Pandorica sketch #1 - pen and ink mandala by Eileen Eilis Morey - Dec 2010

Pen & Ink – Pandorica Series #1

I’ve been thinking in terms of a series of abstracts, but I didn’t have a sense of direction until I re-watched the 2010 Pandorica episodes of the TV series, Dr. Who.

Something about the design on the outside of the box triggered some ideas.

Oh, these art concepts also reference the Mayan calendar, mandalas and some steampunk imagery.  However, since the gears started turning (no pun intended) when I saw the Pandorica again… for me, it’s “the Pandorica series.”


If you’ve known me from childhood, you probably know that I’ve been drawing these boxy designs since junior high school.  These patterns decorated the margins of almost all my school notes.

Later, they were featured as cards, huge murals, and — in the 1980s — even as illustrations for CNN. (I’m not kidding. The commissioned me to draw a series for them.)

Usually, the designs were rectangular.  I often softened them with swirls and stars, as if they were floating in space.

When I looked at the Pandorica again, this past week, I suddenly envisioned the boxes in a circle.  I know that I want to do something on canvas, but a first attempt in acrylics simply ruled out one approach that didn’t work.

(I have other canvas-related ideas in mind, some of which I’ll test today.)

So, I went back to my artist’s journal… the one I rarely put online because it’s not usually as specific, finished and detailed as this page.

The actual work is black ink on white paper, and it’s about 12″ x 12″. (The art didn’t fully fit on my scanner, so one edge is missing about 1/8 inch.)

It took me about three hours to draw this. It’s very detailed and — except for two circles drawn as the general guidelines — created stream-of-consciousness.

My initial impulse was to paint inside the circle and outside of it, using black India ink.  I want this to be something suspended in space.

However, there are many other directions in which I can (and probably will) take this concept.

So, I’m leaving this sketch as-is, as a reference to inspire several pieces in this series.

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