Well I’m drawing plantlines – attempting to follow the contours of plants in various media (paint, pencil, pen, etched). Sometimes a single line across the surface, at other times multiple lines travelling from left to right, overlapping, yet starting one below the other.
Today it’s been strawberries in watercolour first in my sketchbook, the left side over existing painted marks and then onto the clear white page. The next was with a sharpie pen around a disposable coffee cup.
Hundertwasser believed the straight line is ungodly, my first middle school teacher banned ruler in art (pretty standard for art I guess) and a later art teacher didn’t appreciate my messy way.
I think I can do away with the straight line in my work. Plants don’t tend to be this way, I am not this way, life is certainly not a straight path. Driving from here (Abergavenny) to Aberystwyth is basically a rollercoaster of a road, and my travelling over the surface of the earth is rarely in a straight line, even though I sometimes try to be efficiently going in a direct line. This straight line causes problems. I think I know where I need to go, but life has other ideas. When I try the direct route, I am almost certainly going wrong and not paying attention to my surroundings. It is too easy. There is no benefit.
Curveballs abound all around me now.
I am in the midst of grief over the loss of my brother Stuart. The two brothers left are coping, I hope, but it is difficult for all of us -we’re reeling from this as is the whole family. I can feel my head physically occupied in trying to process what’s happened and unable to remember much new information. And there are many moments it hits me in the stomach or chest as a pulse of memory. Trying to keep up with work and supporting each other and being there and being supported back. Seeing more of family than ever.
I have fairly political ideas and ideals coming to the surface as I work on plantlines and write this:
STRONG GRASS ROOTS
REACH HUMAN(E) POTENTIAL
SAVE THE POST OFFICE!
COMPULSORY LETTER BOXES
The way people do things – e.g. sell eggs outside their house, signs for ‘local honey’ – which you can follow and find a cottage, press the bell and get honey straight from a beekeeper (or family member) and those bodged together things. Hmmm. I absolutely love.
I have just done one of those facebook clickbait bits of fun: what job should you have had and it came out with FBI agent. I feel like I need to be an agent to understand myself and life. How far will I go to figure out myself?
Artists Hundertwasser, Guy Allott, Peter Liversidge particularly appeal to me.
In drawing plantlines – am I looking for a message outside of myself? Am I missing a point? Does it need to be more ‘something’ (not sure what this is) to resonate?
One of my approaches is to draw an ‘honesty’ line, a ‘strawberry’ line, ‘mixed (plant type)’ lines and on with other plant names. I have also been drawing the contours at the Clydach A465 roadworks and considering drawing the plantlines of plants under the trees in the Gorge.
So – is the fact that it’s a contour line or that it is a plant line the most important aspect?