Scratch Drawing

The Scratch Drawings flowed as the direct extensions of my previous oil pastel drawings. The process of making these surfaces became an important part of my drawing practice, as I prepared the scratch papers on the same self-primed and hand-textured Arches papers I had always used. However there was now iridescence underneath the middle monochromatic layer, which I topped with the traditional thick black coat– I built-up the surfaces much like different levels of soil.  

Although they began as investigations towards a new vocabulary of marks, they quickly became complex compositions of similar themes from before: the ambiguities of the micro and macro worlds around us.

Here appeared things reminiscent of petrie dishes and microscope slides, of faraway Hubble nebulas and galaxies. Yet also, sometimes, they just seemed to be layers of patterns and decorations. 

I also found myself continuing to develop complex areas of depths-of-field, which were paramount to the compositions; despite the stream-of-consciousness drawing process I was using. Later when asked to explain them conceptually, I couldn't– because I was permitting shapes and lines to lead me to the next and the next and the next, until I could scratch no more. I couldn't say they were more than what they were: shapes and ideas seen in the assorted groupings of recognizing shapes when looking at the clouds.