Arcaylis, Element of Land, Sea and Sky

Arcaylis, Element of Land, Sea and Sky (drawing completed in 2007). This picture was drawn as a sister piece to 2005’s Enoxx, Season of Four Weathers. I used a wide range of magic markers for Arcaylis, the entire concept and execution coming when I was flat on my back for several days. Each section of Earth (left and right parts of the drawing) as well as the Sky and Sea, were drawn on separate boards, the entire arrangement photographed in pieces and placed together in post production. I didn’t have floor space large enough to lay the pieces as I envisioned them. Also, each piece was shot separately to get the best photo resolution possible.

The idea was to create shapes in absence, what we call negative space, where what’s missing in the drawing is as important as what’s present. Anyone who looks at this picture and sees four egg shapes is viewing negative space.

For my pens, I would travel to New York City once a year, to buy all the best quality pens I could afford. I bought in person because I wanted to hold the pens in my hand and see how the colors “talked to each other,” warm shades reaching across to cooler versions. One sense would say, no, these colors won’t work together, while the actual physical presence of each was the determining factor as to whether the hues would work or not, when applied side-by-side in a picture.

The center of Arcaylis is pure Enoxx, right down to the silver paint pen separating the colors and defining their shapes.

My inspiration for the drawing’s concept was the basic joy of a child playing at the beach. I remember when I was younger than ten, kneeling in the ocean’s shallows, scooping soft dripping sand and heaving it skyward. I didn’t know it then, but with my feet and legs rooted in the sand and my arms moving the water upward, I was engaging three bodies, the water, the earth and the sky. At the center was my body, the facilitator in this chain. Arcaylis is a connection of the natural elements.

Ara Hagopian’s newest book is

Arcaylis, Element of Land, Sea and Skyxxx



About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
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