Photographs courtesy of the artist.

In our series Buy This Art, we showcase works created by Pittsburgh artists—all available for purchase—for readers who wish to support local creators and Pittsburgh’s art market.




John Peña is a multidisciplinary artist who makes art as a way of exploring the natural world and his day-to-day life. His work elevates the mundane—whether it’s racing with cloudssending a letter to the Pacific Ocean every day for the last twelve years, or creating a pirate radio station that broadcasted extinct birds sounds. He currently makes daily drawings and three-dimensional word balloons out of plaster. To initiate our new series Buy This Art, we’re spotlighting Peña’s daily drawings collection Daily Geology.

John Peña. Photograph courtesy of the artist.

John Peña on Daily Geology:

Every day for the last seven years, I have made a drawing about my day. In each, I attempt to record a memorable or noteworthy moment. The drawings are graphite on paper and measure 9” x 12”. I often exhibit these drawings in galleries and museums and have recently started publishing annual books. My newest installment, titled Daily Geology: Year 2015, contains 365 drawings from January 1st through December 31st of 2015. The interior is printed in black and white on cream paper with a color cover. It is perfect [adhesive] bound and measures approximately 6″ x 6″ x 1.125″.

With Daily Geology, I am trying to record moments of my life as honestly and unapologetically as possible. I write about my struggles with anxiety, depression, and interpersonal relationships. I write about moments of elation, boredom, confusion, and banality. I do so in a slow and gradual manner and, in this way, no single entry carries that much importance. It is only when they are put together that they gain a momentum to illuminate a larger story, one that hopefully evokes an appreciation for the ordinary and daily experiences in my life.


Price and Purchasing Method: 

Copies of Daily Geology: Year 2015 are available for purchase at John Peña’s website. The books are $25, or $20 for students—use the promo code “Student” at checkout to receive your discount. Peñas previous book, Year 2014, is also available for $20.