art inspired by war

New drawing finished...well, sort of...

I have finished a drawing:

"And then we devoured our young"
graphite on Arches hot press paper
16 x 48 inches

Some details (my point-and-shoot camera...not the best photos):

And, by "finished", I mean that I am done with it for now. I am going to turn it against the wall in the studio for a few weeks so I can look at it at another time with a fresh eye. Occasionally, I get bogged down in the minute details and overall value relationships - to the point that my eyes cross* - and it becomes too difficult for me to objectively look at the drawing in progress. I have fixed all of the issues raised by  my critique group, and even a few more that I found, so it is time to stop.

*My eyes may be crossing because I need glasses...I have to look into that (pun intended).

Of course there is the little matter of the next piece now on my easel - part one of a four-panel drawing that I just had to start as soon as possible...pooh to the one that may or may not be done, it is time for me to move onward.

I am still smitten with Francisco Goya; specifically the painting Saturn Devouring His Son which has been in the back of my mind while working on the above drawing:

And then there is the slightly more polished, yet no less disturbing, Peter Paul Rubens version of the same subject: 

Oh my, those were two magnificent painters...fluid, raw, painterly...swoon. I think this subject is both at their best: paintings that are based in mythology, yet suggestive of a greater truth, reflecting the dark corners of the psyche of humankind.

This Little Empress


This Little Empress Has Built Her House of Cards Upon A Quagmire

graphite on paper
image: 36 x 21 inches
frame: 50 x 36 inches

Occasionally, I will hear a short phrase or read a fragment of text that compels a deeply visceral response that in turn prompts visual imagery. The drawing This Little Empress Has Built Her House Of Cards Upon A Quagmire was inspired by a BBC radio interview with an American soldier stationed in Baghdad who compared the rebuilding efforts outside of the heavily protected Green Zone to building a "house of cards upon a quagmire." This idea, and subsequent visual imagery, evolved into a drawing that explores the frailty of political institutions and how networks built upon power are often tentative and tenuous.