The GOOD TO GO Coffee Cup Canvas Project in Dumbo, NY

As part of the DO School Sustainable Cup Challenge Fellowship here in Brooklyn, NY, my fellows and I organized the creation and dispersal of 13 coffee cup canvases to NYC based artists. I held on to 2 and contributed some artwork to the project as well.

The Cup Canvas Project arose as an artistic and community response to the dilemma of the millions of coffee cups disposed of daily in NYC. Normally, these cups landfilled up to 500 miles away or “downcycled” into inferior paper products. Our cup canvases demonstrate that wasted materials can become something wonderful.

A canvas is made by covering a wooden panel with 10 cups (a New Yorker’s weekly average). Together the 16 panels represent 2 seconds of cups disposed of in NYC.

Artworks such as these may not solve the severity of our wastefulness, but they provide a fresh way to see the issue and offer a platform for conversation about hyper-consumption and our disposable culture.

For more info on the Good To Go campaign and projects visit:

Heart Wave Dorje Video and Description

This is a small video of a large Heart Wave Dorje from the beautiful hills of Colombia just North of Bogota. I have always been attracted to the dorje symbol and object from the time that I encountered it in use amongst Tibetan Buddhists. I started making my particular takes on them in early 2009 when I was living on the island of Oahu and going to school at the University of Hawaii in Manoa Valley, and the inspiration had come some months earlier when I was hiking on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai.

As I looked up into the twilight sky above the stretching ocean horizon where the sun had just set, I focused my eyes on several stars that had started to appear as the light drained from the sky. As I loosened my fixed gaze I saw a movement descend vertically between the stars and spin them into two separate sets. This created the essential form of the dorje before me. Then I noticed another movement that seemed the response of the spinning chambers; a horizontal, inward whirlpool force that seen from a distance created two heart-like shapes that met in the central spinning.

Once I had the time and wire at my fingertips, I began to make basically what I had created in my vision that day. The polarized hearts looked like lightbulb coils and it brought me great joy to make them. Since that first one I have probably only made about seven or eight others, but am looking forward to bending several more (smaller than the one in the video) as part of my Crowdfunding Campaign, currently live on


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.


Martian Dream Drawing Inversion

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This is one of the drawings (inverted) that I made in 2013 for Jason Horsley’s investigative work entitled Crucial Fictions. The website can be found at The piece depicts a bit of what is covered in through the writings and project, such as the possibility of high level Governmental involvement in top-secret projects involving the Grey aliens, and the creation of autistic children to serve as a medium for communication and exchange with such entities.

I am releasing this now again in part because I am now reading a very fascinating book by Bob Frissell entitled “Nothing in This Book is True, But It’s Exactly How Things Are”, wherein these subjects are covered in some detail. The main aspect worth focusing on is how Frissell arrives time and again in the book at the conclusion and realization that we are all on this Earthship together, and are challenged to find a way to make everything we do a win-win situation for everyone.

– Joseph Stodgel 1/29/14