“Scorpio” is a narrative on acceptance and growth along an internal journey. My zodiac sign is a scorpio and the inspiration for the design elements of this diptych… but the content goes much further than that.
The composition of this piece pairs sections of a symbolic, infinite, starry space with solid, reflective border lines and a figure in a posture of confinement. We see her with a restful demeanor while she is either bracing or leaning, even the design of her own borders are undefined and ambiguous. Internal growth is a push and a pull, a wax and a wane, a tension and a calm… never completely one or the other. Layers. Moments of clarity as we navigate.
On a personal note, the gorgeous model is the daughter of one of my high school best friends. I love bringing in sentimental references in my portrait and figurative work. People often ask me where I find my models and how I choose them for the individual pieces. At the forefront of the process is my desire to reflect the world around me. Representation in ALL its forms is more important to me than ever. I want others to see themselves in my work and find a familiarity and relatability to the ideas I’m presenting in the art. Even without context, the work inherently possesses something special when the artist has a connection to her model, no matter how big or small.
The scorpion is an obvious symbol for the astrological sign, but it also has another layer for my story. This particular creature was a true source of fear as I encountered them for the first time, and then repeatedly, during my first years living in Oklahoma. I had never seen anything like the scorpion growing up in Oregon. I had to completely change my approach to the outdoor world and cultivate an awareness of the constant danger lurking along the dry ground and often in the floors of my home in the summertime. It represents the anxieties of youth that still remain, yet lessen over time as our perspective changes.
In its position in the design, the scorpion is poised to have a significant presence in relationship to the figure. It doesn’t linger in opposition to her, nor does it exist within her immediate space. It’s her reluctant companion… a metaphor for her fear. It’s there, we acknowledge it, we affirm our position, and we move and act in spite of it.
The woman and the scorpion are drawn in both charcoal and the background segments are painted in watercolors and pastels. Two border lines on each panel are embellished with metal leaf.
The custom metallic wood frame is designed to house and enhance the mounted diptych while the void of the black border space and cast shadows depict a reference to space itself.
Polaris No. 8 (Scorpio)
charcoal, pastel, watercolor, and metal leaf on Canson mixed media board
16x12" each panel artwork size, 28x36" framed diptych
Polaris Solo Exhibition
Grand Bohemian Lodge Gallery
Falls Park, Greenville, SC