Welcome to No Grace

When I was born, a fortune teller said that, according to the time and date of my birth, I would grow up to be an artist.
I've never placed much stock in astrology.
Personally, I think that I became an artist because of the witch with the cast-iron cookware that lived in the kitchen of my childhood home.
Whatever the cause... here I am now,
and here you are.

Hi.

Thanks for looking.

 
I have work on Etsy!
It took a while, but I finally decided to take the plunge. Check out the work I have for sale at http://www.etsy.com/shop/NoGrace
 

January 13, 2014

It really is hard to believe that it's been over two years since I've updated the work on this little website of mine.
These past two years have been busy ones.
I've had the opportunity to show, pubish, and sell my work through various venues an puclications, and I've met a lot of very kind & gracious people. There's been a lot going on, and the time has literally flown by.
And yet, when I look back, I still feel like I'm still just getting started. There is so much more to learn... so much more to do.
As I move into 2014, I can't help but be curious about what the future has in store for me.

 

 

 

November 19, 2011

When I was ten years old, I was a damaged, angry kid. I was becoming prone to violence, and I was at a crossroads.
It was at about that same point that I began using up all my school notebooks as drawing pads.
The bit about the fortune teller is true, but my mom didn't tell me about it until I was well into my teens.
I came to art on my own.
It's odd to me that I would stumble into making art when I did, because, as I look back, that was exactly what I needed.
The act of sitting and focusing on creating something calmed me down, and helped me develop patience. It helped me get past the violence that my male childhood "role models" had instilled in me, and allowed me to get a handle on the swirl of emotions and thoughts that would twist around in my head.
The discipline of making art was my first step towards learning to control myself. From there, I was able to sharpen my mind, learn to understand and accept others, and look at myself and my actions critically.
It helped me become more than just a lump of flesh in the service of a brain full of bad programming.
The process of art helped me to become a human being.

I will never doubt the power that art has to change a person's life.


 

March 30, 2010

I've added a new batch of drawings, prints, and paintings to the gallery section today, and I'm anticipating that this will be the last chance I have to upload new images for several months. I have a show coming up in October with my good friend Jim DuVal, and I'm planning to immerse myself in the work as completely as life will allow. The theme is Halloween, and the goal is to fill the place with as much new work as we can throw together. I have a lot of plans to stretch my limits, to try a few new things, and to revisit materials that I haven't used in a long time. I'm really looking forward to it, and I've already started watching all the old horror classics to set my mind working in the right direction.
Wish me luck,
and thanks for looking
I'm off to go watch some Bride of Frankenstein :-)

 

 

January 1, 2010

Time
The year has come to an end, and as I switch over the calendar, I'm dwelling on 2009 a great deal.
It was a challenging year.
I'm glad it's over.
There were many good things that happened. I met some wonderful and kind people,
but there are many events that I'd never want to live through again,
some events shook me to the core.

I've always been obsessive when it comes to making time to do art. Aside from my psychological quirks that make me twitchy and irritated if I'm not constantly making something, I have a strong belief that a dedicated commitment of time is, quite possibly, the most important element to being an artist. For years, my favorite saying has been,
If you're waiting for inspiration, you're doing it wrong
Do the work. Make stuff... as often as you are able.
Inspiration will hit every so often, the Muse comes and goes, but if you're constantly creating, it will feed your inspiration, and it, and the Muse, will hit more often because they'll have more to work with.

anyway
sorry about the little stump-speach
but you can kinda' see what I mean about being obsessive

so
all through this past year, I've been dealing with things that have made me take a long hard look at where I am, and the life that I'm living,
and I've been asking myself if I'm satisfied.
I've talked with a lot of people my age who are having a similar internal dialogue.
We're dealing with similar issues...
the illness of a loved one,
friends and family laid low by disease,
watching once healthy and vibrant people wither away,
realizing that the "temporary" job that you started 10 years ago became a career somewhere along the way.
Time seems to be speeding up, slipping away, and I'm finally understanding the old cliché that none of us really know how much time we've got. I'm sensing it in my very marrow, and it's fueling a whole new level of obsession.
The contemplation of my own mortality led 2009 to be, possibly, my most productive year. It's not that I had more time to work with, on the contrary, one of my challenges has been having less time to work with.
What's spurred me on is a frantic need to take advantage of all the little pockets of time that become available. I draw on scraps of paper while I'm at work, carve printing blocks during my lunch break, work in smaller sizes so that the work is portable...
I am an artist.
When my race is over, I want to be satisfied that I did everything I could to live as one... that the level of my commitment, was equal to the expectations I have of myself.
I'm expecting a lot from myself in 2010, and I hope I'm able to follow through.

