About Ted Washington
Ted Washington is an artist, author, poet and reluctant businessman. He now lives in San Diego, after spending time as an apprentice draftsman for a beer brewery in St. Louis, an Internal Revenue Service employee in Springfield, MO, a retail sales representative in Denver, CO, and temporarily homeless vagabond turned baker on the beaches of Venice, CA. Ted is the founder of Puna Press and the performance group Pruitt Igoe. Pruitt Igoe was awarded a Synergy Foundation grant and performed in Harlem, New York City. Ted Washington won the BRAND 37 purchase award, with the Glendale Library acquiring one of his artworks for their permanent collection. He is the co-founder and current host of the poetry event Palabra!
The search for order in this chaos. Art. Life. I was hoping to draw pretty pictures but something happens. I get carried away. Dots take time, time for my mind to get away from all of this. The pretty pictures get lost in there and this art is what remains. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there is always an alpha for every omega; more ink, more paper and more time. The chaos takes me. Order is for the end.
You probably don’t want to hear some metaphysical bullshit. You want to hear an answer to, “Why dots?” That I was homeless and how only the pens survived the spiral of drugs, booze and women. And how drugs, booze and women funded and fueled the art.
You probably want to hear about technical challenges; of finding proper gradation in the pen sizes. How I pursued achieving depth in the darkest regions, using the negative space in the foreground and background, using texture to convey the image. About studying Cezanne, Schielle, Adams and Close for the roadmap to the figurative and away. How nature, philosophy, meditation and music have taken me further into abstraction.
The reality of it is, if I live the art will be the reason. Journeys through chaos to order.
I do a lot of commissioned portraits now but in the beginning I wanted to master my technique of stipple. I create my source imagery by taking black and white film photographs and it’s always about lighting. That is what I draw: what the light exposes and obliterates. The dark or the light held at bay. The art is the interpretation of those transitions. With this in mind, when I asked friends or had clients sit I made it clear that the portrait would be composed with advancing the technique as the priority. Most artists have done stipple at some stage but I wanted to go further. Many of the stipple works I had seen didn’t use of hard contrasts. Over a ten year period I went from compositions dominated by white to those dominated by black. I NEVER add white. The negative space pushes the foreground and the background and can be the black or the white. If there is anything that I may have added to the stipple canon it will be the utilization of different point sizes to generate the image, a technique I had not seen in stipple art of the past. I use what is considered a graphic arts technique and make fine art.
Maybe stipple shouldn’t be used this way. Oh well.
My friend and fellow artist Ron Moya relayed to me that I was discovering my own language with the dots. I thank him for that because it opened a new world for me. These are attempts to give vision to the energy behind the reality and the energy that is reality.
Books and Prints
- The Hoffman Trust Award, Southern California Regional Juried Award Exhibition, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA 2010
- Brand Associates Purchase Award, BRAND 37, Works on Paper: Here & Now, Brand Library and Art Center, Glendale, CA 2008
- Pruitt Igoe receives Synergy Art Foundation Grant, 2006
- First place, Mixed Media, 5th Annual Fun with Chalk Street Painting and Fine Art Festival,
Mission Viejo, CA 2003
- Best of Show, 20th La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta Arts Foundation, La Quinta, CA 2002
- Most Promising New Artist, 20th La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta Arts Foundation, La Quinta, CA 2002
- Airfloat Merit Award, 22nd National Juried Art Show, New Orleans Art Association, New Orleans, LA 2002
- First Place, Twelfth Annual Juried Competition, Veridian Gallery, New York, NY 2001
- Award of Excellence, 13th International Open Exhibition, Sacramento Fines Arts Center Inc.,
Carmichael, CA 2001
- SOHO International Art Competition, Agora Gallery, New York, NY 2000
- Artists of the New Millennium Illustration Contest, Strathmore Artist Products 2000
Selected Exhibitions and Publications
- Paisanos / USA Exhibition, Gallery of the City of the Municipal Institute of Art and Culture, Tijuana, Mexico 2022
- The Year In Ink (Anthology), Published by San Diego Writers Ink 2022
- Solo Exhibition, Pali Wine, San Diego, CA 2019
- Send Me Something New, Group Exhibit, Fallbrook Library, Fallbrook CA 2018
- Flora, Fauna, and Form, Group Exhibit, The Bonita Museum and Cultural Arts Center, Bonita, CA 2017
- All Media 2015, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA
- Art Riot, Juror and Artist, Escondido Arts Partnership Gallery, Escondido, CA 2014
- Art Auction 2014, Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside, CA 2014
- DNA of Creativity – PolyAesthetic Mapping: The Muses, Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside, CA 2014
- Featured Artist and Poet, Summation V, VI, published by Poets Inc., 2013, 2014
- Annual Southern California All Media Black & White Juried Exhibition, La Jolla Art Association, La Jolla, CA 2011, 2013
- Librettist, Scent Of Jasmine On Parker Street, Opera Performance SDSU, San Diego, CA 2013
- Solo Exhibition, Alchemy, San Diego, CA 2009, 2013
- 20th Annual National Juried Exhibition, Bowery Gallery, New York, NY 2011
- 10th Annual Juried Art Show, Southwestern Artists Association, San Diego, CA 2011
- 24th International Juried Show, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ 2010
- Solo Exhibition, Bear Room, Price Center, UCSD, San Diego, CA 2009
- 71st Annual National Exhibition, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY 2006
- Featured Artist, Geoff Thomas Designs, Santa Monica, CA 2006
- Solo Exhibition, Theodore Geisel Library, UCSD, San Diego CA 2006
- 48th International Juried Exhibition, San Diego Art Institute, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 2005
- Honorable Mention, Neo-Erotique, 2nd Annual Juried Show, Art @ Large, New York, NY 2004
- Honorable Mention, 3rd Annual Juried Exhibition, Southwestern Artists’ Association, San Diego, CA 2004
- Solo Exhibition, Galaxy Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 1998 & 2004
- Juried Open, Topanga Canyon Gallery, Topanga Canyon, CA 2004
- Featured Artist, Competition Spotlight, The Artist’s Magazine, November 2003
- Solo Exhibition, 4 Design Gallery, San Diego, CA 2003
- 2nd place, SDMA, Artist Guild Juried Exhibition, Southern Western College Art Gallery,
Chula Vista, CA 2003
- Featured Artist and Poet, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA 2003
- Solo Exhibition, Olé Madrid, San Diego, CA 2002
- Featured Artist, KMIR 6 News, La Quinta, CA 2002
- Featured Artist, Vision Magazine, 2002
- Finalist Portrait Category, The Artist’s Magazine, Annual Art Competition 2002, 2001, 1997, 1996.
- Beefcake/Cheesecake Exhibition, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA 2001
- 46th International Open Exhibition, “Bold Expressions”, Northern California Arts, Inc., Carmichael, CA 2001
- 66th Annual National Exhibition, Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY 2001
- Featured Artist and Poet, KUSI News, San Diego, CA 2001
- 2-3-4 Dimensional II International Juried Exhibition, Period Gallery, Omaha, NE 2001
- Second Place Award, Juried Exhibition, La Jolla Art Association, La Jolla, CA 2000
- All California Juried Exhibition, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA 1998