Bailin Studio

He left a paper trail…
1 December 2017 - 26 January 2018
Passover [detail], 2017
PASSOVER • 2017 • Charcoal, Pastel, Colored Pencil & Coffee on Prepared Paper
I have never thought much about the role memory plays in the preservation and continuity of one’s identity. As an artist who witnessed the waning of my father’s personhood through the dissolution of his memory, I wrestled with the question of how to convey the devastating personal and human experience of memory loss without relying on visual clichés.

The final image in my drawings is largely the result of the pentimenti that moved the narrative along but did not resolve it. Sometimes, instead, the layers of earlier drawings overpowers the last, like quicksand under a surface of marks and erasures.

Those unresolved drawings, with stratum of partially rendered scenes and gestures, were the visual and technical cues for the Erasing series. The frustration of trying to define what was unformed yet intimated by what appeared earlier, the back-and-forth process of drawing in and erasing out, having an idea or image revealing itself one minute only to fall back into obscurity the next, mimicked what I saw happen to my father in his heroic effort to recognize in the moment his own narrative.

This series is the result of my final collaboration with my father.

As with his memories, only the ghosts are left.
A printed catalog is available for $50 (PDF version $15) through Blurb Books, you may order a signed copy through the Studio Gallery for $55, or you may read the catalog on this page.
Exhibition Reception: 12 January 2018 from 5-8pm
Wingate Art & Design Gallery • University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
JAN 12

The Erasing Exhibition Opening Location: Wingate Gallery
When: 5 PM - 7 PM

01/12/2018 05:00 PM 01/12/2018 7:00 PM America/Chicago Opening Reception Reception and Artist Talk 5210 Grand Avenue •Fort Smith, AR 72913 College of CLASS false MM/DD/YYYY
Gallery Hours: Monday through Saturday: 10am - 4pm.
5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72913
Need Directions to the Exhibition? Directions are available here.
Spring 2017
PILLOW Drawing
RED TIE drawing
PILLOW • 2015 • Charcoal, Oil, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper
RED TIE • 2015 • Charcoal, Pastel and Coffee on Prepared Paper
Manifest received 1907 submissions from 593 artists from all across the U.S. and the world. The publication will include 120 works by 81 artists.

Eleven professional and academic advisors qualified in the fields of art, design, and art history juried this 11th International Drawing Annual. The process of selection was by anonymous blind jury, with each jury member assigning a quality rating for artistic merit to each work submitted. The entries receiving the highest average combined score will be included in this publication. The publication is published and can be bought at
Manifest Gallery.
The Anxiety of Style
I just found some photographs of paintings I created in college. It reminded me of how artists come to develop a style. Students use negation and hybridization as a method to come to grips with the anxiety of creating something new and personal. Negation is the easiest way to create a semblance of uniqueness. Take the current practice and do everything opposite. I am reminded of Mannerist artists during the 16th century, who in the face of the great masters of the Renaissance, produced work that turned the rational approach of their mentors upside down (perspective, local color, rational composition, etc.). For me, it was playing with color field painting and gesture painting.

Field Painting, oil & shoes on canvas, 6' x 6', 1974

Another way that the anxiety of style is handled in student work is through synthesis and hybridization. In the painting on the right, I combined the rough edged matte-knife strokes of Clifford Still with the lyrical abstract paintings of Philip Guston. The anxiety is apparent in the scratchy, nervous and agitated painting surface created by using my fingers to apply the paint and made all the more so by deliberately and self-consciously dumbing down the subject matter into child-like diagrammatic imagery.

First Meeting, oil on canvas, 6' x 9', 1976

Whether the work was successful, it does contain my subsequent interest in humor and narrative (see my early work here). But style can't be forced even by the most competitive art student. And with what style mature artists end up can't be justified or avoided. To paraphrase the rhetorical and wonderfully post-modernist riddle posed by that old Blackglama ad campaign: What becomes a style most? Insert your work here.