Sunday, October 25, 2009


This is the principle character I drew a year or so ago for a painting that will never be done. You see no matter how I tried to fit her into some sort of logical context I simply couldn't decide what she was supposed to be looking at. I like drawing women and the women I draw always tend to be somewhat other-worldly. Their legs are always a little longer than is the norm and the breasts high and firm - something in real life that lasts just a few short years if at all. You're not to likely to see anyone who looks like this if you go for a walk around any block.

I drew her reaching out to something:

A parting in the sky looking toward a disastrous landscape was just too weird

Then there was a lotus but that was just too affected. I'm barely a Buddhist.

The tiny elephants marching in a line looked silly.

The lioness curled around her I'd done too many times before.

So she sits in one of my drawing books today still looking towards nothing in particular. She may wait forever for me to return and place in her in a watercolor that suits her strange aspect and that's okay. Long ago I got to the point with painting that the borders meant more to me than the central image and, having spent a few more days looking at the Red Book, I can clearly see that in reality it's the chaos at the border of our imagined selves that's the territory we most need to explore.


  1. Sh looks like she could be sitting on a ledge looking out at whatever is out there!

  2. How about gazing into a mirror framed in mist or smoke, as if looking into her future? What would she see? A woman who more closely resembles the women in your neighborhood? Or the younger version of herself?

    A wonderful mystery.


  3. jams - The uncreated is the potential for everything.

    the crow - Ahh, you've made me imagine the child or the crone. Good idea and she may yet appear in painted form. Thanks :-)

  4. Maybe she's waiting for a bus...

    You can draw a big bus with Randal looking out the window ogling her. :-)

  5. you know sometimes its enough to just be.
    would it make you feel better to know mona lisa is smiling at an over-ripe piece of fruit?
    once you know, the lure is gone. there are no blanks to fill.
    i love the look on her face, and her body language. she speaks on her own.

  6. she holds the potential of all her eyes behold, out beyond her and yet, if she chose to do so, it could all be hers so easily....that is how she strikes let the tiny elephant parade begin, it would make her smile and perhaps even laugh....that triggers my imagination and makes me smile, a good thing as tonight i am saying goodbye to my little lappie because she is not working and so....who knows when i will have her back...oh oh woe is me ♥

  7. Unlike you, I have zero artistic talent, but I've had lines that I particularly like but can never seem to flesh out into an entire poem, so I just leave them. And sometimes, they might nudge something I'm currently working on into a new direction. Perhaps this woman can (has?) do the same.

    Even if not, she's always there. Even the smallest puzzle piece is necessary for the whole to be complete.

    [thanks a lot, Nunly, am I that shallow? Yes. ;-)]

  8. Seems so logical to me that she need not be looking at anything that the painting would portray. To the viewer, she's looking at whatever the viewer thinks.
    When I came to your page today, I saw the drawing. I looked at it because I know you sometimes post these drawings of yours. I didn't even see the breasts, (really!! Not a tit man), I did notice the long legs and thought them quite stylish. I saw her looking to her left, and immediately thought she was engaged in conversation. I went down and looked at the post below about the Red Book, then came back and read this one. Then I really examined the drawing. Not everyone will have the luxury of knowing the artist and reading what he or she is thinking about any particular work.
    I love your drawings.


  9. She looks like she is sitting on a porch rail, or on a window seat.

    Nothing wrong with making the breasts high and firm! :-)

  10. nunly - There'd likely be more folks than him ogling her at a bus stop :-)

    sera - You're probably right since I tried a number of other configurations and none of them worked. Mona Lisa has entranced many simply because everyone is free to imagine what she might be smiling at. I'm glad you like her as she is.

    linda - I'm very glad she made you smile and I hope your lappie can be fixed. Is there a sittie too?

    randal - I think we're not too different in having a few perfect puzzle pieces that may inspire something complete. Art is art whether in words, music or paint.

    spadoman - You seem to agree with Sera's remark about having her stay as she is and letting the viewer decide. That may be what eventually comes of this one. The Red Book is definitely providing me with reasons to look again at half done things and I'm very flattered you like my work.

    nancy - In our mind's eye we'll always be high and firm, yes?

