Emotional Strata

How much did you plan in your drawing?

I planned it in my head. I was watching the Olentangy river where the remains of the dams are, and the water was high from an rainfall. The water was smooth and fast before the dam, but then became a broken chaos when it fell over the dam. After that it was smoother but still broken and it never was as smooth as it was before the dam. This was at / around the time of the elections and at that time things were very chaotic and stressful for me, and I felt like my emotions and mental health were like the water: relatively stable and smooth, but then just spiraling down into stress and unhealthiness.

Did you write first, or draw?

I drew first, but it is easy for me to write about it since it was planned and sort of “written” in my head.

How did you decide to layer, or cover up, certain elements in the drawing?

I started with the colored pencils on the left side and made sure they followed a path through the swirl and unto the other side without breaking, but then felt the need to add more. I brought in the black thick lines you see with a marker, and then continued with various forms and thickness of charcoal. Finally I added in the dashes lines.

What did you discover through this process? 

I discovered that I really liked doing this sort of piece! My work is usually as realistic as possible and I try to draw what I see. But this piece wasn’t created from looking at something and copying it, it was from looking at something (the river) and feeling it – and relating my feelings back to what I saw. I will definitely be making another piece like this, as I feel I could do much more with the piece but didn’t want to mess this first draft up.