In 2006 when I was a master's student at Massachusetts College of Art (& Design), I was fortunate to be apart of an art exhibition called Spaces: Process Revealed at the Pearl Street Art Gallery in Brooklyn New York. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Dan Serig, a former professor of art education of mine who partnered with Dr. Graeme Sullivan (then of Columbia Teachers College, now Penn State) who selected six MFA and MSAE students to each display two artworks they created and the research materials--inspirational materials such as texts, sketches, preliminary studies, pictures, signage, quotes, and other items--that influenced and informed the creation of the art objects. The purpose of the exhibition was to explore how artists' create visual metaphors and synthesize experiential knowledge with their studio practices to inject a complex about-ness in their respective works (Serig, 2006).
The exhibition left a lasting impression on how I understood and value the importance of visual research documentation--all the doodles, mind maps, sketches, preliminary studies, notes, and other visible forms of thinking. Prior to this experience, these materials were just part of the process of creating a polished 'final' artwork--a product designed to be shown in a formal white cube gallery setting sans its process. Since exhibiting at Pearl Street, I have a different perspective and respect for sketches and other research materials--I view it not only as a necessary part of the process but as a data point that reveals more about how I think than what I am thinking about. In this view, sketches become visual assembles of conceptual thought that provide snaps shots into how I construct new meaning in the work that I produce (Sullivan, 2005).
In the following section are scanned sketchbook pages created as early as 2014. Because large portions of the drawings and doodles done in my sketchbooks are incomplete thoughts, irrelevant tangents, or simply uninteresting (and it would be tedious to upload every page) I created some simple criteria for determining what sketches to share.
(1) Sketches present a mostly complete thought--one that does not require too much more of an explanation.
(2) Sketches are easily seen / viewed due to either quality of mark, line, or medium or quality of scan.
(3) Retrospectively, Sketches were determined to be significant in that they reveal important visual and conceptual thinking related to one of my major projects (mainly those relating to There is No (W)hole and Monument).
Furthermore, sketchbook galleries have been organized chronologically by sketchbook. Typically, I go through a standard black hardcover sketchbook everyone one to two years (at best). I titled each gallery by the time period the sketchbook covers. Within each gallery I provided an overview of major themes and ideas that were being developed, linking them to projects and more complete artworks found elsewhere on this website. Lastly, I have only included sketches dated back to 2014 but I may delve into the archives and upload older sketches that meet my three criteria once I have caught up on current sketches.
I hope these sketches provide a snapshot of how I work and what I'm interested working through. Full disclaimer, not all of these sketches were originally intended to be shown to others, please suspend judgement and forgive incorrect spelling and grammar, swearing, sexual innuendos, self-denigrating comments, and other fun forms of notation that may be present in the following scanned pages.
(section last updated June 13, 2017)
Serig, D. (2006). Spaces: Process revealed. [Curatorial statement]. Pearls Street Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. May 6-28.
Sullivan, G. (2005). Art practice as research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.