Ever a story... waiting to be told

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sanguine

"Sanguine"
11x14 Conte Pencil

Sometimes you think you have your course all planned out, and then some little catalyst completely changes your direction. 
I was cleaning my studio, after finishing the Poe piece, and preparing to do another street scene, when I came across a couple of Conte pencils in my little side taboret. I was thinking I should throw them out, since I'd never used them. But just to be sure, I opened a fresh page in my field book and started to make some lines and shapes to see what the Conte pencils could do. Oh my!
The marks I made were so very rich and expressive, I couldn't stop drawing with them. For the next nine days, I did nothing but work on this drawing. I had no plan, no preconceived idea of what I wanted to express, or what story I hoped to tell... it was purely a stream of consciousness, flowing out onto the paper. I wasn't trying to draw specific things. Please don't try to see realistic objects hidden around the piece; look beyond the individual parts, and take in the overall impact of the composition as a whole. That's how it was intended, anyway. But you, the viewer, are welcome to see whatever you like, and I thank you for sharing the experience with me.
I did some research and learned that Conte pencils are mostly comprised of graphite, and clay. They are only made in four colors: white, black, sanguine and sepia. The sanguine and sepia colors come from the pigments in iron oxides. I particular like the idea of drawing with such organic, elemental substances. They blend like pastels, but are not as dusty or smudgy as pastel pencils. 
The limitations of having only those four colors seemed like a challenge at first, but I quickly discovered that it was not a limitation at all... it was a joy! Instead of relying on a bunch of different colors to create depth in the composition and delineate edges between shapes, I had to depend on value contrast to do everything. I found that I could layer the sanguine and sepia in different ways to create slight variations in color, and that helped to delineate adjacent shapes.
It's funny to me, that I feel such satisfaction from completing this piece that only took nine days, and did not involve any sort of planning before or during it's creation. I just kept drawing, making lines and shapes and not giving any thought to what I might do next. I started in the center and seemed to spiral my way outward around  and around. I worked constantly, as many hours per day as my eyes could handle, because I wanted to keep the same frame of mind throughout the process. 
Now that it's finished, I think I'll catch up on some framing that I need to do, and other tasks that I've neglected this past week. I should clean up my studio... maybe I'll go through my taboret and see what else is in there that I've not used yet... (Or maybe I'd better not!)

38 comments:

  1. Of course you must send me the rest of the story for this piece! I must know! I cannot help seeing realism...It is a chocolate world, after all...chocolate heart, chocolate creams still in their wrapper, cocoa beans, ribbons of chocolate. I think this is wonderful and I so wish my imagination could just run free. When it does, it doesn't go too far off the narrow path, alas. This is a beautiful piece!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is beautiful and feels organic like a wood carving. Sometimes we have that 'aha' moment and art just flows off the end of the brush or pencil!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gorgeous!!
    I can't believe you'd even consider throwing out something related to drawing just because you'd never used them (my bin of fabric in the basement and hope chest full of yarn comes to my mind!)
    The drawing is beautiful - the colors, the shapes, everything!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey K!

    This is fantastic! It looks like "fall" to me. Or the way my brain works. One and/or both of those things......

    You are so gosh darn talented.

    Please send me the back story. You know I have an infinity for stories.

    Have a great week!


    ReplyDelete
  5. Brilliant. To me its a new life form emerging on the forest floor. This could be the start of a whole new zen series! Would look amazing in a super large size, mind you, it would probably take months. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  6. Katheriene, This is really creative. I think of chocolate covered insects when I look at it ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, it's interesting, detailed, deep (perhaps more than just spatially???) Makes me think of the Zentangles a little bit. Beautifully done.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful work on this - interesting intersections and textures galore. One could write a whole short story about this drawing and what the viewer sees (but I'm not telling!). So glad you had to pick up that conte crayon and do this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wonderful, Katherine! I love the surrealistic elements and the colors, very beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is true creativity, the art that makes one to "see", little by little, the revelation happens according to the mood we are in and the way our brains perceive.With each new mark, you probably made an emotional connection that led to a chain of marks which as whole is trying to tell a story! For me, this is detaching the connections one by one to reveal the true nature of the self, the soul. Beautiful work by you Katherine!

    ReplyDelete
  11. So beautiful! Looking at your work, I wanted to put a name to an object, without success. And this is where imagination takes over: I think this is the definition of art, to feel transported to other places ... Bravo Katherine !!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So beautiful! Looking at your work, I wanted to put a name to an object, without success. And this is where imagination takes over: I think this is the definition of art, to feel transported to other places ... Bravo Katherine !!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Beautiful, original, surprising, intriguing, unique! Congratulations Katherine. Have a good week! Ciao.

    ReplyDelete
  14. ........ Genial...... Catherine me alegro de que no tiraras los lapices.

    ReplyDelete
  15. what an incredibly satisfying and inspiring post!! and the drawing is AMAZING, especially along with your wonderful description of the process in creating it!! WOW!!! i tried to make it something i was familiar with but in taking it in it became so many different things. what a treat! thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. So happy to have found your artwork! What a master! Just beautiful~

    ReplyDelete
  17. It seems as you were been possessed by your conte pencils and the result is really amazing.
    It´s a great and interesting work. Congratulation!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Katherine, your work and posts are always so inspiring! This is an amazing piece, organic, luscious, imaginative, you can lose yourself in all the different formations !!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Katherine, you achieved such a rich and original outcome with this beautiful piece of art. It will no doubt be a work you come to treasure for both its beauty and for the transcendent journey it took you on while in the creative flow. It will be interesting to see if you continue to be drawn to similar things. It might well turn out to be a catylst for a new direction!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Fun and beautiful and i echo 'crimson leaves' sentiments :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Amazing work from a true artist !

    ReplyDelete
  22. I absolutely love this piece! What a treasure to find something you were going to toss, and then discovering a whole new world of rich earth colours, that developed into this stunning organic looking piece. The rhythm and design are so lovely, it amazes me that no planning took place before beginning. You are a very talented artist!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I absolutely love this piece! What a treasure to find something you were going to toss, and then discovering a whole new world of rich earth colours, that developed into this stunning organic looking piece. The rhythm and design are so lovely, it amazes me that no planning took place before beginning. You are a very talented artist!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Incredible piece, you have an exceptional ability!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Katherine - absolutely a gorgeous piece of art....one can tell you were in that special place or zone...love it - sometimes the more simple the items we use to create art the more stunning the piece and this is certainly the case with this work of yours. So glad you shared it. Take care friend and have a wonderful day. Maybe you will find something else to sample in your studio clean-up. Hope so.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow!
    Katherine this piece defines art and the creative process!
    Bravo!
    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wonderful - you've found a whole new world.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I hope to see more and more of these paintings with these magical pencils. Gorgeous work, Katherine....!!!!! I love it...

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a great piece, Katherine--you're inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is just super. I agree with Gillian, a new life emerging from the forest floor. That's just what I was thinking. Not quite an egg but just like an egg ready to hatch. Oh, I know, it was your subconscious showing you the path that you are starting down! It's really, really lovely. I don't even like browns really but this is so stunning it makes me rethink that!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh my, I didn't know what sanguine meant so I gave the picture my own title of Hope and then I went and looked up sanguine. I guess this piece conveyed your feelings quite well! Kudos, kudos, kudos!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Very nice work here. Amazing that you didn't plan this. Very organic. Great textures and depth.

    ReplyDelete