Archive for Drawing


Posted in Art, Collage, Drawing, J. D. Hastings with tags , , , , , , , on September 17, 2013 by jdhastings

I am very interested in Japanese art, particularly Zen art and poetry, and have occasionally incorporated some imagery from that tradition into my own work. Thematically however, my work is often the opposite to the spirit of most Zen art. Whereas meditative spontaneity, improvisation and simplicity are central to actual Zen art, my work is often busy, labored and chaotic. Personally, this somehow makes sense to me, though I’d understand if it flummoxed a fan of the original tradition (I’m pretty sure most followers of traditions I dabble in would be annoyed by me).

In these pieces I am working with an image of Daruma (or Bodhidarma), the founder of Zen Buddhism, who is central to Zen art’s imagery. These pieces represent him crossing the Yangtze River while balanced on a single reed, a feat he was required to perform while fleeing the Chinese Emperor, whom he had just insulted.

In the short term, these pieces are an experiment with a sort of collaged drawing style that I’ve used before, but never with a sewing machine. Each collage is comprised of pieces of 7 individual drawings of Daruma (based on an original source drawing I made), or collage of painted canvases. I will post these originals at the end. Each piece is 9″ x 6″, multimedia.

What I like about these, and where I see some connection back to the source material, is that while traditional western drawing techniques that I used in most of the original pieces are very deterministic, where you can achieve virtually any intended effect given patience, the collages add a large element of chance. Even knowing what the processes will be before hand, the end result can’t be predicted until the actual work is finished and viewed. While still not meditative or improvisational this element of chance that may result in unexpected results or outright failure make the pieces “live” to me in a manner that drawing static, predictable works don’t.

That’s a lot to say about these, though I really consider these sketches. Tests of methods I may pursue more fully later. Caffeine!

(This piece has already been mounted into a book that I’ll post at some other time)







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Art Exchange

Posted in Art, J. D. Hastings with tags , , , on August 27, 2013 by jdhastings

My Friends’ Scott and Amanda’s daughter, Chloe, recently sent me an artwork that she drew for me.


In return, I painted these 2 unicorns rearing at each other to put in a short art book.



Conceptual Requiem for a Ninja Yogi Dream

Posted in abstract, Art, art on paper, awesome, Drawing, dreams, expressionism, expressionist, figurative, gesture, gesture drawing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2013 by Tom Bennett

I’ve returned to a collaboration with Toni Tiller, making conceptual images illustrating her dream narratives. She posts her dreams at www.

This is a conceptual mixed media sketch on paper, one of a few I’ll make for her dream, posted on 3/17/13, “Doing yoga with a ninja”.

Tom Bennett

ink, alcohol-based ink, graphite, gouache on paper

Power Outage Redux

Posted in abstract, Art, art on paper, Drawing, expressionism, expressionist, figurative, mixed media, nude, Painting, Tom Bennett, work on paper with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by Tom Bennett

It’s been so long since I’ve posted here I can’t even be sure I can identify myself. It’s like returning to my bedroom after sleeping in the woods for a few months.;  it’s dark in here.  A Power Outage happened in my brain, a cognitive outage. This is a return to a medium I’ve been fooling around with the last few years;  a mix of alcohol-based ink,  graphite, india ink and gouache.

Tom Bennett

Power Outage Redux, 2013, ink, graphite & gouache, 8 x 11.5

New Doodles

Posted in Art, Drawing, J. D. Hastings with tags , , , on July 9, 2013 by jdhastings

Drew these this weekend, as some sort of 3D asteroids (as in the video game).







Strawberry Letter 22 or 23

Posted in Art, art on paper, Drawing, Tom Bennett, work on paper with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2013 by Tom Bennett

Here are just a few recent life drawings done on the MTA, the NYC subway. I take the D, N and R lines to and from Brooklyn and Manhattan; most of the sketching is done at night on the train from Rockefeller Center in Manhattan to Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I have a smallish sketchbook right now, about 8″ x  5.5″. The  challenge is to draw the subjects quickly and hope they don’t catch your eye. That kills it.

I grew up 70 miles from NYC, in the rural town of Ridgefield, Connecticut. I started visiting Manhattan from the age of 2 or 3, driving down the Saw Mill Parkway with my parents as my father delivered art to the publishing houses who hired him to do book cover illustrations. One of the main clients was Pocketbooks, a division of Simon & Schuster, whose offices are on 6th Ave, right across the street from the subway station I use now every day.

The music that speaks New York to me is particular and special to my history of NY as visitor then a 25-year resident. The attached song by the Brothers Johnson will forever conjure up trips to New York in 1978 that invariably ended up with bar-crawling, party-crashing and public debauchery.subway 3-27-13 a

sub 3-27 b

subway 3-27-13b

sub 3-28 a

sub 3-28 b

New Shapes

Posted in Art, Drawing, J. D. Hastings, Painting with tags , , , , , on April 2, 2013 by jdhastings

A few exercises I did to practice brush-work.

Compound of 5 tetrahedra
“Compound of 5 Tetrahedra,” 8″ x 6″, acrylic on paper

Great ditrigonal icosidodecahedron

“Great Ditrigonal Icosidodecahedron” 8″ x 6″, acrylic on paper