Shelby B. Smith
Tar Paper Drawings.
My work on this series has been about exploration, both of ideas and of
process. The thoughts in these works are about the filtering of
experience(s), the inspiration and vision of objects, and the transfer of
energy through action and element.
The Tar drawings are an exploration I began 2 years ago, as a search for
an aggressive surface on which to draw. I was interested in working the
surfaces with familiar material, ceramic oxides, clay, a torch and my
hands. I am using all earth elements, iron; red/black, titanium, yellow
ochre, copper carbonate, rutile, and dry clays. My images are abstract,
natural formal compositions. These images are like blueprints or
shadows of buildings or objects that could be or occupied place. There
energy comes from the push and pull of the colored layers as I work up
and down on the surface.
The surfaces are brushed with oxides and water to dampen the paper.
These are then brushed with the flame from the torch to adhere and
push and pull the colors about the surface of the drawing. I then sift
powdered clay into some of the wet areas and sand the pigment and the
clays together with a wooden block. Using the torch between layers to
dry thing out and see the actual colors.