Hand drawn using archival pigmented ink on acid free paper, approx 8 x 10 inches
Carefully controlled placement of small and tiny line and geometric details creates both an active pattern and the illusion of a grayscale in this image. Swirling organic shapes and elements of the landscape drawn in explicitly with lines coalesce into a black and white “pointillist” rendering of other elements and objects and portions of the figure that are suggested by the abstract shapes.
The picture suggests a story about ideals and idealization as masks that we wear, sometimes by choice. Specifically the myths of women as the initiators of human awareness – of our very humanity – and how this world comes at the cost of our innocence.
So here she is.
The mythical woman pondering whether to take those steps into a wide and terrible world;
the real woman pondering her identity and independence behind the weight of all that myth. Stay in the land of magic and beauty – always just out of reach and amorphous? Or move into the world of reality and at the same time help that world come into being?
Some notes on the process
As I start working on a drawing, initially it’s just an emerging pattern of lines. Usually the lines begin to suggest a subject. Sometimes the subject is figurative or somewhat representational; sometimes it is an abstract compositional concept or experiment with ink. Often the abstracted style of representation dances around the subject, picking up layers of detail and meaning in the way the drawing is constructed and the details relating the subject as a whole.
This drawing quickly became a drawing about a group of mythical female “troublemakers” whom I’d been pondering. All of these mythical figures are troublesome because of the very traits that we celebrate as creative people – Eve seeking knowledge and self-realization, Pandora following her intense curiosity, and other similar figures who crop up in myths and legends around the globe. These ubiquitous stories have become archtypes of a sort, bounding the decisions and perceptions that affect women to this day and in our modern times.