art boxes

A few years ago a studio neighbour gave me some cigar boxes. I’ll be interested to see what you do with them, she said. And so they sat on a shelf above my studio door, amongst many other useful/useless things, because that’s what humans do when given things they know they know the why of but not the how.


And then, while on a collage tear (I’m starting to believe collaging is an addiction –– this white noise automation that takes over while one keeps adding and subtracting, smoothing and removing) one morning, I looked over my shoulder to see them up there, and within a minute they were down and being primed.


The thing with a cigar box is this: it’s already an imperfect object. Half industrial weight card, half light wood, all nicks and torn labels. So adding the stressed texture of collage just feels natural.

And there is something wonderful about images revealed, whether it’s by pulling back a curtain or opening a lid.


I think I’m done with these for now, knowing full well that I’ll return to the idea when that internal lightning strikes again. But they’ve been very enjoyable to do, and just knowing that I’m making one-of-a-kind things that people will always keep is more than enough for me.

You can see these and more art objects here. Good luck with Christmas!


The Poet


The Poet, IV; mixed media on cradled wood panel, 24 x 24 x 1.75. You can see a fuller description here.


I took the day off yesterday, and spent it in my studio painting this. I’ve found it difficult to think lately –– specifically in terms of what happens next, creatively, or what I should do next. The things I have the capacity to imagine. How much effort and discipline I will bring to bear. If I am being honest.

There is always the matter of what I want to do versus what I want to do.

And while this is going on I still need to work. So I simplify things, meaning I just make paintings. Not art objects or fussy smaller pieces. I mean big works, on wood: the kind I bind to the easel, and do some violence to with corrupted brushes. The iconic nature of the imagery seems to come easily from that.

It’s summer. We’ll see how this goes, and where I end up.