Mom commented and listened
(took place 7-8 years ago)
While in New York, mom and dad and I would have a small dinner. Their energy to give was very limited, and much of it came from my dad. I had Health Valley vegetable soup which hit the spot.
I showed mom prints of my drawings. First we looked at the drawing I did of ballet slippers. She commented that the lace was too light because it doesn't differentiate from the instep of the slippers. She was not sure where the shoe began or ended. I think the prints did not have enough contrast for her, nor enough “wow” factor and they were too monotone. How much had to do with her eyesight I'm not certain.
She said, people like something clear, that makes sense right away. She suggested that where my outline was light, I should darken it. I explained that I work optically and follow what the light does. I said the mass of the shoe was being hit with light and I drew it as such. She suggested I enclose it with one outline, which I sometimes I did when not working totally optically. I had to, and still have to digest her comments. I'm not sure if they were very deep or very superficial or a mix but I was glad for the involvement.
I talked further about the optical way I see, that being colored shapes varying in value. It was not by chance, because for eleven months in Minneapolis my eye was trained to see this way and it seems to have been imprinted now in the way I see, for good or bad. This is in contrast to how I would have liked to have learned, that is by borrowing from nature while having an internal language and incorporating nature into this language. I attempt this but my knowledge is limited and is not at the highest level. The work I do in this manner, I consider my more narrative works. They are less objective but they are clearer. Mom seemed to like them more.
Surprisingly she seemed to “get” the different methods of working that I was talking about. After all these years she does seem to “get it.”
I also explained how I don't have the benefit of north lighting, which is steady and consistent. I went on to say the light is different in the morning and afternoons, either cloudy and sunny, and how when starting drawings, I can use yellow light but later I need natural light. What I hoped to achieve is an overall impression, an average of all the lights. This might sacrifice the power of one consistent light source, but it is an accommodation I have had to work with. She listened.