Friday, December 12, 2014

42 plus or minus 10 years

so, it's been ten years that i've been counting backwards on birthdays. at 32 (again), i'm convinced my plan is working! i'm lucky to be a happy and healthy person and hope it continues that way for some time. 
i realize that the past month or so has been too busy. so many projects coming to a head at the same time. where it's affected me the most is in not feeling like i have the time to ride my bike. this sucks in so many ways! and i've been unable to get to work in my studio for several weeks now, too.
but tonight, i decided to be nice to myself and ride in to work. so glad i did! i need to try to be less of a control freak and seek assistance where i can. i think this would help me free up time and get my  schedule back to where i want it.
so to wrap up what i've been up to recently since the end of exquisite abnormalities on november 23, we finished up artroulette with the raffle drawing on november 28 - lots of fun with Harry Kollatz being nutty - then the opening reception for the members' biennial, artroulette take down, and contacting and distributing work to the winners, patching the hallways, planning gov. board and members meetings for artspace, setting up holiday party, finalizing annual fund raising letter for artspace and getting it in the mail. 
the indiegogo campaign for the doodlists did really great, just under $1500 for the exhibition. i've been working on getting the perks printed and now that they have arrived, i need to pack them up and distribute them. i already did a day-long demonstration of elaborate doodles at liberty high in bealton, va. thanks to buddy terrell for recommending me to gary colson. he was great to work with and i found out that he knows the paget brothers, ben and charlie!
i still have to finish up a proposal i've been working on with tara morand, update and print the members handbook for artspace and create a FAQ for our gallery sitters. then, maybe i will have time to create some more pieces for the doodlists show opening april 24, 2015! 
it seems like too much stuff to handle, but somehow i know that work will expand or contract to fill the time i have to do it in. i think i'm afraid to be bored for too long. but it's been so long since that has occurred, i can't even remember what it feels like.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Doodle or Die!

What a busy Summer and Fall! I am still in the middle of a bunch of projects, but things are progressing. artroulette collaborations have been on display in the Plant Zero Project Space Hallway Galleries since the opening on October 24th. Things went smoother than I expected. Most of the artists seemed to enjoy themselves and all the teams created something wonderful!

The raffle drawing will be held on Friday, November 28 starting at 6pm. Harry Kollatz Jr. is hosting the event. Kollatz will select 25 raffle tickets and assist in the spinning of the wheel of fortune to determine which collaborative artwork has been won.

Check out the webpage for images of all the pieces that were created:

Team 18. Michael A. Pierce, Paul Teeples, Keithley Pierce, Heidi Rugg

Opening the same night, "Exquisite Abnormalities" was wonderfully attended. I sold "Desirable Catch" to Jennifer Kirby of Crossroads Art Center. She said it reminded her of being in Greece. Thanks, Jenni! I'm looking forward to our artist talk on November 23rd, 2pm. I will be joined by Jessica Sims and Roman Zelgatas.

"Desirable Catch" 2014, sharpie and acrylic on canvas

The next show I will be in will be the artspace Members' Biennial. I have one large piece that I have been working on and would really like to finish it if possible before the opening on November 28th. I have been posting updates on it's progress on instagram and facebook.

#20140822A as of October 29, 2014. Over 15 hours so far.

I've also been working on an Indiegogo campaign for "The Doodlists" art exhibition at artspace next Spring. The campaign went live on Halloween and I it is set to end on December 2nd. So far, we've collected 14% of our goal, but I think things are started to get heated up. I'm optimistic that we will reach or exceed our goal! Please check out the campaign page below to contribute or share!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

on my todo list right now...

The Summer has found me getting busier every day -- ideas are flowing and I'm making and showing a lot of art right now.

