Tuesday, 20 May 2008
More Drawing Angst.
Mont Louis (A5 sketchbook, Rotring Art Pen)
I was reminded of this sketchbook drawing by some reading I've been doing across the blogs.
James Hobbs says in his blog, "Cafes remain a favourite place for me to work. They are often fantastically located, in the heart of a town, offering outdoor seating, tables to spread out on and plenty of refreshments."
I understand this absolutely. I still recall making that drawing in Mont Louis, on a walking holiday in the Pyrenees in 1991. Half way through the day we sat at a cafe table and ate our lunch, while I took as long as I felt necessary to make the drawing of the building opposite, refreshments arriving as required.. The fine lines are an indication of how my eyesight is not now what it was, and it was done with the instrument I loved so much then, the Rotring Art Pen. The damn thing seized up long ago and nothing I've been able to do to it has unclogged the nib. I'd buy another, were it not for the fact that I did buy another and the same thing happened to that. If anyone knows how to unclog them, I'd love to know.
It's become increasingly obvious that there's a huge movement around the blogosphere to encourage drawing and looking at this sketchbook makes me think again about how little I do myself.
There was a time when I did nothing but draw. By which I mean, I hadn't started to paint. I made images only with pencil or ink. Colour was actually something I avoided like the plague. I couldn't come to terms with it. At school, I would drag out the drawing part of the exercise so that I wouldn't have to "colour it in" and ruin it.
I began to paint seriously in 1989 and it's been a long hard slog to get to grips with colour, and colour and I are still wrestling with one another. In the process, I've allowed my drawing practice to fall away.
I'm not sure why this should be. Perhaps once I stopped having to make artworks in my spare time (when the actual lack of time meant that a black and white image was a more economical use of the time), it didn't feel necessary. I don't know.
Maybe the need to create paintings to sell and prop up the sybaritic lifestyle to which I've become accustomed led me to feel that a drawing would not contribute to my welfare (despite having sold several drawings in the past). Perhaps.
Some of it may be to do with my working methods. In the early days of my painting, I would take a photograph, run it through the office copier and make a charcoal drawing from the photocopy. The resultant painting would come from using all three - the photograph, the photocopy and the drawing - as source material. But as time has gone on and my abilities have improved, I don't need to do that now, because I can make some of the adjustments that the process achieved, in my head.
As a result, I find that I only seem to draw when on holiday and even then, not a great deal. The drawing above is from a sketchbook started in 1990 and still less than half full. I really must rectify this, but how to do so, when all my good intentions to do so have so far failed? Maybe I should try to get involved with some of the blogging initiatives that I see happening, like the Moleskine Exchange project that Casey Klahn is about to take part in. But how do I get involved in something like that? Anyone care to throw me a lifeline?