powdered charcoal pour

Zoom In


Powdered charcoal, inks, gesso, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

An aerial view of the geology of life, Google cams trained on all of us, taking pictures of moments in the lives. . .we live.. .always caught in a particular focal point we call “reality”.

ZOOM out and get the LARGE perspective. You may never be the same again (hopefully).

Last Monday was the warmest day so far this year. A perfect time to play with this technique of powdered charcoal and graphite textures, best done outside.

Start by wetting shapes on the paper (sponging water through stencils is fun!)  The wet areas form a kind of resist so that the paper stays white (as in the white grid on the right side above).

Then sprinkle some powdered charcoal on the paper and pour water over it.  This causes the charcoal (or graphite, which is more of a silver than black) to move in spontaneous ways. Let it dry. (In the 90+ degree heat this was very fast!) At this point you can erase areas or spray with fixative. Then add acrylic to develop the idea and show off the texture. I like to mix my acrylic inks with gesso to get a more opaque coverage in certain areas.


Quicksilver and Effervescence


powdered charcoal pour texture, pigment powder, acrylic on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

there’s a loud flapping of wings from every direction

and I stand wondering if this sound,

this extraordinary quivering of air and shape and color

had been there all along

while I was lost in useless thought

patterns emerge and dissolve

awareness opens and closes off

colorful orbs merge and dissolve

I want to name them all, set them free for all time

but they are quicksilver and effervescence.



charcoal powder, powdered pigment, acrylics, pencil on w/c paper 10 X 11″

Liminal: adj. – relating to the point (or threshold) beyond which a sensation becomes too faint to be experienced.

Like a dream, it is that point where artifacts are sewn together in an insane picture of supposed sanity.

I’ll take the liminal any time, play with it, and tell a picture story not seen or heard before.

Start with some charcoal strewn onto paper.  Pour water over it.  Let it dry, then repeat with some powdered pigment.  Spray with fixative, then do some drawing and painting.  The story comes in its own time.