Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Journal, Newest Series | 6 comments

With the hanging of my solo show in Alstonville there was a sense of completion . All the paintings and drawings were out of the studio and the house, and I guess there was room for something new. It all sounds predictable, but the truth is I wasn’t expecting it. There is so much inspiration in the series  ‘the Daughters of Gaia’ that honestly I was just expecting it to continue much the same.

But inspiration and the direction of my work is never entirely up to me.

drawing of a young woman holding a baby

Above is a drawing that I did in my art journal last January. I couldn’t understand why I was doing intricate pen drawings in what is essentially my sketchbook (I refer to my bewilderment here, but didn’t write much about the confusion that I was feeling.) I don’t know how to explain it now either, but I have learned to follow what I think of as my inspiration and what others might refer to as whimsy.

The starting point was a photo of a young woman holding a baby, but  as I began to draw her she began to change. Her hair grew into massive locks,  what she was holding disappeared and I became aware that she was looking at a flying beetle. 

After the show in Alstonville had opened I was in my rather empty studio wondering what was coming. I remembered my drawing of the woman with the baby in the art journal, who I liked in spite of her rather wonky expression, and felt motivated to draw her larger. I wondered if my very fine drawing pen, a Uniball Signo UM-151 in a wonderful shade of brown-black,  would work on a larger scale.

an artwork in progress of a young woman holding a baby

the drawing in progress

So I roughly sketched her outline in pencil on some good quality print-making paper that I had in my metal cabinet. I didn’t have any watercolour paper heavy enough so I knew she would be limited to pen and ink, no colour. That was fine with me.

I draw out the basic composition and proportions in pencil, then I come in with the pen. I don’t copy over the pencil  but use the lines as a helpful initial outline. Because I have already gotten down the proportion and composition with the pencil, I am able to concentrate on other subtleties in the drawing. I am always redrawing what I initially put down in pencil with the pen, refining and perfecting.

a small and a large ink drawing of a young woman holding a baby

Here you can see the size difference, and compare the other differences as well. Her clothing has changed into something close to a military uniform from the 1700’s.  And there are a trio of beetles rather than two.

In my opinion her expression has softened and become rather perplexed.

a drawing of young woman and baby with beetles flying around them

Beetledance
Pen and ink on paper

I am very happy with the changes she has gone through. She feels complete now.

Any guesses on what the story might be?


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