cloudblot sketches

 for kites imagined, but not yet made

collected in early 2012


Surveying the Landscape

This fall has been a great deal of experimentation and making, though it seems a bit fractured to me at the moment though I'm attempting to trust that the path will seem much clearer the further I get from it. 

One of the works made in the last few months marks my first foray into traditional Japanese kitemaking with some improvisation and modification. This work was made for the Codified II show, a show of art made in response to the field of genetics. This piece focuses on concerns surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and is shown with some really lovely work at the UF Genetics Complex until January 22nd. 

The statement that accompanies the piece explains further:

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of Japan in March of 2011 had a staggering impact on the air, land, and people of the area. In the weeks after the initial impact the world beyond staggered with it. Today, drones are sent to areas too toxic for humans to visit in order measure radiation levels and mutations of flora and fauna of the the area are monitored. One such bioindicator is the pale blue grass butterfly (Zizeeria maha) which has been studied for over a decade and was considered a bioindicator candidate for environmental shifts even before the disaster. A study* published August of 2012 indicated the younger generations of this species are showing increased mutations of eyes, antennae, legs, as well as wings formations and patterns. One of the specimens is depicted on a Japanese cultural icon, an Edo style kite. The multitude of lines that tether the kite to land fittingly references the matrix of capillary tubes in capillary electrophorosis analysis, a process used in sequencing DNA. The white painting of the malformed butterfly is best seen as a dark shadow when flown in the sky as the sun illuminates it from behind. As with the image, the long term effects of radiation can be seen best when scientific study shines a light to examine it.

*Hiyama, A. et al. The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly. Sci. Rep. 2, 570 (2012).
Here's an article from BBC newshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19245818

There are more process shots to be found here

A special thank you to the UF School of Art + Art Historyand the UF Genetics Institute for funding the creation of the work. To Tom Hart at SAW for the use of the light table. To Ohye Makotodean jordanMelanie Walker, and the helpful tweeter at Hiromi Paper, Inc. for technical advice and encouragement. To Tommy Akin, string wrangler. Not to forget the multitude of kiters and kite resources including, but not limited to, Mikio Toki's edo site and Drachen Foundation. I'm so grateful to generosity of the community around me. When faced with such an awful event, it's you all who make me hopeful that we can figure out how to protect each other better


moving drawings

Captured awhile ago and briefly wondered if galleries and show would find receiving videos of barely moving drawings over-the-top. Maybe someday I'll make that move. 

Been working steadily, but haven't made the time to post here much.

If you are curious, I'm using Instagram to casually post things here and there. 
Find me at instagram.com/erincurry. Most recently I've been working on a white painting on white gampi and exploring more translucent drawings. 


my words fly up

my words fly up
artist book
paper, wax, ink, whiteout tape, mylar and string



Just as the reception began Saturday, the afternoon thunderclouds opened up.
Guests braved it anyway. They ate blue foods, drank blue tart drinks, remarked with thought, and a few  even danced with the airy panels on the right much to my joy.

I left full of gratitude, ideas, and maybe a bit of blue cheese.

In related news, I've begun a newsletter for show announcements, new work, and special projects.
Here's an example:

If you'd like to subscribe click below:


a more perfect shade of blue

I'm delighted to announce my show of new work is up at Full Circle Gallery, the little gallery inside our local art supply store, where my new work returns to to the place of its material origins.

"a more perfect shade of blue"
full circle gallery
July 26th - August 10th
10 NW 6th St
Gainesville, FL
M-F 8am-6pm
Sat 8am-5pm

Saturday, August 4th, 3-5pm
This statement accompanies the work:

We seem to be mesmerized by abstraction; in cloud gazing we make a game of seeking recognizable shapes in the sky, while in more oracular traditions, significance is wrested from coffee grounds and ink blots. My own fascination -and unease- with chaos manifests through the repeated creation and preservation of tangled and amorphous masses in the attempt to find comfort within delicate systems of complexity. 
That my materials have their own idiosyncrasies and respond to manipulation in sometimes unexpected ways is central to my process. The linear elements of the Morphosis pieces are printed with graphite powder and thread I spin from cotton fluff on a tiny brass spindle and then allow to tangle beneath my hands. My inks are mixed with other materials to relinquish some control of the final form and color, but allow more opportunity for subtle shifts and surprises. Color has been rare in my work until recently when permutations of blue began surfacing as I found myself thinking of the mind as a fountain of ideas, stories, and memories. The translucency of vellum and other paper layers translate to quiet reveries where interpretations murmur beneath the surface -sometimes audibly.

Erin Curry Art Morphosis no. 14
Erin Curry. Morphosis #14archival ink, graphite on panel under mylar 

Erin Curry Art Morphosis no. 15

Erin Curry. Morphosis #15. archival ink, graphite on panel under mylar 

If you live too far away to come by in person, some of the Morphosis pieces are available in my new etsy shop and can be shipped when the show comes down after August 10th. 


installing . . .

wherein I flaunt my love of the grid while grumbling at its demands 
and then love it again.
unnamed (as of yet) #1-9. ink, oil, and water on vellum


a blue to dive into

Erin Curry. work in progress. a more perfect shade of blue. 7ft x 3ft. acrylic on paper. 
Deep summer arrived a few weeks ago and, without air conditioning in the studio, by mid afternoon it feels like time to escape to water. My mammal mind must be traveling to the springs as this indigo blue has welled to the surface of these new large drawings worked while on the floor. No small amount of time was spent perfecting the color and it still shifts as the layers accrue one by one. Once the pages are dry, it takes standing on tiptoe to tack them to the wall layer by layer.

