A few new cartoons

I feel about as comfortable calling myself a cartoonist as I do calling myself an illustrator (that is to say, not at all) but I've been trying to get better about scribbling down my ideas before they get pushed aside by other art. Here are a few, plus some accompanying sketches those fans of showing your work: My museum map... MuseumComicWeb

...which was born from this doodle. (In case you are wondering, my Sacred Childhood Painting is Watson and the Shark, at the National Gallery. Now of course, I can't look at it without wondering why the shark decided to only eat Watson's clothing while leaving the rest of his body intact.): MuseumSketchesWeb

My cartoon, 'Crossroads' CrossroadWeb

...and here is the original doodle in my sketchbook. photo 2

And finally: "These Things Are Not Allowed." NotAllowedWeb2

Original page (you will find a few items that did not make final cut): photo 1

I was debating typing this versus writing it by hand, but finally decided the handwriting was more appropriate for the notes-you-tell-yourself feel I was going for.

Anyhow, some or all of these may be published in the next Mutant by the comic book shop Atomic Books, which is still my favorite reason to visit Baltimore. The anthology will be free with a purchase, so if you need recommendations of comics to buy, I am always happy to oblige.

Study in contrasts

I don't normally discuss my drawing process -- mostly because it's actually one of the least interesting aspects about my art-making, or at least so mysterious that I don't have much to say about it -- but here's a small tidbit for you. The drawing on the right was started in September, forgotten about, revisted in earnest this winter, and subsequently overworked within an inch of its life. The drawing on the left is the do-over, currently unfinished, but one I am feeling much better about.

In other website news, I updated my about page, for those of you who might care about such things. Includes a handy guide of my default imagery.

"The Unsuccessful Artists' Handbook"

Last week I discovered that I was awarded an Artist Fellowship Grant from DCAH, which (now semi-ironically) I will be using to produce a book of drawings and writing titled, "The Unsuccessful Artists' Handbook." This is partially inspired by the ceaseless supply of horrible instruction guides regarding how to be an artist, which I always pick up hopefully and then put down again in disgust--mostly with myself, for continuing to fall for it--when I see they all say the exact same thing. Please note that this will not be an actual handbook. But for that, consider yourselves lucky.

Work in progress for Aviation Meets Art

Next on the pipeline is a show at the College Park Aviation Museum, which opens November 9. Even if you can't make it to the opening, I'd highly recommend checking out the museum at some point if you're in the DC area. It's a quirky little museum with beautiful lighting and all sorts of fascinating flying relics.

Sketchbook Update

I am constantly impressed by artists whose sketchbooks don't look at though their brain barfed all over their Moleskine pages. I just got a new one--keeping track of coasters and bits of Stonehedge paper was becoming too much of a hassle--and so far it's been addicting, but also very...messy. I know that's the point and all, but still I'm surprised at how often these drawings will to lead to more visual problems than they solve. Anyway, a few samples below. For inspiration I've been looking at the utterly fantastic sketchbooks of Juana Medina and Wendy MacNaughton and the folks at the Sketchnote Army to see if I can learn a thing or two.

To-do List, with apologies to Ellen Raskin

Art on the road

Crowd One - Dana Jeri MaierHere's a lesson learned this holiday season--tedious travel delays are quite handy for producing drawings in bulk. A cancelled flight to England, long lines, a bus ride, airport waiting lounges, more long lines all resulted in about fifty new coaster images. Clearly there’s a lot to be said for art that’s portable, especially when it comes to international travel. Once I arrived in England (I was having a British-style Christmas, which I’m happy to report, wound up being every bit as magical as it sounds) I didn’t have long uninterrupted blocks of time to work, though I managed to get a few drawings in of the Saint Paul’s Cathedral and crowds in pubs, and some castle-esque structures in Cambridge. Plus I got a chance to bop around some galleries in Mayfair, the highlight being Chris Beetles Art Crowd Two - Dana Jeri MaierCrowd Three - Dana Jeri Maierwhich specializes in illustration (including Arthur Rackham(!), and a whole room of Quentin Blake watercolors).  It was salon-style, four rooms and two floors, with books and loose artworks scattered around--messy, but in a charming way, and an excellent contrast to the sterile White Cube.

