I’ve called this blog ‘I draw’ because my art-work is centred on Drawing.

I am an artist from Margate.


I did a Zoom talk about Drawing last week. It’s been uploaded to YouTube. It was part of a series of online talks for Draw Brighton’s ‘ETC’ series of talks/conversations with the Artist and writer Jake Spicer. I’ve watched it a couple of times now and I can’t help but cringe at the sound of my own voice (this seems to be a common reaction to hearing one’s own voice on a recording). Listening to it just now, I can see where I can improve things for future online talks (talk more slowly and use far fewer images), but I think that overall, it’s not too bad and I did manage to put across quite a few interesting ideas about Drawing.

And so [cue drum roll], here is the videorecording of my talk about Drawing for Draw Brighton’s ‘ETC’ series of talks.

ETC: Roy Eastland (youtube.com)

I hope you enjoy it.


I’ve been in the grip of what is often called ‘Creative Block’ for a long time. It’s miserable and it’s boring. In spite of it, I continue to draw and I continue to teach Drawing and to believe in Drawing as a serious Art form. My ‘creative block’ takes the form of a kind of dull feeling of “What’s the point?”. I have faith in what I’ve already drawn, but it’s knowing what to do next is where the problems are.  I think it might be a kind of Depression.

A quick trawl through YouTube will yield a whole load of videos with annoyingly over-emphatic people spouting their cheerful solutions for when you lack “inspiration”. But in my case, my periods of creative block have never taken the form of a lack of ‘inspiration’ or lack of ideas. Perhaps I should say that ‘creative block’ is an ever-present given but that sometimes it gets the better of me. And like many others, from working class backgrounds who work in The Arts, I experience what is sometimes referred to as ‘impostor syndrome’. My hunch is that any Artist who doesn’t lack confidence probably isn’t trying hard enough or taking their Art seriously enough.

It’s hard to know what the causes of my own creative block are. I’ve no doubt it has a lot to do with my particular personality traits and lots to do with childhood. I’ve no doubt that the parts of my personality which drive me to make works of Art are those same parts which cause me to have such powerful doubts. But it’s also the case that uncertainties about income and my deep and long-term worries about having a home play a part too. Living in a place like Thanet, with its ‘Cultural Regeneration’, doesn’t help matters either. There will be many contributing factors and I don’t believe for a moment that there is ever any straight forward cause-and-effect when it comes to ‘Creative Block’.

I’m choosing to believe that my ‘creative block’ is all part of a process of change and that this change is taking place on subconscious levels as much as anything else. Whatever comes next is a ghostly thing that can’t be forced into being: it must be allowed to take its own time and form.

For the time being, the practice of Life Drawing, along with my teaching practice, is keeping me in touch with Drawing. I’m dropping out of life ever so slightly. I’m letting things slide. I’m trying not to worry. It’s my tactical and a strategic withdrawal in order to re-group and then re-engage. And as with Drawing, we never know what comes next. We’ll see.

If you have any thoughts, please leave a comment below and/or go to my other Drawing blog (https://royeastland.wordpress.com) where you can join in with the discussion there.

I presently have work included in the Anima-Mundi gallery’s online exhibition, “Thresholds (The Unnamed)” and in the Turner Contemporary Open exhibition.

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I’m very pleased to find that my drawing, ‘Displaced Portrait No15 (woman with baby)’ will be included in the Turner Contemporary Open exhibition later this year.

This piece is one of an ongoing series of silverpoint drawings based on souvenir and identity photographs taken mostly in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and which I have found at different times in the same second-hand shop in Margate (my home town). The original photograph is a snapshot-trace of the look of a moment. My drawings are a kind of meditation on these displaced traces of moments in lives.

There are any number of reasons why a person’s image might find its way into a second-hand shop. I know nothing about this particular woman or the baby. But I can assume that she was German because she appears in another photograph, dated to New Year 1940, in which she is part of a happy-looking family group which includes men dressed in Wehrmacht uniforms.

My drawings take time. They emerge over the course of months, and sometimes years, of painstaking rounds of re-drawing. They are repeatedly scratched-away and redrawn with points of silver, needles, scalpel blades and sandpaper. Each re-working is a chance to see something new. My drawings are never just hand-made copies of photographs. Through repeated redrawing, I hope to bring something to the surface which I could not have foreseen.

I wonder who have I drawn here?

The ‘Turner Contemporary Open’ runs from October 2021 until February 2022.

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One of my drawings has made it through to the second stage of the selection process for the 2021 Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize.

Displaced Portrait No16 (woman from Brünn/Brno, 1942)’ is one of an ongoing series of silverpoint drawings based on portrait photographs taken mostly in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and which have found their way into my hands via a second-hand shop in my home town, Margate (U.K.). MY drawings are a kind of meditation on these displaced traces of lived moments.

This particular drawing is of a woman who, judging from the hand-writing on the back of the photograph, was a German-speaker living in Brünn in 1942 in what is now the Czech Republic. Brünn is nowadays called Brno. At the end of the war the ethnically German population was expelled.

The medium is silverpoint on gesso on board (21cm x 15cm). The piece has been repeatedly drawn onto with points of silver wire, drawn into with needles, and scratched-away with scalpel blades and sandpaper. The image goes through a process of repeated loss and re-finding. With each re-working, certain details change; but always the repeated point of reference is the original photographic image. I draw in the hope of catching sight of something which I could not have foreseen but which feels somehow true. These drawings are worked on over the course of months and years. They often never reach an end-point.

My drawing pays attention to a displaced souvenir from the past. Each re-working points to the same thing but each re-working is also a different drawing. Whatever it is that I’m trying to see seems always to be elusive.

Hand-made drawings remind us that there is always another way of seeing and that there is always another way to mark those moments of recognition. I wonder who I have drawn here.

The selectors for this year’s Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize are the artist Sheela Gowda, Simon Groom (Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Galleries of Scotland) and Zoé Whitley (Director of Chisenhale Gallery).

You can find more about this body of work on my other Drawing, ‘Roy Eastland: Drawing’ and on my youtube channel.

Fingers crossed!