New work on paper , just off the drawing board. Inspired in part by our bumpy ride from LA to Chicago, the final move of all our worldly goods in a bladder destroying rented truck. From our high perch (which is cool, the big rig-ness of it all) David, Viola and yours truly drove through some majestic landscapes. However the bleak desert landscape between LA and Las Vegas has proven the most inspiring .
Forget the imperial mountainscapes frosted in white, the red stone canyons, the luminous sunsets (and rises) , what seeped into my brain (and pencil) were ice cream cone shaped stands, forlorn and abandoned in the sands, galleons left adrift amongst the chaparral , and the countless “Jackrabbit” shacks/homesteads, built with such enthusiasm and abandoned with such a heavy heart. Neon glitz and sham popped up like unwholesome mushrooms we approached Los Vegas. From my bumpy perch I made short handed doodle-notes which trigger memory and move my pencil along.
The following, an album from that four day trip, late July, early August 2023, I think the quick snapshots convey the nihilistic neon of this fascinating wasteland:
I wasn’t able to capture these peculiar and abandoned ice cream shops, but a google search revealed their history.
Today’s drawing , just in time for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. Hectic few days and I feared I wouldn’t finish in time . ”To offer gold is to proclaim Christ’s Kingship, to offer incense is to adore his Godhead, and to offer myrrh is to acknowledge his mortality “ Saint Odilo of Cluny. I offer this drawing .
Happy new year, I send out wishes for a year of renewal,optimism and rebirth.
I start the new year with a new drawing that I spontaneously called Evergreen. I had hoped for it to be the last drawing of 2022 but there are so many hours in a day. I finished up moments ago, so happy 2023.
It is a continued exploration of otherworld, underworlds, pointy forms, death and rebirth, renewal and fir trees ( a friend pointed the fir tree forms out , aware of my fondness for Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Fir Tree ).
This affinity for renewal isn’t new of course but does add a hint of optimism to my usual obsession over memento mori- the serpent devouring its own tale, a well known allegorical symbol , sprouts new growth .
Another recurrent theme is that of pointed forms, be they vaguely Gothic or conifer.
Even millinery is nearly always pointed:
The other day one of my drawings started incorporating this pointed fir tree / hermitage theme which I plan on exploring further.
No great revelations , nothing terribly profound, but a pause before the busying of a new beginning and the ever present reminder of the passage of sand. At the moment my sweet old lady pug Viola is suffering from some sort of cough, an appointment scheduled but poor creature needs my attention .