She, the drawing, wants me to do nothing. She is finished. I need to spray her with fixative and either roll her up or move her to a different wall. I am not finished looking at her.
I have attempted to resolve a few areas – the top, the bottom right. I have gotten in there with more soft charcoal to bring in more depth to the shadows and make them more black. I have also looked at some of the large areas of shadow as opposed to getting too caught in the detail. I have been looking at it for so long that I need to step away and see what it wants me to do. Still thinking about the texts. Here is the most recent photo – apologies for the uneven lighting… I have the window on the left and the table casts a bit of a shadow on the bottom left, and the top of the drawing is less lit. You get the idea though.
I have been pretty dedicated to documenting each stage of the drawing – but I think at this point, I may be the only one to be able to see where changes have been made. So, I will spare you and not post every pic of the drawing.
I set out today to look into more text surrounding the metamorphosis of Daphne. Thanks to a lovely friend, I have been digging into poetry more often (poetry foundation)- and thought this would be a good place to start today.
Daphne by CH Manuel:
Daphne by Faye George – I am really attracted by this poem! It is written more from the perspective of Daphne’s experience of that moment of change. I am intrigued by her lack of certainty (self-doubt!) in the first stanza… and ‘something rising from her like breath’ in the second.
And I wanted to dig out Ovid’s version of this particular part of the story. There is a bunch before and a bunch after – much of it in reference to Apollo’s victory over the python, bragging to Cupid… so, yes, then Cupid takes his revenge… Again, I love some of this imagery and word choice. Also, I read a bit more about Ovid himself… (‘writing a poem you can read to no one is like dancing in the dark.’)
It is not quite finished. There are still some unresolved areas – I believe I need to now just try to listen to it and put down the picture that I am working from and let things happen as they will. I can’t seem to stop drawing at the moment when I am not teaching – which means – I may be back on here shortly with some sort of resolution.
The texture continues to fascinate me. The TOUCH.
From the floor:
DETAILS: If you click on some of the images, you may find text, finger prints, and other forms of mark-making.
TEXT: The written text has been taken from various words, thoughts and song lyrics that strike me as I am drawing. One stanza in particular by Gregory Alan Isakov’s song Bullet Holes (click to hear) – that I heard him sing in Brussels a couple weeks ago. In particular the words: wither, bloom, scratches, branches, brambles, tangled.
TIME: I have been keeping track of the minutes I have been drawing. (Dude – can you even read that? I need to do the math.)
Post from November 25 – Daphne texture
A few guidelines I set myself for work on this piece:
- keep track of the minutes that I draw : TIME
- what am I listening to as I draw : SOUND
- write down wordome to mind … on the drawing but also in my sketchbook : TEXT
- allow for precision and movement : LINE, GESTURE
- use hands : TOUCH
Post from October 9 – Daphne metamorphosis
I started drawing the forest again a couple nights ago – and today, after cleaning off the walls of my studio space, I began looking back at some of the forest writing that I did during my mfa… During that time, I had chosen to focus on one of Ovid’s metamorphosis myths – that of Actaeon and Artemis. What I also found was my rewritten account of the moment of Daphne’s transformation into a laurel tree in a different metamorphosis myth. This story has always fascinated me – but it could really be connected to my obsession with Bernini’s sculpture of Daphne and Apollo when I was in Rome. My interest in this is very much the moment of metamorphosis – the physical transformation of when her skin must have turned to hard bark underneath Apollo’s hand. I wonder how I can explore this path…. Anyways, below is what I wrote in 2014 – Daphne’s metamorphosis (from her perspective):
It was fear that struck me. I ran, through the trees, seeking darkness and escape among them. The earth under my feet was cool and damp, the shade of the woods a welcome labyrinth of protection. The blinding light, however, continued to follow me. It raced towards me at an incomprehensible speed. The more quickly I moved across the moss and fern-covered ground, my feet feeling their way on the familiar tracks of land, the more swiftly the golden light was at my heels. The trees watched, writhed even, as he passed. The golden god was spurned to chase me more quickly. Our path through the dense growth was erratic. My desperation enveloped me while the strength of his love gave his feet more speed. I was driven onwards by fear, stricken by the leaden arrow. My own shadow, cast by his light, wavered and tumbled. It was thrown against trunks, across puddles. I followed it in desperation. But the shadow grew larger in size. Oh to be engulfed into the earth, swallowed up, transformed so this face and body of mine are no longer what he wants. As though the earth had heard my desire, my feet slowed. The shadow grew larger and larger. My legs became heavy and still. My arms, outstretched in a desperate grasp towards escape, began to harden and my skin grew stiff. I drew my last breath as the arms of Apollo encircled me. My fingers extended towards the sky, long and irregular, leaves sprouting. My feet rooted into the ground, as my body was drawn simultaneously upwards and downwards into the earth, accepting me, transforming me. My eyes closed to darkness.