Bright Circle

Although snowy and blustery outside the horses had fresh water, a manger full of Kentucky blue grass hay, candy hay and their morning feeding of grain. Mud splattered over their turnout rugs and clods of dirt clung to the ends of their tails, but still they were safe and secure in their paddocks.  Christmas lights were strung on the front of the house and wreaths fastened to the front doors. I filled the bird feeders with black sunflower seeds and felt a sigh of relief for the finished chores. The dogs greeted me at the door; now I could turn to my studio.

It was a good day to dig through piles of drawings littered across my big walnut banquet table.  As I sorted through each pile of papers I carefully placed a sheet of wax paper between the charcoal and pastel drawings.  I did this to protect them from rubbing against each other and ruining the surface of the drawing. Glassine (a large roll of slick transparent paper) is no longer made, so I used second best, big waxy sheets of paper. I separated out the drawings targeted towards a sculpture.  These were of special interest to me as they’re the catalyst signifying the first mark on the paper where I placed my idea.

I wasn’t surprised at the numerous drawings of the same subject. Redundant, maybe, but each one had a subtle change and others not so subtle.  Drawn in black charcoal then a switch to sanguine, then a pencil and maybe pastel the image was drawn over and over again.  It hit me a few years back when I was gazing at a lovely painting in a museum and wondered how could an artist possibly bring this image to canvas or paper without a struggle? And I was curious about the rough beginnings then I reminded myself, they didn’t and this painting was the result of many edits. They had to find that image in a hundred different places, least of which is on a sheet of paper in tacked to a drawing board.

100% rag layout paper is one of my favorite types of paper; I feel a sense of freedom with it, I can make a line, then lay a new sheet over it and do it again and again. After pulling out some sheets that had nothing on them or were ruined by years of living in a portfolio rubbing their image off onto another piece of paper. Although most of these drawings were what I call preliminary sketches, some of them could be exhibited. A large part of them though were failed drawings, meaning more to me as an antedated moment. Still thought they were important to me as a body of work.  I picked a few drawings and put them in a special folder for reference on work that I’d like to revisit.

This action was premeditated; it’s my desire to draw these images into a bright circle.