January 26th, 2021

Bighorn Sheep

ARTIST: Mark Fraley, United States

ARTIST STATEMENT: My sketchbooks are my playground. I find so much pleasure in trying new things. This particular depiction of a bighorn sheep is no different. I knew what combination of elements I wanted to include, but not exactly how they would interact with each other or in what exact manner.

I began with a loose ink outline drawing. I followed with the application of torn a map using matte medium. I work a lot in collage aside from sketchbooks, and have a certain affinity for maps. The way they can depict so many ideas or themes make them a really versatile component.

One of my particular areas of interest lies in the notion of home. At the time this was created my family was living in Colorado, following a move from Seattle. I have moved many times in my life and I find myself constantly redefining the word home. Bighorn sheep hold an important significance in the mountain landscapes of Colorado.

The watercolor application was done in excess, pouring additional paint over the Zeta Series paper. I then tilted the sketchbook to create the dripping effect. I was working on a separate piece that included a lot of pouring, and this was one of the first times I used it inside a sketchbook. The way the colors played together was appealing! I like to blur where the collage elements are included so that the piece is well blended. The pouring effect accomplished this too.

Finally, I redrew the outline, trying to keep it loose enough as to not make it too stale and predictable. As an artist, I lean toward a strong depiction of realism and have to curtail this inclination when needed. The Zeta paper worked in a fantastic way with each element I included in the bighorn sheep, allowing for creative exploration.

MEDIA: Ink, watercolor, collage

SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Mark lives in Caldwell, Idaho with his wife and three kids. He works as an early childhood special education teacher and as an artist. He specializes in collage and portrait work. Having grown up overseas in France, outside of Paris, and having moved around a lot as a grown up, he loves to reflect on the intersection of culture, faith, and concepts of childhood. Sketchbooks remain a favorite place to gather ideas and channel a restless creative spirit.

You can find Mark…

On Instagram: @markfraleyart

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mefraley

Via email: fraleyportrait@gmail.com

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