XX+XY=XX ~ drawing in progress

It will take me about a week to complete my new large-scale drawing - here are a couple of details (bad snapshots, of course): xxyy-progress

tiny detail - upper left corner


The last picture is of my maternal grandparents.

I have been contemplating the burden of heredity on human behavior, and, alternately, the far reaching impact of the abuse and neglect of a child on generations to come...cycles, breaking cycles, etc.  The title will be "XX + XY = XX".

Coincidentally, the title of my blog is only partially tongue in cheek: sometimes using a drawing to exorcise a few demons feels good - a way to compartmentalize emotions and then set them adrift...

I have a visceral understanding of this new drawing, but this has not solidified into a statement that I can put into words.  That will come before I post final images sometime next week.

Which is the segue to the next part of this post.

I have four drawings in a narrative art exhibit at the Watchung Art Center and via email I received a great question about my drawings...normally the question is "how long did it take you to do that?" but this one was tougher, and I enjoyed answering - or avoiding an answer as it may be:


the house of cards was my favorite in the show , the hand as root was second. I did not think the verbal explanation of nocturne was effective or clear. Visually i am a novice and inexperienced and it is probably ... dangerous for me to try to speak to someone as well versed as you about my perception experience of your work. Though all your drawings are exquisite, almost breath taking, for me (maybe i speak too quickly ) I think in reaching for bigger thoughts, perhaps you lose coherency . This, for example, was a problem i had with the hand in the ground and becoming a tree. Are you questioning consciousness? Are you making a suggestion about where we might look? for meaning?


It is a bit difficult for me to answer your questions, though I totally understand what you are asking.

All of the drawings come to me as singular visions (and I do not use that word lightly - they often appear in my head as whole images), though a few I nudge along to develop the compositions a little better (what fits in my head does not always fit on a sheet of paper).

I do not sit down in the studio and think of an idea and then make it into a visual image. However, at times when I have been tossing around words and thoughts or ideas in my head, they move into a visual image (Empress did this & I think I mentioned that on that statement - it is like words shifting into a picture, but sometimes I like the picture better than the words, even if the imagery is nonsensical).

And, as a result, there is not necessarily a message that I am trying to deliver or convey to the viewer.

Though, when requested to do so, I will write a statement about what I think the drawing might be about - not so hard, because often while working on a drawing a verbal explanation of the piece may pop into my head (slippery slope writing statements - I do not want to direct the viewer's perception of a piece, as this is sometimes more interesting than my own).

I rarely question whether they are coherent, or whether ideas are understandable to the viewer...which is why they may not be coherent or clear.

If they have meaning at all.

I draw and draw and draw and draw, every day. And, much like the surrealists (though I am not really a surrealist) sometimes there is a quirky vagueness to the meanings or even a bit of visual chicanery. I do not resolve the message, because that is not the way I want to spend my time in the studio: I do not draw as a profession, I draw as a compulsion.

So, there may be no explanation for me to give you: indeed Root was a singular, sudden vision. Except for the catfish that I added while working on the drawing...when I realized that there I needed some sort of presence and visual balance in the bottom of the image - at times the designer in me has to get the compositional weight to work. ...

The completed drawing will be posted sometime at the end of next week...or so.