shane mcadams: ball point pen paintings shane mcadams: ball point pen paintings
nov 22, 2011

shane mcadams: ball point pen paintings

‘pen blow 67’ by shane mcadams ball point pen and resin on panel 12” x 12” image © shane mcadams

exploring the notions of landscape in the broadest sense of the term, brooklyn-based artist shane mcadams creates abstract paintings from ink extracted from ball-point pens. the body of work focuses on the often dueling relationships between natural and synthetic forms, illustrating through process the phenomenon of elemental forces incrementally sculpting a land over time.

displaying a soft and colourful array of tones, the pieces push the boundaries of ballpoint pen ink through a series of non-traditional applications: once extracted, the liquid is heated and mixed with solvents before it is applied to the surface. mcadams does not ‘draw’ in the conventional sense but rather lets gravity, wind, and other physical forces direct the movement of the ink. resembling a chromatography test, subtle gradients and unexpected streaks emerge to create a ghostly multi-toned image. by allowing the painting to, in essence, come to being by itself, it forces the viewers to question what is organic and what is artificial.

‘pen blow 69’ by shane mcadams ball point pen and resin on panel 12” x 12” image © shane mcadams

‘pen blow 68’ by shane mcadams ball point pen and resin on panel 12” x 12” image © shane mcadams

‘pen blow 71’ by shane mcadams ball point pen and resin on panel 12” x 12” image © shane mcadams

‘pen blow 66’ by shane mcadams ball point pen and resin on panel 12” x 12” image © shane mcadams

‘pen blow 23’ by shane mcadams ball point pen and resin on panel 12” x 12” image © shane mcadams

  • i love it. gimme a print!

    Darija S. Hauge says:
  • nice

    nice says:
  • “focuses on the often dueling relationships between natural and synthetic forms”

    … no it doesn’t …

    mackenzie collins says:
  • “forces the viewers to question what is organic and what is artificial.” C’mon. Really!?

    Nelliej says:
  • I don’t buy the question being proposed. If not for the explanation of process and already proposed idea, the notion wouldn’t even strike the viewer’s mind. An imposed afterthought on an experiment which quite frankly would be better categorized as basic science meets art.

    blackhack says:
  • I hate to leave a thread in a discussion about my own work; however I think I should clarify that the concepts some are questioning refer to my entire body of work, not necessarily those few selected for this piece. The work being covered here represent abstract material experiments that are ultimately incorporated into hybrid paintings. You may view a more comprehensive collection of work at: http://www.shanemcadams.com

    shane says:
  • @shane thanks for the clarification, makes a lot more sense now, great work.

    jamescampbell is here says:
  • keep up the good+cool work!

    g says:
  • very very cool
    I would definitely hang one in my house

    nicholkid says:
  • Is it just me?
    When I look at the first two images on my monitor I could swear that the central black spot keeps getting larger, except for the fact that it clearly isn’t.
    I think I need some time off..

    watchutalkinboutwillis says:
  • @qatchutalkinboutwillis

    yes – these look amazing on computer screen. trippy

    nasdaf says:
  • I can do this in five minutes with Google Picnik. It is not bad but it is not art either…

    peen says:
  • @peen

    Give a convincing reason why this isn’t art

    … especially when several people here have already accepted that it is. I believe it is too. Prove to me its not art.

    douglas says:
  • niublity!

    不布 says:
  • hello guys
    there is another ballpoint pen artist from india famous as “Harimohan
    Bhatt”, have a look at the amazing artwork at
    http://www.harimohandesignworld.com/work.php

    Hari mohan says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news