The Taking of the Waters


United States

Drawing
Size: 8.5 H x 6.5 W x 0.3 in

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Art Description

Drawing: Graphite on Paper.

My pencil drawing was specifically created to appear as the book cover for "The Taking of the Waters", a novel by John Shannon published in 1994.

The Taking of the Waters novel weaves a story that begins in the eastern California Owens Valley, were farmers and ranchers tried to block the diversion of their water to the city of Los Angeles. The backdrop for the book's tale is the real life 1900s California Water Wars; members of the political/economic power elite of Los Angeles - men like L.A. city Mayor Fred Eaton and William Mulholland - succeeded in obtaining water rights in the Owens Valley through subterfuge and fraud, and then dispossessed the Owens Valley of its water. Some of these dirty tricks were loosely recounted in the Academy Award winning 1974 film, Chinatown.

With my drawing I wanted to depict the tears of the disenfranchised agricultural workers of the Owens Valley, as well as to depict the life giving waters they were robbed of. The woman in my drawing not only represents those in the Owens Valley that resisted a water-hungry Los Angeles, she also symbolizes the spirit of Mother Earth.

Keywords: portrait, realism, woman, black and white , Social Realism, drawing

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