Owen Connell (IG: @parlorfstudio) has been working as a painter, designer, and tattoo artist in Seattle for the past 30 years. His work—relentlessly energetic, seemingly never stoping for breath—harkens to the rhythm of hieroglyphs, amassing Kandinsky-like cryptic tangles of pattern and abstract flow. His sketches are usually the base for a final piece, merging and intermingling nascent ideas with finished art, built over time.
“All my art work and tattoos start with pencil and paper,” says Connell. “Sketching and sketching, building and layering until the work tells me to stop.”
Christopher Buening‘s prolific work comprises a pied diary of personal experience and relationships. His materials are redolent of things rococo, glittering with heaps of oozing glaze or White-Off that form stalactite-like characters in his ceramics and create ghostly negative space in his paintings.
In addition to sculpture, painting, and gallery installation, Buening has developed a unique practice of guerrilla ceramic installation in public spaces, arranging compositions made of hundreds of brightly-colored ceramic shards that amass to form figurative images or elaborate shrines tucked into urban wastelands. Other installations in the wild are composed of exquisitely sculpted ceramic simulacra—hand-painted objects like pills, cigarette cartons, and beer cans. Left to be found by passersby, they languish and erode: an ode to decadence, survival, pleasure, and indulgence.
“Sketching is just another function of my journaling,” says Buening. “My sketchbooks—I have probably a hundred or more—are writing and drawings all intermingled. It’s a stream of consciousness function and I don’t really use them for anything other than verbal, visual and mental diarrhea release. These are all mixed media on sketchbook paper, done at various times over the last few years.”