Thoughts On A Shape A Day 2013

It's finally over. I drew 365 shapes. Someone asked me if I really drew a shape every day? Yes. I did. I missed one day but made it up the next day. 

A Shape A Day 2013 (Part 1 and Part 2) kind of morphed into A Drawing A Day, but whatever. I am very happy that I was able to do something every single day for a year. If only I had taken a walk or ran too, I'd have gotten myself in "shape". :)


It was hard. I struggled. I was impatient many times. The only thing that got me through it was putting it on my daily to-do list. Otherwise, I'd surely have forgotten many times. I enjoyed it most of the time, but there were days when I was annoyed, I cursed this "stupid project", but I am grateful and proud as I flip through all four—yes FOUR—Moleskine notebooks I now have as a result. 

I discovered that some of my favorite shapes are not interesting to some people, and the ones I dislike are attention-grabbers. I realized how subjective art really is and how simple shapes can connect us and spark our imagination. I inspired others to draw, to do daily projects or yearly ones. I am so grateful to have met some fantastic people through this project, too. 

I got one of the shapes tattooed onto my body. I'll leave it up to your imagination to guess which one and where (and why).

I scanned every single shape so that now I have 365 high-res drawings. I have 365 potential shapes, potential paintings, potential logos, potential anythings. I am looking forward to seeing how I can reference these in the future. I'd love to get them all framed and hung on a big, black white wall. Maybe even get prints made from the Instagram photos and hang them somewhere? Any takers? For now, I'm going to make some of my favorites into prints on Etsy and maybe even a few smartphone cases and t-shirts over on Society6... we have yet to see where they bring me. 

Things I Learned About Art in 2013

I'm just about 8 years into making art, and I've yet to really scratch the surface of how to be an artist and what that means. I'm so grateful that people's eyeballs enjoy some of the things my brain outputs. I've gotten so much amazing art advice in the past year through direct conversations and through observation. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many talented people who are so helpful, supportive and wise.

Jennifer Sanchez told me that I need to stop looking negatively on my old work and view it as part of the process. She said "It's our job as artists to constantly be evolving." I love that she says she doesn't get attached to her work. When she's done with it, she moves on. I need to learn to do this, but having this as a goal is a good start.

Rebecca Cross of Cross Mackenzie told me to start getting a bigger body of work to be more approachable by galleries, as well as to start applying to group shows. (I'm still doing the former). She also reminded me that I should take a closer look at Sol LeWitt because she believes I'm in his "school." Interesting... (I love this Sol LeWitt/MASS MOCA exhibition!) The more I draw, the more I think there's a part of me that is a follower.

LeWitt's refined vocabulary of visual art consisted of lines, basic colors and simplified shapes. He applied them according to formulae of his own invention, which hinted at mathematical equations and architectural specifications, but were neither predictable nor necessarily logical. [source]

Karim Rashid once spoke at a local university. I was fascinated by his blatant rejection of the past. He explained that we can't dwell in the past and look for design inspiration there. Timelessness isn't the future of design, he explained, and that we need to dismantle archetypes, precedent and expectations in order to forge a new path and create the future. While I still believe the past is important and deserves respect, I really like his thinking on this topic. The idea of creating without looking at art that has already been made is very appealing to me because I get annoyed when outside ideas creep their way inside my head and unknowingly onto the paper.

Claire Dejardins and Galen Cheney taught me that you can be successful as an artist and still be a genuinely nice, humble person.  

I realized I have a burning desire to destroy art. To make something and then watch it become un-made in a sense. Disappear. I'm struggling with how to make sense of this.

I still don't know who I am and I'm starting to become comfortable with this, after reading that de Kooning felt the same. He also destroyed a lot of his early art, which makes me feel better, too. 

It's OK to draw and paint total crap.  

I am OK with being an untrained novice. 

Sometimes quantity makes for the best stuff because you stop thinking and focus on doing. I learned this from Jason McHenry and this article.

And then there's this—this is something I have watched multiple times, trying to understand how I can apply some of his wisdom and approach to my own art—enjoy: 

I will discuss my Shape A Day 2013 project in a separate post...

2013-09: In My Arms

In my arms.
A tooth, a word,
A sentence,
Another birthday, 
A shovel, a pile of dirt.
It slowly becomes a hole.
A song,
A question and an answer.
One foot in.
First and more firsts.
Lasts and more lasts.
Firsts become lasts.
You become me.
I become someone else.
I teeter, you're swift.
In your arms.


I was going to use my words
to keep me afloat.

But then, 
this meteor crashed into my world,
entered like a force
and I spun around too many times
to remember where I'd been before.

Sometimes I see a glimmer,
but, before I can focus it's gone.