As always... thanks for looking
Happy New Year
Make the best of it 

 

 

October 13, 2009

Edgy.
It's a word that other people have used to describe my artwork for as long as I can remember.
I can understand it to a certain degree,
but not to the degree that I witness from time to time.
In relation to the work of a lot of folks out there, my pictures are pretty harmless.
However, I've had paintings (that I really thought were tame) pulled off the wall because of protest, and I've seen people physically shift in their seats, uncomfortable at the sight of my work.
It's really quite interesting, and has begun to open my eyes to a possible deeper connection between artists and their art.
I don't own a car, so I walk in town a lot. I notice things... all sorts of things... broken plastic in the parking lot that looks like fairy wings, empty cigarette packs discarded on the sidewalk with money folded up inside them, fresh graffiti on Friday mornings, the homeless guy on his bike that makes the same rounds every morning before the sun comes up,
the sideways glances of people that look nervous,
men in bars who puff up their chests like roosters when I walk by them,
the seemingly never ending collection of people that look up at me from 20 feet away coming towards them on the sidewalk, who make a not-so-subtle change in course to cross the road so they can walk on the other side of the street.
Compared to a lot of people out there, I'm pretty harmless, but people will reach their own conclusions about me, and act according to their own preconceived notions (whether they realize what they're doing or not).
A number of months ago, the parallel finally sank in to the point where I could wrap my brain around it. People react to my artwork almost identically to the way that they react to me.
Some people understand me immediately, some people don't,
but, to a larger degree, I just make a lot of people uncomfortable.
It's not something that I try to do, it just ends up hapening a lot... both as a person, and with my art.
In fact, it's odd, but I like to think that I've always tried to be friendly and approachable,
but I still make people uncomfortable.
I'm still edgy.
I expanded this thought to encompass other artists I know.
She's friendly... her art is friendly.
He tries really hard to be spooky (but isn't)... his art looks like it's trying really hard to be spooky (but isn't).
Everybody really likes him... everybody seems to really like his art.
It seems so obvious... like it's not even worth mentioning... the art we make is an extension of ourselves,
and yet, there's something else there.
For artists there's often an internal fight between the side that wants to make art that's meaningful to ones-self, and the side that wants to understood by others. There are various reasons for this internal struggle that are unique to each artist, but in many conversations I've had over the years, I've noticed that one of the most common and fundamental questions that an artist has to address is where to draw the line between "I" and "Them"
For those of us with any amount of commercial aspirations, that question comes up a lot.
but here's the thing... if everyone's art is extension of ones-self, is there a point where an artist, no matter how skilled, or how hard he or she tries, can never gel with a potential audience because they're just too hard to understand as a person?
What if the question of "I" or "Them" is completely irrelevant due to the fact that, no matter how approachable you try to be in your work, the viewer is still going to sense the artist behind it with such clarity that it's like they were passing by you on the sidewalk?
I don't know.
It's just a question,
but in thinking about that question over the past year, I've noticed that my art has been slipping into different territory.
I'm using mediums that I haven't touched in years, and producing imagery that I'm almost certain will never be allowed to hang in the public art spaces of the area in which I live.
I've given myself permission to forget about the question of "I" and "Them," and just focus on what's going on inside my own head,
and letting the resulting imagery just pour out.
It's a type of selfishness.
I know.
but it seems like the right thing to do for now.
I feel like I'm searching for something, and this feels like the direction that will lead me to it.
To those who understand me, thanks for sticking with me.
To those that I make uncomfortable, stick around a little while and hang out.
I'm pretty harmless.

 

July 9th, 2009

This is the first complete update of this site that I've done in years. There's a lot of new work here, and I'd love to hear any thoughts, criticisms, rants, or recipes that include alcohol that you'd like to pass along. I am a bit of a shut-in, and I am notoriously bad at getting back to people who drop me a line, but I am trying to change that.
There's a lot more in the works... drawings, paintings, sculpture, a comic project, book illustrations... my brain feels like it might split apart from everything swirling around inside it. I hope I can keep up.
I'll keep you posted.

Be well...