‘Nymph and Satyr’ – Brandling Street
Drypoint Intaglio Print
Red ochre hand coloured acrylic sheet
1100mm x 880 mm (framed)
Artist Proof ( 1st August 2004 )
Edition 1 of 2
This drawing arises from a self-challenge practice drawing two models at once on Saturday mornings at Brandling Street drawing group based then at Erskineville.
The Nymph and Satyr is quite an antique theme and revolves around knowingness and innocence. The Satyr would ask the traveller a question to confuse and bring him/her to knowing in an intuitive way. Koan practice in Zen also operates like this.
The models are an old cyclist and a young woman who were strangers to me and as far as I know didn’t know one another. I did the initial sketch in graphite on a sketchbook page and liked the composition and graphic quality as well as the eloquent way his hand is hovering over her and at the same time merging back into the patterned elements of drapery back into the picture plane. I savour the way there is tension in the tactile implication of the pose.
The drawings of couples that resulted from this work are so much more interesting than a model posed by her/himself. The medium of acrylic engraving is handy because the plate is transparent allowing for easy transfer of the image. The lines are gouged quite deeply into the plastic using an engraving tool and the lighter marks are scratched, sanded and buffed using steel wool. Pubic hair and smoothness are contrasted for a heightened effect.
I chose to highlight the blue print with red ochre to ‘smarten–up’ the diagonal and tie the work in to Earth ochres and Aboriginal Australia.