In my series of charcoal drawings titled "Under Box Mountain" I have attempted to create an intimate, subjective portrait of the unique rural neighborhood of Crescent Bay, Nakusp B.C. where I now live. With permission from my neighbors I have been able to explore their various properties and discover for myself the connections present in our lives.
In my attempts to understand my physical surroundings through art making, I have noticed that deeper meanings and themes have surfaced: creation / decay, potential / loss, connection / isolation, and the values of rural life including issues of privacy, preservation, and seclusion. Initially I was motivated by the surprise of my discoveries and the challenge of the medium, but now the reference point has turned inward and connection to the subject matter has become emotionally biographical. The potential in a pile of bricks becomes personal potential (and loss). Vessels hold elements and space, and sometimes leak. Mysterious dark charcoal space speak to ones' own shadows...and so on. By isolating the subject matter, I hope to capture the magical intense energy I perceive in the ordinary and discarded, and make it come alive in my drawings. I like the quiet, somewhat moody atmosphere evoked by the charcoal, and I fill the entire surface of the paper with marks to create a sense of richness, texture, and density. The individual characters and stories behind each drawing are hinted at but remain private. The subject matter is often worn and weathered, damp and moss covered, and I work to capture this and the sense of isolation, but also the protection that I feel: the mysterious essence of the Box Mountain watershed forest with it's human presence revealed.