In 1999 I began a series of abstract line drawings,
moving away from what had been a narrative bent to my work. They
began as very small, self-contained ink drawings with patterns formed
from dividing the page and filling contained areas with lines moving
inward. These drawings are introspective and obsessive. As I fill
the page with thousands of lines I’m free to think. Much of
the time thoughts turn towards ideas for the next drawing and the
next after that. But also I’m thinking of my housework, jobs,
my family, politics, my anxieties, the world at large, my father’s
death in 2007, my need to finish what I can knowing that my life
is more than half over (at the least).
So far there have been a few series within the abstract
series. There are the X Drawings, the Slinky drawings, and the Crazy
Quilt drawings. I move back and forth through all of them and within
all of them there are more variations.
With the X drawings I found that by filling a rectangle
with parallel lines drawn from the outside in, an X would emerge
where the lines meet, albeit an imperfect X. Around this imperfect
X I’ve superimposed an X made with my ruler, and filled in-between
the lines to bring out the design in different ways.
In the Crazy Quilt drawings the formula is similar,
but I divide the rectangle or square into less symmetrical shapes
so that by filling in from the outside in, with concentric lines,
the result is often a surprise and looks more random. I try to make
sure that when the drawing is finished the viewer, or myself for
that matter, can no longer figure out the divisions. They become
The slinky drawings are so titled because the image
reminds me of the slinkies of my childhood. I start with a circle
made with either a template or a compass, and then follow the mechanical,
‘perfect’ shape, with my own hand-drawn lines. Though
I have a lot of control you can see within these drawings, and this
goes for all of them, my hand; the wiggles that show a certain unsteadiness,
and the in and outs of the shapes that underscore their imperfection,
but are the more interesting for being human and imperfect.
In the decade or so since I began the abstract series
I still like to draw a picture of something recognizable, using
the motifs that have interested me my entire life. These include
horses, cats, nature, self-portraits, mathematical equations, geometry
By going back and forth between the narrative and
the abstract, I’ve found that blank page syndrome is not something
I need to worry about for years to come. Most of my work is fairly
small but recently I’ve tried to increase the size of some
of the drawings without losing the intimacy of the work.
All of these pieces are ink on paper.
The size is most often 8" x 5 3/8".