I have an artist reception planned for this Friday, August 1, at 9WG Studios. The pieces being exhibited at 9WG studios from July 1 through August 29, 2014, were previously shown as a group at artspace, Zero E. 4th St., Richmond, VA 23224. That show was titled "Altered Perceptions," and was on view from March 23-April 22, 2012. This group of paintings have not been seen together since that time. See the facebook invite for more details:

I'm working on 2 new 60x54 inch pieces, started on June 24th. I've gotten them both to the point where the sharpie patterns and details are emerging along with several layers of acrylic color washes. I was also able to finish naming the 5 remaining of 10, 14x11 pieces mentioned previously and included them on my new instagram account (#finishedwork, #newwork, #elaboratedoodle, #sharpieandacrylic)  along with the two pieces in progress (#workinprogress, #20140624A, #20140624b).

20140624B details emerging, work in progress
In mid-July, I was elected for a second term as President of artspace gallery, Richmond, VA. I'm trying to get re-acquainted with the gallery's operations and hoping to use technology more to streamline our processes. My ultimate goal it to help artspace become more efficient and effective in meeting its mission and objectives as a non profit gallery for the visual and performing arts.

This year, I had been getting more involved with the gallery again after a multi-year hiatus as an on-leave artist member of artspace. I had gone on-leave to re-charge but became an active member again in January. Being able to step away from the day-to-day operations for a while I think gave me insight into the office of President and the gallery itself.

Even before I became President again, I was starting to get more involved. I have been planning a new fundraising project called artroulette. I'm hoping it will be a successful event for the gallery and make lots of money! The project involves randomly assigning 100 preselected artists to 25 teams of 4. These teams then have one month to make collaborative artwork(s) that the gallery will raffle off in November after a one month display in the Plant Zero Hallway Galleries. Visit the webpage:

artroulette has been a lot of fun planning and organizing. I really enjoyed filming a video promotional piece with participant, Gwenyth Gaba. We had various artist participants dress up as famous artists from the past and put them together in random combinations. It was a lot of fun making it and it's fun to watch as well!

The artwork of artroulette will go on view October 24, 2014 and will stay up in the PZ galleries until November 28, when the raffle drawing will take place. There will be 25 winners of collaborative artwork!

Also on October 24, I have another show opening in artspace that I have been planning for about a year. "Exquisite Abnormalities" features my work alongside Dee Glazer in the Main Gallery, Jessica L. Sims showing in the Frablel Gallery, Roman Zelgatas in smallspace, and my own collaborative endeavors will be in the Helena Davis Galleries in "Artist Conspiracies."
Collaborations with Sarah Frostick (left), Roman Zelgatas (center) and solo work (SOLD) on the right.

Next year promises to be just about as busy as this one. I already have a group show planned for April/May featuring at least 12 artists whose work features the use of doodling. "The Doodlists" aims to elevate the doodle to a higher status in the world of fine art. There is a good chance we will be doing an Indiegogo campaign to support this exhibition. If so, we will be offering a lot of cool perks, so keep your eyes open for it!

Still in the planning stages, I am working on a multi-media installation with friend and artist, Tara Morand. The installation will be based on a painting I did a few years ago while focusing on the concept of pareidolia. We hope to have a presentation ready to submit to a few different galleries by this coming Fall. 

Alien Gathering, 2011

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer Shows

This Summer, you have a bunch opportunities to view some of my work, both old and new!

At artspace this month through July 20, I have two pieces in the Suzanne Foley gallery. "Chainmail Warrior" and "Woodland Frolic" are featured in "The Fit and the Finish: size, surface and substance."

"Woodland Frolic," 2014, Sharpie and Acrylic on Canvas, 10x8 inches, $185
artspace, Zero E. 4th St., Richmond, VA 23224 (804-232-6464) -

Through August 12, 2014, Glemore Yoga and Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Parkway. Richmond, VA 23233 (804-741-5267) has several of my 2003 paintings of Stonehenge on view.
Stop by to see my work and check out their wonderful facilities! Visit:

"Ancient Geometry," 2003, Acrylic on Canvas, 16x20 inches, $75
Through August 29, 2014, "Past-Present" at 9WG Studios, 9 W. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23220 (804-225-9510). The pieces being exhibited at 9WG during July and August, 2014, were previously shown as a group at artspace, Zero E. 4th St., Richmond, VA 23224. The show titled "Altered Perceptions," was on view from March 23-April 22, 2012. This group of paintings have not been seen together since that time. More info:

"White Elephant," 2011, Sharpie and Acrylic on Canvas, 60x48 inches, $3,500
In addition to these two venues, I have current work featured at Rawls' Museum Arts, 22376 Linden St., Courtland, VA 23837 (757-653-0754), and in two artspace Outreach shows. 
Included in the "2014 Rawls Juried Art Exhibit," juried by Nancy Kinzinger, are "Fragile Balance," "Feeding Frenzy," and "Perpetual Transit."

