Original Sigilcraft

When asked, I’ve been describing sigils as ‘symbols with intent’. Though certainly more complex than that, it’s a reasonable explanation in a nutshell, to those unfamiliar with their history and pervasiveness in visual culture. A logo is a sigil, a state seal is a sigil, a cattle brand, graffiti tag or maker’s mark can be a sigil. It is a crafted icon in which power has been invested toward a given outcome. For our purposes, it is a seal impressed upon an object (a personal talisman or ward) to be used as a protective shield or to manifest a desire into being. Although they can be a battery for spiritual energy, the use of a sigil does not require religious belief, it can be viewed as a psychological science.

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The Grid

Not so much a grid as a universal lattice of some kind, I’m thinking of these studies as looking more closely at all of the boxes we create for ourselves or involuntarily find ourselves within. An aerial photograph of any human settlement will reveal a pattern of change imposed upon the landscape. The same kinds of patterns are employed inside of our technologies, embedded in social structures and modes of thinking. We compartmentalize information, emotions, nature and reality inside of billions and billions of known quantities, but miss all of the spaces in between. I think there’s more out there, and I’m using these as a way of visually digesting this taxonomy of experience. 

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Path Studies

I had a dream or something about playing around with varying combinations of point, line, direction and color, over a grid, as a way of mapping the story arc of a lifetime. The rules of the drawings are inspired by algorithms used by computers to solve pathfinding problems in spatial exercises. But looking at the simplicity of the image, I’m reminded of things like sigils, hobo signs and constellations, all to do with ways of finding one’s way. These are just quick renderings in colored pencil, but I’ve a mind to try them next in watercolor or guache.

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Interview with Painter Ezra Siegel

I am not naïve, but I am self-trained. In my case, I majored in art history; I look at art all the time, everything from kid art all the way to art museums, but I am self-trained, and it makes a difference. Usually when you get an MFA, you’re being taught by people who are primarily teachers, not artists. It’s usually a much more theoretical education. I trained myself, but I did read over 300 books on how-to, not only how-to in terms of the medium, but also in terms of design, and what’s the difference between a good works of art and a bad work of art.

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