Charting the Life of a 5×5 Painting

Here are a few pictures from charting the trajectory of a 5×5 painting that I made in this last month for the Crowdfunding Campaign to raise money for my DO School Fellowship program in New York City.

First, I begin these pieces with the definition of a center line and a central circle made with a round object of some sort (don’t want a compass poking holes in my canvases). From there, I basically do the geometry from what looks appealing to my eye rather than using a mess of straight lines and rulers which tend to muck the pieces up and as well give them an “I made this with a ruler” kind of look.  I have tended towards making the straight lines a little more lively with just allowing myself to do the best that I can.

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Two triangles balanced on top of each other. A central octagon, and then the details of the outer layers of the cuboctahedron. Next, I reinforce and bolster the lines with permanent marker (a pile of which I have managed to accumulate in the last years) some of which remains through and through the later layers of paint that are applied to the piece. Ah yes – the application of color comes flooding into a part of the piece. In this case the sky takes on a rich blue, interspersed with left empty lines radiating from the star tetrahedron. IMG_0795 hc s

The background takes form with the contrast of cloud and sky, and the details of light rays and poofy shadows interspersed in the waves of water vapor. This piece defied my satisfaction for some time, sitting under a lamp and reminding me every time that I looked over that the conversation had just begun and that we had more to talk about. Eventually, I started to outline the cuboctahedron, creating sort of a magnetic tremor spreading from the geometry. IMG_1101 hc sAt some point the piece was done, or done enough, and I put it down for some time to enjoy its company. This all reminds me of Buckminster Fuller – how he said something to the extent of how beauty and aesthetics were what compelled him to know if what he had did was good. He said that if he arrived at something lacking in beauty, he knew that he had done something wrong / incorrect in his calculations and such.

Check out all the paintings in the series on the Crowfund the Fellowship: Paintings page.


The Crowdfunding Campaign for Jo’s NYC Fellowship is Alive!

The many hours of writing, painting, singing, bead-work, metal bending, web design, talking and editing, the crowdfunding campaign for my NYC Do School Fellowship has been released from my humming computer to the vast world of the wide web!

I am excited to post regularly during this month of crowdfunding with photos of the new paintings and artworks that I have made, samples of notes from past educational programs, a random video or song thrown into the mix, and some explanations for why I have chosen to focus on these certain offerings and styles.

Below and here you will find a link to the Indiegogo campaign, the links to the pages I have set up here onsite with a sampling of the artworks that I have made to exchange for your generous contributions, as well as some of the text from the campaign. Thank you kindly and please share it on your social networks and such!

Support and share the campaign at

5x5 TTP s

Job's Tear Square s

Heart Wave Dorje square s

Greetings! My name is Jo and I am from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Two years ago I initiated work in South Africa to “upcycle” an old dumping site into the home of the Trash to Treasure Festivals. It is my passion to show people how they can use “trash” beneficially for the upliftment of their communities. I am also a passionate artist and am gladdened by the opportunity to make more art.

I recently was accepted to the Sustainable Cup Challenge Fellowship in New York City with The DO School. The main goal of the fellowship is to prepare and guide young entrepreneurs through the challenges of starting and sustaining a successful project in response to a pressing issue in their communities. I want to build upon the work that I have accomplished in South Africa and establish an eco-brick program in Santa Fe that addresses local plastic pollution.

Your contributions to this campaign will provide me with the support I need to participate in the NYC fellowship, to take my upcycling projects to the next level, and to produce a new series of artworks as well.