"Perpetual Transit," 2014, Sharpie and Acrylic on Canvas, 42x54 inches, $2,250

I have two pieces are on view at the Capital One, Chester campus in "artspace Speaks" through September, 2014: "Quantum Brew" and "Cetacean Camoflage."

"Quantum Brew," 2013, Sharpie and Acrylic on Canvas, 10x8 inches, $185
I also have two paintings at the Weinstein JCC, 5403 Monument Ave, Richmond, VA 23226 (804-545-8600) through the end of July: "Game Strategy" and "Operation Funnybone." More at: 

"Game Strategy," 2013, Sharpie and Acrylic on Canvas, 11x14 inches, $200

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Why I hate Sharrows!

I hate sharrow markings. They don't do anything except tell people what they should already know.
In the state of Virginia, bikes are allowed to ride on roads, except highways, with the same rules as cars. They are a waste of money and paint and they give some bikers the idea that they have special privileges in these lanes, potentially putting them at risk. Cars basically ignore them and many times they are placed in lanes that have parked cars in them.

Additionally, in areas where there are right turn only lanes, the sharrow puts bikers in the middle lane. This is due to a State law that says bikes can't travel in these lanes. But without a protected lane and some kind of signage, the biker is left to fend for themselves between lanes of traffic. Sometimes these turn only lanes are on/off ramps for highways. Motorists are typically much more aggressive when they have to deal with entering or exiting a highway.

To illustrate what I mean, here is a video I put together illustrating my commute on the Boulevard in Richmond, VA.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The latest batch of paintings

I've been working on 10 paintings recently that I began at the workshop I held at the Visual Art Studio recently. I finished and signed 5 of them last week. Still need titles, so if you have suggestions, let me know!!

The following five are close to being finished and some of them might be already, but they haven't been signed yet. All 10 pieces are 11x14 inches.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cool things I find while I'm riding my bike

One of my favorite reasons to ride my bike is finding lost and abandoned items on the roadway. I find all sorts of crazy stuff! What I do with it depends on the situation. If the item is in the road and it looks useable, I will probably scoop it up and put it in my backpack. If it's too big, I will leave it, but have been known to return with a car to retrieve the item later.

I know I'm going to find something to do with this heavy duty plastic sheeting?! The roll is approx. 18 inches long.
The thing I find the most of is gloves. Most of the time gloves are lost singly. But a surprising amout of times, the pair is right next to eachother or just a few feet or yards apart. In the winter gloves are abundant as well as winter hats and scarves.
Winter cap (found under the I-95 Boulevard bridge)
After the Richmond Marathon every year I celebrate an annual harvest of forgotten articles at Bryan Park. One of the shorter races weaves through the back side of the park and many people leave behind stuff as they leave, likely never to return until next year at the earliest.
Adjustable wrench found last year some time

I don't pick up work gloves or gloves that are too messed up. I also avoid socks and underwear! But after washing everything thoroughly, I have plenty of warm stuff each winter for myself and to share with others.

These socks were an exception. They were on the road for about a month before I just had to bag them.

A few good things I've found recently
3 pieces of unbroken Pyrex and a Corning Ware casserole dish with top (found under the I-95 Boulevard bridge)
The cookware soaking in my studio utility sink.

I rode past this utility knife and had to come back to check it out.
It even has a good blade in it!

 There are lots of things that look interesting, but if I don't know what it is, I probably won't pick it up.
I don't know what this thing is. But it looked important!

Reverse side of the important thingy. Found on the bridge over I-95 at Hermitage/Lakeside.
I have found silverware on numerous occasions.
This fork looked great until I picked it up and saw it was plastic!

