The Sheaves and The Min-Min
Sketchbook drawings, 8″x 5″ and 9″x 12″, made with Prismacolor pencils and sticks. From 3 sketchbooks filled with The Sheaves drawings.
The Sheaves and the Min-Min are series of drawings and monotypes concerned with the light, density and spaces of the prairie wheat fields, viewed at eye level from a moving car. My fascination with the interaction of motion, perception and memory started with quick graphite sketches of the landscape made while traveling as a student. The horizon—the dominant marker for what is seen, what changes, and what is there but never seen— is not always obvious, but remains essential to these compositions. To date, I have filled about 40 sketch books with overlaid, composite landscape drawings, using a basic vocabulary of color and line to describe geographic space and the time through which we experience and perceive distances.
“The Sheaves”, from an old American hymn, Bringing in the Sheaves, signify thanks-giving and serve as metaphor for preparing and protecting the life of the field, the harvest, before winter’s onset. The metaphor extends to human souls, human beings, human sakes, celebrated in this cyclical act of gathering-in.
The Min-Min are unexplained atmospheric phenomena that hover over the Australian horizon and appear to travel alongside drivers on the roads. When I learned that these lens-shaped lights could be foreshortened reflections of the far side of our planet, I imagined the Min-Min transported to the Colorado plains. The Sheaves, with their ambiguous spaces, concern with light and motion, changeable horizons and indefinite identity of place, are an apt habitat for visiting Min-Min. The after-image glow of monotype “ghosts”—second printings—has an affinity for them too. —mls
below: selected works from a series of 50 layered monotypes and re-worked ghosts drawn with Caran D’ache watercolor crayons on a 15 in. x 12.5 in. Lexan plate; some with chine collé; printed on etching press. Papers used include Arches Cover, Rives BFK, Stonehenge, Masa, Kitakata, Sekishu and Gampi.