drawings

What are the meanings of your shapes?

Are the shapes secret?

I am undecided about this question.  Over the years, people always ask me what the symbols in my drawings represent.  They want it spelled out and easy.  No way.

Some of the symbols have a definite personal meaning.  For example, sometimes I put the arrowhead shape in the key.  Years ago,I found a large arrowhead in the bed of the Harpeth River.  It must have been 3" in height and in perfect condition.  I gave it to my Dad, he oiled it up and carried it in his suitcoat pocket.  He discovered it was like 4000 years old.  Eventually, it broke in his pocket and he felt so sad.  The broken arrowhead prophesied things to come.  As art often imitates life, I soon found my father was broken too.  But my art is not just about the personal.      

Some shapes are visual and their creation are  more akin to automatic writing. They just fit well together.  Many are instructional; runic symbols, letters,numbers; sand dollars and french curves symbolize perfection; tornados are chaos. Sticks and triangles are vulnerable, because of the way they interact with surrounding shapes. Sometimes the sticks have auras, as in the photograph, or as in the drawing below, where I compared "perfection" and a lowly masking  tape roll.  Mostly I hope my intentions are secret. I prefer to keep them close to the vest.

Once, I was with my sisters and we went to a bank to see some of my work there.  They saw a drawing representing the three of us (Sisters), and immediately began an assault to know which shape represented which one of them.

 Finally I gave in- Sharon was a stick, Sandie was a triangle and I was a sand dollar.

What's up with the jawbone?

I must begin my first blog with the jawbone.  I do love it.

When I worked on the farm, we would bury calves that had died in the hedgerow of a field near the barn.  One day I was wandering in the woods just beside the farm and I stumbled upon a burial site where a calf's bones had emerged with the frost.  The bones were so beautiful in their contrast with the surrounding environment, but then I saw the jawbone.  I was immediately taken by its uniqueness, so different from the other bones I saw there.   And I have been fond of that shape for decades since.

I love the curve of the jawbone and the indentations and hooks.  The bone has a smooth flatness whose edges undulate in a pleasing manner. The calf jawbone appears in many of my drawings as the central character.