How Many Licks?

“How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?” 

A sketch of the boy and the owl on the inside of a Tootsie Pop wrapper. 



“Ghost Church” Temple of Santiago, Mexico

This is an incredible story of a 400-year old church that has emerged from the waters in southern Mexico due to a drought. Despite the incredible architecture and massive size, the church never fulfilled it’s original intent to stand as a populated center for gathering in Chiapas. But the church has stood the test of time, and the test of the flowing waters for hundreds of years. This story is captivating to me, the church may not have received much popularity when it was built in the 1500s, but now it has made it’s way to the top of the news reports as the “Ghost Church” that “emerges eerily from the water.” What an absolutely incredible story about architecture and the history it holds and the story it continues to write throughout time.

I chose to sketch the “Ghost Church” because the story fascinated me so much I wanted to learn more about the building. For me, hand drawing is the best means of observation and the best way to appreciate the story and the architecture.

Ghost Church Sketch

I’m Late, I’m Late, I’m Late

The White Rabbit is know for his race against the clock. Thus, I combined this sketch with an image overlay of my hand sketching the drawing at various moments. I wanted to try a new means of representation; sketching is beautiful in its purest form but it can also be enhanced by combining it with other art forms. I wanted to explore this and try something new. The white rabbit is representative of time, and so is the composition of this final piece.


Time White Rabbit

A Castle Built for a Princess

I chose the sketch three Disney Castles; Prince Eric’s Castle from The Little Mermaid, the Sultan’s Palace from Aladdin, and Prince Ferdinand’s Castle in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Sketching not only tells a story but reveals one…

The beauty in each of these castles is far greater than their architecture alone. Each castle speaks to the princess it represents, via character ornamentation and grandeur. Beautiful! So the style is indicative of the princess and also the time in which the movie was filmed. And that is why I love viewing these three sketches together as a whole. From an animation standpoint, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first animated feature produced by Disney. It is evident how the evolution in animation has enhanced the level of detail found in these castles. Aladdin and The Little Mermaid were released in the 90s, and it is apparent that, along with the movies as a whole, the Castles have become more detailed in their design. 

I love sketching these three castles, to represent their respective princesses and the time of animation. 


McGuffy Art Center – Art Installation

I had the pleasure and great fortune to have been asked to collaborate on an art piece that was to be on display in the Charlottesville McGuffy Art Center. The purpose of this piece was to encourage collaboration among artists/community members and illustrate what beauty can come of such collaboration.
I was the fourth out of the five artists to receive the piece. Each artist was given one simple instruction; add a “layer” to the piece…thus the possibilities were endless. I was extremely excited to start!
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The essence of layering is known as “a single thickness of material covering a surface or forming an overlaying part.” When the piece fell into my hands, it had already undergone many iterations of layering ON the piece. It was a beautiful piece. I was wondering how I could contribute another “layer” that could capture the essence of the overall theme, collaboration, and also be unique to my hand. I inquired and discovered that the final layer was to be the overlaying of a poem, and the theme of that poem was water. Thus, I knew my layer was to connect the current pictorial state of the piece to the final theme of the poem in one fluid motion. Instead of adding another layer ON the piece, I wanted to manipulate the piece itself; do something TO the piece. Thus, redefining the definition of layer and connecting the visual image of the painted water to the theme of Most’s poem, water. I molded the piece to reflect the fluidity of a wave rolling and settling upon the water.
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I used a copper metal sheet as my mold, it was easily manipulated but strong enough to hold its form. Then I made a glue-water mixture to, in essence, “paper-mache” the piece into a new form. I started by testing mini models to make sure my glue-water mixture was the proper consistency, and to verify that it would not stick to the copper after it dried. The process took roughly 15 minutes to apply the glue-mixture and mold to the copper, and I let it dry for 36 hours. The piece was thick paper/canvas, thus I needed to heavily apply the mixture in order for it to mold smoothly and not bend. After drying, the piece easily slipped off the mold, leaving another art form as the “waste.”
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Layering is a progressive action that builds off the former, making it so no layer can stand alone in isolation and hold the same thematic expression. Each layer is stronger together as a whole. Through the collaboration of the layers (performed through the hands of the artists), the piece becomes stronger and stronger and develops its own language. The theme of this piece has evolved in alignment with the piece’s visual and physical evolution. It began with the purpose of showing collaboration, then it evolved to a piece representing artistic layers, then upon completion, water reads as the theme.
What amazing possibilities can result from collaboration!
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Thank you to Clint Lees and Matt Gordon for all the work they have done in their architectural exhibit in the McGuffy Art Center. And special thanks to them for asking all the artists, Scott Smith, Mac Morecock, Laura Lee, John Most and myself, to participate in this incredible collaborative art piece.

Winnie the Pooh. And some Honey too. 

This is a canvas painting I did with acrylics. The process was simple. First, I looked for a quote by Winnie the Pooh that I though was indicative to his loveable character, because I wanted to make this painting for my roommate who loves Winnie the Pooh and has been a good friend. I then sketched Winnie the Pooh and his honey pot on the canvas, and then began painting! The sketch took me roughly 20 minutes and the painting took 2 hours. All of the painting was done with a small brush (you can easily find at a craft store) and the fine lines and text were done with a toothpick. 

And the huggable loveable Pooh Bear was complete. 


Meet Me In St. Louis

Symmetry. Not what it seems. 

Today I’m in St. Louis and wanted to visit Washington University. I’ve seen pictures of the campus on the internet, but wanted to catch a glimpse for myself…the architecture is absolutely beautiful. I had to sit down and whip out a piece of paper to sketch. Again, all I had with me was a hotel pen and scrap paper.

I had 20 minutes before I had to leave, so I sat on bench and gazed upon Brookings Hall. A reason I love sketching and stand behind it’s analytics value, is because the hand can catch what the eye overlooks. I spent the first few minutes looking upon Brookings Hall and snapping some photos for my personal keepsakes, and I still overlooked some details that I did not notice until I started sketching. And my sketch shows this eye-error and sketch-discovery. Makes me question, how much of a site do we intake/observe by just looking and taking pictures?

At a glance, the entire building looks symmetrical. So as I sketched, I assumed the building was symmetrical, but there is one window out of place. I assumed what my eye did not see and sketched the tower windows to be symmetrical, but the left tower’s middle row of windows is asymmetrical to the right tower. So as you can see in my sketch, the left tower has two windows in the middle row; showing the error window and the window that is to be true. I’m happy I came across this mistake and glad the discovery is illustrated in my sketch, because it further taught me the relationship between the hand and the eye. Sketching can be so valuable to studying a building and the beauty. To me, the break in symmetry adds a beautiful element, that I am pleased to have discovered.