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If you’re not careful, practice stays imprisoned in the sketchbook.

Because of the impending “no studio” situation, and the fact many of my things are packed into boxes already, visits to the studio are not now about practice. Until I move everything back home just after Christmas I won’t have a space to get on with what is in my head.  I am intending to re-appropriate the dining room…. But things have changed in the intervening two years, my practice (and equipment) will no longer easily be contained on the top of a four feet by five feet table. I’m going to have to set it up properly, because I don’t know how long it might be for.

Meanwhile… My sketchbook exists to remind me of these thoughts I have about the chairs. These four oddly proportioned chairs are drawn over and over…. Placed in order in a line… My intentions drawn upon the line drawings in a different colour…

The problem is, if they stay there on the paper too long, they may reach some sort of conclusion, some sort of resolution before I make them. It won’t be right, necessarily, but right enough for the paper, and I will move on. The resolution reached will be that which concerns drawing. It will be about the lines, the colour, the forms depicted and composition. These are the wrong resolutions. I need to constantly remind myself that what I’m looking for isn’t a drawing but a relationship.

The relationship between these chairs is a little bit Goldilocks. One is too small, one too tall, one is wide, but low down…. One is the right size, but not comfortable. My plans for them are about the relationships with each other and the people who might sit (or have previously sat) in them. This work can only be done in the physical world, with my whole body. It’s not an end of arm with pencil thing. It’s not proper to confine it within the pages.

So I write this blog to remind myself that I might be able to move on in terms of the sketchbook, but I must return.

I have to make the chairs how I want, in order to leave the gap for the chair that isn’t there…


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