Sid Garrison normally avoids generic labels for his images. But when one recent viewer described them as “Colored-Pencil Paintings,” Garrison accepted the description. Even though the word “painting” for most of us usually denotes brushes and the application of pigments, Garrison’s use of pencils is perfectly appropriate. He uses them to apply their hues to his Strathmore papers in an intricate series of cross-hatchings that, after days, even weeks of intensive labor, effectively eliminate all traces of the hand of the artist. Their sprawling shapes, vibrant colors, and stippled patterns attract the eye with their spontaneity and lack of premeditation.
“The important thing for me is to start,” Garrison says, “—
and not wait for inspiration.”