The Vigil

The Vigil

Graphite pencil on Arches hot press watercolor paper

48 x 20 inches

A couple of details:

[Yes, I got the memo proclaiming that women who want to be taken seriously as artists should not use nesting or egg imagery in their artwork because it is too womanly and otherwise unacceptable as subject matter.  I tore that memo up and threw it into the trash can in my studio – the trash can that sits on top of my old copy of H.W. Janson’s "History of Art" – you know, one of the early editions with about 5 women artists mentioned in the span of 10,000 years of art history?  It makes a fabulous leaf press, by the way, which happens to be why it is under the trash can (extra weight to press those pretty fall leaves even flatter)].
Alas, speaking of art history, the early representations of gorgons were very ugly creatures that were used as protective guardians over sacred spaces (temples and the like). 

Artist renderings of gorgons gradually evolved into more beautiful creatures, but their expressions became fiercer.  I am quite fond of both the Bernini and the Caravaggio Medusas: 


So, there is some liberty taken with my representation of the mythological gorgon - let's say its a reclamation of a mythical gorgon – for this is a protective, maternal being lost in its own reverie; the ferocity lies dormant, but ever-present, beneath the surface.