About the Work
detail of Ancient, Original, Modern Fables and Hares
The Chalks on Collaged Paper
I have always been interested in the remnants of the past found on old paper and how these pages document our ancestors’ attempts to affect their world. We think we have left behind many of the ideas recorded on these pages but they, along with old documents, letters and music pages, remind us of how often we repeat their efforts with often only a slight change in method.
It is these collaged sheets that create the background for my drawings. The words on the pages are the underpinning of the images I choose to lay on top. These can be pages can be from one book, a group of related letters, or a jumble of different, unrelated pieces of paper.
The images I place on these sheets can be animals - creatures who do with grace what humans try so hard to do with practice, or figures “assembled” from hats, hands, or feet and the outlines of clothing. Each image comments in its own way on the collaged pages.
The viewer can see the text as simply a patterned background or read the individual pages to understand how I have related the motifs I have chosen for the specific image to its text. This relationship can be ironic, humorous, sad or thoughtful.
The chalk is rubbed heavily into the sheet to get a rich deep tone. The curving lines bursting from each image provides movement. The motifs are as active as the collaged sheets underneath them.
Equally central are the formal aspects of the image - balance and pattern are important elements in each work. I find beauty in the old, yellowed and foxed paper, and in its stains and scribbles along with the birds, animals, hats or other elements on the paper and seek to arrange them on the sheet to emphasize this beauty.
I often use several sheets of collaged paper butted together to create a larger surface on which to draw. These multi-sheet works are reflective the pieced together nature of our memories of the past.
Although my drawings are my interpretation of the text on the pages I have collaged together, the viewer is always free to determine their own relationship between the two.
Recently I’ve begun bringing more color and that has added to the impact, depth and mood of the work. It multiplies the ways the motifs interact with the text on the background. The formal aspects of the image - balance and pattern – are still central to my work and color allows me to add yet another form of pattern. I use those that allow me to rub them to a depth that blends well with the beauty in the old, yellowed and foxed paper, with its stains and scribbles. Although I have not abandoned the use of black and grey, color has expanded the way I relate to the words on that old paper.