My Work On Paper
Clarity Of Pen And Ink
A favorite medium for me is pen and ink. In my school years I illustrated all I could in this medium. I love the black and white of it, the clarity, the fundamental way to express things.
This medium reflects very much the philosophy that I live by: I live in black and white, right and wrong, true or false. Objective reality. Reality not meaning that fantasy is excluded, as you have seen in my other pages, but reality is my guide in all things. Reality is also what fantasies must be based in, for the fantasies must make sense. A stone does not fly up but gravity makes it drop.
Often I spent hundreds of hours creating one piece. I started with fairy tales and poems and legends and then slowly, as I became more self aware, the pieces evolved into the aspects of woman.
The works on paper show my progress as an artist best. After I arrived in the US in 1976 I intentionally started out with illustrating stories and tales so my ability could be in tandem with my personal development as an artist. When I started out I had much to learn yet, it was gut wrenching at times how many mistakes kept crawling into the images. I fought for many years to understand what was at the base of the struggle, but over time it became easier and easier. Now all these principles are self evident to me, but the struggle is not forgotten.
Stories - Legends - Fairy Tales - Poems
The black and white pen and ink drawings are lined up in almost chronological order. My first pieces are all stories and legends, fairy tales and poems interpreted by me. Most pieces are rather large for this medium, but I enjoyed it that way. Some of the earlier pieces were only in existence as prints, some of the images were pen and inks flawlessly done as pen and ink drawings and also prints from them. Some of the images are printed by hand in very limited editions to have the work available on fine papers with deckle edges.
A lot of the originals are sold, so the images I have are only old photographs or brochure material. Not all of the images are shown here and not all of the ones I show here are perfect reproductions, so pardon me.
I have included some text for the description of these pieces that Michael wrote in the past. I have marked them with — Michael
“Die Sterntaler“ “The Star Dollars” — literally translated — is drawn from a tale by the brothers Grimm. It shows a poor but overly generous orphan who, having given everything away, finds herself standing in the pine forest, when the stars, sympathizing with her in her plight, start falling from the sky as shiny Taler into her dress. The wide surrounding border is as black as night and filled with tiny twinkling stars. The 100% rag Mi—Tentes paper is made in France by Canson and Montgolfier — Michael
— “Die Sterntaler” — Drawing 17 inches x 20 inches —
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Sorcerer's Apprentice — Whether from Goethe's famous ballad, or Paul Dukas' symphonic poem, this tale is known as a classic. The young boy is shown with magic book and wand, getting into trouble while the Master is away (seen flying through the distant sky on a broom). The youth has ordered a broom to bring him water for his bath, but he cannot remember the right words to stop it when the water starts to overflow. He splits it with an ax, but the broom merely multiplies itself and continue lugging bucket after bucket of water to empty onto the now flooding floor.
The paper, like the billowing sleeves of the apprentice, is made of soft white 100℅ cotton fibers and is appropriately named: Stonehenge! — Michael
— “The Sourcerer's Apprentice” — Drawing 30 inches x 25 inches —
Sleeping Beauty — This image depicts the non plus ultra of fairytale scenes: the very moment when the prince charming rescues the princess with the waking kiss! The decorative embroidery patterns on the trappings of her chamber are all roses and rose leaves in reference to the briar rose thickets which had imprisoned the beautiful girl and which are still growing into the room. The border is filled with the scatter of the thorny rose branches cut away by the prince in order to reach her.
The paper for the prints comes from the centuries-old mills of Fabriano in Italy. It is a smooth surfaced mouldmade paper with the FA Fabriano watermark, and it has a buff color with the palest hint of rose. The name makes it particularly fitting, as Grimm's original German title was “Dornröschen” (lit., little thorn rose). It is called Rosaspina! — Michael
— “Sleeping Beauty” — Drawing 29 inches x 23 inches —