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Shepherd with Violin       1986                 

   36" x 25"        watercolor & pastel on gold mat board

Notice the pressure of the tilted up planes.



Artist in Landscape Diagram Flat Large.j

Schematic of Artist in a Landscape

This piece started out as a composition of abstract geometric shapes and planes. Then I kept arranging and modifying their size, angle, and shape to create dynamic interactions of their energy with a focus on their force or pressure.

Artist in a Landscape       1990

19" x 25" conte on paper

Once the interactions of the different geometric shapes and planes were developed to their fullest potential, they were then cloaked in the image of rocks, land, and an artist  wearing a hat, drawing in a landscape.

The interplay of the forces between different objects creates relationships that can be felt as their attraction, repulsion, resistance, harmony, etc. Whenever we design a landscape, a building; or create a painting composition,  interior design, or a flower arrangement, etc. we are consciously or unconsciously making decisions that are taking into consideration the interactions of the force of objects.






Exercise 2: To illustrate this we will do another simple exercise. To begin, pick two objects; their material does not matter. The relationships between simpler forms may be initially easier to perceive. Begin by placing the objects side by side, and then slowly start moving them further apart and at various angles to each other. Notice any changes in the sensations you feel from them. Once you have completed the exercise, try it again, replacing the objects with new ones, but this time become quieter inside and more alert, perceiving the interaction of forces on an even deeper level. These relationships are very dynamic and alive.








The next time you are moving through nature or a city environment pay attention to the force of objects and their interaction with each other. It is an interesting way to stay present and open a door into the richness of the moment. It is also helping you to go deeper into more subtle forms of perception with an increased level of sensitivity.


Our perceptions can also oscillate quite rapidly back and forth between sensing an object's over-all force to perceiving its emanations. The impression of an object is most frequently the blending of these two forms of perception.
























(A) Drawing straight on, with no distortion

Drawing Pitcher.jpg

The red outline represents the initial straight head-on line drawing (A). After drawing the pitcher in more detail, I then moved a little to the right, revealing more of its side and adding it to the initial drawing. Then moving to the left a touch, that part of the pitcher was rendered. Finally, rising up slightly, revealing the opening of the pitcher, that then was also added to the drawing.


Notice the distortions of the planes and how it seems to flatten it out, creating an increase in the sensation of its force pressing on the viewer and a sense of monumentality. The pitcher exists more dynamically on the page than the initial one (red line), matching more closely how it felt. This same principle of intentional distortion can be applied to any object.




Antonio       1991        24" x 15"      graphite & white pastel

186 John Flat Large.jpg





The size and angles of the different planes of the heads and the body in the following drawings have been modified to recreate the sensation of how the pressure from all the planes felt while sitting near the model. 


Though someone looking at the drawing is usually not conscious of these distortions, the manipulations of planes will create definite effects as the viewer looks on the drawing. Can you notice any of the distortions? They are purposely well disguised though they are, in some cases, very exaggerated.

165 Study for The Gift Full Screen 72ppi

John       1994        24" x 20"      charcoal & white pastel

Study for Painting “Grace”      1998       

28" x 20"      Pastel & charcoal

Michael       1998       14" x 8.5"      graphite & white pastel

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