What a wonderful theme—Absence/Presence! I believe that almost every work of art has both absence and presence, though it might not be immediately obvious. My pieces submitted for the winter theme purposefully leave out mark making at some point, leaving a void for observers to try and figure out, or to fill in with presence in the face of absence.
Missing II: All this activity of mark making—and then a final rectangle of nothing. Should it be filled in by imagination? Or left empty, highlighting the presence?
Long Ago (or long away?): Half a page without landscape. But in this case the absent landscape is defined by the presence, far, far away, just barely seen.
Standing Alone: Half the paper is completely empty. Again, the question might be: “What does the absence have to do with the presence?” As often as I have looked at this work, I still don’t know what the void means in relation to the young girl involved. Perhaps you might find something there.Untitled : In this architectural drawing, the absence is embedded in the presence. One might only see a wall, where others may see only empty space. Is it absence? Or perhaps the drawing is complete without absence.
Who’s left behind?
Who’s in the mirror,
Forever in her mind?
What’s left unsaid?
She had the gun,
a halo above her head.
Illuminated by half-light,
gray as powdered graphite.
The twilight in her skies,
the moonrise in her eyes.
Layers upon layers, I love working in layers. There are layers of paint, some opaque, some glazes, some dry brush. There are layers of images, history, content, and formalistic art elements. Things appear and disappear, emerge and pull back, overlap. Presence and absence work together and become something new.
Image at top: Maggie Fehr, Missing II, pencil and pastel, 24½ x 18½ in.