Easter Day on Farnhill Moor

Another freezing day and too cold to do much considered drawing on top of a moor but I was thinking about what Chris Murray commented on a previous post: “the profound reverence of concentrated drawing”.


This is surely not the same as piety or holiness? Isn’t it more about allowing yourself to be  receptive and open to the world through drawing? Allowing the circumstances in which the drawing is made to determine the outcome, rather than some received or constructed notion of how you would like it to be or an exterior notion of what constitutes a “good” drawing?

Or am I just rehearsing a justification for bad drawing? I don’t know.

Not that any form is less valid than any other but this seems a very different approach to drawing that is intended for an audience or even for their approval; it is more in the nature of traces left by an event, as if the ‘me’ that made the drawing is no longer there. Which, in a sense, is true.



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4 responses to “Easter Day on Farnhill Moor

  1. Jane Gerwitz

    All this is brilliant, very inspiring!

  2. Chris Murray

    I think ‘awe’ would have been a better word…more to do
    with something felt whilst drawing rather than an attitude to drawing…Kossoff’s saying “I need to teach myself to draw” and your own: “am I just rehearsing a justification for a bad drawing” remind me of Francis Spalding’s comment on Auerbach’s work; “that its insistent subjectivity can appear solipsistic.” Bomberg’s approach, if you accept that’s what we are talking about, is a reasonable, European, answer to abstract expressionism. I guess I just wish I could articulate a different one!

    • I understand the possibility of solipsism, Chris. It’s obviously an anxiety with this approach. However a disdain of audience is necessary as long as one accepts that the whole historical context of drawing and painting is based on an idea of sharing. Paradoxically it is necessary to start from a position of bloody minded subjectivity and a refusal to “perform” if one is to offer a truthful product to the world.

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