Sunday, November 30, 2008

Revisiting Kings Court Cube -

"One View From the Cube"
manipulated digital video still by Mick Mather
Sorry to post and run but I have an entire day of absolutely nothing planned. On my way to the sofa and front room windows I will say that this post is a manipulated still from the short video I posted of the Kings Court Cube at No Matter What Shape - The Archive almost two months ago.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

New from Janus Park Walk

"North Pond II"
manipulated digital image by Mick Mather
While I was working on this piece the day before yesterday a few things in regard to that Walking Art Project were beginning to solidify. At least in terms of documenting the event in preparation for making proposals for an exhibition. While the photographic record of that walk is minimal the possibility for artistic documentations is not. In addition to my busy schedule, my commission and installation for the upcoming Everson Unwrapped event along with the madness of the holidays, work on this project is moving full steam ahead.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Illustration Friday: Balloon -

"Balloon II"
digitally manipulated tempera-on-paper painting by Mick Mather
This week, Illustration Friday offers the theme of balloon. Since I'm on vacation and trying to get back to my Sherlock Holmes stories, I've cheated just a little bit. If this looks familiar, perhaps some will remember this image from The Toys Series that was posted back in May if my reckoning is right. I used an alternate version, recolored it and put it here for all to see. Now, where was I? Oh yes, in the words of Mr. Holmes, "Come, Watson, Come! The game is afoot."

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday Challenge: Soft -

manipulated digital photograph by Mick Mather
Like many of you, I'm with family and friends giving thanks for all that we have. Before I dig into another helping of stuffing I offer this week's Thursday Challenge for the theme of soft. This red winged blackbird is keeping himself busy defining and defending his territory amid fluffs of foxtail and cat-o-nine seed, awaiting the freedom of spring winds that will carry them forth. This hails from a small group of photographs that document the Janus Park Walk. I'll show more of these soon but for now: H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G ! ! !

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'Cause we're goin' out tonight -

"Put on Your Red Dress, Baby"
digital collage by Mick Mather
I'm still reminiscing and reviewing old files. Today's post was among them and, although not used at the time, deserving of another run through the super secret array in the Secret Visual Laboratory. That said, this is the eve of a traditional holiday, Thanksgiving, and I expect the jazz bars will be jumping ... see you down at the shake shack, yes?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The remedialist -

"Girl at A Reflecting Pool"
digital collage by Mick Mather
I went a long way back through the files the other day and was surprised by the vast changes in what I consider my professional work. Without getting long winded in that regard, let me just say that while the tools at hand and styles change, the working method is about the same. Getting back to old skool techniques is a comfort and when the results are as satisfying as it happens to be for me in today's post, it's pure joy.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

NEW from Fog Walk 2008 -

"A Walk in the Fog II"
manipulated digital photograph by Mick Mather
Here's another piece from the new series that I talked about last week. Pulling these together and manipulating them until they appear as drawings is still the goal and I'm finding the process enjoyable and relaxing. Something I sorely need to do as projects at work continue to demand more of my time as things wind down before the holidays. No sooner said than I'm off to a meeting!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Work, work, work -

"Sister Kate at the Wheel of Fortune"
digital collage by Mick Mather
Yesterday I spent a half day at The Everson Museum assembling my stacked glass tree. It took 2 hours to get the work area set-up and to develop a working rhythm. It took two more hours to get the tree a mere 9" high. I need to go in earlier and stay later if I'm going to finish it. At some point I'm also going to have to worry about how to keep it together for a move to storage until I can actually install it. Cross your fingers - yes, just like Sister Kate here who's just spun the wheel! :)

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

What station is this?

"Study for A Stained Glass Window"
manipulated digital painting by Mick Mather
I was playing with a new widget last week and some interesting things began to happen after running the initial painting through the usual array at the Secret Visual Laboratory. For instance, this reminds me of some Church windows that depict the Stations of the Cross. I suppose this post is fitting since I'll be working with bits and pieces of glass for the next two days ... and, he's off!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Illustration Friday: Opinion -

digital collage by Mick Mather
The theme is opinion at Illustration Friday this week. I suppose almost anything will work and since I'm hard pressed with time for the next several days, here's my anything. Gotta run, I have a holiday tree to build from bits and pieces of "found" glass.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Challenge: Hobbies -

"The Giant Pinwheel"
digitally manipulated satellite photo by Mick Mather
We have hobbies as the theme at Thursday Challenge this week. For as long as I can remember maps have been one of my keen interests and I've spent countless hours pouring over them. I suppose that qualifies as a hobby alright, especially considering the fact that I still spend hours of time that I don't really have looking at maps of all sorts, making maps of my own and incorporating maps into my work from time to time. Here, for example, I added a pinwheel to an aerial view of an art park in Norway as part of my proposal for a kinetic sculpture that would surely have been an imposing sight on the grounds as well as a functional generator of electricity. Anyway, maps. That's my hobby.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Clearly vague -

"Last Wooden Nickel"
digital collage by Mick Mather
This particular piece was, in fits and starts, clear then vague and back again. I decided I'd better give it a title during one of the moments of clarity and here you have it. Forgive me for posting and rushing off but my batteries need a serious recharging!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A new digital drawing -

"Accordion Fold"
manipulated digital drawing by Mick Mather
I've had somewhat of a grueling schedule for the past few weeks and today I really needed to relax, play around and have some fun. There seems to be quite a number of digital drawings as I scan back over this year of posts and I started to wonder if there's another series among them. Then I realized, hey, the exercise here is to stop thinking! Have some more fun! Okay!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Where do I go from here?

