Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Still Life with Shell"

One day when I was walking to a drawing class at the San Francisco Art Institute I spotted a unique seedpod. It was on the cobblestone sidewalk across the street from the school. I thought it must have fallen from a tree or a nearby bush, and looked around at the nearby foliage for the source of the strange seedpod. It looked to me like the head of an animal--an antelope or goat perhaps, and I imagined myself fashioning the rest of the creature from sticks and leaves. I thought it was quite benign, and I imagined an endearing creature trotting about in a playful manner. At least it was not sinister in any possible stretch of my imagination. It sat on my shelf for a time, and somehow it seemed to harmonize with two other objects that were visually appealing--a beautiful shell, which harbored secrets unfathomable, and a broken light bulb, which probably signified a bad idea! At worst, the seedpod was a vegan alternative to an O'Keeffe skull! At best, it represented my prancing creature! Only recently did I find out that the seedpod is native to the Southwest, and is known by sinister names--but I don't believe any of that! "Still Life with Shell" is a colored pencil drawing on paper, 14" x 35," drawn in 1979.