Matt Woodward’s huge drawing of Beaux Artes figures set forth the idea of how man puts things on pedestal, or elevates people and ideas, but really it is only human wishes that endure, not the objects themselves.
For this drawing I wanted to make an emblem reminiscent of an heraldic banner – something we would introduce with a flourish only to realize that it will decay just as everything on earth decays. I had thoughts of lichens on mighty trees. They are busily eroding the bark even as the tree grows and thrives.
I took a rubbing of an oak tree covered with lichens.
Old group pictures always make me thoughtful. Where I went to college there were group class pictures in which every member of the class had been killed in World War I. The youthful photographs depict buoyancy and life while the subjects are long dead. I cut some newspaper pictures of groups of people for my collage.
I cut a cameo shape around the figure of a woman that I had drawn. I softened the image with an eraser and surrounded her with pastel in a lichen green color. On gessoed Bristol board I drew a 6-inch swath of crimson for my banner. On this I placed my cameo lady, my newsprint pictures, the lichen rubbings, a decayed magnolia leaf, and to make it more ceremonial, I drew a gold seal at the bottom.