I have been working on this drawing for a long time and it has undergone many iterations. I see it as a learning piece. For one, I learned that you can really add layers to a pastel drawing and make a lot of changes. As an artist I really don’t mind building marks and rough surfaces, I actually respond to that and it is one of the things I seek, so the layers were interesting to work with.
This piece is close to my heart because it is Nicolas (my first born) when he was about four . A lot of the drawing was developed through memory since the only reference I had was an old flat photograph that was basically the silhouette of the figure.
I added the driftwood to break up the negative space and give it the sense of place. There are a couple of beaches we frequent in Georgia and South Carolina with lots of driftwood trees along the sand. I find this landscape mysterious and dramatic.
The addition of the beached sharks signify and encounter of an innocent child with the unknown. On thing this piece really made me realize is that I am feeling an urge to start painting again. Working with the layering and color interaction really connected me with that process again.
In regards to the medium, pastel has always been one of my favorites. It can be manipulated more like a drawing or a painting and it demands the thought process from both.