  11. onion skin. i like that too. it's a great description. and to think i throw them unceremoniously in the garbage disposal...

  12. //... it's the chaos at the border of our imagined selves that's the territory we most need to explore.//

    It is all the territory where the best beer and cheese is served.

  13. So, is she your "Self", your "Anima" or your "Persona"? Whatever she is, she is a goddess.

  14. sera - At Easter we wrapped onion skins tied with string around the eggs for hard boiling. I suppose one doesn't have to wait for a special occasion to have something beautiful.

    okjimm - Ahh, the benefits of life in Wisconsington!

    belette - Crow is my animus so perhaps she's the essence of my most beautiful friends.

  15. She is a beauty and will probably find her special place in one of your paintings when that painting needs her! Then again, maybe she's happy in your sketchbook and will give inspiration in other ways. Sometimes it just takes its own time.

  16. She's beautiful. She reminds me a little of Sharon Robinson who is Leonard Cohen's collaborator.

    You know how insanely crazy I am about the borders of your paintings. Maybe that is explained by your last sentence here.

  17. marja-leena - It's true that visions and pieces of images come along that we never have time to capture or sometimes that we just have to wait for their meaning to unfold. That's what makes it so rewarding, n'est ce pas?

    lisa - Yes, I see what you mean as to who she resembles and I'm glad you noticed she's not caucasian :-)

    I'm glad you love the borders because they really did become the best part of my paintings.

  18. Hi Susan. I enjoyed reading your previous excellent summary of Jung. Co incidentally a good friend of mine who lectures at La Trobe Uri reports to Dr David Tacey are a world authority on Jung and is presently researching experiences and conceptualization of the sacred in Jungian psychology. He is very approachable and interesting person and he told me he was brought up in the NT where the aboriginals shared their spirituality, law and rites of initiation with him.
    I hope you find a home for your lovely lady drawing one day.
    Best wishes.

  19. oh? why wrap the onion skins areound the eggs for boiling? i never heard of that.
    i use a needle to pierce one end of the egg to keep it from cracking while boiling, but i never heard of using an onion skin.
    does it make a texture on the egg that shows when you dye it?

  20. lindsay - I read a fascinating translation and discussion of 'Seven Sermons to the Dead' by the Gnostic scholar Stephan Hoeller a few years ago. Jung took on the identity of Basilides, a famous Gnostic philosopher as the main protagonist in the book and the sermons make a fine and perhaps necessary accompaniment to the Red Book. Jung never called himself a Gnostic, nor anything other than a psychologist, but a case could be made for his deeper leanings in that direction. All of Jung's illustrations are heavily influenced by shamanistic form so I'm not surprised your professor friend was fascinated by the Aboriginals there.

  21. wow, i just read on the internet about onion-skinned eggs.
    it said: soak the onion skins in water, then wrap the eggs in them. cover the eggs tightly with cloth and boil seven minutes.
    it makes a yellowish design in the egg!

  22. sera - Hey, you came by while I was answering Lindsay :-) The answer to your question is indeed yes. If white eggs are wrapped in onion skins they turn beautiful shades of mottled deep yellow and browns. If you add food coloring to the water even more surprises can be found when you unwrap the egg. How much string and the way they're wrapped makes a difference too. I've never tried saving the skins from red onions..

  23. sera - We never soaked the skins or used cloth but it sounds as if it would work okay too :-)

  24. I like her the way she is. Thanks for letting her out like this.

  25. i never wanted to boil an egg as badly as i do now.

  26. gary - What I enjoy the most is the potential inherent in a nice drawing :-)

    sera - Remember you'll need lots of onion skins. My mother would save them all winter for the Easter eggs. I look forward to hearing about your results :-)

  27. i thought at first it might me Randall in his sultry torch gown

  28. g-fid - Randal has bigger.. eyes.

  29. cackle!

    just coming by for a quick bedtime visit from my hotel room in Kansas City. i'm planning a trip to 12th street and vine before i leave @ the end of the week.

  30. g-fid - Damn you, woman. I haven't been able to get that song out of my head all morning. Then again, it is a good one :-)