At the end of the year, I took the opportunity to look back at my work from 2016. What I took from that was the feeling that I needed to take my drawing more seriously. I did fill three sketchbooks last year, but nothing more than sketches came out them. For 2017 I really want to challenge myself to some finished drawings. Here is the latest.
My wife has prompted me to explain my thoughts around how I choose a subject and what I am trying to convey, so here goes!
I prefer drawing women because the story that they speak is more interesting. It was very motivating to see the women's marches recently and the way that you all stood up for what you were concerned for. This woman is a representation of that. Her direct stare at the viewer declares her presence without having to say anything else. She calmly insists on respect. I wanted to draw a black female for the allure of the skin tones, but also to show solidarity to the struggle that minorities and women currently face.
There are undercurrnets of other themes though at work here. In an age of instant gratification via internet and smartphones, I want to challenge the pace of these things through a very analog medium and process. When we can converse with the entire world through electronic formats, but how do we make real connections? The process to making a drawing such as this takes many days - (I worked on this one for roughly two and a half weeks) - and there is relevance in that. Building real, lasting relationships with people also takes time and energy. In our electronic transaction age of ghosting and other quick escapes, I want people to value the energy it takes to build meaningful contact with others, and in turn, apply that to reconciling the differences that are dividing our culture. Even art has taken a turn towards impermanace, with works that are reflecting our new feed consumption lives. What was here yesterday is gone and replaced with something new. The more we engage in these practices, the more they bleed into other aspects of our lives. I hope that my art can speak to that and towards the mutual respect of others.