Those are New York City’s real fire houses, built in the 19th Century and still in use. The drawings, Some with purple bunting as a sign of mourning, are in part my response to the attacks of September 11. . Engine Co. 18 has sunflowers in the window–I later learned that sunflowers are a sign of respect. Working on this series inspired in me a reflection on mourning and moving on; the importance of remembering our lost loved ones, but also carrying on with our lives and finding that we can again be open to joy. New York City was so sad at that time, but there was little talk of revenge; what I heard was everyone trying to help each other and support the rescuers.
That picture of Lucy almost drew itself! I put the pencil to the paper and didn’t lift it up until it was done–until I had liftoff! What a change from my usual MO.
When I begin a new piece I have a beautiful image of what it will be, but the first scratches on the page aren’t much. It’s kind of like a newly hatched chick–we know it will be a thing of beauty but at the moment it’s pretty scrawny. in every single drawing I have ever done in my entire life, and I mean absolutely EVERY one, except for just one in all my years of doing this, I have reached a point where I look at it and say,”This is not what I had in mind and even if it was, it’s no good, and why did I ever think I could do this and why don’t I just go back to bed? And I always keep at it, and I almost always find that it’s not all that bad, and then, maybe it’s actually just a little bit good. And then I reach the point where I love it so much I can’t bear to leave it at the end of the day. The trick is, and you may have heard this before–Keep at it.
I’m working away at my new Yellow and Blue and it’s beginning to look like something. However, there’s a lot of sepia–it’s funny how a drawing seems to have a life of it’s own and dictates to me what it wants, in spite of what I want. Does that make sense?
I just finished a picture all in shades of red and pink–it makes me happy just to look at it. Now I’m starting something totally different–well, a different pallet anyway. Now I’m all yellow and blue–like Monet’s dining room. Here’s the hard part. I start out with an idea-complete and perfect in my head, but on the paper it’s just a few pencil marks and pen scratchings. It’s kind of like a newly hatched chick–we know it will become a thing of beauty, but at the moment it’s kind of yucky. I just have to keep at it.
I’m almost there! Thank you to everyone who’s heard me talk about this for the last year for your patience!
John Ruskin said: “Color was made for the perpetual comfort and delight of the human heart.” I agree. Years ago many New York women were wearing bright purple puffy down coats with bright red cuffs. Every time I saw that purple and red on a dreary winter day I felt so great that I almost bought one for myself–they were expensive and not slimming–but I realized, luckily before I took out my charge card, that the lift I got from seeing that gorgeous color was all I needed. The color was the whole point of those coats for me.
When my brotherʼs third daughter was born I thought, “This man needs something pink.” The nice woman on the phone at Land’s End assured me that a womanʼs size large extra long turtle neck would fit a slim six-foot man nicely. It was a beautiful shade of pink but did he appreciate it? Honestly, youʼd think Iʼd asked him to put on high heels and lipstick! What is it about men and pink? If you ask me, next to a tuxedo, thereʼs nothing as flattering to a man as a crisp pink oxford shirt. I once gave my husband a pink shetland sweater and every time he got a compliment on it, and there were many, many times, heʼd say, “Takes a hell of a man to wear this color!” Wouldnʼt they be surprised to know that pink was once the color for baby boys, because itʼs the pastel of red, that most aggressive and belligerent of colors, and blue is the color of the virgin Mary!