Vowels

3 x 3” x 16 Haptic Drawings Plus Preface & Two Photographs

 debossed on on 8 x 15’ paper sheets (two drawings per sheet), silkbound in clamshell box.

Stephen Vincent 

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Vowels make for sounds
and spaces without shape or boundary.
To draw within a vowel is to move
within and between dissonance,
color, and wave. 

 Close to the Pacific, in winter light, I draw among dry hills, oak, madrone, fallen Spanish grass, and a dull mix of white and green (but sharp) thistles. At daylight’s end, severe amber and magenta streaks hover briefly over the darkening ocean. A silent presence compels an inner motion: the birth of vowel and velocity.

Drawing is a conversation with paper.

The mineral and vegetable threads are machine or hand-woven in a botanical taxidermy. Hard or soft, pen tips whisper into or against a given texture (smooth to rough), while defining themselves with or against each panel’s implicit but variable color (beige to white). The choice from a palette of colored inks is a function of listening: the paper’s tone, the temperature, the silence, the rhythm ofbreathing, inner and outer worlds; each contributes to a potential cauldron or quiet pond of local ingredients. The elements, quickly or slowly, participate in a spontaneous chemistry. The materials drive the pens to do their intimate work — soundings and shapes to reveal each vowel “at home” in its fundamental liquid core.

In some panels, singular yet variable shapes of a cross intrude. It could be that they are consonants: visual incisions that operate as signals, or geometers that bend, shape, and change color in the midst of the dense, sheer music of listening. I imagine them as skeletal portions of the wings of an ancient bird, or as serpents, or insects long dormant within the immediate landscape.

Vowels carried from unknown origins into the visible present.
The drawing of each a vestibule; sign & signal unto the living.
A book, this book, a community.

—Stephen Vincent
December 2015 – January 2016