Finding Marks That Fit the Scene • October 8, 2016



Old Burn – new Growth #2, Beside Grayling Creek, Yellowstone National Park, 2014

India ink, gray wax pencil and surface alteration on paper. 18″ x 24″



I wonder if I’m drifting back towards making pictures that are driven much more by spontaneity, and the quality and expressiveness of my mark making? Although I have dozens of new ones started (and some coming right along) I don’t have much new finished work to show you yet. But this picture (from two years ago) is one I’ve been looking at again today. It has some of the same qualities I’m talking about. I finished it in my studio, but it was started onsite, so it’s honest and feels like the place.


For those who don’t know, in 1988 a terrifying fire burned much of Yellowstone National Park. Almost three decades later, the glorious regeneration of the ponderosa pine forest is well along, and it provides a wonderful contrast when seen mixed in with the dead, burnt timber, still so much in evidence. I wanted to capture that interplay of textures, and do it in such a way that some of the trees seemed very ethereal, almost ghost-like, as though memory and the passage of time were also part of my picture.


To see other versions of this picture (and more):