“Come Hither” Drawing, 2017

Since summer 2016 I have been working on monochromatic drawings, using dark brown pens. While they began as smaller sketches and drawings, they've become closely cropped, compressed images, built up with linear marks. Based on nature they seem both floral and papery, yet also sharp and secretive. There is invitation and seduction, and at the same time menace and danger. There is also a pleasing ambiguity about what one is looking at. I am drawn to these qualities.

The source for this work is the lower, dried-up section of an ancient clivia plant. The section is made up of the papery parts of cut off dead leaves and worm-like rootlets jutting out. When I see very enlarged, very small segments of this section on the drawing’s paper, the image seems sexual, seductive, inviting, dangerous. While I am happily absorbed in the making of this work, I am aware the drawings come out of challenging times in my life, colored by aging, illness, and creative fallowness. The work has a dark feel to it, with conflicting feelings imbedded. Those feelings are reactions to both the actual source material, and to the context of my life.

More recently, with the Clivia Unbound series, I have been exploring what happens when I draw using colored pens. I chose to work with two colors in order to become conceptually able to think about having two plates to use for making future prints. It was more interesting to me to use the two colors, not to describe space specifically, but to create two different color areas, along with the third color of the white paper. These 14 x 14” drawings become flatter, and more abstract. They feel more open. I look forward to playing with a wider range of color and value in an upcoming body of prints.