Camping at Upper Morgay, Various pencils, ink & w’colour on paper, 21x16cm
When I’m away I never stop drawing; perhaps I’m just keen to remind myself of my own existence.
However, I always consider that the real stuff takes place in the workshop. I’ve obviously now given the lie to my pretence that drawing is some kind of pure, primal activity. What I mean is that it’s good to be back to working for a purpose; that purpose being producing paintings, of course. Implicit in that “purpose” is that painting has a higher status than drawing, which in a way it has: paintings are more hard-wearing, more complex.
Getting going in the workshop has been like pulling teeth, so, rather than mither on about that, I’m going to lay out some of the process. I know I’ve done something similar before but then I seemed to be working with some kind of direction. In this case I feel I’ve been hacking a trail.
1st Feather in Glass Drawing, Ink & wash on paper, 18x16cm
2nd Feather in Glass Drawing, Ink & gouache on paper, 18x16cm
3rd Feather in Glass Drawing, Ink, pencil & gouache on paper, 18x16cm
4th Feather in Glass Drawing, Ink & wash on paper, 17.5x11cm
Tiny Feather in Glass Painting, Oil paint on card, 11x10cm
Bigger Feather in Glass Drawing, Pencil on paper, 26.5x24cm
Feather in Glass 1, Oil paint on board, 24×22.5cm
Feather in Glass 2, Oil paint on panel, 33x30cm
It’s useful laying these out. It makes me aware that the more a painting develops (and mine tend to develop through the process of repetitive drawing rather than layering, as if all the layers are left visible at the finish) the more it becomes independent from its source. Whereas the drawings delineate and refer only to their subject, paintings offer much more. All paintings refer not just to the immediate but to every other painting and to the strange state between object and image. They give something of emotion and otherness. Perhaps all that is, after all, is pleasure.