Mark Making

What's Lost & Gained in Translation

I want to share a bit about a new painting and screen print collection I've been working on. The idea behind the project was to alter the perception of simple marks - ballpoint pen on paper. In changing their scale, medium, and composition I thought I could celebrate the marks, and draw attention to their idiosyncrasies which I found quite captivating. The work starts with ballpoint pen doodles on paper, which are enlarged and translated into a more elaborate presentation of layered paint and silkscreening, giving the trivial marks a sense of substance while turning what was a concrete mark into something less identifiable or slightly abstract.

I've always been interested in mark making - I love the details, the motion, the impact that can be imagined looking at a clean line, or a messy scribble, or a heavy dot. By examining marks in detail you can eventually find the simple within the complex and complex within the simple. A doodle, sketch, or a fluid line, once examined, might become less perfect as it’s flaws and intricacies become clear. Look even closer, and it's no longer recognizable as a doodle. Mark making is also the most fundamental component of any art making both physically and conceptually.

In some of these pieces the marks are not be identifiable as pen on paper; one might look like a doily or pieces of yarn criss-crossing a color-field. In others I use the original mark as a template, which is repeated and altered - creating new shapes and compositions. I think that what is retained from the original is the connectivity, the act of tracing a line through an intertwining web, and losing that line when it overlaps or intersects another. It’s a way to examine the edges, and the losses and gains inherent in the complexity of interaction.