Thursday, August 9, 2012

photographer's pencil

"drawing of woman's head" (c) 1997-2000 george elsasser

PHOTOGRAPHER'S PENCIL (drawings;1997-2000) This group covers drawings made between 1997 and 2000. These drawings were begun about half way through the making of the photographs in particle pool

One might refer to these drawings as personages. I made them from emotional necessity with the spirit of automatism in heart and hand. As with the paintings they were also made in an attempt to loosen and further inform my photographic language. 

These drawings were made very quickly in sessions lasting 2 to 3 hours in length sometimes longer or until I felt satiated. The sessions produced many drawings per outing, some pieces more successful than others. I drew a lot when I was young and then in college, both eras producing heavily labored efforts leaving only technique. For sure I was now being called by a medium I had mostly an adolescent relationship with. I was finally free as a mature artist and image-maker to reacquaint my self with graphite. 

I believe my thoughts in approaching this work were that speed can deliver emotional impact and polish can remove it. Over the years I had found that photography (a quick medium) had the ability to harness my subconscious thought in images I was seemly drawn to make. I recognized if my strengths as an image-maker were aligned with a medium like photography that I would play to them and trust my instincts. 

Finally I wanted to throw all the rules from drawing class out the window, I didn't mind the endless graphite refuse getting on the piece and along the way decided to use it (in fact court it) to slur and blur lines as a slow camera shutter might. Or as a blues player would bend and slur notes on guitar strings to accent more feeling in a solo. I wanted this work to have a raw power, so even the application of smuge-blurs were applied with quick aggressive jabs. 

I believe as people we do not hold a single visual image in our minds when we think of each other, but a composite of rapid thought-images culminating in a kind-of thought-feeling if I may. 

By the time this project seemed like it was done with me I had easily 1500 drawings to choose from, I'm still doing so. Like photography many sketches and attempts are executed and only a few images out of those efforts truly have a life of their own. 

see paintings bottom of page

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