On the Easel: Fictitious Pictish Standing Stone

Fictitious Pictish Standing Stone, detail; in progress

Fictitious Pictish Standing Stone

charcoal rubbing drawing on 102″ H distressed mulberry paper, 96″ x 36 3/4″ x 1/32-1/8″ image area

The Aberlemno Serpent Stone, Aberlemno, Angus, Scotland. Front drawing of a two-sided, free-standing installation in progress of two drawings, featuring the front and back of the stone, to be suspended back-to-back in a Plexiglas box.

In response to no longer being able to make rubbings of the actual Pictish carved stones in situ, I developed this rubbing drawing technique. While keeping the historic symbolism and design in my composition, I placed personal objects under the paper, including textured garden stones and my grandmother’s mirror, and rubbed and manipulated the charcoal on the distressed paper, occasionally supplementing with traditional drawing techniques. For the background grass and clouds, I am currently creating my own small Pictish symbols and grass texture from artist’s sculpting clay, and then will overlap these symbols, thus creating a rubbing that would be impossible to achieve on site. Under the lifting stone and between the two suspended layers of paper will be a spiraled snake.