This watercolour is a study for a future oil painting. I wanted to give the figure an avian quality, hence the placement of the eye. The whole piece hinges on that pitiless eye! I think it’s also quite funny. I have a series of paintings in mind featuring monsters in remote outdoor settings. I plan on doing these in the coming months, probably spread out over the year. If you’re wondering what that might look like, Tadpole Tales (below) is the kind of thing I am talking about. Each medium has its own qualities to recommend it.
There is still much to be done on this new drawing, but having finished one fairly defined section I thought I’d share a work in progress (WIP). If you saw my earlier post on this piece, you’ll notice that I have added to the title. “Tears of the Poppy” is a line taken from the text of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, a book that has been occupying my reading time and weirdly, or perhaps not so weirdly, my dreams for a few weeks now. The phrase fits the theme of this work.
“I tell you, there are more worlds, and more doors to them, than you will think of in many years!”
― George MacDonald, Lilith
I’ve been thinking of doors to different worlds for many years. Or maybe its the same world, just many different doors. The first drawing was done in 2004, the second this summer. The theme is similar, a child accompanied by fantastical creatures on a journey to somewhere. The earlier one was done when my daughter was small. It’s a portrait of her. The second was from a photograph of a Victorian child, in somewhat different circumstances than I have depicted here. I wonder what the adult, which the child later became, would have thought of my drawing?
On a technical note, the top piece was brush and ink on heavy Arches hotpress paper. The bottom piece was my first largish work done with Micron Pigma pens. The inks are designed for archival purposes, so I felt secure using them. All in all though, I prefer my carbon black Liquitex.
PS. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Moon Gathering is currently available from Copro Gallery in California. It was part of the Roadside Attractions II show, curated by Cris Velasco.
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a series of cross hatched drawings. It started out as a test of some paper I found in the back of my paper rack called #234 Paris Bleedproof Paper for Pens by Borden and Riley. I have a habit of picking up tablets of paper that look promising and stashing them away for later. I really love this paper for Pigma Micron markers. It’s like the two things were made to go together. So, like potato chips, one followed the other. Here is what I’ve done so far.
This image shows the completed drawing, The Dark Bead. You can see details and work in progress images in previous posts. The Dark Bead is an ink pointillism drawing done primarily with a Rotring .13 technical pen, and a Koh I Noor .18 for the outlines. As is typical for pointillism, this drawing took many hours of work. I chose this style for its soft gradations and ability to deliver fine detail.
A theme of impenetrable mystery is at the heart of The Black Bead. The narrative revolves around the nature of the bead and its import to the creatures. The bead represents any kind of mystery and proposes that any mystery can seem magical until it is understood. The drawing also raises questions about the cottage in the distance, the identity of the creatures and the setting. It is deliberately non-committal about the time period, suggesting an otherworld scenario; a liminal place of change.
Up next is a larger piece for a show coming up at Copro Gallery later in the fall. Stay tuned.
Bells Call Others is a new drawing, just finished this morning. It was a bit of a digression from another drawing I am working on, The Dark Bead, occasioned by finding a piece of toned board in my paper rack. Working on toned paper had been on my mind since looking at some work by Katsuya Terada that had been printed on grey paper. I’m definitely going to do more of this but first I must finish The Dark Bead.
I’ve put this drawing in my Big Cartel webstore if anyone wants to purchase it for their collection.
This is my first drawing with the .13 Rotring Rapidograph. Until now I’ve been a die hard .18 Koh-I-Noor user. I still like the latter but I found that the Rotring pen delivered a great performance and gave me a much finer grain. I am definitely using this pen for the illustrations I am working on right now.
So, here we have ended up with a steampunk meets Kafka kind of image. It’s a personal piece, not an illustration. It’s available. If you are interested, send me an email query.