Friday, January 31, 2014

"Smallscapes" Drawing: Elk River

After abandoning this piece then revisiting it and finally falling in love with it, I completed it at last. Right after the water contamination, I googled Elk River images and came across Jesse Chaffin's gorgeous landscape photos. He graciously allowed me to use his work as source material for drawings and to post them here for you. My drawing is obviously a very loose interpretation but I wouldn't have landed where I did without Jesse's image as a starting point. (Thanks so much for the inspiration!)


I'm really happy with it. The water is exciting me a lot. I've been playing with different patterns to stylize water movement and this is my favorite by far. I love the railroad tracks and gravel a lot, too. They seem iconic of Appalachia to me. Little bits of coal dropped along with rocks all over the landscape. I'm thinking about scars now... Maybe I need to make a drawing with train tracks scarring the earth. I don't know. I wanted to do some pieces that celebrated water. When I made angry protest art in college the art always got lost in the message. My little smallscapes make me happier than anything I've ever done in two dimensions.

If you told that angry, cerebral art student she'd be happily doodling hilly landscapes beside her daughter she'd have laughed in your face.

When I decide what environmental agency to donate to, I'll post this for sale and let you know.
Photograph of the Elk River in West Virginia
by Jesse Chaffin. Used with permission.
I'm really in graphic mode and am impatient to get back to the drawings now, so I'll leave off my writing.

Have a content weekend, bl'eaders.