Around the time I was wrapping up the 365 sketches project, I was already starting to think ahead about new projects. I really enjoyed using my digital drawing pad with the oil pastel setting in Corel Painter 11, and when I saw real oil pastel crayons in a store I bought one black and one white. A cheap way, I figured, to see if I would like drawing with them on actual paper. This afternoon at work I was writing condition reports on some purposefully smudgy drawings by a contemporary artist, and I remembered the oil pastels at home in a drawer. I said to a colleague, “do you think if I went home this evening and made something like this, I could call myself an outsider artist?” She replied, “You have a master’s degree in art history. I don’t think you qualify as an outsider.” So this is legit folks! Real contemporary art!
The process I used to make this abstract drawing was spontaneously creative, but drew on themes of sampling and replication in some prints I had to write about today. First I sketched an abstract shape (the base of the lamp I use to light my workspace), and then I pressed the image onto another sheet of paper to make an offset print. I touched up the original sketch with another layer of pastel, and repeated the pressing process 4 more times, juxtaposing the position of the shape and letting them overlap. Then I filled in the background around them, making it nice and smudgy. I was just about to call it quits and throw away my original, when I realized I could cut it out – or better yet tear it out – and paste it onto the surface to make the artwork a drawing, with offset drawings, and a collage. And that, my friends, is what you see here.