Shells (archive)

Beachcombing for shells begins at an early age. Recall your youthful squeals of delight after finding the really big one. Remember how focused you were in the search so that you were completely unaware of that wave until it was too late. Carried from home to home since little girlhood, the shells collected on the beaches of the U.S. east coast and Florida were familiar subjects from which to begin regaining lost drawing skills. Differences in size, shape, find texture, color and pattern offered a myriad of visual possibilities. Little did I know that the action of drawing these keepsakes with graphite pencil would end up as meditative experience lost in chiaroscuro, sensuousness and mystery.

Light caresses the shell surfaces defining a tactile sensuousness and molds their forms. Deep shadows gently wash them creating areas of ambiguity that transmit a sense of mystery. These combined features present a perception of space which magically transforms the shells from something that we take for granted to something that is unique in its own landscape realm either solid as a rock and/or fluid as water.

When I finish a drawing, I delight in the rediscovery, pick up my precious paper object, hold it in my hands and touch its amazing surfaces with my eyes. I am again filled with wonderment and then ponder what the result of my next drawing search will bring.