Koi Hatchings

I don’t know if I ever posted a version of this picture before.  I had finished all but the top right-hand corner before I set it aside.  Only recently did I rediscover and finish it.  This drawing measures 18 x 24 inches so the gesture of the marks falls in between the small and the huge koi drawings.

I fell in love with hatching a long time ago.  Not only is hatching a beautiful way to make gradations of light and dark, but it is physically and mentally assorbing to do.  Perhaps it holds the same hypnotic charm as knitting.  You can carry a drawing like this around and do this “knitting” wherever you happen to be since so much of its character resides in the repetition of the little hatch marks.

I used to have qualms about colored pencils.  Colored pencils were supposedly an inferior medium, not suited to serious art.  But my child-like nature (I love all art toys) along with the natural seductiveness of the medium itself lured me.  It helped that I needed a safe medium to use when my daughter was a crawler.

My love affair with colored pencils began during my daughter’s infancy, but years of using the pencils has confirmed in me a sense that they are as “serious” as you want them to be.  Pshaw!  Or as frivolous!

Earlier this week I made a copy after Cezanne’s “Still Life with Apples and Peaches” in ball point pen that is similarly filled with hatchings.  The technique common to both drawings makes these sister drawings even though the subjects are quite different.

In each instance the technique means that you have to create a surface that has its own raison d’etre.  The blues of this passage of interwoven pencil lines, and the texture of the pen marks each have to make sense on their own — apart from what they portray.