on drawing things out again

Monday 16 May 2011

today, dear reader, you might like to take a peek inside this recent travelling sketchbook…

sketchbook drawings - trees in a landscape

last weekend i started & subsequently filled this most diminutive of sketchbooks with some simple line drawings… each sketch is 10cm x 14.5cm…

sketchbook drawings - more trees in a landscape

travelling with a pocket-sized sketchbook and an ink pen…

sketchbook drawings - trees in a landscape

here is a selection of some of those small sketches…

sketchbook drawings - a gnarled old tree

observing & remembering the patterns of the natural world…

sketchbook drawings - tree bark

such as an old olive tree, slightly leaning, its bark gnarled…

sketchbook drawings - water surface patterns

or watching below, where the water flows…

sketchbook drawings - surface patterns water

and where the earth grows…

sketchbook drawings - surface patterns made by water

where something can be found…

sketchbook drawings - more patterns

from looking down, at the ground…

sketchbook drawings - sky

or somewhere way up high…

sketchbook drawings - dark skies

in the dark infinity of a sky…

sketchbook drawings - night sky

still seeing clouds, in the rise above them…

i really like the limitation of size – but it is not planned that way, nor perhaps is it even relevant to my paintings, but if someone was to pack me off to greenland on a drawing expedition i would probably be very happy to go… every artist should draw something everyday for it enables one not just to observe but to think singly & deeply about something, even just for a short time…

i always find myself reminded by the simple process of drawing how sometimes it seems so difficult to really understand how another person might think, feel or respond to something, how difficult it is to communicate a personal sense of something that has no adequate means to describe it; but artists will always try and this is what makes art so special…

a while back i conveyed to a very accomplished artist how i felt i had come to a crossroads with anything created in the abstract (i have had similar conversations with many people), about how i felt i was not always succeeding in conveying a genuine feeling about something, without resorting to the means of illustration… there was no answer other than trying to find a new way of getting an aspect of my character into the work… i do not want to drastically change course, but rather i want to consolidate the voice that is undeniably and uniquely me… i guess the truth is, i already have it but i won’t find it by looking elsewhere…

7 thoughts on... on drawing things out again

  1. Jazz

    p.s. i will have about twelve paintings in a small group exhibition which will open in late may (and i will be a special ‘guest artist’ in another exhibition in june/july), so i have been kept quite focused on what paintings will be included in each show, the majority of which have not been previously exhibited… more on these exhibitions in the next post…

  2. charlie

    how do you know/feel that you are *not* succeeding in conveying a genuine feeling to others?

    If you *were* to be hypoethetically succesful how would you know you gad suceeded?

    Is change the only constant?

  3. Steven

    Jazz, you really do put into words my every thought, constructed with more elegance and help me understand why I cannot understand myself, if that of course makes any sense.
    Of course it doesn’t.
    I am that introspective grouch, as I tried to convay, rather unsuccessfuly in a previous post.
    Mainly the ‘blogging’ has become something I seem to be unable to get my head around, deleting most posts or hacking them down to near nothing, prefering instead to read others.

    It is however important to me in the fact that a real long while back when I came across your work & blog you gave me some most wonderful advise & constructive critisiscm regarding my direction & work, which is lodged & considered in my current and more successful recent work. (so thankyou, and continue to write)

    Your flow of line in the drawings above is not only beautiful it is a seductive invitation for me to perhaps again disconnect from difficult blocks and loosen up a little…

    For now, I think I should go outside and have a look around, watch some birds build their nests..

  4. Jazz

    charlie: many thanks for the comment… the feeling (or whatever the artist wishes to express) will always (i hope) be genuine and success is relative to how effectively it is communicated, which is conferred by the subsequent responses to it – the exchange that takes place…

    i think that evaluating the ‘success ‘of an artwork (from the artist’s perspective) is a simple case of does it achieve what the artist set out to achieve, does it still make some form of ‘statement’ without recourse to words to indicate what’s possibly going on – and is the title the necessary hook to initial understanding – subjective titles versus untitled etc – and how the artworks would be perceived differently… there are a lot of complex neural processes going on, when looking at abstract art especially, from the aesthetics of shape, colour, forms to the social/cultural/historical context, prior knowledge or experience… i am obviously quite interested in this aspect… i think perhaps ‘success’ is not the most appropriate word, a sense of ”rightness’ sounds better… discourse on art and meaning is always good though – we would not have modernism without it – the art will speak for itself when others are ready to listen, so ultimately the understanding of an artwork is relative to its context – curators know this and will generate new, innovative contexts for the appreciation or understanding of art…

    i may have broached the question of ‘success’ somewhat rhetorically here – obviously, i am still working on it… the straight answer is to be genuine, to refine the ideas, skills or processes in making art, and getting the best work seen by the relevant audience…

    p.s. not sure i quite understand the question ‘is change the only constant?’, as constancy implies no change… change or transition is inevitable, good, liberating even… change was perhaps a ‘strong’ word’ to use – i probably just meant natural progression…

  5. Jazz

    steven: thank you for the kind acknowledgement.

    art is made as much by thinking as it is by doing, the blocks are merely challenges to test one’s powers of thinking, disconnection can be a good mental exercise… you should just keep the posts as drafts, as every thought is important to document, it means something even if it is not shared…

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