Putting it on paper

in the last few weeks, I’ve found my way back to drawing and am playing with various ideas about tangled-ness.   Grasses. Vines.  Sometimes it moves more toward the more complex and sometimes less is more.  But only if the “less” still embodies more.

"Nest" charcoal, graphite ©2012 Nanci Erskine

Little studies- big rewards?

Every painting day, I’m spending time working on the little xerox studies which will lead me into the next group of larger paintings.

These came from digital images done in my garden or friends’, and then xeroxed so they are black and white. Then I can start working into them with gesso and pencils and ink to pick out the elements I like and invent others. I enjoy building the areas of light that will exist behind the vines, and how dense or open certain areas will be.

I also had the notion that it makes sense for the smaller ones to be darker more dense looking images, while the larger scale paintings work better if the palette is kept lighter and airy.

two that will be finished soon, hopefully
The one on the wall used to have a midnight blue background, but I have just started to go back into it and make it lighter.


My studio had to undergo a bit of rearranging recently. The building where I work is trying to establish a more “museum-like” image,  (read: white pedestals and no personal touches in the hallways) and that means none of our stuff can be outside our studio/offices.  This rearranging caused me to think about what I really need in the studio (which by the way is only about 10×13 feet. Really tiny by some folks’ standards.

So I brought my comfy chair home… no place to really lounge now unfortunately. Although, I guess I can always sit on the floor, or out in the hallway….

This is one thing I won’t change. This is the top shelf right inside my door, and it never fails, but the Joseph Campbell quote always catches people’s eye.  The other things are a selection of evocative show announcements and photos that intrigue me.   Paring down is usually a good thing.

Work is always in progress…

Back from a quick visit to California and my little family. Originally, I had thought I would get a shot of the show up at DIA, but that didn’t happen….. the good part of this is that I actually had my camera with me for a change when wandering around and seeing plants that don’t appear much in my home environment.  Like these incredible ivy vinesp1000867 that I jogged past one day- they must be pretty old… in places you could see these chunky branches that had grown into and become part of the chain-link fence! I love this kind of thing.

And while I was at it (fortunately the house was vacant and for rent)  I poked the camera lens  through the fence and found the trees behind the vines…. nice.                                       p1000875

In the meantime, back in the studio, I have a painting going that seems closely related to these layered magical places….. it’s taking shape nicely so far.

new work in the works .... 36 x 40 oil
new work in the works .... 36 x 40 oil