STEP 1: I collect many, many examples of some subject that I consider indicative of contemporary popular aesthetic tastes, either because of the sheer number of images represented in the culture or because of their prevalence in hyper-aesthetisized contexts (i.e. greeting cards, clip art, decorative art, trapper keepers, wallpaper, skateboard decks, etc.)
The example shown in process draws from my collection of various presentations and representations of butterfly wings. All images referenced here are public domain.
STEP 2: I then make a digital 'Glump' collage. I composite a select number of found images together with varying levels of prominence, opacity, scale, etc. until I’m happy with my Glump’s overall composition.
STEP 3: I simplify and attempt to essentialize the aesthetic qualities of the subject by tracing over my digital composition as a vector image. This distills its initial complexity to a mere collection of hard edged, flat-colored, interconnected shapes. Vectors are the way computers reduce complex images into a series of mathematical equations, which makes it a much smaller and easier to process digital file. It also makes it so it can be enlarged without any distortion.
STEP 4: I then do my best to plot and transfer an enlarged version of my digital vector image lightly onto 140 lb. handmade rag paper in order to work with more traditional media. This gives me a rather ghostly imprint of the design on paper that I can work on top of.
STEP 5: I work experimentally, painting the collection of shapes using a variety of materials (watercolor, inks, colored pencils, pastels, crayons, charcoal, even bleach). I freely drip, splatter, erase, tape lift, and generally obscure the basis of the original composition through drawing and painting, in an attempt to understand the rhythm and momentum of the shapes and colors inherent in the original subject matter.
STEP 6: Lastly, I selectively refine and reestablish various elements through more deliberate drawing and painting over the surface of the paper. I do this to give the image a sense of structure and overall cohesion.
I see each Glump as an experimental Petrie Dish of visual tastes and an opportunity for contemplating our contemporary aesthetic anthropology.