Marty Epp-Carter

A Few Thoughts...

In my art-making practice, I often set out goals or tasks for myself; especially if I am in a rut or have run out of steam in one project and need a nudge into another, new project. I re-use much of my own previous work (appropriating myself in a sort of pluralistic manifesto) to stimulate a dialogue of curiosity and discovery.  Irony and humor are important to me in my life and my work.  I am always asking myself "what happens if I try this?  or do this?" The goal is to surprise myself.  If I am not surprised, intrigued or interested then neither will be the viewer.  It takes alot for art to whisper loudly. I also struggle with periods of non-productivity, thus I have incorporated random drawing methods and chance decision making into my practice to get projects started in new and unexpected ways. One example of this is manifest in the Movement Drawings, now an ongoing project that was born of necessity, the mother of invention.

Movement Drawings, begun August 2014, car

In early August I saw in my schedule that I had agreed to accompany my husband on an all day road trip. I also saw that the deadline for an exhibit had crept up on me and I needed more work. I had sent all my most resent work to another venue, and I needed a new project fast. These drawings came out of necessity. They are records of movement, made while riding in a car, while adhering to particular goals and constraints.

Those goals are:
1. As a passenger in a moving vehicle, hold my sketchbook in my lap, hold a pen in a secure upright position with no part of the hand, wrist or arm resting on the sketchbook. This way the arm, and subsequently the pen, moves freely with any movement of the vehicle.
2. Make note of he start time and the projected end time. The duration should be one hour.
3. Starting on the far left, allow the pen to move freely without any predetermined gesture, direction or weight.
4. If at any time the pen should go off the page, place the tip anywhere on the left side of the page again and allow the vehicle's movement to move the pen again.
5. Carry on normal interaction and conversation, paying little attention to the mark making unless the pen goes off the page and needs to be repositioned.
6. The drawing is finished when at least an hour goes by or destination is reached.

The fact that these drawings might be seen as landscapes or a visual record of nature is a result of looking at them after the goals of the drawing are satisfied and the intentional addition of ink wash with light and gravity in mind.