Meander stone and spiral drawing
birches turning yellow behind garden
As I write, the first gentle, soaking rain in
weeks taps out a slow rhythm on the tin roof. I'm grinning
with gratefulness. A cool, autumnal feeling day that called
me deep within myself and found me tending the land and
working in the studio. The birches have started turning and
dropping leaves much earlier than usual. I began the day by
cutting the numerous saplings that sprout in the clearing -
an ongoing necessary task to claim some open space in
the midst of the forest. I trimmed hemlocks, cut black and
yellow birch, keeping a few white ones for their graceful
leaf-wind-dance. I could feel the rain coming - the smells,
a certain density of clouds, the rustle of high leaves.
As I wandered and worked, small signs of fall color
peeped out from secret hiding places.
I noticed that someone tasted the volunteer squash,
probably the woodpile chipmunk who lives next to it.
Guess it wasn't to her liking.
After hauling the brush to a pile in the forest, I contemplated
the cord and a half more of wood that needs to be stacked,
but some images and ideas I'm working on drew me into the studio
for more exploration. Sometimes, things that start as pure fun turn
into something exciting. I didn't realize until today that the painted
stones I made for my Myth and Symbol students in the spring related
to the line doodle drawings I was doing last winter.
Its not really surprising, I'm fascinated with these kinds
of primal patterns, crop circle patterns and ancient
symbols that are seen in cultures from all over the world.
What is surprising is that they haven't ever found their way
into my work in a sustained and significant way.
Now, however, they are demanding attention.
painted spiral stone
I've been obsessively making bleeding, primal pattern
drawings the last few days, listening to stories told in the
language of symbols. Patterns are speaking to me, though I
hear them from a place just out of reach of my consciousness.
I know obsessions to be very useful things to nurture when
it comes to making art - they can take me on grand, new
adventures if I have the courage to follow....
I'm obviously being influenced by things on my studio table,
but then again, I chose to put them there....
Though the patterns aren't so different, its the surface they are
on that gives each its particular quality. Gel pens on black paper,
silver paint marker on stone, ink on watercolor and Yupo paper.
What I'm excited about with these new drawings is
the obvious influence the stone shapes have had on
them. The line doodles are like patterns in space
that speak of microcosms and macrocosms -
spinning electrons and galaxies. I see ancient
artifacts and petroglyphs as I draw patterns within
the stone-like forms in this work. Containing
the patterns this way is a new way of working
with much to explore.
Above is a drawing on Yupo paper which is not
absorbent at all so creates interesting bleed areas
as the ink dries. Below is a detail. A bit like an eye...
Two spirals on Yupo. The one on the right is still wet,
if you click to enlarge, you will see the pooling ink.
Three primal pattern drawings on watercolor paper.
Who knows where all this will lead. For now, I'm happy
to feel myself pulled into the studio. I have landscapes to
make for an upcoming show and a gallery, both demanding
that I commit to a body of work instead of a new exploration.
I will keep making these drawings however, I'm too obsessed
not to! They are new ingredients I am stirring into my
cauldron of imagination. Always a good idea to change
up the stew now and again to keep