Life Cycle

Life Cycle

This is a charcoal drawing on paper I did for a drawing class I took from Paula Clendenin back in 2002. I did a number of skull drawings back then. I would say that the most interesting thing about the drawing is its size, which is 50 x 50 inches. I have rarely seen a drawing this large so I would say that is my favorite thing about it even though it did cause me quite a headache in framing it as well as transporting it.

As far as the subject matter goes, the foreground is obviously the skull of a deer, but the more interesting fact is that I used multiple skulls as models for the drawing. I knew I wanted to draw a large buck skull, but the problem was I didn’t have one. All I had was a female skull and a single large male antler which I borrowed from my father. I also had to borrow the skull of a young single point buck from someone else because I needed an example of how the antler attached to the skull. So it took parts from three different deer to create what you see in the image. The background is just a very large representation of the eye socket from the same female deer skull. In this smaller image I believe that it is fairly easy to identify the background as an eye socket. It is interesting to note that most people have a difficult time of identifying it as an eye socket when seeing it in person at over four feet square. I suppose that is because the size puts it so out of context from a real eye socket.

At the time I was creating this piece I didn’t really have a focused theme in my work. I just seemed to be drawn to the subject matter partly because as a child I was always fascinated by bones I found during my hikes in the wilderness. Looking back on the work later, I realized it was just the first step in a highly organized pattern of thinking in my work. That is what prompted me to finally name the piece Life Cycle. It is this cycle of life that keeps the balance of nature in check and if humans could learn to emulate this process, even just a little, we would take great strides towards living in harmony with nature as opposed to struggling against it.