The Botanicals series grew out of an exploration of metalpoint drawing that started in earnest after leaving school, while I was looking for still-life subject matter to replace the models I had drawn with silverpoint during college. Turning first to single-subjects to explore form and surface detail, they later grew into multi-object still-lifes that led to works of other subjects, like letterforms and seeds. Sometimes the objects are straightforward, other times the surfaces are cut and carved to increase visual activity, and also to make meaningful connections. The first of these were made in 2003, and the last were made a few years ago. I frequently return to old series and invigorate them with new ideas.
Between 2008 and 2011 I worked on several large-format metalpoint drawings that coalesced into a series called Seeds. These drawings are botanical still-lifes, but unconventional in both their theme and execution. Unplanned, contemplative, and complex in their possibilities, they are inspired by botany, subatomic phenomena, and images of deep space. Each of these drawings are made up of thousands of seeds, arranged in almost random patterns to form a field of activity. In some cases the patterns are not so random. These metalpoint works are done in silver, copper and goldpoint; the metals have different lusters and will eventually tarnish, creating a subtle shimmer in the drawing.
Lunchbox Apples, 2015, silverpoint on prepared paper, 9 1-2 x 15 inches (sheet size).
Slice, 2010, silverpoint on prepared paper, 12 x 9 inches (sheet size)
Density, 2009, metalpoint on prepared paper, 22 x 30 inches
Density (detail), 2009, metalpoint on prepared paper, 22 x 30 inches
Comet, 2009, silverpoint on prepared paper, 22 x 30 inches
Comet (detail), 2009, silverpoint on prepared paper, 22 x 30 inches
Six Seckels, 2007, silverpoint on prepared paper, 12 x 22 inches. Private collection.
Pomme, Pomme de Terre, 2005, silverpoint on prepared paper, 10 x 14 inches (sheet size)
Sweet Potato, 2003, silverpoint on prepared paper, 12 x 9 inches (sheet size)
© 2021 Tom Mazzullo