Compartmentalized 8.5"x12" Watercolor pencil and colored pencil on paper.
I just finished this piece. With it, I wanted to explore a single shape and single color. I first built layers using only an indigo blue watercolor pencil to establish the basic composition. Using light values as the foundation layers, I built successive layers of darker values. I then used indigo blue colored pencil to straighten and strengthen lines, darken shadows, and develop the image further looking for the push and pull that I so enjoy in my work. To deepen the shadows even further I used black colored pencil, and to establish highlights I used white colored pencil. I am fascinated and captivated by the sense of space.
As I worked on this piece along with others recently, I began to realize how these drawings are very much a form of meditation and focus for me. I get so into the process - the physicality of mark making - that my mind can focus sharply, but not on the particulars of the drawing. Mentally, I seem to step back from the drawing, and I draw and shade as if on auto pilot as thoughts fly through my mind. The clarity that the drawing induces allows me to sort through the myriad of ideas, to make connections, and to create a better understanding of myself, my art, and my life. It's a form of clear and deliberate self-talk - not the rambling, confused self-talk that normally goes through my mind. It's a relaxed, yet intense state of mind, and the world seems to melt away. My mood lightens, and time slips away unnoticed.
The image is a result of the process, and it is not predetermined or planned in any way other than those first choices of color and shape. I let the work develop spontaneously as my mind flickers through the thoughts and emotions of the day. And even when I am in the more controlled stages, when I lay in the careful shading or precisely draw the edge of a form, I try to be somewhat removed from the drawing, while remaining connected to the process. My mind constructs and connects. It deconstructs and disconnects. It reconstructs and reconnects. All in the quest for clearer understanding.