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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Persistent Plastic

Persistence, mixed media on paper, 55½ x 36 in. 2014 
The plastic bag has become the most important element in this large format drawing.  Transparent plastic is the new still life drapery.  The blue bag is designed for the collection of recyclables. Here it has blown into the corner of an abandoned lot.

The drawing is a lamentation for the dying plants as plastic refuse overtakes them.  The irregular growths on the thistle stems indicate that the plants are highly stressed. The plants resist as much as they can, but time is against them.  

The weeds in the drawing are are 'invasive species' brought to the soil by human agency,  primarily Cirsium Arvense (Canada Thistle) and some kind of Rudbeckia gone native.  (It's stems are tall and spindly and its flowers have brown, bulbous centers surrounded by yellow, daisy-like petals.)   My 'models' deteriorated into dry shreds in my studio as I studied them.  Not so for the plastic trash bags!

Plastic is such an integral part of our daily activities that we don't necessarily stop to think about it.  I use plastic bags, plastic wrap and plastic household items.  What worries me is what happens to all of it once I am finished using it.  I re-use what I can, but is this enough?  

Persistence, detail, mixed media on paper, 55½ x 36 in. 2014