Hands and Leaves

Our bodies are touched by time and sunlight and have their own textures and lines. I think of age being recorded in my hands just as in the rings of trees. I am drawn to forms and textures that are furrowed, decayed, faded, autumnal.
Hands, the essential tooI I rely on as an artist, are continually interwoven in my art. Contour drawing involves sensing the edges of a form with your eyes as you simultaneously move your drawing hand to mark it on paper. I augment this connection by touching the leaves with one hand and drawing the relationship with the other. I start simply with pencil or Conte crayon, and then use Prismacolor pencils on toned and textured papers that show through into the forms. As the drawing unfolds, I let whatever elements come into the composition from my garden or from my imagination.

Why is the beauty of old not seen?

Many of the drawings in this series have rhythmic patterns that fill the pictorial field with energy. I recognize how the abstract markings in many of the drawings depict what, in yoga, we call prana, the very breath of life. Even though most of us see things as foreground and background, any composition is really made of the interaction of positive and negative spaces. The larger truth is that everything is connected.
I see that my work has become a meditation on the metaphorical imprint of age as it cycles through time. Weathered leaves, branches, roots and hands gesture and touch each other in a sign language of their own. Mute fingers point to what is beyond our grasp—the art itself struggles to articulate an experience of passing into another dimension.

“Never in my life
Had I felt myself so near
That porous line
Where my own body was done with
And the roots and the stems and the flowers
Began” —Mary Oliver