I guess this fell out of someone's truck leaving the U-haul across from the Diamond.

Looks like it survived any damage. It was gone by the time I went home that night.
Looking out for stuff isn't just for my sake. Sometimes I find things that need to be returned. Twice I have found wallets and found a way to get them back to their owners. One time, I found a cane in the middle of the road. It had a name and phone number, so I called and left it at their residence. The other day, I found an unopened back of long grain white rice on the street, right next to a curb. I left it on the stairs of the house it was in front of. 

Yes, I'm a scavenger, but I hate the idea of leaving good stuff to rot in the weather.

Friday, March 28, 2014

quick arty update

I'm planning on a new post about the things i find on my bike journeys soon, but in the meantime, here  is a quick update on what's happening with my art.

I have two pieces selected for this month's juried all media show at Art Works, "Fragile Balance" and "Feeding Frenzy." "Feeding Frenzy" won 2nd place! They will be on view through April 20th in their upstairs gallery.

Also showing in Manchester, I have work in a group show in the Suzanne Foley gallery at artspace. This show also opens tonight and runs through April 20.

My show at the Visual Art Studio, "Into the Blue" continues through April 11. So that means you can find me there at the upcoming First Friday reception once again at 208 W. Broad St. New pieces that I started for the Workshop there on March 15th are progressing. Here's a few pics of what they look like now (plus one last piece that I started after that).

Monday, March 17, 2014

Artist Talk/Demo and Workshop at Visual Art Studio

On Saturday, March 15, I did an artist talk and demonstration of my creative process in conjunction with my exhibit, Into the Blue.

Following the talk and demo, I led the participants in a workshop where they were able to create their own Elaborate Doodles.

Friday, March 14, 2014

My painting process

For a while now, I have been working on mixed media paintings that I call "Elaborate Doodles." When I tell people I call my paintings this, I get funny looks like "do you really want your work to be thought of as doodling?" Yes, I do want that. I think doodles are much more important than most people give them credit for.

Growing up, I was a good student and I think much of that was from my doodling while taking notes in class. I am a visually oriented person and I think doodling on my notes gave me a visual outlet to help cement and process the information I was receiving - this idea is somewhat reenforced on a TED Talk video I saw last year about the merits of doodling, by Sunni Brown.

Sunni Brown: Doodlers, unite

According to Sunni, the real definition of doodling is "to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think." She continues, "We think doodling is something you do when you lose focus but in reality it is a preemptive measure to stop you from losing focus." For me, doodling is even more than that. I think the act of doodling frees our mind from straining too hard for answers. It relaxes our thoughts, opening the mind to receive ideas or content from the our environment, both locally and universally. Frequently, these ideas will provide answers to questions that we may have been struggling to solve.

I figured out all of my most difficult projects and questions by first thinking as hard as I could about them for a day or so and then completely forgetting them. Making myself think about and do different things (in essence, life doodling) allowed my unconscious mind to cogitate on the details without my conscious mind getting in the way. There follows an "ah-ha!" moment where the details become instantly clear, somewhat like remembering an entire dream upon waking.

In the talk, Sunni expounds on her admiration for doodling, saying "under no circumstances should doodling be eradicated from a classroom or a boardroom or even the war room. On the contrary, doodling should be leveraged in precisely those situations where information density is very high and the need for processing that information is very high." She also says, "Because doodling is so universally accessible and it is not intimidating as an art form, it can be leveraged as a portal through which we move people into higher levels of visual literacy."

For much of my life, I produced mostly representational artwork, but I always felt like it was important for my paintings to help define themselves. Instead of trying to make a piece look exactly like the model, I wanted my mark to be visible and influenced by previous marks and colors. I found that the less I tried to control my tools, the more I was pleased with the results.

Around 2004, I started focusing on abstract paintings. These pieces were done entirely in brush work with no preliminary drawing. Then, in 2006, my buddy Browning and I were discussing the layout of a house I had lived in on Oregon Hill. I did a basic drawing of the floor plan and he put some marks on it to help clarify my responses to his questions. Soon after, I was looking at this sketch and it reminded me of some work I had done while I was studying at VCU in the 1980's. I was inspired to add to this drawing and ended up with the first of what was to become my "Elaborate Doodles."

