Dennis Lee Mitchell

Smoke Drawings

One day about three years ago, by chance I applied smoke to a sheet of paper. Immediately, I thought the resulting image was powerful and filled with potential. Since that time I have dedicated my studio practice to working with smoke on paper.

Smoke is one of the most ephemeral of all materials. Even when it resides on a sheet of paper, it seems to do so momentarily as if it is in a transformational act.

I draw with smoke as a way to render images of our mutability. The result is a symbolic condensation of beginning and end: apotheosizing the smoke.

I may make as many as 250 or more drawings to secure two or three finished works. The process is repetitive, as I attempted to dissolve expectations, glean the essence, and execute the act while circumventing spurious ideas. Involving chance, the process produces a kind of surrealistic sensuous rendering of the finite and the infinite.