This drawing uses the same model found in the painting The Cleansing, from my Hours of the Day series. I wrote the text above her head, and still find it one of my funnier little writings. The full text follows in facet 2.
Where to begin? The many juxtapositions exploding in the mind. Struck at once by her beauty, mystified by her haunting look backwards—horrified, afraid; yet her classical beauty, foreground,leaps forward, commands and demands, captures the eye; and there, surreptiously, in quiet relief, steals the eye, the narrative shadows and frames beside, behind…She is at once Persephone and Pygmalion’s object of desire. She is at once captured and free; she is at once death and rebirth.
The horrifying absurdity of the narrative, juxtaposes the serious theme, juxtaposes the haunting look, juxtaposes the incredible striking beauty of Eugenia, juxtaposes her tortured and labyrinthian escape…and so much more. It is all of this that I, myself, can’t escape. Captivating, magnificent.
Thanks, Jumbo! The writing adds a lot to this piece, I think. I can’t imagine the image being half as interesting without it. I do wish that I did more writing, but when I dig into it I tend to shut down painting for a while, and that has its own consequences.
Hey, I drew her last week in Wes’s class. She is amazing! My drawing does not touch yours though!(I have a little crush on her too :)
Another fascinating and beautiful work. Whether one reads the text or not, it has a relationship/compliment to the face. The delicate tooling creating the texture of the paper and even your signature are all part of its aesthetic. I imagine the face, from what you say, came first. Did it inspire the story, or was the face chosen as fitting to the story?
Martin, I don’t remember what came first, at least in terms of the inspiration for the story. Physically, the face was there first, as I had already done The Cleansing in paint. I’m sure I really liked the ‘feel’ of the face, and thought it felt French, whatever that might mean. So I expect the story began at that point. I clearly left the space for the story, but I have no idea if I’d written it before I started drawing.
In all these drawings the writing is a planned part of the composition. I work up the paper in a way I don’t when I paint. In a way I find the building of a pleasing ‘ground’ to be too artsy, a trick one learns early in drawing classes. It doesn’t stop me from using it, however, as I find just the plain drawing not meaty enough! Catch 22. As I’ve said, I prefer painting!