Black & White Work

“While attending college, a friend of mine asked me to design a flyer advertising her senior dance performance for her fine arts master’s degree. As an advertising student, this was an honor, but I was strapped for time during one of my busiest semesters. As the weeks passed, I thought I wouldn’t be able to complete the project, but my friend persuaded me to do something simple and quick. So, I set aside my school projects for a little while and drew what would be my first of many black and white drawings in this continuous curve style. I have no doubt that my own background in dance study brought forth that spontaneous drawing. And as the years progressed, I continued to draw the simple curves and lines I saw in nature, the human body and expressions between the bodies of men and women.

I challenged myself to draw perfect curves, with extremely fine pen points, so that the viewer’s eye never stopped moving around the composition – ultimately, creating a dance between the viewer and the drawing. Then, I began to include circle forms in my compositions, as they seemed to add balance and weight among the curves. The circles began to add meaning as well. At a certain point I ran across a Native American writing by Lakota Chief Black Elk, explaining that life works in circles, cycles, in which the end leads to the beginning – as with the days, seasons and the lives of humans. He pointed out that nature is full of circles, such as the shape of the moon, sun and Earth, and that even bird nests are round. This passage seemed to explain why I had chosen curves and circles as an expression of life and nature.

Below are the best samples of this work. They can be easily printed in different sizes; the originals range from about 8×10″ and 16×20″, some of which I created in one fell 24-hour swoop, to larger. Others, such as the “Westward Journey” and “Parting Waves”, took more time to finish. “Swans Circle” is an 18×24″ on paper; I took two years to complete this piece. At one point, I dropped my ink pen on this work, and fortunately for me, it didn’t splash a speck of ink on it – that would have been devastating with so much heart and time invested in it. None of these works have been touched up – one false move, well, would have ruined them. I don’t know if I’ll ever work this precisely again. These JPEG files don’t display the perfect lines, and that’s okay because I don’t want them reproduced without permission – you get the idea, and I have much larger files from which to print. Enjoy.”

~ Laura Garrard, January 2006 ~ Jackson, Wyoming

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The Work (copyright Laura Garrard)

1. One

(Set of Three Related Images)










2. Two












3. Three














4. Westward Journey









5. Parting Waves

















6. Swans Circle












7. Self












8. Holding Back, Holding On

















9. Giving In To Love













10. Woman To Child

















11. World On His Shoulders and In His Arms














12. Dreaming Women







13. Wedding