Hi there, thank you for stopping by. The above image is the progress that I have made on my latest drawing. What do you think about it so far?
This drawing will take at the very least another six weeks to complete and will no doubt take it fair share of my sanity along the way. I am becoming more and more obsessive with each and every drawing that passes through me, the details, the colour, the composition, my practice…lets see how this one comes out!
Whilst ploughing headlong into this piece I began to think about drawing itself, the thoughts, feelings and experience of the act of drawing, of making marks, in my case on paper. An ancient craft. Anyone drawing is sharing similar experiences as that of someone hundreds – if not thousands of years ago. Sharing that magical act of creation, watching something develop, the stress, the concentration – the sheer joy of seeing something materialize from a vision buried deep inside. Just think about that for a second. What an incredible thought! It is similar to standing, as I did when o was a child in front of a Paul Cézanne painting and thinking to myself – my goodness the great man himself would of been in the same position as I am now (in proximity to the painting). You will come to learn that I can ramble sometimes but I just love to let the writing flow sometimes.
Thank you for reading
I’ve been giving my drawings a lot of thought recently, how to develop, the philosophy behind them and what they mean to me. To go hand in hand with I am also always looking at how I can progress on from a technical point of view, whether it is use of colour, the overall aesthetic or development of existing themes and elements.
So whilst reading I discovered an artist named Joseph Cornell, an American assemblage artist. He created incredibly subtle and finely balanced work, amazing skill was hidden beneath the usual exterior aesthetic. However more than the work itself he apparently once said that he explored “poetic connections” that run within the world and human life.
This one phrase really sums up how I consider my work to operate, after all what is art without poetry?
My work couldn’t look more different than Cornell’s but I feel a genuine affinity with what he used to do. It just goes to show that ongoing learning about what has happened in the past can help to inform what happens in the future. Above is an image of my latest drawing that is only just out of its embryonic phases, what do you think?
Almost two weeks since my last update. In this time I have decided to make my drawings several sizes larger than they currently are (in average paper terms). This is partly due to the fact that I always envisioned them being a much larger scale and operating on the basis that the viewer would be drawn in and then begin to see some of the detail work that is only visible close up. I still hold this to be an attractive proposition and think it is a great way of enjoying a piece of artwork – the element of surprise – of sorts. So my work post degree shrunk to a manageable sketchbook size, I then became lazy – rather life got in the way – same shit, different person story of someone getting caught up in day to day life, and ended in treating drawing as an escape and not a serious artistic pursuit, cutting a long story short this has since changed in a pretty big way and I am now pushing myself further and further with each piece with a consistency I have not known since graduating and flying the institutional nest.
To quote the great Vincent Van Gogh:
“I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort—and disappointment and perseverance.”
So true on many, many levels, all of the above I have now accepted as part of even attempting to make something worthwhile, something of value – and I don’t mean financial, I mean personally, intellectually, visually. Always taking the next step and discovering where it leads me. I’ve always considered my work to be very slow in its evolution but in hindsight I’m not so sure that this still rings true. I have seen some seismic shifts in not only the aesthetic but the intent in what I do. Perhaps this thought has triggered the need to actually take an overview of the last few years and see what and how things have changed?
Moving to more philosophical issues. The act of drawing…mark making. In my world, my practice, this means placing marks onto a sheet of paper and constructing one whole. It means a sequence of marks that combine, integrate and inform one another to manifest as organic looking forms which work to present my “sensations” to the viewer (to paraphrase Paul Cézanne). I think drawing is really is a transformative process in a decorative sense at least in that via a simple sheet of paper and a pen or a pencil an artist begins to enhance, change and mould the appearance of the paper. Exerting his or her will, ideas, thoughts and feelings onto it. I like the thought that a drawing holds history, can be visually dissected with inspection and it is this that can transport the viewer into the drawing and their own cerebral realms.
All of this is speculation and opinion I suppose, one thing I do know though for sure is that there is real joy, real pain to be had in creation.
Thank you for reading.
So since my last update a drawing of mine has now reached New York, to then be shipped onto Florida. It’s a strange feeling to know that something I have carefully looked after and spent a lot of time creating is now out of my care and thousands of miles away (hopefully still in perfect condition). I know people sell their art all the time and it’s no big deal but for me – at this point it is huge. For anyone interested I have been a member of a site called Artfinder which I have always found to be okay. The work varies on the site in terms of quality and depth – and price but I have found it a nice way to start off. And people actually look at what your doing, it also feels quite friendly also. I would recommend it to anyone thinking about starting to attempt to sell work.
Onto things slightly more thoughtful now, whilst reading a World War Two book a few days ago I read a line that mentioned a commander modelling an attack or some kind of plan on an historical that bore similarities to his current situation. Anyway, this got me thinking about life drawing, sculptors working from life etc…naturally I wondered how this applied to my own (inherently abstract) practice. First thought – it doesn’t. Second thought, actually it does – in a big way, not just to me either – but to everyone within the arts. Working from a model needn’t be from actual life, a model or a landscape – it is an idea or a goal that whatever it is your doing wants to achieve or spring from. Something that your practice can centre around or the spirit in which you work. Definitely nothing profound there but a worthwhile thought nonetheless.
Whilst doing my degree it was always very important to have a direction, what and why are you doing this? Explain, explain, explain. I guess it is in a lot of ways and in a sense it separates different practitioners. Whilst this is great for focussing creative attention it also serves to limit exploration as well. I have come to learn through years of working alone that anything that stimulates or takes your interest is a valid stepping stone or springboard. Creative freedom is so important in keeping yourself interested and engaged through what can be a hard struggle to keep on producing work with what sometimes seems there is no progression – apart from what goes on in a sketchbook (or drawings to be stored away). My advice is do what ever the fuck makes you happy and keeps you working (I probably wouldn’t take advice from me).
As is always thanks for reading – if anyone ever actually does!
I am very happy to report I have made a sale today – to an American chap no less. To say I am over the moon is an understatement. I promise that I am not gloating about my modest transaction – just ecstatically happy about it. A strange thought to think that a piece of my work is going to be crossing the Atlantic tomorrow.
As some of you may know I work full time and have a busy home life, I practice my craft as much as is possible at this point within my life and to receive a small showing of validation is incredible…it has given me a glimpse of what I desire as a life choice, what I work for in the evenings and at weekends, or stealing sketchbook time whilst in stationary/ standstill traffic (I don’t condone anything other than safe driving) or why I write this blog sometimes at stupid o’clock at night as have ran out of time. The desire to be an artist, to create, to think, to explore…I need say no more.
To some this is a small event, an everyday event – but for me it is a game changer, it has further solidified my resolve and hardened my ambition.