Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Charcoal, Graphite; 4 3/8” x 7 3/8”

This drawing’s progress, like the last, happened in two stages: The stonework and tree are mostly charcoal, and took two or three sessions; the water, mist, sky are mostly graphite pencil, and took several more.

I like old places. Places where time has softened edges, blurred lines: What was found, what was made? What was this place, or what was it a part of?

Ask a relic hunter, adrift across a long night of strange stars, useless charts scattered about his ship’s wheel- Squinting into brightening mist, stirred, just now, by the morning’s first breezes, and parting: He might know, might recognize the find of a lifetime. Or he might only guess, or imagine, or wonder, much as I do.

Ask a dreamer, nearing the end of her long night’s journey across that sea, or another, or many, all whose names are Mystery- A dreamer who feels, just now, the warmth of morning’s first sunlight on her face: For a moment, she may remember this place, call it by another name. But ask quickly, before she wakes fully, forgets.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Charcoal, Graphite; 3 1/2" x 6 1/2"

I’ve been drawing these kinds of spiky formations for years- I don’t ever seem to get tired of them. I like their solitude, their strength, their delicacy. I like the sense of enclosure and intimacy of this drawing’s mist; and I like the clean, spare, quiet composition that resulted. I’m continuing, I think, to learn how to better capture and describe these kinds of places. And I don’t imagine I’ll stop dreaming, exploring them anytime soon.

This drawing developed in two stages: The formation and trees took two or three sessions; the mist took a few more. I didn’t note working times, but I finished the drawing in a little over a week. Ideally, I’d like to spend more time exploring, less time refining. But bringing a drawing to the level of finish and consistency I want usually requires at least a few hours of slow patient smoothing and polishing.

Most of said smoothing and polishing was done here with graphite pencil; there’s more graphite in this one than most I’ve done lately. The formation and trees are charcoal, but the mist is mostly graphite pencil work- Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, grades 1, 2, 2.5, 3, and 4.