These drawings were made during this past year of the COVID-19 pandemic, from March 2020 to March 2021.
I think of myself as a landscape painter—I’ve been painting land/seascapes for more than ten years. When the stay-at-home orders began, I knew I wouldn’t be getting into my studio often. I grabbed some simple supplies so I could work at home. These included a pad of translucent Dura-lar (plastic paper), black drawing pens, pencils and erasers. Initially, my goal was to explore a new way of working—without the rich palette I normally use. But that didn’t last long; I couldn’t resist picking up the one colored pencil I could find in my house. After the first tracing, I set the purple pencil aside and became comfortable working in the world of black and white.
I began by tracing patterns wherever I could find them—the floors of my apartment, dings/scratches/discolorations on my old wooden table, shadows and bits of text from letters I received, my to-do list. I pile up the layers of Dura-lar as I go, tracing marks from bottom layers onto top layers so the final drawings are rich with markings and appear 3D. If a drawing doesn’t work, I add it as a layer to another drawing and see what happens. In the finished pieces you can see through the translucent layers to the marks below which often appear shadow-like.
These next two drawings were made as part of the Marking Lives COVID-19 project.
Copyright © 2021 Jane Sherrill
Jane Sherrill is best known for her paintings of land and seascapes that have been exhibited extensively in the Boston area, on Cape Cod and in VT. Her art is represented in numerous collections in the US and abroad. She has been awarded MA LCC grants in painting and performance and attended artist residencies with grants from VT Studio Center and Medicine Wheel Artists Retreat. During the Covid 19 pandemic, Sherrill turned her artistic eye on her apartment, tracing shadows and marks caused by daily wear and tear using a combination of pen and pencil on layers of translucent Dura-lar. She calls her finished pieces maps or compressed histories.