Garden of Grotesque Delights

Drawings on acrylic marbled card stock with Micron ink pens
All drawings © 2016 by Ellen Wetmore.
Drawing sizes are either 8.5" x 11" or 5.5" x 8".

The Grotesques Drawings are pure process. I start by marbling my own paper in the Turkish stone style. The colors and shapes produced are random and they dictate to me the images I will draw on them. I work directly in ink, without planning, so any mistakes must be worked into the composition. The rules are that I must draw the first thing I see. To me it is like looking for shapes in clouds: I articulate what I see in the paper by outlining it in ink and annotating the shapes with pattern, light, and shadow. This work is informed by a rigorous and direct study of Italian grotesques, best documented by Alessandra Zamperini. Grotesques are small surface frescoes within architecture, a capricious catalog of life, possessions, fairy tales, and monsters. Taking cues from this, my work confounds logical space and threads a narrative though uncanny juxtapositions. In it I explore places where, as Kristeva observes, symbolic meaning collapses.

Original drawings are available through Gallery Kayafas. Prints are available online at Society6.

#33 Tree Hive

#17 We Went So Fast Our Souls Fell Out

#78 Rolling Tracts of Land From the Straits of Mackinaw

#86 Winning Hearts and Lips in the War Era

#102 Colombia, Vultures Everywhere

#100 The Map Room

#74 A Piece of Soul in The Yellow Balloon Escaping Velocity

#60 The Elephant Train Out of Cypress

#23 Come All Ye Annoying Little Children and Bring Tidings of the Mechanical Spirit

#62 Bond #2, Ultraman forced to face the FireMaster

#66 Bond #6, in Which Ultraman is Forced to Confront his more Feminine Side

#91 American Bison Growing Poppies

#54 Lascaux or The Red Bison's Meeting with the Red Capped Mushroom Brigade

#40 Skull Screw, Stop at the Sign of the Hung Wolf

#44 The Zoo Spores will Repopulate Soon After the Apocalypse