I think of these as two pieces, each made of five 5 inch square canvases. Hence Pictem I and Pictem II. However, I really am selling the pieces separately. Because the canvases were two different brands, there are 5 of one size and 5 of a slightly different size. The biggest difference is in the profile away from the wall. That was a frustrating day when I made that discovery. I'm just grateful that I had five of each brand.
These were quite the process. The marks happened very spontaneously, using a calligraphy pen. But I had wanted the ink to bleed like it does on paper when I went over the marks with a wet brush. That didn't happen the same on canvas. So first I had to add absorbent ground. Then make the marks. Then the ink bled out a different color from when I had done it on paper. Then it smeared more and not in a good way when I went over the image with matte medium to waterproof it. So layers and layers. When all I wanted to do was to make the marks with ink and go over it with a wet brush and not have it be on paper and, therefore, need to be behind glass.
I am a bit surprised by the images that reveal themselves just by moving a pen on a surface. Crazy how lines come together to tell a little story. And for me, that's what makes them pictems.
(note: originally, these were titled Totems, but I have since learned that I would be co-opting that word and concept. So they have been renamed)