As the new year 2021 swings in, I feel the need to explore creatively in a different direction. Not that I would ditch the work that I've been doing because I have a lot of references I've gathered and have a need to fulfill that too. But, periodically artists need to do something else to grow and expand their creativity. Sometimes it just leads to loosening up so the direction we have been going doesn't get stale but stays fresh. Sometimes it can help overcome artists block. Sometimes we just want to be free to fail at something to know we can actually make something out of that failure. Whatever it is, I feel pulled toward something and this drawing was the first step in that exploration.
I feel a need to do some figurative work, work about women I know, work about women who broke boundaries. I feel a need to draw and not care if it works or is a complete disaster. I feel a need to go back to raw marks on paper.
In 2020 I pulled a lot of work out of boxes to finally photograph the originals, many of them were drawings that have never been shown. And, I realized that I really loved drawing and need to go back to it. With drawing, I don't need to be precise. With charcoal and conté, I can make something out of scribble that I have had a difficult time translating into paint. Perhaps it's time to try to bridge that gap. But for now, I need to draw. Starting with this old drawing, which was just okay but not great. I kept it out of the box sitting in the studio for six months. So, tonight, I pulled it out and finished it. This self-portrait is not of me now, it's still a portrait of me at the time that I started it quite a long time ago. A good likeness? No, but who cares anyway. I just wanted the eyes to have more life to them and part of the figure to recede into the shadows. Let's see if this goes somewhere.