The Bend, 1984, watercolor, graphite, and pen and ink on Fabriano paper, 3 5/8 x 14 7/8″.
My journals are filled with watercolor studies that explore options for images I am creating outside of my books. For example, during the summer and fall of 1984, one of the independent works I developed was The Bend (above), an image of a road set in a long format composition. Books 30 and 31 (below) contain studies that establish details of the composition as well as offer various solutions for the borders of that work. While a long rectangle with a gently arched top was selected for the final composition, the books show that other configurations were proposed; including a broad box shape with no arch. I was looking for a way to create visual interest by maximizing tension between the long, wavelike shape of the road and the arched top of the composition’s border. One of the wonderful things about keeping a journal is being able to go back and trace the development of an idea.
Book 30, Summer 1984, sheet: 4 1/4 x 6″, watercolor graphite, and pen and ink on wove paper in bound red linen volume
Book 31, Fall 1984, sheet: 4 1/4 x 6″, watercolor graphite, and pen and ink on wove paper in bound red linen volume
The Bend and the two journals presented here are among the 65 works on view in the exhibition From the Inside Looking Out: The Journals, Drawings and Prints of Charles Ritchie, on view at The Gregg Museum of Art & Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh from 21 August to 8 October 2008.