Chimeras of Withdrawal

The series is a departure into abstraction after having focused on the figure for many years. It sprang from a desire to turn inward and draw without the outward connection to a model.

I began many of these drawings on lightly used sheets of BFK that had the unsuccessful beginnings of figure studies, mostly erased. Using my favorite stick of conté, I drew quickly, vigorously, and, at first, formlessly. But invariably, I’d see odd body parts forming in the curvy lines, hints of figures seen from unfamiliar perspectives.

I’d erase these, and turn the paper around so as not to see the image that had formed before. But the pieces of figures and the sense of objects would form again.

I had to give myself over to it and see what it was my hand wanted to create, letting it find its way deep into the odd figure/landscape, into strange matings of the microscopic and the internal.

So, while these large works on paper were an attempt to retreat from subject matter and other external input—to set the hand free from thought and the drawings free from form—they instead became a demonstration of “the sleep of reason producing monsters”: form and figures banished from the page are replaced by others, chimeras in the mythological, metaphorical, and medical sense.

All work in this series (unless otherwise noted):
Conté, oil wash, acrylic, pastel on BFK
44″ x 30″

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