As with any new work, there's a bit of falling in love involved. I love the way the pale blue washes glow through the paper above and the way this particular paper wrinkles into little dimples when wet. I love that I've managed to convince the colors to separate a little as it dries, so the ink makes little dustings of pigment. Best of all is the sound. With the windows propped open in the attempt to keep cool(er), these drawings blow and crinkle in the current. My brother-studiomate was driven to tether them down while I wasn't there to stop the chatter of the pages, but I like to hear them talk when he's not around.

Part book, part print, part drawing, part installation, part soundscape: it's covering a lot of ground here with room to grow. 

During the ever important stare time -sometimes while literally waiting for the paint to dry- I'm dwelling on the mind as a fountain of associations when faced with abstraction and, in terms of process and creation, as a fountain of ideas. It seems commonsense, but sometimes east to forget: Action is Fertile.  Tilled ground is where planted seeds grow best.  Even my discards become valuable materials for experimentation with new treatments: crushing, waxing, oiling, inking, drawing, slicing, cutting. It's no coincidence Richard Serra's verb list is thrust into the hands of art students. The list is a map. If one gets stuck, just randomly point to the list and DO. 

Richard Serra. Verb List. 1967–68. Graphite on paper, 2 sheets, each 10 x 8" (25.4 x 20.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist in honor of Wynn Kramarsky. © 2011 Richard Serra/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


in flight

 Remember the tiny inkblot kite I made?
Here it is flying on a blustery evening just as the sun set.

The soundtrack is by a new favorite band, DVA, who sweetly granted permission to use their song "lala" which matches so well the feeling of flying this little kite. Both make me deliriously happy.
Song is taken from album Botanicula soundtrack (2012)
Music and lyrics written by DVA © 2dva.cz 
Please support them, buy song/album here: dva2.bandcamp.com



We arrived for sea and sand just in time to gather for a late lunch under the trees and watch an afternoon storm stroll in. It scattered the fair weather tourists and left us with free rein of the shore.

While the others played in the surf, I walked down the beach whose ends were cloaked in mist and watched my silk wings flutter.


Inkblot sequence animated

as a playful exercise during my coffee breaks today.

More tweaking and cleaning to follow, but I'm too delighted to wait.

Erin Curry, .gif, original art ink on vellum, 2012



These two are the newest of a series that's been incubating in my studio for sometime now. They explore symmetry, the impulse to find closure in the abstract and the push/pull of an image not quite on the surface. Constructed in layers, it begins as an inkblot overlaid with a tangleprint made with graphite and handspun cotton thread and mounted on wood and finally wrapped in mylar. The mylar softens the whole image particularly because it doesn't quite lay flat on the surface. Looking at the work feels a little like looking through a fog at a strange reflection.
Erin Curry. drawing. tangleblot (same but different two). ink, handspun thread graphite print and mylar on wood. 6"x6" ©2012
Erin Curry. tangleblot (same but different ). ink, handspun thread graphite print under mylar on wood. 6"x6" ©2012

Erin Curry. drawing. tangleblot (same but different two). ink, handspun thread graphite print and mylar on wood. 6"x6" ©2012
Erin Curry. tangleblot (same but different ). ink, handspun thread graphite print and mylar on wood. 6"x6" ©2012

These left the studio as gifts for twin girls yet to be born. It felt appropriate that a developing idea might be given to new life and echoed the little warm knot memory of my own mother who was a twin. She and her twin developed a little mythos between them that always held an element of the sacred to me.

A dozen more are in the works as I experiment with altering colors and the mark the ink and graphite leave. They feel visceral, alien and insect-like by turns. The word "Oracular" rolls around and around in my mind as I make these. A circuitous route of associations and desires left whirling in their wake. These pieces seem connected to reading tea leaves and taking Rorschach tests. Though many see inkblots and immediately think "Rorschach test," that test is actually not just any inkblot, but a set of ten specific images used again and again to analyze a psychological state. I'm most interested in our general compulsion to find the recognisable in the abstract rather than the specific analysis of a person, though they seem interconnected.

Meanwhile my silklings are nearly-almost-maybe ready to cocoon. 


cloud collecting

My recent research has included an increasing number of cloud captures. Powerlines still make their appearance too, but mostly it's the clouds with wisps I'm captivated by.
Browsing in a dusty used bookstore serendipitously turned up a Cloud Atlas which teaches one how to identify cloud species. Apparently clouds, like plants and animals, have latin species, genus names, and even matrilineage.

One I found online reads like poetry:

"Fibrous, threadlike, white feather clouds of ice crystals, whose form resembles hair curls." (of cirrus)

"Heap cloud with flat basis in the middle or lower level, whose vertical development reminds of the form of towers, cauliflower or cotton." (of cumulus)

In another, the latin roots are broken down,
cumulus to "heap"
stratus to "layer"
cirrus to "curl of hair"
altum to "height, upper air"
nimbus to "rain"

the genera presented and linked to photographs,
and then (and then!) the species are described with all the respect and awe of a witness to the ephemeral


possessing filaments
to make thick
tuft of wool
layer appearance
to fracture
near ground, small
to heap up

cirrostratus fibratus
cirrus uncinus
cirrus spissatus
altocumulus castelanus
cirrus floccus
altocumulus stratiformis
stratus nebulosus
altocumulus lenticularis
cumulus fractus
cumulus humilis
cumulus mediocris
cumulus congestus

that not being enough, there's varieties to contend with,


to twist
having vertebrae
having waves
being radiant
having holes
light pass through
shadowy, thick

and supplements and accessories,


a fall
bow, arch
sail of ship
piece of cloth, shred

Does it get any better than that?

From my own continually growing cloud collection:



of silk seeds. Expectant.

Warnings ring in my ears of busy days to come. For now, waiting for a change in hue from drabgreen to bluegray.

Day five of egg watching.


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