(Charcoal portraits of Charlotte & sounds by Sharon, sound-design by Jeff Jacoby)

Artist’s statement about “Capturing Charlotte”

With this animation I pull back my studio curtain to reveal the evolution between a pair of drawings. “Capturing Charlotte” begins with one portrait, and then offers an intimate look into my creative process by disclosing some of the hundreds of discarded drawings that transpired before arriving at the final companion portrait. 

In the first drawing, as Charlotte sat in meditation, I was able to quickly capture her contemplative moment on paper. I then began a companion portrait to express Charlotte’s outward joy. While the initial portrait was drawn with ease, the companion portrait only evolved after months of searching, probing, and exploration. Along the way I photographed hundreds of stages as I reworked and discarded sketches. It is my hope that as Charlotte emerges and recedes into the page, the viewer shares in the ebbs and flows of the process in capturing a portrait.

Charlotte’s statement about the animation:

“I feel happy, touched, and impressed by the transformative process and final project you created from those sessions together, and branches of love spread gently from me to you as the video went by. 

The thing is, I can recall quite well the session where I was meditating. It felt, as the sound of your charcoal scratch the paper, that I could almost feel the part of my face that you were drawing though eyes closed.…It was a special moment and I remember it very well. How similar somehow your video overall’s tone feels to that moment is astonishing.… like the joy, a certain bluntness sometimes. From a personal perspective, I am also very grateful to see reflections of my expression in such a calm and loving creation. 

And It is not only that, but the video as a whole, as I understand it, comes from process of transformation, re-creation and yet somehow it finds a certain core center. and to me it shows amazing creative sensibility, serenity…. It felt, as the sound of your charcoal scratched the paper, that I could almost feel the part of my face that you were drawing.” 

Technical Notes:

For more than 35 years, I’ve pioneered the merging of traditional and digital art forms, blurring divisions between painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage.“Capturing Charlotte” was created using Photoshop to align, correct, and combine hundreds of iPhone snapshots of in-process sketches that were drawn, then reworked or discarded in the months between the creation of two actual, final charcoal portraits. The animation was created on a Mac computer, using a combination of iMovie, Photoshop, and Quicktime.