panel 1, the ponies, earth pigments on board, 10" x 10"
In 2018 and 2019, I was fortunate enough to make trips to see first-hand some of the oldest visual masterpieces by humans. One trip was to Cantabria & Asturias, Spain; the other to Dordogne, France. These areas are relatively close geographically, divided by the Pyrenees Mountain. Both areas support lush and diverse flora and fauna, and contain lots of limestone cliffs and cave system. This is probably the simplest explanation for why these areas have been continuously inhabited by humans for 40,000+ years.
As 2020 began, I started drawing animals I encountered in the style of the cave art I visited. As a way to further internalize the mystery and amazement of the cave art I saw in situ, I decided to begin drawing on my studio walls.
I put up several overlapping sheets of Nideggan paper and chose a palette that mimicked the earth colors in the caves. I used graphite in several forms, charcoal, ochre, chalks, acrylic paint, gesso, and fixative. I had purchased some earth pigments excavated in Montignac, France - the town of the fabulous Lascaux cave - and threw them into the mix. I drew, scraped, stenciled, painted over and redrew. I incorporated guided meditation visions, my daily walk observations, whatever was running through my mind that day. The works became an unfolding story I entertained myself with and learned from.
I plan to eventually turn these works into a series of books.
What I loved about this project --
For inspiration search the internet for images of these ancient caves
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