Crystal Form No. 3
2000. Pastel on sandpaper, 7 x 6-3/4 in.
My interest in the mutable relationship of line and shape goes way back – how a line, if it wanders long enough, often creates a shape. And then can wander away again. It’s a very basic phenomenon, but it’s slippery nature keeps me intrigued. It’s one of the reasons I worked with pastels for years, I believe – after all, the pastel is both an instrument of drawing, and of painting – of line, and of shape. The piece above is typical of the way I worked with pastel for years, as is this one:
Crystal Form No. 4
2000. Pastel on sandpaper, 7 x 6-5/8 in.
At the time I would apply the pastel to the sandpaper by scumbling and then smoothing the powdered pigment to varying degrees with a brush. The line itself, in these examples, was painstakingly recreated with pastel pencil or charcoal from an original pencil sketch. The nuances of the surface I was able to create, as well as line-becoming-shape-becoming line, kept me beguiled. Still does. The works I do now look different, but the evidence of the fascination is still in there.