"A Walk in the Fog I"
manipulated digital photograph by Mick Mather
As I continue to make forays into the BIG backyard, I seem to be getting closer to organizing my land art projects. Too, my further research and study of the works of Richard Long and Hamish Fulton inspire me as I also begin to embark upon my own program of "Walking Art". Everything seems to be taking shape and it feels right. For the moment, some of the documentary photographs taken one foggy day after completing the Kings Court Cube will become part of that old project under the title "Fog Walk 2008". Today's post is the first to be included in my plans for a proper exhibition ... one foot after the other.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

NEW from The Trinity Series -

"Trinity #15 - Milton Avenue Readymade, Post Documentation Study I"
manipulated digital photograph by Mick Mather
On my way to work every morning I drive by a pair of businesses that share a parking lot. Along one perimeter of a no man's land separating the two, is a series of metal posts wrapped with orange, construction barrier fencing. After a few weeks it began to register that these might be a candidate for The Trinity Series. Soon after the realization I stopped to take a few photographs - see the original here at No Matter What Shape - The Archive - and while doing so was quite taken with the conceptual idea of the readymade art object popularized by Marcel Duchamp. Even though the idea seems a simple one, I discovered that it's not as easy as it sounds. In any case, there are likely to be a few more post-documentation studies to come.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Commission accomplished -

"Through the Looking Glass"
digitally manipulated drawing, post proposal study by Mick Mather
My proposal for a conceptual art piece to be displayed in the Everson Unwrapped event at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York made the final cut this week and I'll soon be busy creating two trees, if possible. I thought you all might be interested to see how that part of the process is accomplished and below is the actual proposal submitted:

  • stacked sheets of found glass in the shape of half a tree
  • installed against a mirror so the whole tree is revealed as a reflection of itself
  • a round hollow feature midway between bottom and top is the single ornament composed of empty space
  • when you bend to look into the ornament, you see your own reflection (the viewer is now the ornament)
A rough sketch was added, a nod to Lewis Carroll for the title and, voila! Another proposal completed and submitted.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Illustration Friday: Pretend -

digital collage by Mick Mather
- submitted to Espresso Stories -
" scores of men before him, he pretended that his affections were not imprisoned by the bawds and cheats beyond that dark postern..."

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Challenge: Sound -

"We Buy and Sell"
digital photograph by Mick Mather
The weekly theme at Thursday Challenge is sound. We have a fine, local business that does electronics repair as well as sales of used disks, all of which fit this challenge quite nicely I think. I can almost hear the bells and whistles, the jump cut segues and the mash-up cacophonies as I type this. Now, I'm off to another long day at the office ... I wonder which little ditty will serve as the soundtrack for the next 12 hours!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stroll through the enchanted wood -

"The Wood Nymph"
digital collage by Mick Mather
As I continue to collect my thoughts and to organize a working plan for this new direction my work is taking, I'm finding a renewed interest in some old works. Today's post, for example, has been laying around for months, waiting for this new perspective. It now seems to fit in quite nicely where this new thinking is taking me.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Walking the far away hills -

"The Mountain Climber"
manipulated digital drawing by Mick Mather
There are any number of things that could be counted as influences for this post given the path I've been on lately. The work you see here was created in mid-July, a portentous prelude to the hike so beautifully documented at the end of July in this set of photographs by blogging pal Shani Thomas. It's a little bit spooky, but I firmly believe these are the real inspiration, unknown to me until, well, today if you must hear it! So, how does such a thing as an inspirational prequel work? Time travel. It has to be time travel ... has anyone else out there experienced one of those strangely baffling missing time events lately? :O

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Visual memory -

"A Straight Line Forced Upon Topography"
manipulated digital drawing by Mick Mather
I continue mining the same vein introduced here a few days back. As the middle of the autumnal season urges me to more comfortable, indoor pursuits, practicing what I preach becomes a bit difficult from time to time. Even so, I have been out walking and observing. It's also time to take some of the visual data and the conceptual imagery derived from my researches into works that I can take my time with when the weather turns really nasty! I've been thinking a lot about Richard Long and this image is a nod to his incredible mind which continues to point the way for so many of us.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Taking back the landscape -

"Rejection of Perspective"
digital collage by Mick Mather
One of the difficulties artists have when attempting to represent the real world is an understanding of perspective, regardless of the ism one may be working in. Particularly, the landscape artists of the Romantic Age well understood that using perspective was necessary even as they also understood that it was an imperfect method for the draftsman. I suppose the dichotomy of vision, as we observe the world, and the tools we must use to represent it, will always be at odds. Even so, make more time for walking and looking is the message here.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Stretching the limits?

