The through line of my artwork in 2016 was the continued variety of materials, form, and subject. I worked with still life, figure, and landscape in oils, gouache, collage, animations and gifs, acquired a Namiki Pilot Falcon flexible nib pen for drawing, and constructed and painted an artist book. Concerned that a catalogue of fragments might confuse readers, to be a generalist also conflicts with good advice. Mark Twain wisely observed, “Astonishing things can be done with the human memory if you will devote it faithfully to one particular line of business.” My amateur values — instincts, sensibilities, proclivities, predisposition, or simply upbringing — do not strictly adhere to professional realities. “Reality,” Philip K. Dick helpfully defined, “is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
The technological frame faced diversity, too. A substantial website update fixed broken links, reformatted vestigial content, and removed lines of Blogger code leftover from a 2007 site migration, previously consolidated from an html site inaugurated in 2002. The blog structure itself hinted at obsolescence, remnant of the aughts, eclipsed by fast paced electronic platforms, social media, et al. Daily photos in ever increasing numbers by artists who share their work in the broadest possible range of styles, compete with vacation, breakfast, animal, and conceptual glossies; amidst the steady pinging of art’s all-time greatest hits. The homogenized flow of digital images can be wearying.
Cross training in sports is good for behind the scenes conditioning. On the day of the game though, one must pick an arena or cop to dilettantism. “I contain multitudes,” Walt Whitman said. Perhaps groping for fruition is exactly what 2016 demanded. One can abandon hope or go on. I choose the latter.
ABOVE: In Memoriam Xmas Card Mash-up, commercial card collage, 10×7 inches, 2016
ABOVE & BELOW: After Nicolas de Staël, acrylic-painted paper collage, 3×3 inches, 2016
ABOVE & BELOW: Missed Ships, Namiki Pilot Falcon pen & Moleskine, 8×5 inch, 2016