Thursday, January 27, 2011

Doubt, part 1

I just finished a couple new pieces based on the same idea. I started a drawing, then went to Austin and made an an etching based on the idea I'd started, then I came home and finished the drawing. I really love the etching and will post images of that soon, but in the meantime here's the drawing. I've posted small images here but larger details are on the website.

It's a real mix of drawing and painting, as you can see in these details. I've taken to taking a paintbrush to the ink that's in my pens every now and then, as well as drawing on top of watercolors like I always do.

The text above says, "However comforting, faith is a far more lethal sword than" followed by a little arrow that points to the central word doubt. There's also a naked dad figure on the left edge of the drawing that you can probably see better in the big images on the website.

That text is right above this image.

I've painted lemmings before, but I realized as I was drawing these that I somehow picked up the idea that lemmings were pretty much the same as guinea pigs with tails. I looked them up this time, after I'd drawn them, and it turns out I'm pretty much right.

Whenever I use lemmings I think about the horrible story of lemmings and the turntable. I'm not sure everyone knows this story, but I never mean them as a simple symbol of mass suicide because of the story. If you don't know, here's the deal, copied from Wikipedia.

The myth of lemming "mass suicide" is long-standing and has been popularized by a number of factors...[among the most] influential was the 1958 Disney film White Wilderness, which won an Academy Award for Documentary Feature, in which staged footage was shown with lemmings jumping into certain death after faked scenes of mass migration. A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary, Cruel Camera, found that the lemmings used for White Wilderness were flown from Hudson Bay to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where they did not jump off the cliff, but were in fact launched off the cliff using a turntable.
Insane! Turns out that White Wilderness won an academy award, too!

I love stories of fake things that become myths. I like Arthur Evans and Knossos and the Snake Goddess at the Boston MFA and Robert Graves and the fact that people invented the cyclops because of mammoth skeletons.

But back to Doubt. Here's the last detail.

The text says, "I know so little but this."

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