Claremont Art Show: Sunday Sept. 17th


Join me at the opening reception of the CLAREMONT ART SHOW 2017.

THE ENTRY IS FREE and all are welcome.
Light Refreshments served.

Opening Brunch Reception:
Sunday September 17 from 11am – 2pm

Laemmle’s Claremont 5
450 W 2nd Street
Claremont CA 91711

Today is the last day to vote for the People’s Choice prize (1st, 2nd & 3rd place) will be based on how many people “like” the work posted on the Facebook event page – so do me a favor and help increase my chances of winning some new art supplies by liking my work there. (I’ll make it easy and add a link to it here)

Facebook event


Eventbrite link (free)


drawing progress

John Otter drawing 2017

Another night spent working on this large drawing. The dimensions are around 26×18″ – which is the largest drawing I’ve done in years. It began with washes of watercolor. I’ve been dancing around it with pencil, gouache and ink for hours at a time over the past week or two. It’s Saturday night, the drawing and I are scheduled to have a long conversation tonight. I’ve been hesitant to dive too fully into the central area, the edges seem easier to approach. Little by little the ink and gouache are encroaching on the center – so I have the option to continue working inward, or change direction and make some bold moves in the middle. I’ll let the drawing decide.

This drawing will make it’s debut with a slew of recent (smaller) drawings at SPACE Gallery – Claremont this April.


new paper

I ordered some large paper from Blick recently, which showed up a couple days ago. I’ve been waiting to open it until I had some time to size the paper and get to work on it. I haven’t drawn on such large paper in a long time (22×30″) – it’s 140lb Fabriano watercolor paper. I felt like a kid at Christmas opening up the flat box. After soaking, stretching and drying the paper I laid down some initial watercolor washes. Now I’m just waiting for the surface to dry more thoroughly.

If I remember I’ll try to post some progress images as I work on them.

Imperfection is beauty

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.

~ Marilyn Monroe

I’ve been thinking about controlled chaos lately, or some form of struggle to control and embrace imperfection. Repeating patterns with slight variations. In my art I strive for perfection, knowing it’s unattainable. I must have certain tolerances, ranges of acceptability – if I go outside those I’m free to change course.

The other day at the start of a new drawing I thought I was a bit heavy handed with some watercolor, to lighten it up and bring it back I gessoed over it. I don’t think I have ever done that before. I’ve gessoed over paint on canvas but never over watercolor. It was quite liberating and I like the new surface.

In art school I was taught to embrace “happy accidents,” but accidents still frustrate me, even if barely perceptible. When I place a dot and it’s out of line I cringe ever so slightly on the inside. If it’s too far out of line I might consider changing directions, but usually I’ll let it slide. Stepping back, maybe blurring the eyes a bit, a tiny dot that’s slightly out of line doesn’t seem too bad.