In 1998 I created an on-site wall drawing installation titled Marianismo at 500X Gallery’s project room (Dallas, Texas). The narrative drawing, created out of conte, covered three walls. At the time I was looking for an artistic challenge in terms of scale and dexterity. Drawing the figurative forms larger than life size in a loose gestural manner over the course of four days was an exhilarating experience – the drawing came to life through a mere weaving of lines. I was like a circus performer working without a net; I didn’t know if I could complete the drawing installation in a timely manner and I purposely worked without correction tools (no erasers or such). This stunt of high intensity drawing would become part of my artistic repertoire.
The wall drawing installations have been created at numerous galleries since 1998: Conduit Gallery, ARC Gallery, Durango Arts Center, H. Paxton Moore Gallery, Gallery at UT @ Arlington, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Gallery, and Actuel’Art Lagalerie. The earlier installations had some collage components but the latter ones are solely conte crayon.
I was literally leaving my mark everywhere. These ephemeral drawing installations existed approximately thirty days before being painted over. The impermanent nature of the work was appealing to me. While my marks were painted over at the conclusion of each exhibition, they did live on forever beneath a layer of white gallery paint. I reveled in the idea that my mark-making existed somewhere underneath all these walls – my marks frozen into strata.
The line work in the wall drawing installations looks similar to the line work of hair. An artist friend offer this observation to me one day as we looked at one of my on-site installations.
These large scale drawings are physically demanding; some artworks require intensive drawing of 8 to 10 hours a day for several days in a row. The necessity of scaling up the human figure for these on-site installations is sometimes a daunting task. I do not use opaque projectors; I use a line gesture to capture the initial image onto the wall surface. Redrawing to change proportions, I leave my early marks as a visible map of the drawings’ development and progression.