- Dragonfly Country
- (scroll down for description)
- 1961, 24 x 32, oil
I had done a sketch, in the Cubist style, of a dead dragonfly I found when we were on a camping trip in Ontario. A little bit of a Marcel Duchamps' 'Descending the Staircase' kind of thing showing the dragonfly in a bit of a buzzy pattern. You can see different poses at the same time if you know how to look in a transparent kind of way.
The conté sketch has some aspects of reality of the dragonfly, the transparency, and the buzziness that you wouldn't get in realism, which would be more of a frozen photographic kind of look.
After I had done that drawing I thought I would do a landscape painting as well so I sat in front of the landscape with the imagery of the dragonfly in my head, and the Cubist dragonfly drawing there and I painted a Cubist-style painting of dragonfly country. The far shore is the imagery of the thorax and abdomen. The water, and to some extent the sky, are the facets of the of the dragonfly's wings.
So it was a dragonfly day, and a dragonfly place. The air was full of dragonflies and there's not a dragonfly in the picture, and yet the whole picture is an allegory for dragonflies.