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Why Mixed-Media Artist Christopher A Tice Welcomes Accidents in His Work

Why Mixed-Media Artist Christopher A Tice Welcomes Accidents in His Work

Christopher A Tice considers accidents an integral part of the creative process. Utilizing the concepts of Free Association, Psychic Automatism, and Pure Imagination, he incorporates new media, sculpture, photography, and drawing into his intuitive and spontaneous work. Tice is currently the Resident Artist/Instructor/Curator at the Lincoln Arts Institute in Illinois, an artist-owned organization in an historic building erected in 1915 for The Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Not Real Art Artist Of The Day Series

After earning a Masters of Fine Art from Illinois University, and teaching at the college level, Tice entered the corporate education industry. He remained there until 2018, when he transitioned to public schools and community arts organizations. He describes himself a hermit, but his artistic and educational practices, and commitment to a larger creative community, counteract his tendency to remain on the outside looking in.

I have always felt like an outsider not just in the art world but also in the rest of the world. I would not, however, characterize my relationship with the art world as unwanted or alienated. I surround myself with creatives and appreciate any environment that promotes creativity and positivity. I guess that I am just used to the feeling of not belonging and over time am numb to it.…I don't feel unwanted or alienated, I'm just a hermit engaged in my art practice watching the world go by and trying to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all.

His experimental approach stems from the psychic automatism championed by André Breton in his 1924 Surrealist Manifesto, which encouraged writers and artists to surrender to the whims of the unconscious. His fluid mixed-media drawings in charcoal, conte, and pastel reflect his commitment to creating work that comes directly from within. A video of Tice allowing his hands to wander freely across the paper in a Ouija board-like motion, are a clear indication that the methods of the Surrealists and Dadaists are alive and well nearly a century later.

Table of Contents

Christopher A Tice — Artist Statement

Christopher A. Tice. Headshot
Christopher A Tice

My current body of work is the result of my exodus from the corporate and academic world, realizing that both environments left me unfulfilled creatively. I began to deconstruct my process of art making and examined my relationship with materials and subject matter, while questioning my entire approach to making art. This has led to the realization that previously my work always fulfilled someone else's requirement either as an academic exercise or a commissioned work. My goal is to break with conventional art making exploring the concepts of Free Association, Psychic Automatism and Pure Imagination.

I supplement my handmade charcoal with commercial and handmade conte and commercial compressed charcoal in order to add color beyond the rich blacks my hand made drawing tools provide. Once all of these various media are combined into the drawing tool, I am able to use it to create my works. Some pieces take only a few seconds to create while others are more refined from the initial abstraction creating a narrative image over the course of a day. All of my works derive from that initial pass of the tool on the blank page.

Drawing on concepts and techniques of Dada, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, I invite and accept the accident as a fundamental component of the work. Phenomena such as Pareidolia and Dali’s Paranoid Critical Method are inherent in all of my art. The fragile nature of the charcoal used in the tool creates a constantly changing starting point for each drawing. The resulting abstraction initially may look like chaos. Out of that chaos, shape, form and pattern emerge, presenting themselves to the viewer. It is ultimately the audience who finds familiar patterns and meanings making it personal to each individual. The resulting work is an elegant creation with rich materials that express the creativity free of as much conscious intention as possible.

Christopher A Tice – Grant Submission Work

Christopher Tice. The Trickster, The Bene Gesserit and Wepwawet
The Trickster, The Bene Gesserit and Wepwawet
Full Worm Moon Drawing
Handmade Bamboo, Maple, Cherry and Pumpkin Charcoal with oil pastel
on Legion Stonehenge paper
30 x22 inches
Christopher Tice. #27
#27
Handmade Maple, Cherry and Pumpkin Charcoal with Commercial
Compressed Charcoal on archival paper
24 x 18 inches
Christopher Tice. The One We Feed
The One We Feed
Full Wolf Moon Drawing
Handmade Bamboo, Maple, Cherry and Pumpkin Charcoal
on Legion Stonehenge paper
30 x 22 inches
Christopher Tice. Grass Bouquet
Grass Bouquet
Handmade Maple, Cherry and Pumpkin Charcoal with Commercial Compressed
Charcoal on archival paper
24 x 18 inches
Christopher Tice. Betrayed Lost Dreaming
Betrayed Lost Dreaming
Full Snow Moon Drawing
Handmade Bamboo, Maple, Cherry and Pumpkin Charcoal with oil pastel on Legion
on Legion Stonehenge paper
30 x 22 inches

Christopher A Tice – Artist Bio

Christopher A Tice was born in Mt Carmel, IL. He earned his MFA and MS from Illinois State University in 2008.Professional work includes new media, sculpture, photography and drawing.In addition to commission work he has been active as a digital consultant and freelance artist for 24 years. After serving as adjunct faculty at several colleges and working freelance jobs he entered the corporate education industry and worked there until 2018. Always working in the arts and education Tice has served as an art educator for both youth and adults in public schools, community summer programs and workshops. Currently Tice is serving as the Resident Artist/Instructor/Curator at the Lincoln Arts Institute.

Christopher on the Web And Social Media

Here is where to find out more about Christopher A. Tice on the web and social media:

About the Artist of the Day Series

All artworks have been published with permission of the artist. Our "Artist of the Day" series is a regular feature highlighting artworks from the 100's of grant applications we receive. The "Not Real Art Grant" is an annual award designed to empower the careers of contemporary artists, and this is one way we honor all entries we receive. Find out more about the grant program here.

Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis

Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis is a writer, photographer, and former New York Gallery Director based in Washington, D.C. She has an M.F.A. in Fine Art and an undergraduate degree in Russian Literature. She speaks five foreign languages and is currently in a Masters of Non-Fiction Writing Program at John Hopkins University.

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