Chairs & Stairs

the order of things matter;

they have a place in the past,

solidly exist in the present

and their future is dictated by these two, tense and vibrating with possibility.

I look at my creative process as a means to sort through past and present observations and experiences. In the past I was very attached to notions of concealment and I would say I am still very protective of the true, underlying nature of what drives me to create at all - what drives my work forward.

What I am currently most concerned with is placing a sense of envisioned environmental importance on recognizable forms, specifically chairs and stairs, that ultimately have an unrecognizable motive. The basic functionality of these forms provide my work with a layer of their own meaning. I tousle these forms in an implied environment that I consider to be more of a psychological landscape referencing memories through frenzied mark-making, color-blocking and (extremely) vague representational studies.

My work arrives through the constant reevaluation of layering visual information - color, line, shape, repetition- which is both unplanned and premeditated. I find a rhythm between intuition and chance that both influence everyday decision-making, which create(d) memories, and my creative process. 

I enjoy the stimulation of recognizable form amidst the finicky accumulation of my visual information for various reasons. One [being], the natural, implied narrative that begins to unfold through the placement of these chairs and stairs; domestic space, order vs. disorder, levels and floors, and once in a while, a figure. These narratives have no other solidifying elements to latch onto so they ultimately float about in a space of possibility.

As I participate in this creative exchange between


...Finding it difficult to balance between logging studio time and pursuing life outside of those four white walls littered with half finished paintings...

I feel as though I'm coming out of a slump that started around September of 2015. I'm feeling repurposed, enlivened, renewed - whatever you want to call it. What I want to strive for is that when my life does orbit outside of my studio, I maintain the same curiosity and interest in the detail of whatever it is I am doing; to keep noticing, seeing, feeling, experiencing, recounting, reconnecting, learning.

I hope I never lose interest in exploring. The world is a playground both inside and outside of the studio. 

Tripping on New Work: Elyse-Krista Mische & Craig Clifford

Sometimes I am hit so hard with excitement about someone's artwork that it sends me on a crippling trip of disbelief and complete wonder. Once I'm able to get a grip and grab hold of reality once again, I try to understand why I was so moved to begin with. Many times small phrases pass in and out of my head like some news ticker flashing important updates to current, breaking events.

When Craig Clifford and Elyse-Krista Mische began installing their work at the gallery, I wasn't expecting to face memories that had been tossed aside and discarded to make room for more important matters.

Two and a half years ago I began to question this existence and wonder what the point of life was. I questioned why people must come into our lives if they only exit as quickly as they came. I questioned what time meant and how life was of any significance if death was just sitting there waiting. I questioned what death meant and grieved its responsibility. I resented the celebration of life and the accountability to be present and selfless that went along with it. Realization of the fragility and mortality of a loved one made me so aware of human selfishness. Above all else, I did not want to experience loss - as I know NO ONE does.

Elyse-Krista Mische's work seemed to gently soothe me into a pool of inevitability where I found that I cannot escape the reality of my short existence. Her work quietly reassured me into acceptance of the temporary, fleeting moments that make up a lifetime, yet there still remains a tangle of contradictory emotions in the pit of my stomach; a knot that I don't know I'll ever be able to untie.

Elyse's work coupled with the likes of Craig Clifford whose nonchalant and seemingly effortless demeanor and work make it almost unbearingly easy to instantly like, I stood no chance at keeping my emotions and memories at bay. I was transfixed immediately with the surface qualities of his work: familiar, busy, almost brooding and dark.

I remember going to my grandparent's house frequently when I was little. It was right on the shore of Lake Michigan, though that is not of any real significance for this memory. As an only child, I did a lot of solitary exploring, observing and reflecting. I uncovered a pile of someone's trash once. It was covered by layers of sediment, moss and damp leaves with bugs and crawling things. I remember feeling both intense curiosity and fear. The trash was an assortment of plastic bags, bottles, cans, broken baby toys and diapers and although it was discarded, I felt that it had to be of some importance if it was buried out in the woods and not just on the side of the road or in a ditch somewhere. It made me feel alone.

Craig's work resonates with my memory and my tendency to protest the necessity of material goods and familial, sentimental decor. His work is thoughtfully arranged and I can't help but feel his use of commercial molds hold sarcasm and a level of mockery to the cosmetic beauty of an older American ideal. In his words these objects "are images of refinement and wealth..." The images seem bullied, beaten and bruised.

I am excited to be around this work for the next two months and to see what other memories and feelings resurface. I hope those who visit and view the work in person experience something intimate with the work as well.

On Sarah Gross - Doll Houses, Domestic Space

A quick little paragraph of praise I wrote after viewing artist Sarah Gross install her work at the gallery -  I gained a new depth of insight into fellow artist and friend, Kendra Bulgrin's interest in painting/portraying domestic space and the small world of the miniature.

...We just had artist Sarah Gross deliver her work for the next exhibit in August. I had seen a picture of her work and was surprised at how moved I was when I saw it in person. As she put her pieces together I felt overwhelmed with the intimate relationship I have with domestic space and the sense of belonging that goes with it. I felt the emptiness of her domestic vessels reflected in my own memory and at once felt those voids being filled. I was quite alarmed at how stirred I felt from deep within my stomach - quite possibly my soul. Very, very moving. A+...




Revisited Post from Summer 2015

This is a short little, forced confession I had made out loud to myself this past summer. It still rings true and I can't help but feel that moving back to a small, quiet town has helped me at least start to listen to the thoughts I have rolling around in my head.

I hope to uncover new ways to overcome my self-prescribed and diagnosed short-comings through my art process.

...I have recently started to realize how burdened I have become with the ways I feel imperfect. It angers me to feel how deeply these unhealthy and sickeningly dangerous thoughts have wedged themselves; they are somewhere in between the microscopic intricacies of the very clockwork that keeps my body functioning and the volatile lies floating in and out of my head about what I should look like, who I should be and where I should be in life.

I have always felt I couldn't say how ashamed I was about myself out loud. I now see that this has been poisoning me at the very core and has crippled me in every realm. My self-shame has taken me down new paths where I never thought I'd find myself.

Speaking of finding myself... I find myself more and more disgusted with the subtle ways these lies fit ever so nicely into our everyday lives, how they snuck in when we were children and how we further depreciate our self-worth by agreeing with said lies for God know what reason(s). I guess this is what I've been mulling over and chewing on while working on my artistic pursuits - perhaps subconsciously for years... Maybe it's liberation via Dick Blick... Either way, I present my middle finger to self-shame...