woodblocks, napkins and resin, Tribute to Ray is my small celebration for the existence of Ray Johnson and his infinite creation.

Window

The Window pieces focus on plains. They are centered around a window in a sea of objects which are behind, in front of, going through and indiscernible. Window functions as a gateway, the thing separating where is from where isn’t and holds static in that position. It is a focal point not based on size but capacity. A catalyst for movement and also a barrier. The Window pieces balance dark space with empty space and start with large shapes which get whittled down with shadows and smaller shapes until a certain point where it feels balanced and complete.