Monday, July 14, 2008

Of Keys and Riddles

This creature appeared in the margins of a notebook some time ago and decided he wanted to make his way into a more refined piece. I began this picture last year, and I nearly forgot about him until rediscovering him tucked into a pad of drawing paper after moving into my first apartment, which seems entirely fitting. He seems to delight in obscurity and even now after completing the piece, I cannot say I know a great deal more about him that when he first appeared as a simple pen sketch.

What I do know is this: He possesses keys to all the doors that ever were (and never were), including those subtle, metaphysical ones. His collection includes keys to rooms in buildings which have been demolished decades ago, keys to rusty vehicles moldering on the junk heap, keys to gates that no longer guard anything at all, and tiny keys to diaries whose pages have long since been torn out and burned away. No door, no portal is ever truly gone, he tells me.

In this image, his fingers originally grazed the key to the doorway between life and death, but we thought the depiction was a bit too literal. Now, petals from the flower of the Dogwood tree (Cornus florida) dance before his grasp. Evidently each petal represents one of his profound riddles - he reminds me that not all keys can be held.

Media: Prismacolor colored pencils, watercolor, acrylic, sumi ink, ink, collage (for the dogwood petals and flower)

The White Doe Speaks

A number of months ago a poet shared a piece with me that was inspired by one of my drawings. As the Fates would have it, I was lucky enough to check my junk mail folder that day, otherwise it would have been lost to me among the oblivion of dross which normally (and thankfully) gets sorted into that location. I expressed my gratitude and appreciation for the beautiful words and asked if I might be able to post his piece along with my image somewhere. Unfortunately, I did not hear back from him (maybe my letter to him was gobbled up by his own spam filter, or perhaps he did reply and the Fates chose not to favor me a second time).

Perhaps the time was just not right, but with the new Summer 2008 edition of Goblin Fruit, the White Doe speaks:
I pull the landscape
into folds across my back,
a kimono of land and water.
To feel a leaf with one shoulder
or tree roots buried in earth
is a sacred thing
and cannot be imagined.

- spoken through the grace of Joshua Gage

I'd also like to take this opportunity to join the editors of Goblin Fruit in saying a fond farewell to The Endicott Studio which has been nurturing mythopoetic arts for the number of years as there are letters in my full name (a figure which also coincides with the day of my birth). I am too poor a writer to properly express how influential and inspirational the Endicott Studio has been for me, and I will miss it sorely. Thank you Terri and Midori!