May 18, 2015

Four New Drawings

#49, egg tempera and graphite on hand-toned paper, 15 x 15 in.

For the past two or three weeks I've had a very hard time staying indoors and working. The weather has been beautiful after the endless winter, so all I want to do is work in the garden, enjoying the sweet air and light. Sometimes art takes a back seat to the rest of life, just for a while. There are occasional days of bad weather, though, days to stay indoors. Last week I was able to do a new group of drawings, to flex my art muscles. The drawing above, #49, has paper toned a silvery gray; I used a pigment called Slate Gray, with added white, and a little bit of ultramarine blue. I wanted it to be slightly bluish because I knew I'd be painting a couple of the shapes in a blue hue.

#50, egg tempera and graphite on hand-toned paper, 15 x 15 in.

There is a mix of earth colors as a base for this drawing. I might have also put a very thin, transparent layer of a cadmium orange, but I don't remember. When I tone paper or paint I don't keep a record of my color mixing. I add this or that, layer again or not, depending on how the piece is looking at the time. 

#50 detail

The blue semi-circles are fairly opaque, with yellow layered on top of the blue, creating a color shift where they overlap.

#51, egg tempera and graphite on hand-toned paper, 15 x 15 in.

I thought that the composition study for this drawing was a little silly (though I like it), so I thought that putting it on a dark color might tamp down the hilarity. Or maybe you don't think it's silly....

#52, egg tempera and graphite on hand-toned paper, 15 x 15 in.

This last drawing has two simple, but somewhat offbeat, shapes. I decided to keep the color fairly translucent, because the shapes give me a feeling of floating, or of flight.

I have to admit that while I was working on these drawings (and a group of small drawings) I was wondering if I wanted to continue with them; did I have enough interest in the project? Then I printed out a bunch of new blank templates and began figuring out new designs, just jumping in with pencil and gouache. I pretty easily came up with 8 new ideas: the 6 at the left, and the two top left drawings on the right panel. This fascinating pattern called again for my attention, a pattern from sacred design, of six circles around one.


  1. Never stop.
    Bunny Hats is just as good as Cosmic Flying Balanced Pyramids.
    I remember now this is how I found you...'sacred design". Miraculous compass-roses.

    1. Okay, I won't.
      Hah....that's what I see too: bunny ears.

  2. I am compelled by the contrast between background texture and depth with stark shapes on top.
    Not bunny ears to me but Kachina dolls...

    1. Thanks, Julie; Kachina dolls is an interesting reference.