"Untitled,"2006, sharpie on paper, 11x8.5 inches

For a time I was re-creating my original drawings into larger formats using conte crayon and oil paint on canvas.
"236,"2009, conte and oil on canvas, 64 x 35 inches
But I've always wanted to keep my paintings unique. Even though I wasn't making exact copies of the original drawings onto the paintings, I decided that I wanted the original drawing to be a part of the painting itself. Eventually, this process refined itself into the method that I currently use. Please note the images below are representative of each step, but they are all different pieces.

Creating an Elaborate Doodle

1. Draw first gesture lines - while lightly holding a sharpie, close eyes and do a loose gestural scribble, across as much of the canvas surface as possible.
Draw first gesture lines
2. Darken and define gesture lines - evaluate the gesture, join lines and go over lines with sharpie to create numerous segments of space.
Darken and define gesture lines
3. Add motion lines - using a (usually) thinner sharpie, draw repeated dashes in and across the segments of space.
Add motion lines
4. Add patterns to spaces - evaluate the drawing and allow your mind to see a pattern that is suggested by the motion lines in the segments of space. Fill in alternating spaces with first pattern then evaluate and choose another pattern or patterns for other segments of space. Turn drawing as needed to help see patterns and to decide which spaces they belong in.
Add patterns to spaces
Finish adding patterns to spaces

5. Paint washes of pigment - after the drawn patterns are finished, use paint washes in layers to accent or obscure the pattern-filled spaces.

Dark yellow wash over sharpie patterns
Light yellow and blue washes over sharpie patterns

6. Add final details - when the paint washes are dry, sharpie may be used to add detail or bring out lines that are obscured. Painted details may be added as well.
Light yellow, blue, and white washes over sharpie patterns and some details
The layers of sharpie and paint can be alternated at any time in the process as long as the paint is dry before trying to draw over it with sharpie. Sometimes, I begin with paint and then use the shapes that have developed from the wash to determine the line work in the piece. Other materials can be used if desired. I have worked some with pastels in addition to the sharpie and acrylic, but found them to be really hard on the life of the sharpies.

7. Name the piece - when no more areas of the painting appear to need work, spend some time evaluating the piece. Turn it as necessary until images and ideas begin to surface. Allow these images and ideas to play together until a title presents itself.

In "Cumuli Grazing" I see both clouds above and sheep grazing below

Elaborate Doodles are two-dimensional representations of multi-dimensional spaces and events. Lines and color are both physically and chronologically layered so that the piece becomes a record of time as well as space and mass. By allowing the painting to assist in its own creation, I feel that it is easier to access the stories, images, and memes that can be found in the universal well of creativity.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Crazy night time snow ride

Last night I had plans to visit my buddy Browning at his new place in Church Hill. Then came the snow warnings but I still wanted to go because I needed a good bike ride. I decided to take some videos along the way because I didn't think anyone would believe I had done it if there wasn't proof. I've edited them together here for your amusement!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What are Elaborate Doodles?

Elaborate Doodles Are...

...unique, human-made mixed-media paintings by Dana Frostick

...usually made with sharpie and acrylic paint on canvas

...abstract representations of universal patterns and stories

...whatever you see in them

...time consuming and nearly maddening to create

...visually stimulating additions to your home or work place

...a good investment in the creative community and local business

Elaborate Doodles Are NOT...

...designed on a computer and printed

...offered for reproduction in print form other than publications as approved by the artist (they are truly one-of-a-kind pieces of art)

...Zen Tangles! Frostick never heard of this process until 2011, years after she started making Elaborate Doodles

...expensive. Elaborate Doodles are ready to hang and some have simple frames, but you will find the purchase of a new frame will probably cost more than the piece itself (at least for now!)

"Perpetual Transit," 2014, sharpie and acrylic on canvas, 42x54 inches

View work for sale on the Square Market Place. 
Please contact the artist for purchase.