The new piece is finished! These are not the best photos (will this rain ever stop??!! I cannot get outside to photograph!) ~ but I did not want to wait to post the finished work.
The Carrier (XX + XY = XX)
graphite and pigment/ink on Arches paper
48 x 30 inches
OK...so I have not actually formulated a statement on this one (as of yet), but I have been thinking about what prompted the piece:
Most of my drawings begin viscerally - I do not start with a subject or an idea and then work for a visual solution in the manner of an illustrator. Perhaps this is why I fail miserably at illustration - I have trouble thinking in words or using logic to plan a visual image without creating something that looks contrived. And, by the way, I adore illustration - early 20th century illustrators were a major influence for me (but that is a topic for another post).
However, many of my drawings have started with words or a phrase as a reference point, or maybe a concept that has been tossing around in my head, but even these images come to me as complete visions or sensations. (And yes, this is the flat out definition of synesthesia. It comes from years of moving visuals around in my head and now my right-brain dominance cannot be restrained).
Since my drawings are so highly refined, viewers may think that they are consciously designed like an illustration. Quite frankly, my worst drawings are the ones where I actually think about the concept while I am resolving the composition - these are inevitably stiff and feel contrived. The best are the ones where I just draw away and don't reflect or try to deconstruct the imagery that is coming through me and into the sketchbook.
There were two sketches before the idea came to me as a whole complete thought.
The first was the idea of that which is internalized suddenly being externalized; seeing through the body to the inner workings:
The second was what I have, in retrospect, called the "tooth-cell" - it is like an invading microbe - a thing that eats away at the insides (only this one has an old family photo inside):
Then, the tooth-cell migrated into a true self-portrait - and this was the final sketch before I started the drawing: