There is something compelling and memorable about a sepia tone photograph that is 80 years old. The image appeals to just about all of us and I suspect, for similar reasons. Subjects sitting, hunkered on a "stoop" or leaned against an old pick-up truck are visuals that belong to us all. This is especially so if you are Southern. We now live in a digital snapshot world where many images are merely looked at and then quickly dismissed. This is not the case with vintage photographs. People take their time, musing, remembering and generating short stories, recalling sometimes, their own history. I am a son of the agrarian South, fortunate enough to be perhaps one of the last of a generation to remember these people, their time and places, their modest contributions. My drawings bring these experiences to the viewer on a much greater scale, with a different artistic medium as an aesthetic vehicle. My process begins with an image that captures me on a visual level, one that intrigues my sensibilities, that allows me to visualize, remembering that "I have been here before, I have seen this." As I draw, a short story, a history unfolds; the real life experience from the past comes into focus. As the image progresses, as it comes to "life," the sensation of reality from a moment past occurs. This experience is there for all of us to realize and share.
These pieces are simple and straight forward: pure drawing. Rendering has always been my skill, my strength, the foundation on which all the imagery is generated. Because I feel a responsibility, a certain noblesse oblige' to the subject depicted, precision and craftsmanship is a priority for me. The drawings are monochromatic in nature with subtle hints of color introduced as artistic license. They are time consuming, layer after layer of medium applied to gain the desired depth and value, then finished with multiple polymer varnishes. Just as a short story emerges with every page turned, the composition develops slowly, falling into space and dimension. Each drawing has its own integrity, will stand of its own credibility, but collectively, they represent a certain gestalt. Collectively, the pieces are greater than the whole, becoming a visual timeline, a cultural saga and narrative. I am a storyteller in two dimensions.
These drawings are from our combined memories. My goal is to share with those who remember and instruct those too young to know of the value of this imagery.