Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ancient Marks

I love color. But I really love lines. Lines and marks are as exciting to me as color ever can be. This summer I chose to let color go for a while because I needed to get back to a simple expression. In this new personal  exploration of making marks without color I have thought a lot about the artists that I have always been drawn to.  I have always been fascinated with the paintings in the caves in France. I have looked at every image that I could find of the caves at Lascaux and Chauvet. These are drawings of such power and beauty that you can't believe they were created 32,000 years ago. What I see each time I look at them is the quality of those lines. They are sophisticated and raw all at the same time. They are so contemporary and powerful but most of all they are so beautiful!

When we draw we come from some ancient place of our humanness. As children we draw. Drawings are often prefaced with the word "just". I have heard it many times. "It is just a drawing" or "It is just a sketch". No, it is the human voice. It is in our DNA.

In deciding to draw again I have chosen to explore different surfaces and drawing mediums. It is an interesting search for what is really strong and feels good to me now. As I have been drawing I have followed the lead of the drawings. I have been allowing the drawing to tell me where we are going. I see what mark feels good and I will often find an area that I really like.When I do find that wonderful area or even one mark that makes me excited it is time to sit and look at the drawing and ask myself why I like the part that I do. I am seeing those raw areas as being important now. There is a rawness in this process of finding my voice at this point . In not judging what is happening in the studio I am finding unexpected surprises. In this way I am learning more about who I am as a painter. It is the raw beauty of the cave paintings that I think about. It is our humanness that connects us to them. Those voices echo through those caves and we can understand them even now. We are moved in such a deep way by their power. I love this journey from the literal to the internal. I see new parts of me that I didnt know were there.

"Against the Tide", Oil stick, 2015


  1. Rawness. Not judging. You are exploring some powerful territory, Susan. It's exciting to watch your journey in your art and in your life.

    1. Kris-- Thank you you! It is an interesting time for sure! I am so glad to be sharing it.

  2. I love this piece and the description of your exploration. I look forward to hearing and seeing more!