Categories
artists books drawing

drawing with card

Drawing doesn’t have to be on paper, it can be with paper – or today with card and objects.

I don’t have a clear idea where I am going, but I’m wanting to experiment with some artist-book forms, and so I feel like I need to play with shapes, and to bypass my mind and think some things through with directly with my hands. I’m just making a beginning by playing with offcuts of card on my workbench.

Categories
drawing photography

experiments, photos

I’ve made a few experiments in finding out what happens when photographic paper and photographic prints are painted with ink

( the answer? it depends on the ink, and to the extent that I had expectations, its not what I expected …)

Categories
art drawing

sky drawing

I have been thinking that I’ll draw the sky. Somehow. Or maybe not draw, but at least work with. Start from a feeling of immersion. My main problem : that drawing immersion in sky is a crazy and difficult job, and I don’t know how.

I made an earth drawing instead today – from a video of the mountain. I’d taken the video last night on the way home, just after what would have been sunset, but since it was a cloudy and gloomy evening there was no colour, little light. The drawing needs more work – for me to approach closer to the feeling of last night, and to the evidence of the video. I need to make it fuzzier, less distinct; have less contrast, less interest, less resemblance.

The video is strange and obscure, technically dreadful. I think that what interests me so much about it is just that, its poor quality. I’ve found the outside boundary of the technology, and then crossed over it. The light levels have gone down beyond my camera’s processing capacity – it’s having a breakdown, it can’t find this in its programming, its changing its mind every half a second – what is air and what is objects, what is the appropriate focal distance, what is the space of the mountain? Things recede and return, in and out of focus, all is flattened and fuzzy. Our eyes break down at that light level too, we can’t trust what we see. But we’re better adapted than our phones – we still perceive and still keep some clarity; still retain something of three-dimensionality, the volume of the space, enough to navigate through it.

To return to my idea of drawing immersion in sky, my drawing is a drawing of a place that, because of its shape, is basically all round sky. So I think I can call it an atomosphere drawing, if not a sky drawing.

Categories
drawing painting

acorns

drawing my pile of acorns today, before I plant them…

Categories
art drawing painting

on emergence

Today, just some gleanings on emergence, some shapes I am trying to grasp and understand, some spirals of thought to follow.

adrienne maree brown, ’emergent strategy’:

“Ferns are a form of fractal. A fractal is an object or quantity that displays self-similarity, which means it looks roughly the same at any scale. Small-scale solutions impact the whole system. Use similar principles to build at all scales.”

“Small is good, small is all. The large is a reflection of the small.”

Mark C Tayor, much harder to understand, on perception, in ‘Refiguring the spiritual’:

“…the brain is not a centralised processor but a distributed network. Perception and cognition are not simply the product of the cogito; to the contrary, the cogito is an emergent phenomenon that is the product of the information processes consitutive of perception and cognition…”

Also,

“as we have already discovered, mind and matter – or in this context subject and object – are not separated by an unbridgeable gulf but are coemergent and codependent and function according to similar rules.”

Categories
art drawing

large drawing

Continuing work on my large watery drawing today, adding more egg tempera layers. The best tool I could find was a toothbrush, which was unexpected…

Categories
art drawing painting

garden paintings, 2020

Just to let you know, I have added a page to my project pages on this website – for my garden paintings of earlier this year.

These mixed media drawings and paintings, looking close-in at very small growing things. They were made in my garden during the coronavirus lock-down here in Wales.

To put it simply, they are about drawing attention to ordinary things and opening up to momentary joys, and the feeling of being in love with the world.

Categories
art drawing

large tree drawings

Today’s post is just a signpost to my large tree drawings, which I did around this time last year:

Have a look at my tree drawings projects page if you’d like to see more.

Categories
art drawing

more drawing

Doing some work on my large drawing today, the one based on ripples in water.

I’ve added egg tempera paint, made with egg yolk, pigment and water – a most magical substance with a beautiful surface and shine. Just mixing it is such a pleasure!

Categories
art drawing

on drawing

I’ve been sitting at my desk for a lot of today, finding words about hope, and continuing with the reading that I am doing about the work of Joseph Beuys.

Sitting at my desk with my back to the large drawing I’ve started and not giving it any thought. It is behind me because I had nailed the paper to the only possible wall, right behind my desk. Charcoal dust all over the floor and the soles of my feet, all over the dog and the piles of books. Its not lovely…

And, turning around, it has to be said that overall this drawing is not pleasing to me. I am speaking about this here, in order to be honest with myself, and to express to myself, in front of you, that sometimes things look very difficult and messy, and there is no certainty at all that they will mean or be anything useful. And this is difficult. One becomes invested in a work, in a certain outcome. Or worse, having embarked on something without being able to see a way clear, one starts to lose faith that there is a way clear, or that the journey is justified at all.

I have no idea where I am going with this drawing. There are some things that are good about it, an energy and a rhythm in places. I am starting to imagine ways that it will become material that I can turn into a book, or perhaps the inside of a box. But I also feel certain that it will need more work first. More attention. And the possibility remains that it might never be useful at all.

Which reminds me that in the course of my research today, I did read Joseph Beuys in conversation on the process of creating, saying something that I found interesting about quality, and mistakes:

“So the criteria for something …. as to its quality, can again really only be discussed in direct relation to something, by circling around it a thousand times, looking at it and trying different things out. Above all, it becomes interesting when you’ve completed something and think it’s perfect; and then suddenly see that in fact it’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. And then you have to rework it, in other words, correct it, and that’s particularly difficult. But it also has the enormous advantage that only now can you draw something out of it which never occurred to you as a possibility before, because it wasn’t at all visible. The mistake one makes in the first attempt can turn out to be an extraordinary gift as far as the work is concerned….. One learns an enormous amount from mistakes in particular, as long as one doesn’t tire too easily and say: Oh no, it’s no good – I’ll leave it and start something new. If one says: This mistake is something that I’m not just going to leave as it is, but I’ll make something of this mistake, which is much better than I originally envisaged…”

(From the book ‘What is Art’, Conversation with Joseph Beuys. Edited with essays by Volker Harlan, 2004).