Blog / 2014 / Connect the Dots
August 10, 2014
One of the more recognizable aspects of my style are the dots and circles that I use along with all the crosshatching. I thought they came from the fact that I cut my thumb open in 2008 and started watering down my paint and dripping it onto the canvas, but it turns out the circles have been in me from the beginning.
That’s something which I realized only when I rediscovered this drawing that I made as a sixteen year old. I turned my friend’s freckles into very expressive marks. (I love the signature in the lower right. My teenage self clearly saw this as a masterpiece.)
Of course, now that I know to look, I see the circles everywhere. In this painting from eight years later, I suggest the magical magnetism of my partner’s gaze with two dots in front of his eyes.
And speaking of my Monkey Man, if there are lots of dots in this painting, it’s because of him. He was gessoing a panel in my studio and flicked some of the primer onto Curt’s portrait accidentally. I didn’t discover it until it was dried, and it’s a good thing too. I tinted the white specks that David had added, and then took to dotting up the rest of the painting.
This painting is from after the thumbless summer. The watered down paint clearly impacted the look of my paintings in a more general sense, but it also really brought out the dotter in me.
And that’s something that I truly own today, in that way that only a born dotter can.
I don’t lay out a painting all smooth and tame before adding the marks on top. The marks are my way of making a painting, and they have been since before I knew how to paint.
And now I know that. I sort of wish now that I had kept more of my art from high school and college. It would be interesting to see what artistic habits, besides the dotting and the crosshatching, formed early on in my development!
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