After talking to a friend about my artwork the conversation turned to problems within his private life. Perhaps building from the mild philosophical base of art it lead me to start thinking about what my drawings mean to me and what vision I work with.
I had explained my drawings to my friend as trying to express – maybe even – dare I say it illustrate or map the interactions, passages, experiences that we have as we all move through life. I know this all sounds very cheesy and clichéd but, actually I really don’t think it is. What more important, interesting subject could an artist possibly hope to investigate? It is a subject that welcomes philosophical thought and it fascinates me to think about this and what it entails – and how to express it. I suppose I see my drawings as working in two ways: firstly as a larger, whole mass that is seen as one and then the finer details that could be taken as an individual, autonomous microcosm of its own.
The winding, intertwining forms that slip onto the paper appear to me to have a natural – if not obvious appeal to this subject. Push all this to one side for a second… if an artist doesn’t feel a sense of wonder with what he or she is investigating, producing – what the hell is the point of doing it? Art is one of life’s self indulgent pursuits that is rare in the fact that it doesn’t damage its practitioners – in actuality it actively enhances whoever decides to explore its delights.
Needless to say even even at the modest level I operate at I couldn’t love what I do anymore. As Chuck Close said “inspiration is for amateurs” work hard and reap your rewards, this could be materially or spiritually…whatever is your poison.
Thank you for reading my ramblings.
So, it has been almost a couple of months since my last post – a shocking lapse in blog related productivity. However, it has not been because of my natural inclination to procrastinate about even making a cup of tea – it has been because I have been working furiously on drawings. I will share a few of them with you in this post.
It has now been a good couple of months since I moved into the my studio and I now really feel like it is a second home, I have my processes in place and have established a history (albeit a very short one) with the place. I love it. I have also realised I am naturally slipping into a nice momentum with my drawing practice.
I have found that working only on one large drawing as I had been previously (and I use large in the loosest of terms) to be massively counterproductive, slogging away at one piece can lead to a very stale existence so I now have several on the go at all times, some are larger and some are smaller. The smaller drawings provide the lubricant for the larger, more time consuming pieces, they keep things fresh and provide a buffer for specific drawing burnout.
This approach allows me to look at each piece with a fresh pair of eyes, a reinvigorated spirit and also allows all of the other pieces to subtly influence the others being developed around it. Balance is key here. Some of the drawings are fast and take no more than half an hour or so, some take months so breaking things up like this works very well for me.
Heres a a couple of weird and abstract motivational springboards I use sometimes:
- a line from a Beastie Boys song “…all you spazes and you freaks – go and do your thing because you’re unique…”
I sometimes think about that one line and it helps me to remember that doing what you do – no matter what anybody says about it is what you should do – and don’t care what anyone thinks. Stellar advice and so true.
- A scene from from the film version of the incredible Phantom of the opera in which the singers and dancers are all busying themselves practicing lines, warmer voices up and rehearsing. I find this very exciting as they are all trying to hone their respective crafts and that really resonates with me. Romantic fool? Yes. Does it have relevance in a pressurised modern world – definitely.
Both of these things will no doubt make anyone charitable enough to be reading this blog entry cringe – but it really does help me out, and anything – in my experience at least that can help production/ motivation/ spirit/ enthusiasm is an invaluable tool in my book.
Thank you as always for reading and I promise to be back more regularly from now on.
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