"Disappearing Into A Gridded Landscape"
digital collage by Mick Mather
Today's post is tied to some of the research I've been doing for months and, more specifically, this past week at the blog, Walking Art. The land art movement, with roots all the way back to the 1960's, is exploding as social issues such as sustainability, recycling, the environment, rural and urban planning begin to settle out from the radical activist fringe. Grass-roots organizing on the local level is slowly replacing the hippy dippy junk-science-based paradigm with better informed models, experiments and projects that place all of these important issues back within the realm of good stewardship, where they belong. The better news here is that individual ideas of art, public art and land use interpretation is shattering the elitist viewpoint and returning art to the masses. At the same time, the individual is empowered to redefine certain forms of conceptual art for himself by simply taking a walk. With digital cameras, video and other emerging technologies new methods of creating and documenting en plein air art are added to traditional forms of painting, drawing or sculpture. There's much more to say but, not having the room in this forum, I'll do what I can to reveal those areas where I'm in concert with some of the new directions and movements that I'm beginning to see.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Illustration Friday: Wise -

"Selfportrait of the Artist as a Wise Guy"
digital collage by Mick Mather
I have to admit that I had my hands full to remain patient with this week's Illustration Friday theme, wise. I took almost twice as long as usual to pick something that, no pun intended, suited me and I'm glad I did. It's been a little while since I've added anything to The Selfportrait Series and I was delighted when this came to mind ... do understand, however, I'm easily entertained! Well, I'm off to an exhibition opening, must dash!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday Challenge: Thankful -

"A Sky as Blue as This"
digital photograph by Mick Mather
Thankful is the theme at Thursday Challenge this week and a recent outing to Pumpkin Hollow was surely that. Basically, this wonderful place is a large tract of farmland containing pumpkin patches separated by sunflowers along with traditional harvest time, family-friendly activities for young and old. A hayride, cornbox (think sandbox filled with hardened niblets of corn), deep-fried apple fritters, crafts and a corn maze. As can be seen by today's post, one of the things that I'm always thankful for is a sky as blue as this!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Drawing With Leighlund Series -

"Toe Shoes"
digitally manipulated drawing by Mick Mather
- original drawing by Leighlund Ruth Vincett -

I've done quite a few of these, an even 10 to be precise, and wonder why it's taken until now to call it a series. If I get ambitious, I may go back through and re-tag everything so that a search will bring all of them up. That aside, I don't suppose it will be much longer until she begins to take ballet lessons and it was quite a surprise to find this pair of toe shoes while working on the original scribble ... and, plié - plié - plié!

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Weather report -

"A Darkening Storm"
digital collage by Mick Mather
As the days grow shorter and the weather more changeable it seems like a dark, moody image might be in order. Since it appears that The Finnish Sisters have turned a bit moody too, I'm afraid to say that today's post may not brighten anyone's spirits. Be that as it may, we'll just have to wait and see. :)

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Green Spaces Grant Project 2008 -

"Post Installation Study I"
manipulated digital photograph by Mick Mather
I spent part of my weekend finishing up the installation of Trinity #2 which, in spite of the weather and other considerations, is currently in place and doing well. The piece as it now stands is a living topiary sculpture that is completely in tune with the intent of this grant and I'm finally able to say that it's an idea that should've been more prominent in my thinking from the beginning. I would've posted the original photograph of the piece but planting arbor vitae bushes this late in the season allows no opportunity for the sort of pruning that my collaborator, Mark Moncavage, and I will do in mid-Spring of 2009. Once the piece has taken firm root and grows a few feet, the shaping will begin and I promise to show those results in about 6 months.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

A familiar refrain -

"Lookin' Out My Back Door"
digital collage by Mick Mather
I don't suppose the lyrics to the Creedence Clearwater Revival song that I borrowed for the title of today's post are very revealing as regards the author's troubles in Illinois. I have my own ideas about it but, like the song, other sentiments assign simple pleasures to the safety and comfort of home, looking out the back door and surveying ones domain. Having had a bit of a long week with many more hours away from home than I really wanted, this concept sits quite right with me today. Well, I have a lot more idle looking to do, we'll chat later.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Off site, On site -

"Visit to the Unfinished Cathedral"
digital collage by Mick Mather
I'm not here today and this post is an old image that I was having some fun fiddling with. In actuality I'm at Syracuse Inner Harbor finishing up the "Green Spaces Grant" with the installation of "Trinity #2" which has become a topiary sculpture more in line with the concept of the grant in the first place. Documentary evidence will be posted at No Matter What Shape - The Archive once things are completed, tidied up and whupped into basic shape.

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