Seashells

Ink Paintings and Prints

Judith: Most of these seashells come from secluded beaches of Mangaia, the southern-most of the Cook Islands, where I borrowed (and returned) some very small, but nice, intact shells.

Being such small seashells, laying on a table in front of me I could hardly see enough to draw. So I took them into my left palm to have a closer look, and painted them much larger with my right hand, with ink on paper.

 

Because it was not possible to hold my hand completely still, I saw more than just one contour, one very specific aspect of a shell. I realized that my sense of sight joined my sense of touch, to create a feeling for the body, the whole form of the shell.

This experience relates to my painting of dancers, where I prefer to focus on multiple aspects of the body in motion rather than on detail of features.

I try to visualize a complete form, front, sides, back and the anatomy, the way it works.