A Look into my Composition Book

The other day I posted a look into my composition sketchbook on instagram and received a flurry of questions on the process, materials and ideas behind keeping this collection. Rather than write out paragraphs to respond there, I thought I’d take some time to provide a more detailed look into these studies.

comp_book.jpg
 This book cover has seen a lot of paint/chalk/pencil.

This book cover has seen a lot of paint/chalk/pencil.

The Book:

I’m a big fan of keeping multiple sketchbooks at one time - each with a very clear and defined purpose. Color tests, travel sketches, morning sketches, still life contours, and a composition book. Keeping things separated like this allows me to reference sketches and images faster and it just appeals to the side of my personality that likes to have a space for everything, and everything in it's space.

For the Composition book I use a large sketchbook from Canson. This book serves two methods of organizing compositions;

1.) Collecting sketches from other books/cut paintings with particular compositions that I feel could use more exploration and gluing them in.

2.) Creating purely compositional study sketches on the pages.

By adhering to these two tenants I end up with a book of painting ideas divorced from color (mostly) and subject - but focused on rhythm, movement and motion.

 Lines and movement.

Lines and movement.

The Why:

I use these pages to explore ideas for paintings in a pre-sketch phase. If I’ve got an idea that I want to work with, but it lacks form I open up this book and search through the studies until something clicks. If nothing does, I make however many more studies are necessary.

The Result:

Often times at first glance the final painting doesn’t look very similar to the composition work. With so many layers and lines making up the final piece the initial blocking out can be hard to spot - but if you look close enough most of the time it becomes apparent. (I say most of the time, as there are definitely cases when the final work morphs into something totally diffferent!)

Looking back on years of composition studies has been pretty enlightening as to the evolution of my process. The forms I work with are so dependent on location and my surroundings that’s it’s pretty easy to pinpoint when I moved from Miami, when I spent time in Ireland, Thailand and Japan, when we were snowed in last year and couldn’t leave for 4 days… at this point it functions almost as a journal with no words.

<3 

 Testing indigo/gold/gray.

Testing indigo/gold/gray.

 Glued-In page.

Glued-In page.

 Cut pieces.

Cut pieces.

EH Sherman Art at the Ann Arbor Art Center

EH Sherman at the Ann Arbor Art Center

I’m honored and excited to announce that a collection of my new work is up over at the Ann Arbor Art Center!

The paintings are part of a series exploring mark-making and motion. Informed by color studies made from local, natural forms and given movement by sketches of bones, flower contours, striations and patterns found in rocks.

Acrylic / pastel / graphite / watercolor on paper and canvas.

EH Sherman Art at the Ann Arbor Art Center
EH Sherman Art at the Ann Arbor Art Center
EH Sherman Art at the Ann Arbor Art Center

All work is for sale, check with the gallery to see what is still available!

Art Show: Ann Arbor Art Center's Straight Up Summer Fling at Ann Arbor Distilling Co!

Last week I had the immense pleasure of being featured in the Ann Arbor Art Center's Summer Fling series. Part 1 of a three part show, this event was held at Ann Arbor Distilling Company and encompassed a look into a new collection of work, painting stations for show-goers to try out a few of my techniques, a live dj, and of course - the Distilling Company's signature cocktails and drinks.

 The entrance to the tasting room.

The entrance to the tasting room.

 Earthbones Series; I and II sold&nbsp;

Earthbones Series; I and II sold 

 Garden Study - hanging at the distillery

Garden Study - hanging at the distillery

 A few of the work experiments drying!

A few of the work experiments drying!

 Taproom display!

Taproom display!

It was a wonderful evening filled with old and new friends, some paint stained clothes and hours of fantastic conversations. I can't thank everyone enough who came out, feeling the love and support from all of you has kept me on cloud 9 ever since. Also huge thanks to everyone who followed along via instagram from afar!

If you are interested in a piece from the show, get in touch here! This body of work headed to another destination, but I can put you in touch with the gallery <3

Also - no worries if you missed my show, there are still TWO MORE events in the summer fling series! Make sure to check them out, I'll definitely be there!

Straight Up Summer Fling

July 19th at Hyperion CoffeeOLIVIA GUTERSON

August 23rd at Leon SpeakersJEREMY WHEELER

Much love!