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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
light photography

windows, sky

Today I made a new stencil shape based on the kitchen window of the cottage where I grew up, and used it to look up at the evening sky.

Categories
drawing painting

acorns

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

Categories
art artists books

intaglio printmaking process

I’m just starting working on something exciting with a small piece of scratched perspex that was in the shed. So I’ve washed it and written on it with a sharpie, and now I’m scratching marks into the other side.

I’m going to make artists books that go with writing that I am doing, that communicate the themes and thoughts in the writing – in visual and book-making terms.

So I need something to start with, because I need to start before I am ready – not wait.

Something like intaglio printmaking plates made out of perspex.

Its fair to say that it is very unlikely that anything really good will happen with prints from this piece of perspex – I mean, that what I make won’t work. But I won’t know why it hasn’t worked until I’ve done it and it hasn’t worked. And then I can try something else that doesn’t work either, but gets a tiny bit closer to working. And through doing that I can refine my ideas about what it is that I am trying to get to work.

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).

Categories
art painting

scroll forms, watercolour

Making maquettes of scroll forms in watercolour this evening – working from memories of making the short film yesterday.

Categories
art

three small joys

Categories
art drawing

playtime

I am very happy to report that it has been PLAYTIME today, with the marvellous Gwendraeth Arts Lab online drawing session, run by Roz Moreton .

Categories
art

a box for joys

a box for joys, made today and sent out in the post