In the Footsteps from the Past series, I attempt to portray that mysterious moment in time when past and present collide, if only briefly. Currently I am in the initial research phase for the 6th artwork in the series. In the sixth illustration of the sequence I plan to introduce living figures in the scene with the colonial ghostly figure. My objective is to create a juxtaposition, or tension that will result in connecting and drawing the observer in to the scene.
Recently I began research at the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library in Williamsburg—looking for inspiration for the next mixed medium painting in the series. Unique to the library is the body of research on the buildings, people, trades, and culture of 18th-century Williamsburg. Manuscripts and rare books do not circulate. According to their webpage, the library’s collection of rare books includes over 12,000 volumes, which can be found in the online catalog. Topics include all aspects of colonial culture, ranging from the late 1600s through the early republic era. I find it more productive to do research at home on the library site in order to prepare for the library visit. The library is not large; however, it has a monumental presence that fascinates me—but I am a library aficionado.
Soon I plan to spend time walking the historical streets of Colonial Williamsburg again with my camera, notebook/sketchbook, pens, and a thermos of coffee—looking for inspiration and traces left by the original settlers to help direct my path. Which way I go matters—so I’ll look for signs pointing me in the right direction.
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland