I wanted to document some of the ideas, thoughts and inspirations that were going around in my head as I led up to the show at Paintworks 08.
My starting point has been drawing and the Bristol Drawing School. Drawing a lot and often is like refreshment, its invigorating, inspiring and reviving. It is something that I should have always done more of, can never do enough of. It is like a fantastic foundation on which everything rests and draws from but without you necessarily realising it.
See note 1 on drawing
I used to always do large drawings in the life room but have found through doing a lot of drawing they have become smaller, they do seem to be studies. It is not so much about making a beautiful drawing, more about trying to really see what’s there, really learn, through repetition about the human form. The volumes, the angles, the flesh and how bone pokes through towards the surface. To me these more intuitive drawings do in fact make a ‘better’ drawing, more interesting and definitely more useful.
I still do the charcoal drawings in the life room and will be showing some of these also.
I have also been reworking drawings that I have done at the Drawing School. It’s like an unwritten rule for me not to touch the work once the model has moved but now I do not seem so precious about it. I am still not sure what to think about this process though, without wanting to get too dramatic about it, it’s like a fear of loosing the truth. Here is one of the more successful ones though, I showed it at a recent show ‘Drawing Matters’ in the drawing school and someone said it had more of me in it. I am undecided as some are not successful but will have another play at it all the same, any drawing seems to connect to that part of the brain that refreshes, opens.
See note 2. on drawing opening you up
This amount of drawing has given me the courage to move on, push things further. I have never been able to paint from drawings I guess I have never had the courage to just use my own work as reference. Although I always use my imagination and knowledge gained in the life room to make sculpture, painting from drawings has always seemed unattainable. Now I seem to be able to guess where the information is missing, which is what I do solely in making sculpture. Painting, while still a huge challenge for me seems more approachable now.
This drawing was done at the Drawing school and then later I used it as reference to make this painting, which will be on show in November. It is 8ft x 4ft and I enjoyed the marks moving from small movements of the hand going to large movements of my arm and body. I try and do the majority in a long day or two; any longer I think the spontaneity would go, I hope to do a couple more before November.