Death is about what is missing; the void is palpable. The field of white, rather than the graphite imagery, forms the focus of each work in the Field Series. For these pieces, the white of the paper is more than an arbitrary substrate, but the focus of the work. I watch how the fields of white affect the images and choose titles based on those relationships, frequently selecting a word that is both noun and verb—an object and an action.

Working with graphite is meditative. It is a medium that does not usually produce images quickly; the hard thin pencil point yields only small amounts of material at a time. The slow, methodic process of using graphite allows a lot of time to watch the drawing take shape in the surrounding white space of the paper. I provoke the images out of the paper and out of my gut like an animal whipped into a show of strength. Working the piece incrementally through a long detail-focused process gives me an odd, cathartic detachment from the image as a whole. The well-crafted nature of the works is in its own way a method of embalming.

The unwieldy rush of life, death and disease among family and friends inevitably leaves me wrestling with something bigger than myself. I brood over questions about loss, absence, time, and distance. I am along for the ride, acted upon by the churning mass of contradictions in the work; watching each image emerge to distill my thoughts. As I watch the drawings materialize, they seem to have more in common with the sterility of hospital death than the actual dirt of graves. Sanitized and almost monumental, the images appear to stand in place of a traditional marble headstone. Alone and disembodied from a specific context, the images suspended on the paper remind me of the absent-but-there nature of a corpse.