“Then one night in the dream-city of Zakarion I found a yellowed papyrus filled with the thoughts of dream-sages who dwelt of old in that city, and who were too wise ever to be born in the waking world.”
– H.P. Lovecraft, “Ex Oblivione”
“If octopuses did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them. I don’t know if we could manage this, so it’s as well that we don’t have to. “
– Peter Godfrey-Smith, “On Being an Octopus”
If ever there was an animal that could be conceived of as having dreamed itself into existence, it would be the octopus. Nearly all axes of their being are for all intents and purposes impossible for humans to imagine – from their radial symmetry, their multitude of independently-controlled suckers that touch as well as taste their surroundings, their complex but non-centralized nervous systems, to the horizontal slit of their eyes. That sense of radical self-invention that octopuses bonelessly embody is an element crucial to my work. Because of their inherent amorphousness, octopuses can be represented in an infinite number of ways and offer an ideal conduit to represent the intangible.
Inspired by the many recent daily projects undertaken by artists, writers and other creators, I embarked upon my An Octopus a Day project in October of 2010. Over the course of the 700+ pieces I have drawn, painted, embossed, cut and folded since then, I have found the beautifully nebulous and alien form of the octopus to be an ideal vehicle to explore line, texture, color, light, and dark. Their ever-shifting indefinite silhouettes have allowed for endless abstraction and exploration using a wide variety of media - from pen and ink to watercolors, gouache, charcoal, mixed media, embossing powder, magnetic paint, and my personal favorite - squid ink. I hope my paintings and drawings are able to echo some fraction of the wonder that octopuses evoke in their otherworldly splendor.
My octopuses speak for themselves. I on the other hand would like to give my sincere thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged this project. Octopuses are their own reward but I’m incredibly touched by all the wonderful feedback I’ve received from friends, family and strangers alike.