Pandemic Summer cont

Petroglyphs

Running through Time.

“In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” - - Robert Frost

Petroglyphs- what are they?

Marks against time.

The mark making of human kind.

From the caves of Lascaux

Through Pompeii

All the way to drilling on Mars -

we must make our Mark.

Petroglyphs as ancient symbols speaking to no one and everyone - All those who recognize a human mark. Eroded by nature’s elements, buried by volcanoes or beat by wind and weather or simply left hidden behind time.


What to do with petroglyphs? From visits to area sights I have some nice images. I put them in collages. For someone obsessed with ancient ruins I do very little with what’s available at hand. I’m not going to Italy anytime soon. But aren’t ruins ruins anywhere? North American or Roman Empire, whats’s the connection? Can they run together?


I often work from historical photos and artwork for reference not to replicate. My work isn’t abstract enough for no sources. There is always pressure to work only from what I imagine or see and photograph myself. The nature and subject of my work doesn’t work that way. Although that certainly has a place in serious artwork. I wanted to incorporate the local petroglyphs into my work. I played with different combinations of classical fragments over a year before striking on the statuary fragment discovered in Pompeii of Athlete Running. The petroglyphs could depict hunters or athletes, I do not know. I felt a vibration between the two. Perhaps the craved flat marks moving to flesh, 3D form.

So far, only one composition was inspiring enough to attempt painting. On watercolor paper, I masked the figure and filled the ground by abstractly marking, splashing and splattering layers of media, watercolors and inks, randomly turning and rotating the page while painting. Wet. Dry. Wet. Dry. Wet. Dry. Once the mask is removed, the figure is painted.

I came across a book titled “Petroglyphs, Unpublished Poetry,

and the Urge to Leave a Mark” by Michael Kramer. I liked the title.

And this from a poem,

The ages fade the lines of human art

which scars the native rock of ancient walls,

but signs of time are sacred to the stone.

by Benjamin Mosley




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