This maze began as a scene created in a photo studio: the shell of an old Weber barbecue grill left in the rain for years, the careful placement of Aristolochia elegans seed pods, and a scattering of seeds from the pods. Soft box lighting augmented with a bright Western window showing a overcast winter sky gave the somber lighting. I took many photos for study as the afternoon wore on and the light from the window evolved.
It took me several months of contemplation and some false starts to draw this maze. It's a treasure of colors and textures. I wanted a wobbly out-of-kilter appearance, so I eschewed guides for drawing the concentric ovals defining the bowl. I trusted my steady hand and eye-balled the circles. Flakes of rust become jagged shards breaking up the rigid structure giving many opportunities for me to mix my space-filling line textures with color gradients.
The dark pods of the Aristolochia elegans become my beasts circling around where there used to be water. I wanted them to seem organized but paralyzed by their predicament. While it is hot now, ever circling closer from below is frozen Winter and another season with no water.
Yeah, this scene has, for me, a decidedly anxiety ridden mindset. It began in the depths of the pandemic, just a couple months after the terrors of the wildfires and the choking smoke forcing us to abandon our home. We enter this summer with a unprecedented drought and the existential threats circling ever closer.