“The mind… yearns for some hard task, lifelong, longer than life, to concentrate it and make it whole…” —Wendell Berry "Drawing and printmaking are my chosen tools for exploring the most basic aspects of being human. So much has already been drawn, painted, sculpted, by great, historic masters that the “hard task” of the quote above has, indeed, proven to be life-long. And, while it is certainly true that work has given meaning to my life, whether I am achieving the elusive sense of “wholeness” cited by the poet Wendell Berry is up for grabs at the end of each day in my studio. I get close when what is personal in my own work communicates the beauty and complexity I find in life.
Going through my life-sized (or nearly so) drawings, I recall the process that allowed me to finalize each piece. The only consistency in the creation of any of them has been the sustained effort necessary in pursuing the drawing process itself. Using specifically the female form as a vehicle for personal expression, I have explored an ever-broadening use of tools for making marks. I have salvaged fragments of figures—layering them so that they interact and create a rush of visual ambiguity, and in the best cases, mystery in the finished composition. Finally, every time that I believe I’ve landed on something of a “silver bullet” for making a great drawing, it becomes crystal clear that there is no formula for conjuring the ineffable. The lesson is simply that every drawing has its own life. Discipline and similar drawings can aid and inform a work in progress, but eventually, I’ll just be slugging it out with each drawing’s scale, light, composition, and viewpoint. There’s no dignity, no grace—just a push toward something not yet found. So often I just come up with a day spent in the studio confirming how mediocre I can be. The only thing that makes this drowning phase of drawing absolutely worthwhile is an infrequent resolution in a drawing that transcends me, my effort, my thoughts, my emotions, and just sings on its own with the complexity that makes life as rich and miraculous as it truly is."