The Empty Bottle. 9" x 6", fountain pen on paper.
Mexico has been much on my mind lately. In Washington, we have Obama making a bold executive order about immigration. In Mexico, continuing violence by the drug gangs, and massive public protests. Last night's anti-government-corruption demonstrations in Mexico City were peaceful, but I am worried: I've come to care a lot about this country and it people. The drawing wasn't a result of conscious thinking. For some reason we've kept this thick glass bottle that we bought in the Mexico City airport, intrigued by its name and design. Awareness of the Mexican revolution is still everywhere: in the street and building and monument names, in popular culture, in the murals. Spiraling violence, government corruption and increasing revelations of government complicity with the drug cartels have created increasing frustration and anger. After the recent killings of protesting students in Guerrero state, apparently handed over to a gang by the mayor of a town and his wife, who had ties to the group, public outcry has risen to its highest in recent memory. I'm the last person to condone violent revolution, or violence of any kind, but I greatly admire the spirit of the Mexican people and their tradition of protest, and I share their outrage. This week the image on this bottle (the paired guns, much larger, are also deeply impressed in the glass on the back) seemed ominously appropriate : the Mexican revolution was intended to give power back to the people, and they remember that. Today I saw a Mexican proverb posted on social media: "They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds." How much we, in this rich country (where we buy the drugs and refuse their citizens entry) have forgotten.
Dish Drainer. 9" x 6", blue fountain pen on paper.
A very fast drawing made after dinner one night, intrigued by all the shapes and the complexity of how they fit together. This image would easily lend itself to abstraction, but I can't say that abstraction interests me very much these days. I seem to be drawn toward the concrete and the everyday.
Old doll in my Studio. Grey ink and wash on paper, 9" x 12".
I've had this doll ever since I can remember. She was given to me by a close friend of my grandmother's, a single woman who lived in New York City and traveled a good deal. I also have a small heart-shaped box with the same yarn embroidery that must have come from her as well, but I've never known what country's folkloric costume she is wearing. I've always thought she was from eastern Europe - maybe Hungary - does anyone know? Her dress is red with yellow and green embroidery and colored ribbons, and she wears a lace chemise and large gold earrings, and a long red headscarf. Her enigmatic, sideways glance intrigues me, and I'm hoping to explore other ways to use her more expressively in still life compositions.
Where are these drawings going? I don't know. Maybe toward paintings, maybe toward some larger charcoals where the relationships between objects are more developed. I figure eventually they'll tell me themselves. Right now, they are practice, and exploration.