Sketchy Business

I hate to put up a new post and send my Thesis work to the bottom of the page, but its time to move on…

Contrary to popular belief, the weeks following one’s thesis exhibition are anything but calm and relaxing. Granted it is vastly different than the long days at the studio that I have grown accustomed to, but I don’t really feel as though I am in some magical land of relief and relaxation. Honestly, I don’t really think I would like that. who does?

Anyway, since my big show I have been busy applying to things, installing shows, organizing other upcoming shows, working on my images and CV, and working on maintaining communications and connections that were left by the wayside in the time leading up to the show. It does seem to be paying off however so perhaps this time spent in front of my computer as opposed to my bench is not time wasted.

The first event I participated in following the thesis was an outdoor exhibition in the Cuyamaca Water Conservation Garden. This was an interesting event to be a part of and the work is on display there until next November. Each artist was asked to create a piece that dealt  with the idea of water conservation an select a spot within the garden that best suited the work. The end result, much like my thesis show, was a walking tour complete with map and stars, that guided viewers through the garden and deposited them at each piece. The piece I installed had been in my show the week before, and I modified it to operate on solar power so that it drips when the sun is shining…

Leaky Faucets Sound Like Leaky Faucets (installation view)

Leaky Faucets Sound Like Leaky Faucets (installation view)

So, With that out of the way (there are still in fact a series of events for it over the summer but the main event is complete) it is on to the next task…

yesterday, With Andy Hunter’s help, I installed two more of the thesis pieces at the La Jolla Athenaeum. They are having a small student show (alongside David Fobes’ fantastic show in the main gallery) for the Art Council Scholarship winners and Marrissa Schienfeld and Rizzhel Javier are included in it as well. For this show I installed this piece…

A New View

A New View (detail)

as well as this one, shown in place on the front Patio of the Athenaeum…
Rocking Chamber with Athenaeum employees lining up to try it

And of course, here we are loading up to bring this junk up to La Jolla…

what the hell is that thing?


In other (somewhat more interesting) news, I was recently contacted by a representative of the “214a” gallery, which is a new exhibition space operated by National University, asking if I was interested in being a part of an upcoming exhibition featuring 20 artists from New York, and 20 from San Diego. Now, this is not the type of show that I am normally in. This is a show called Spiral Bound, and is a showing (through varying methods) of these artists sketchbooks, notebooks, and sketchy type things, as an attempt to give a glimpse into the artistic process of this diverse group. As many of you may know, I don’t and never have, called myself a drawer. However, this opportunity piqued my interest so I went to the sketchbooks and started thumbing through and came to a kind of epiphany about sketching/drawing and my own process. While I work primarily in 3d, I have never really though about the importance in my practice of my sketchbooks. As I began to work more and more intuitively, my (very) rough sketches have become the last step (unless a model is required) before beginning construction, and as I look back through them, I find that I really like them. Part of my attraction to them is that they are interspersed with names, numbers, indecipherable technical drawings, and reminders that I jotted down while on that page. There is a real insight in those things into an artist’s process and mindset.

Also, at a certain point I bought a little watercolor notebook and started drawing re-imaginings of work that I had made in varying situations. These are slightly more detailed and more whimsical but similarly representative of the way in which my ideas come to exist. here is a sampling of my sketches and drawings from the notebooks that I will be sending to this show. Oh, and most importantly, I was really excited to read down through the list of artists and find that Alan Wexler will be included amongst the New York Artists. I love his work, and after our workshop with him about a year ago, have a great deal of respect for both him and his wife Ellen…

"High Water" initial sketch

first "Tallships" sketch

nonsense techincal drawing and scribbling for "1.5 million homes"

1.5 million homes sketch

something silly I drew during a lecture

another "Tallships" sketch

sketch for "Lifeguard Dining Station" (never built)

sketch and some kind of parts list for storm drain intervention

"Capped Spiral" initial sketch

"At Home in the Trees" sketch

Oar Bundle sketch

"Outside" inital sketch

Water Tower Collapse studies

slumped tower sketch

Now, my current favorites are these watercolors that I have been doing after I have already worked through an idea as a physical piece. Be gentle with me, I have never painted really in my life, but these are a lot of fun. they allow me to see what else an idea can manifest itself as…

swimmingpool closeup

sawhorse: city by the pool

the first of these. Capped spiral study

powerlines and a hosue

my very favorite one. diving board rooftop

These sketches come from my last three years of sketchbooks. they look something like this

Anyway, it may seem obvious, but I think its fun to get a glimpse of how my large 3d works start as these sketches. I find that I have almost no drawings that haven’t evolved into pieces.  This is either bad or good, I can’t tell. Maybe it means I should be sketching much more and being more selective or maybe it means I just don’t sketch much. Either way, I am suddenly really excited about this strange show and how it has helped me to think about my own artistic practice.

Also, here is my hand stuck into what will surely become many people’s dinner. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.

With the end of the world so close at hand, we must not pass up these opportunities for minor pleasures.


Filed under documenting, shameless promotion, thesis and shows, whats new/whats happening

2 responses to “Sketchy Business

  1. Reuben

    Congrats on all the shows! I love your sketches, inspirational really. Where’s the “things that suck” section? Best of luck to you in your next evolution.

    • adamjohnmanley

      I guess my pessimism levels are dipping dangerously low, but I just couldn’t think of anything snarky enough to belittle for that post. Maybe I’m slipping.

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