The Quicksilver Mine Co.
© Sonoma's Own
One Across the Bow
Works on Paper by William Smith
August 20—September 26, 2010
About the Work in this Show
Drawing provides a place for me to ponder, struggle with and make sense of the things that trouble me as well as make me laugh. These drawings represent my ruminations on the issues of the day both personal and political. Although much of my imagery is culled from the darker, more conflicted side of human nature, my fascination is not so much with perilous and negative behavior as much as the ensuing comedic and all too often absurd consequences of our actions.
My experiences in printmaking have greatly influenced my compositional development. Printmaking allows me to create layers of imagery while reusing and recomposing my menagerie of characters and props. The imagery itself is a visual vocabulary of symbols and metaphors ever changing the scene within the larger narrative with every new juxtaposition. I don't think of these prints as independent tales instead they are all parts of the same story viewed from different angles.
The drawings, and some of the prints, start as the cover on my work surface; a collection of doodles, marks, spills, stains and notes ensues. From there the central and supporting characters are developed and brought forth. My goal is to create a sense of "orderly improvisation". The comically grotesque and cartoonish characters operate as stand-ins or archetypes of various moods, emotions and actions; my current favorites are Death, The Fool and The Madman. The vibrant and playful colors add a sweetened outer shell to the bitter pill of human folly. Rather than suggesting a clear-cut linear narrative, the drawings demonstrate the characteristics of elaborate, large scale, pages torn from my artist’s journal.
—Wm. Smith, July 2010