Monday, September 13, 2010


Currents (Heaven and Earth)

Charcoal on 4 sheets archival paper
Each sheet 22" x 30"
$3200 framed, plus $100 shipping

For check payment or other arrangements, email don@dailyartwest.com

Here's the latest completed work in the Heaven and Earth series. Click the image to enlarge.

I began in charcoal with the idea that down the line I would probably introduce other media and color into the drawings. But as the group progressed I grew more and more content with leaving them in charcoal only. There's something I like about the stark clarity and unity achieved with black and white. Like others in the series, this piece depends on the relationship of one panel to another to build the full impact. I work toward a kind of visual narrative between images, a dialogue that's not literally read but felt.

It's difficult to put into words what I want from this series, but I'm trying to get down to basics. Nothing is more elemental to our lives than stone and sky--the spinning rock on which we live, and the vault over our heads, full of clouds and stars and astonishing mystery.

We relate stones to notions of permanence and stability. We use them to mark our graves, as if they could hedge the passage of time and loss of memory. When we look up, the shape-shifting clouds remind us how impermanent it all is. Nothing stays the same, even for the tiniest instant. Our world is now...right now.

15 comments:

Pierre Raby said...

I'm speechless Don. I think you achieved some amazing work here. This group of drawings communicates, by its strenght and qualities, a universal language, basic and profund. Your words too.
What a beautiful post to start the week, thanks!

Marilyn said...

Exceptional, your drawings and your words, Don. The charcoal delivers a primal impact consistant with the essence of your message. I agree with Pierre, a lovely way to start our week.

Don Gray said...

Oh wow, Pierre, you've made my day! Thank you!

Don Gray said...

Hi Marilyn--can't tell you how much I appreciate your words--thank you!

Sheila Vaughan said...

Fantastic work Don. As well as being beautifully drawn, these images are so thought provoking, so elemental - and I also think I prefer them just rendered in the charcoal without the interference of any other medium.

Sheila Vaughan said...

ps - tell people to click twice to see them mega sized.. they look terrific!

Katherine said...

Stunning Don. I am so very moved by this work, your souls' voice (IMO). Your deep relationship to the elements speaks loud and clear in the power of this work. There is something about charcoal that truely supports the power of the expression.

SamArtDog said...

Astonishing.

Thanks for the words. Right on.

artistbarb said...

Don...I hear you coming to terms of Life, Death and Meaning. I am too. I have been obsessed with clouds, photographing them and painting skies. Thinking all the time, and....looking up.

Barb

Don Gray said...

Sheila--glad to hear you confirm my hunch about staying just with the charcoal. Thanks for your deeply encouraging words.

Don Gray said...

Sam, thanks so much.

Don Gray said...

Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement, Barb.

Don Gray said...

Oops--Katherine--don't know how I missed you! Thank you for those sensitive observations. Your encouragement means a lot.

James said...

Thank you for exploring this theme of rocks and life. It's not something anyone thinks about too much but the idea of rocks often brings vividly to my mind the fact that we have minds and are animate. We might be vastly more complex than rocks but ultimately we're made from roughly the same stuff I guess! Check out this woman's blog:
http://www.barbarakacicek.blogspot.com/

Don Gray said...

James, welcome to my blog and thank you for your thoughtful comments. I'm pleased to get acquainted with your blog and lovely drawings. And yes, I know Barbara's work--she's terrific.