I’ve had a pretty inspiring couple of days. I was intrigued by a Twitter discussion started by AIR Council’s Rosalind Davis asking: “What motivates you to keep working in the arts?” I responded: “Creation. Growth. Success. Failure. People. Drawing. Insight. Beauty. New horizons.”
In many ways the list sounds like the synopsis for an awful Phil Collins comeback album (perhaps minus the drawing bit). However, I guess it really is what keeps me going. Particularly the bit about new horizons.
Moving forwards and advancing my knowledge and skills is incredibly important. However, I am learning that new horizons are often reached through looking back. Re-engaging with the past often sheds new light on future possibilities. If anything, this residency has made me think a hell of lot about not just who I am as an artist, but also as a person. I’ve confronted a lot of things that for a long time I was embarrassed about, but in fact have helped shape who I am today. And it all feeds into my drawings.
In the last couple of days I’ve shifted gears slightly and have speeded up my production pace. When I started the residency I was keen to push the ‘all-over’ action style inspired by Gill’s approach. I don’t know what happened earlier on this week, but the latest drawings have much more space and movement in them. I am making smaller marks, predominantly dots. Perhaps it is the result of repetitious exhaustion, spotting the finish line and loosening up a bit. Whatever the cause, the results are really pleasing.
I also had a cracking meeting with Annabel Tilley planning our talk. She is a real kindred spirit in terms of a passion for drawing and mark making. In fact, I think every drawer should book a tutorial with her! She’s pretty damn inspirational.