Wherefore and the why…

So, I think I have a handle on this blog thing. If you click on “Home” you may have noticed that I’ve added a few features – links and such. Don’t be unsettled if it changes up from time to time – I may be tempted to play. Meanwhile, I promised some background. Those of you who have followed my exploits in previous years may enjoy a review; for you newbies, here’s the scoop.

This will be my fifth season working as an archaeological illustrator for the Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli. The history, geography and most information you could wish for can be found by clicking on the link on the home page – or here. Do take a look! My connection to this dig began when David and Sandy Schloen, friends of my youth, visited my studio back in 2006. Sandy remarked on the level of detail in my art work, David took note and suggested I might want to try a season as an artifact illustrator. In summer 2008 I did just that. I liked the work, the work liked me…and I’ve been coming back year after year.

The next question, inevitably, is why use an illustrator at all? My reply each year, cobbled in part from an archaeological illustration textbook – is this:

Why use an illustrator, why not just get a good photograph? There are a number of reasons: a drawing conveys information on an object’s shape, size, form, method of manufacture, number of components and thickness of its walls. This is all portrayed in a series of elevations, plans and sections which would not all be possible using photography alone. If an artIfact is worn and its decoration faded or decayed, even the best lit photograph will not be able to display all its characteristics accurately. A close study of the object is integral to the illustration process and this often sheds light on important details which can then be picked out and emphasized.The human eye continues to be more sensitive and selective than the camera.

While you are checking out my links – be sure to visit Kathryn Killackey’s blog. She’s been an archaeological illustrator – and an archaeologist – longer than I. She is also in Turkey this summer at a very significant site, Çatalhöyük. Worth a look!

Now you know where I’m headed and why. I’ll add the juicy details over the next weeks. Back to the packing – I’ll be in the air on Sunday afternoon!

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