Bigger isn’t necessarily better.
I’ve frequently gone off on one at students who think that development of a piece of work means doing it bigger. The same, just bigger. Why? What does this achieve? What does bigger say that smaller can’t? I challenge the urge to go big just for the sake of it.
But it is tempting isn’t it?
Yes, I agree that mark making feels different if instead of making small wrist movements you start taking wide side-steps and large arm sweeps… It can become choreography…
And going very small can make the process seem very personal and internal, I get that… But once explored, I would always ask why is scale important? What do you want to feel when you’re making it?
(Let’s forget about the viewer for the moment)
About 50 drawings in, I feel the urge to go big. There. I said it.
But I don’t want to make the shapes and marks bigger, I just want to do more of them. I want to get up close to the paper with my pen and ink out these shapes so that they fill my field of vision. I want connections, small explosions, mutations…in all directions…. I might even make them smaller so I can fit more in… So I’m going simultaneously bigger and smaller…
Sometimes it is impossible to blog.
Right from the start I said that whatever I wrote would be honest and true. But that doesn’t mean you have to write EVERYTHING does it?
Sometimes the things I would write about aren’t my tales to tell. Sometimes the truth I want to write is not the truth for someone else. I’ve had a summer of stress, distress, and ultimately disappointment both personally and professionally. The personal will stay unwritten. The professional? Suffice it to say that the things I was really excited about were pulled out from underneath me. I had put things on hold because of those things and it is taking me a long time to get back to where I was, because where I was isn’t there any more… Some of that went out along with the rug pulling. So I find myself somewhere else. Google maps isn’t going to help me reorientate myself…. So I just keep drawing until my mind catches up with me. The resolution I was hoping for isn’t going to happen, so I’m finding another. With some things, NOT writing is the best resolution.
Family circumstances and illness have derailed progress along one path, but have hacked a way through to another… I am without a studio still (although good news soon I am hoping) so progress is contained to my armchair in front of Netflix mindlessness, and the dining table. But actually, if I’d had a studio I wouldn’t have been able to use it over the last few weeks anyway, so I’ve saved some rent!
I sit here writing this in a hospital canteen, aware that I’m at a crossroads of a sort, where the personal and the professional are tangled, and realise that in my work, that is always the case.
I have gone off on what initially seemed like a tangent… But who knows, it could turn out that the frustration about the work that got derailed was the tangent, and the hacking through the creative undergrowth was actually a short cut to where I was supposed to be all along. I’m scratched and bruised, a little embarrassed and slightly humiliated, and feel a bit of an idiot….. but I’ll cope.
My writing this has hopefully enabled me to explain an absence, acknowledge feelings, draw a line and carry on…