Fences keep things out and keep things in. The apertures of the chain link fence let many things in — to say nothing of all the things that fly over it. Animals and people are kept out or let in. Birds and insects don’t know there’s even a fence. For the bird or the insect, it’s a perch. For the spider it’s a place to build the web.
Lattice fences hold a fascination for me. I don’t know why. But I note that many other things that I want to put into the painting have lattices in them also — fish scales, owl feathers, cicada wings, dragonfly wings, a spider’s web, leaves (okay, that one’s a stretch — but Pierre Bonnard — ask him about little leafy squares), wave patterns ….
I had done the lattice before without awareness of the many connections, as the chain link fence in this drawing which is also a drawing for a painting that is “in the works.”
The lattice is the ultimate in negative space. Half the fun is that you can paint the thing and the space inside it too. I see the whole picture as a matrix and a veil in front of the eyes, a reality one creates like the dreamer of Ursula Le Guin’s Lathe of Heaven.
Still riffing on the idea featured in yesterday’s posts, I made a compositional drawing while listening to a cello recital last night. Because I was at a concert, I pursued the drawing in terms of filling in most of the white page (except for the passage that would be light colored in a painting). It was mesmerizing to darken all those little squares while the music carried my thoughts into itself. But this drawing is not definite.
I don’t know what the composition should be. I am figuring it out. Yesterday’s posts were about a section of foliage in the picture. Last night’s drawing during the concert was a way of imagining the whole.
It’s fun to assemble them. One gets ideas from the group also. I look at four different ways I drew the same thing.
A recurring dream … one that I have while awake.
But there’s more to this dream ….
Let it never be said that I lack a work ethic. I have made several versions of the foliage imagery. I enjoy going over it again and again. It’s incredibly scribbly. Many little bits of leaf, many pieces of light and shadow — and yet also many ways of thinking about the organization of the large forms.
I did this drawing using Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencil. Then put a bit of watercolor over that.
I have lost count how many variations this is. I love this motif, but it’s just a part. I need to figure out how it will relate to the other sections of the idea. I haven’t even made the first compositional drawing yet.
It’s just one part of an idea. Each time I draw, each time I write, I get a few more bits of the idea. It’s like lucid dreaming.