New(ish) studio, drawings, and old world inspiration

Gretchen and I moved into a new studio space in October, and we’ve both really enjoyed it. It’s still at Pyramid Atlantic, but downstairs now, with easy access to the printing equipment and communal work space. I’ve found that I’m using the studio much more–it’s amazing how much these little adjustments effect my work style. I’ve also been busy recently getting work done for the sudden space show in Arlington–it’s actually closing tomorrow (11/28/2010)–here’s a photo of one of my large drawings in progress in the studio. This show was a pop-up gallery in an empty retail space orchestrated by artists Megan Mueller and Sam Scharf, in partnership with artdc–19 artists participated and everyone had about 2 1/2-3 weeks to prepare (www.suddenspace.com). I decided to keep this drawing very simple for the show–a black line drawing with paint pen on gessoed parachute cloth. It was really fun to work in a large format–I reworked a drawing from a much smaller print for this and added a drawing of rabbits forming an abstract pile.

The theme of this piece, as I discussed in a previous post, comes from a story I heard of my great grandmother hunting. My husband John and I spent the past few days (thanksgiving included) in a pioneer cabin in Shenandoah park called the Jones mountain cabin. We had a wonderful time (and were sad to come back to some of the complexities of modern living), and I’ll share some of the photos here. It’s interesting–I often romanticize this sort of lifestyle–the simplicity, authenticity, and wildness of it–there were things that I was surprised by on this trip. I often use animal imagery in my drawings and prints, and am really interested in wild animals and the qualities attributed to them across cultures; but when confronted with real live wild animals I was very scared, and happy to just shut myself in the cabin and avoid them (We had a prowling animal for two nights, we think a bob cat, that we could hear and see it’s eyes glowing in our flashlights, but kept it’s distance. It was just curious, and kept coming around). We also heard foxes barking (we think), passed a family of blue jays in the laurel grove,  and had some deer visit near the cabin at night. The things that remain romantic for me are gathering sticks for the fire and splitting wood, building and tending a fire, collecting water from a spring, making simple and lovely food, reading by lantern and heating water to wash our faces. There was a book in the cabin written about the history of the cabin and the area in general called “Lost Trails and Forgotten People: The Story of Jones Mountain” by Tom Floyd–I spent most of my time reading about Harvey Nichols, the last owner of the cabin, and the life he led there. It was an abundant life, lived fully in spite of hardships. It is certain to inspire future drawings…

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One thought on “New(ish) studio, drawings, and old world inspiration

  1. That sounds and looks like a great weekend you had up in the country. Very exciting to see you got a great meal cooked and heard and saw signs of lots of wild animals. Thanks for sharing the story.

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