Scratchboard Drawings: Organic Fractiles

 

These drawings are currently available through the Demossa Gallery. You can also view the press release on the News section of this site.

Please scroll down to see images and to read artist statement!

8″x10″ (or 10″x8″)

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5″x7″ (or 7″x5″)

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Oganic Fractiles

For many years, during long quiet evenings, listening to music, watching television or sitting quietly with family or friends, I have spent that time with a sketchbook in my lap. For several years I worked with silverpoint, an ancient technique of drawing with a sharpened stick of silver wire on paper with a specially created surface. With silverpoint drawings, it is impossible to get a truly dark line, so the entire drawing remains elusive, a little ghostly. It is a beautiful finish, quite unlike the bolder chiaroscuro of my other work.

About half a year ago, I saw a friend’s first drawings on scratchboard, and was immediately intrigued. Drawing with an etching needle or special sharp, spade-shaped nib to scratch white lines through a prepared ink surface over a clay ground, I found a medium that was highly satisfying. It gave me the advantage of a full range of tonality between dark and light values, while still using a tool that felt comfortable and totally natural.

In these drawings, whether with a stick of silver or a needle-like stylus, I can move the tool over the surface just a small distance, with the movement of my hand anchored in one place by my wrist. It moves in short, parallel lines, usually forming a curved plane. At the end of each series of strokes, I move my hand and continue, building up the volumes and directions slowly, deliberately, and yet without a preconceived plan of how the drawing will emerge. I find this practice exciting in its abstraction, whereas my other modalities of work are almost always figurative and determined.

Yet, these abstractions have a definite pattern of emergence. The forms are almost always organic, and mimic the process of creating fractals on a computer. Each form becomes a variable that is added to and developed to become part of a much more complex whole.

I called the first books of silverpoint drawings “Erotic Fractiles”. The scratchboard drawings are more wide-ranging. I call them “Organic Fractals.” I am very happy to finally have the opportunity to show my new Organic Fractiles through the Demossa Gallery. This will be the first time any of these, or for that matter the Silverpoint pieces, will have been shown.

Kathryn Jacobi July, 2013