And now, it's DC and real life again, which means that art-making is no longer filling up dead time, but being done at the expense of other activities. No bad thing there, I guess.

Drawing as autobiography

t3_webt2_webt1_web New images from The Thinking Series.*

*Places where I worked on these 5x7'' drawings include: the dining tables at the Hirshorn courtyard next to the fountain (perfect weather, last week of the Yves Klein exhibit); Rehoboth Beach, the weekend before Labor Day; a mildly depressing artists talk that further convinced me that the art world is, at heart, a numbers and marketing game; and a wine bar at the W. Hotel, for some reason.

Musician Series - Part One

I have stumbled upon a wonderful gimmick with this series, and I'm going to push it as far as possible. The Flute - Dana Jeri MaierThe Cello - Dana Jeri Maier

I should mention that I worked on these in various new spots around DC, many of which were lovely. I went to the French joint Bistro Bistro in Dupont Circle to drink a $2.50 glass of wine during the tail end of their happy hour. After half an hour, the bartender poured me a second glass for free. You seem to be enjoying our characters, she told me, since I'd been in close proximity to one of their odder old regulars who seemed to be a bit on the colorful side. Anyway, I hope I can go back there soon and get a proper meal.

Applications galore

I heard it's considered bad form to write about all the things you're applying to because then you're stuck blogging with your tail between your legs when you don't get accepted; but God-dammit, I spent the last two weeks working on a grant and a show application, and I want to kvetch about how exhausting it was.  And there's another deadline July 23! Good God. On the plus side, I've always been the sort of person who likes carry all of the groceries to the door at once, rather than break it up into shorter, lighter trips. Might as well cram all of the Artist Statements / Proposals / JPEG burning into a reduced timeframe, and then get on with the real art-making.Maier.Dana.7.CoversationsSeries2 On the plus side, I found time to start the Conversation Series (pictured), which I've been mulling over for awhile. And it looks better than how I imagined it would. I worked on the first batch on a pleasant Sunday afternoon in the Portrait Gallery atrium, listening to Harry Potter and two tourists discussing the atrocious cost of their cafe brownie. I'd say, "good times" but honestly, that doesn't even begin to describe how glorious an afternoon it was.

Art at the Convention Center

This weekend, while the city was buzzing with World Cup fever and Gay Pride, I was installing the second-largest piece of art I've ever created* at the Convention Center. A few snapshots below--higher-quality pictures coming soon. Cities of Pianos and Angels City of Pianos and Angels - Detail

*The largest piece of art was created in grad school in 2005, and involved a projector and a motion detector. In case you were curious.

New year, new drawings

Hello 2010! In honor of fresh starts and all that I have updated my drawings page and created a much more elegant image gallery. So please check it out if you want to see what I've been up to (along with my coaster series, of course, which is going nicely). The Statue - Dana MaierI forgot to mention that I saw the Tim Burton exhibition at the MoMa in New York during Christmas week. It was packed, which made it difficult to linger over his work (including the cookie-making robot from Edward Scissorhands(!) but it was certainly the most fun I'd had in a museum in awhile. The last exhibition I saw that was so squashed was Edward Hopper at the National Gallery a few years back, where I learned that it was very difficult to fully appreciate paintings depicting the day-to-day loneliness of man if you're surrounded by swarms of DC tourists. It's true what they say, kids--context is everything.

One good thing about moving

While I was cleaning out my old apartment, I found a box of high quality paper cut into squares, which lent itself nicely to a new series of drawings (most of which was done on the Metro). A few highlights below:SidewaysMessholding.jpgBrokeBirdFist