The Living Carry the Souls of the Dead, 2012, 21cm x 29cm, 8" x 11.5", charcoal and oils, Moleskine folio Sketchbook A4.
The spirits of the dead are held aloft by the living.
My grandmother's spirit was my father's memory of her in me and projected by me into a nurturing maternal spirit of safety.
Has she been with me all my life? Yes. But she resides in the energy of my understanding of her through my deceased father's memory.
The figure I have drawn, that I made from bones, who is an experiment in charcoal, seems not the narrator of the writing, and yet she is carrying the souls of the dead, look at her.
Notes on process: First I drew her skeleton, all her vertebrae are there, and her rib cage and sternum, clavicles and humeri, radiuses, and ulnas, femora, and bony pelvis. Then I drew her major muscles, her craniofacial muscles, pectorals, abdominals, femora, the wrap of arm muscles, tendons over the phalange of the fingers. I traced her body's outline with charcoal, and poured some sizing medium (Gak100, for the paper) over her, smudging and sweeping the charcoal with a brush. Red seemed to be her colour, so on my table of oil tubes, used paper towels, half a dozen water jars, a real mess, I searched through a box for the Alizarin Crimson, and began to dry brush it into the wet solution. I tried other colours, delicately, but she was insistent, and so I rubbed them out. After some indefinable time - the clock stops when you are working with a fast drying medium - a few sweeps of orange seemed permissible in her sheer dress, and the white highlights, composed of charcoal white, white oil pastel and Titanium White water-soluble oil paint. My son says she looks like she could be a cover for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
She is a bit scary, but she has fine bones, a good musculature. :)
She is somewhere between life and death, where the soul resides.