Reality: small studio, works of various dimensions, and no room for them all. 

In the 1998 version of the movie Great Expectations, the main character ends up with a high end, luxurious, warehouse studio space that would make many an artist drool with envy.  In that film, I saw a dream that will never come true for me.

Making it BIG!

Claudine Ascher, curator at La Galerie de la Ville in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, frequently organizes unusual and creative events for artists.

Her past improvisation shows called for large scale work to be executed by artists in situ. The event below took place in 2001. The five artists invited to participate were allotted two sections of wall. We sketched a model and took photographs of her prior to starting our final interpretations. Rag paper was attached to approximately 144 feet of gallery wall.

I laid out my figure in graphite and started shading. We had a month to complete two drawings.

Creating larger than life size was like evoking characters from Gulliver's Travels. As a young girl, I was enthralled by stories about giants. They were a metaphor for my world, one where larger beings  control everything.

Peering at a giant is like looking through a microscope. Pores become gaping craters with protruding tree hairs, pimples produce a landscape of erupting volcanoes, and wrinkles etch the map of a labyrinth.  Imagine seeing everyone through enlarging mirrors. Drawing big is a bit like that.

I explored nooks and crannies. Final results appeared relatively realistic from a distance, but close up, the hatching was loose and abstract. Art is illusion.

Big implies grandiosity and imposition. 
Big overwhelms, surprises and dominates. 
Big is power.  

Big doesn't fit in anyone's house!

Where is this drawing now? Rolled up in the rafters of my studio ceiling with other extra large works. I may never have the warehouse space I covet but who cares?  I played with giants.