Charcoal Brilliance

New York-based artist Judith Braun creates all these beautiful patterns using nothing but her fingers dipped in charcoal dust. She often uses her both hands simultaneously to the extent of her arms’ reach as this allows the inherent symmetry of the body to generate a gestural vocabulary of mark making. Braun says:

“Abstraction keeps the images free to be anything, while the symmetry resolves that fluidity into something, like liquid energy crystallizing. The crystal metaphor is also reflected in the carbon medium of graphite that, under heat and pressure, becomes a diamond. Working within constraints prompts a proliferation of possibilities that self organize into groups and subgroups, from which I then choose some to render carefully by hand…with diamond dust.”

Since 2004, She has been working on a series “Fingerings, an ongoing project in which she uses walls as canvases to explore liberating, improvised strokes with her hands. To learn more about her work, be sure to visit

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