“Poisonous” Figures

I’ve been so focused on the look of these drawings and how to go about executing them that I haven’t had as much of a chance to consider some of the concepts I want to emphasize in these drawings. Already, it’s quite clear to me that the figures in these crayon drawings have a very different relationship than the figures in the monotypes. Today I went back to the visual reference to an oil spill that I had been discussing in a recent post, and started thinking about the figure almost as a poison to the substance it is wading in. One of the more dramatic effects of wading is a figure’s ability to destroy the calm of still waters with it’s presence. The literal presence of the figure entering the water immediately cuts up an otherwise peaceful landscape of water. I’m thinking that I should start viewing the wading figures as harmful invaders on an otherwise perfect plane of water.

There are all sorts of environmental allusions or associations that could certainly be made from this relationship, and although I don’t intend to make these drawings specifically about environmental concerns, I like that that there’s an undeniable reference to those themes. I’m thinking that the reflected shadows that the figures cast onto the water would then become the “oil spill” that each figure is imposing on the surrounding waters. At the same time, I don’t want the relationship between the water and the figures to be so one-dimensional. Our relationship with water is so vastly complex, it seems naive to think that I could represent such a simplistic view of that relationship. I’m going to have to figure out a way to make the relationship more ambiguous, so that it could really go in either direction: is the figure attacking the water or is the water consuming the figure? Ideally I would like to capture both ways in a single image.

Crayon Study XIII

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