We Are The Contributors

I am happy to contribute to a new project by Melanie Biehle and Sandra Harris' new project called We Are The Contributors. It's a creative community where makers get together and create on themed projects. The first theme was The Armory Show and we were asked to create a piece inspired by one of three pieces from The Armory Show. I was inspired by Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase (No 2). 

Read more about my contribution here



My body tenses up,
tightens like one giant muscle
when you are around.
I hope you can't tell.

Now that you've seen it,
can know it,
it can't be unknown. 

So you will have to learn
how to look it in the eye.

But I can't teach you how until I learn myself.



Jaime Derringer x

I am very excited to announce that I have entered into a partnership with, who will be selling Giclee prints, stretched canvases and framed prints of selected artwork. At the moment, there are 52 pieces up on the site and we are planning to continue to add more in the coming months. I will keep my web shop and Etsy shop open selling small sized prints, but has the capability to sell much larger sizes and maintain quality and the integrity of the original pieces. YAY! 

I'm Writing An Article About Art and I'm Pretty Sure It's Going To Be Terrible

I wrote an article about art for the latest Citygram Austin Magazine talking about how I rediscovered art, am using it as therapy and why. It's not my best writing, but I felt it needed to be said in this way: raw and honest. I don't usually open up about stuff, but this is as wide open as I will probably ever get on the internet. I might start talking on this blog a little more about this kind of stuff: my emotional process, my technical process, etc... I'll do my best not to sound like a pretentious asshole art snob.

You can download the Citygram Magazine app for iPad or iPhone here

Read the full article here



I finally have prints available here and on Etsy. I took the plunge and got myself a new printer, which I LOVE and am excited to have the ability to multiply my art once again.  


Art Finally For Sale!

After my printer broke and we made the decision to move across the country, I decided not to sell prints for a while. The dust is just settling here in our new place, so hopefully I'll secure a new printer or a great local print shop some time soon. In the meantime, I have quite a few originals up for grabs here and on Etsy, including some of my recent abstract drawings and string circles. More coming soon...

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Composition Paintings

I've been working on composition because that's been a challenge for me. Not having gone to art school, and being a planner and self-deprecating perfectionist, I have a hard time with putting the right things together and then being happy with the result. I recently did three Composition paintings on heavy paper to try and work some things out. I am enjoying doing these exercises and am fairly happy with the results.

I am also working on some paintings and drawings for an upcoming exhibit/event in LA as well as doing some personal work. I'm very grateful to be able to have time to dedicate to art.

Composition 1, 2013, 9"x12" acrylic and pastel on heavy canvas paper

Composition 1, 2013, 9"x12" acrylic and pastel on heavy canvas paper

Composition 2, 2013, 12"x16" acrylic and pastel on heavy canvas paper

Composition 2, 2013, 12"x16" acrylic and pastel on heavy canvas paper

Composition 3, 2013, 9"x12" acrylic, pastel, marker and pencil on heavy canvas paper

Composition 3, 2013, 9"x12" acrylic, pastel, marker and pencil on heavy canvas paper

April and May 2013 Sketchbook

I went a little abstract crazy in April and May in my sketchbook, but I feel like it is was very necessary. Sometimes you need to just scribble nonsense to figure things out. This is what started me on the paintings; I've done abstracts in my sketchbook before, so this isn't anything new, but it's a bit of a new direction in terms of composition and shape. I'm feeling a little more loosey goosey (a good thing for me!). Below is a selection of my favorites, but you can see them all here


A New Painting Lesson

I started this painting with a totally different goal. After stepping back twice to take a look at what I'd done, for some reason the painting said it was done. This sounds super corny, I know. But I've been learning a lot lately about letting the art dictate what it wants to do rather than me trying to force something to happen. It's all about me giving up control, which is something that my Type A personality has a hard time doing. I believe this painting may be my very first lesson. 

Sometimes I Wish Beginnings Were Ends, 2013, 36"x36" acrylic on canvas

Sometimes I Wish Beginnings Were Ends, 2013, 36"x36" acrylic on canvas

I kept having this vision of adding a peachy/pink stripe from top to bottom between the yellow and blue parts, slightly off-center. However, I can't seem to bring myself to actually go ahead and do it for fear I will taint what I've created. However, I'm going to say for now that this one is done. I haven't coated it with varnish yet, but I've hung it up on my wall and I'm going to chew on it for a while.  

Two New Paintings

I finally finished these. This first one is a fun mixed media piece with some flagging tape, which is my new favorite kind of tape. It comes in neon colors!

Why Can't I Be You?, 2013, 8"x8" mixed media on wood panel

Why Can't I Be You?, 2013, 8"x8" mixed media on wood panel

Cavern, 2013 (final) 36"x36" mixed media on canvas

Cavern, 2013 (final) 36"x36" mixed media on canvas

Cavern is a painting that I have been struggling with for four years. You can say it's been my experimental canvas for the past four years. See other iterations of it here. I am so glad to be done with it.