A Measure of Life, 2021

On one of my first walks around the neighborhood within the first couple of weeks that I was living in North Adams, MA, I took this picture. I was looking up the trunk of a fruit tree which had not yet blossomed. I printed the photograph and tacked it to my studio wall where I hang images that are interesting to me. The silhouetted forms outlined in the picture were bold and stark and invited understanding. I waited for months before I even approached trying to elevate the blatant linearity and the exquisite balance elicited within the natural forms to a piece of art.

One day, I rolled out a huge piece of paper onto a wall in the studio. I left it blank for weeks. And then one day, I took a medium width marker and just started sweeping it across the page in the rhythm of the predominant curve in the photo and I kept going until I had completed the drawing of what was in the picture. The image did not fit the size of the paper so I had to imagine how to complete the border that remained.

I used the outline of the template I had made from the drawing of the dead branch to fill the width of the outside margin beyond the large drawing. When I realized that was not enough to satisfy me, I stopped for working on the piece for awhile.

One Sunday afternoon, I was lying on my floor listening to music beneath the spider plant hanging from the trim of the window nearby. When I looked up, I could see the answer for how I could would complete the emptiness of the margins. I would draw baby spider plants growing off the unfinished sections of the main tree drawing. (Details One and Two below.)

The bottom section of the unfinished part of the tree drawing still begged for some other imagery.

The first ever outdoor show called Groundwork at the Clark Art Institute was open and I finally went to see it. On the hike around the exhibit near the trails that extend beyond the museum, I took the next picture.

This photo became fodder for how I would draw the bottom section of the tree drawing. (Detail Three.)

All the visual information I had collected from my new living environment had contributed to a major drawing, the one shown below.

A Measure of Life, 2021, 60 in h x 88.75 in w, ink and marker on rag paper, titled and signed on verso
A Measure of Life, 2021, Detail One
A Measure of Life, 2021, Detail Two
A Measure of Life, 2021, Detail Three

Corners Series, 2008

The concept of these drawings germinates once again in minimalism, the non-objective, and self-referentiality.

Self-referentiality was and is, for me, a mainstay in an artist’s orientation in approaching any work at all. Configuring it is a means to appreciate the process as it goes forth and increase the artist’s mindfulness of the direction of the process.

Each drawing is colored pencil on black gouache. Each measures 30 inches in height by 44 inches in width.

Corners, blue, gray, brown
Corners gray, purple, orange, green
Corners green, purple, brown
Corners slate blue and gray

Prepositional Drawings, 2008

These drawings are all white marker on black gouache on white rag paper. They measure 30 inches in height by 44.5 inches in width.

Even though Open and Closed are included in this series, the titles evoke a spare direction that is nearly prepositional.

True to form, this series deals with the minimalism and directness inherent in my “training” as an artist. I had to learn to see before I could really SEE.

Across
Closed
Down
In
Open
Out
Up

Three Geometric Drawings, 2002

These are in a Private Collection in Charleston, SC. They are 22.25 inches square approximately and are charcoal pencil on rag paper.

They are a portrait of my divorce. The divorce not only involved my husband and me, but also, more importantly, my son.

Approach
Confrontation
Settlement

Coming Alive Again, 2004

These six drawings were a valiant effort to open up the thrill of creation. The wood template was still in use but beautifully, as if really alive and flexible. They are all mixed media on paper, sixty inches tall and are in two parts which make the width forty-five inches. Visually, they have a connection to the symmetry of the body, in the same way at the last of the series Traveling With Angels did and the entire series of Unknowing Innocence demonstrated.

#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6

Branch Shadows 1-8, 2021

These black and white drawings are seminal to becoming settled in my new studio.

The branch from the dead tree outside the back door of my new abode was going to be thrown away. The person who sold me my living and working space was aware of my work; he held it up one day and asked me if I wanted it; I said, yes. And I drew a picture of the branch. It was the beginning shape to my new vocabulary.

Four Panels, Mountain and Branches, 2021

These panels reflect my new environment. The mountain “lines” represent the Berkshires in MA. And the branches images come from a template I made of a drawing I did of a branch broken off a dead tree/bush once planted outside my door.

The incorporation of the drawings into the panel format demonstrates the influence of Japanese panel paintings from the turn of the 20th century.

Four Panels, Mountains and Branches 1-4, 2021, 60 inch high by total 91.75 inches width, colored pencil on black rag paper
Mountain and Branches 1, 2021
Mountain and Branches 2, 2021
Mountain and Branches 3, 2021
Mountain and Branches 4, 2021
Mountain and Branches, 2021, detail 2
Mountain and Branches, 2021, detail 1

Untitled, Long, 2006

I just discovered these drawings the other day when I was searching for something else. They are yet another statement rattling the template of the arc into grid formats.

They are each 50 inches high by 21 inches width. All mixed media.

#1
#2
#3
Black & White

Healing Quilt Series 1-9, 2006

This series of drawings is one of the best explanations of my process coming out of using arc templates to create shapes, characters, and language. I did these after I did the three large Healing Series paintings.

They are actually drawings for nine paintings. Each small square was intended to be 10 inches by 10 inches. The text on the left of the first one comes from The Communion of Spirts, a catalog on African-American quilters by Roland L. Freedman, 1996.

I love these drawings. They are a complete statement.

They are each 22 inches square, colored pencil, ink and acrylic on rag paper.

Two pastel paintings, 1982

In the 80’s, I did so many pastels, there was at least a half-inch of pastel dust on my first studio floor. I stopped doing them because the dust was going to affect my breathing and that of my family.

These pastels were quite large, up to 100 inches across. They were hanging on a wall in a storage of my house for almost 50 years. Now they are all rolled up in another place.

But many are in a portfolio. Some have been lost because they were not fixed properly and moved around so much that the pastel was smeared. The image directly below is one of the drawings that was smeared beyond recognition. It is called Abierto.

These two below have been framed since they were made so have been preserved.

It’s All for the Best, 50 inches by 38 inches, pastel on rag paper
Landscape a la Mode, 50 inches by 38 inches, pastel on rag paper