Jeff Whetstone - "Drawing E. Obsoleta"

"Hello, my name if Jeff Whetstone and my piece in Cross Pollination is Drawing E. obsoleta. E. obsoleta stands for Elaphe obsoleta which is the Latin scientific name for the black rat snake, which is one of the most common large reptiles in the east. Most of my work deals with landscape and I’m very influenced by Thomas Cole and my work is generally about belonging to a landscape, and in this work, I took a snake, from its habitat, from its landscape, and isolated it in this vessel that I lit to look like a plane of paper and attempted to draw the landscape from which I took the snake with the snake itself. To reconnect them artistically. Of course, the snake is not all interested in my artistic endeavor and just wants to escape the vessel, but I think together we created a documentary of anti-collaboration that I hope viewers see as possibly symbolic for the relationship between humans and nature, or even between the hand and the line. In many ways we think that in art that the hand guides the line but often it’s the line that guides the hand, so I think in this piece you see a little bit of both where I’m drawing with the snake, but the snake is also guiding me and my gestures."