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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Charcoal burning

Making charcoal in Heathfield - an experiment to find the biggest bit of wood I can successfully charcoal, results so far have been mixed. The biggest log of ash we used splintered into big chunks but doesn't make a very good mark. I think the Alder and Pussy willow are better mark makers. I have tried all sorts of wood to see which works better though its almost impossible to remember or recognise which is which after its burned! 

Monday, 9 September 2013

About my drawing practise

Why do I draw? 
To immerse myself in another world. To connect with something beyond which is bigger than self. To see differently and to see beyond the expected, to allow the unexpected to emerge. 

The physical process of drawing is integral to my work, I work from live subject matter. I work intuitively. Surface becomes integral to the work. 

There is an intellectual process in the making of the work and also in the appreciation of it. 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Stepping up to the line, finding the curve.


Gesso chalk charcoal ink board sand paper wire wool water ash 

Perception of edges, contrast, relationships, space and the whole. 

Drawing becomes part of you like a boot; strong, moulded to your own shape, full of story and layers of history. It captures more than a moment more like a lifetime of mark, stroke, scratch, rub and surface.  A tentative line can gently meander only to be juxtaposed with solidity.
Holiday drawings 2013. Eweleaze beach. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The rough and the smooth

Recent work from Blow, my studio on the south coast. 

Getting all my work out to select pieces from the last 6 months is a long and involved task for me, it involves clearing enough space in the flat occupied by 3 young boys, 1old boy and all their toys. Then laying it all out and grouping it into pieces that work together. This is the second time since January and not the last. I find it really hard but extremely useful to move forward every now and again. I will need to do this again in a few weeks to get work ready for my exhibition at in August/September and then later in preparation for in September. 

I decided to give my studio a name, 'Blow' is after my favourite artist Sandra Blow, it also reminds me of the frequent wind we get here right on the coast. Checking her out on the web I just found this trip round her studio...she has a few more chairs than I do...

I think she said once she didn't have the luxury of a family and her painting, for her it was one or the other. My guess is every woman artist would empathise with that. 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Be bloody bold and resolute

Be more myself? An oxymoron surely. My work is drawing with charcoal and this year for the last 5 months that is all I have been doing, limiting my practise to black and white. Liberating in one way but also a great challenge. This year I am slowing down and stretching out, filling space with lines and marks. It's good but when you get up close to the thing you do best its terrifying. The pit wall looms in front of you and the only way to face it is to keep digging.

I've been out drawing on a number of occasions with others and on my own as I need to work direct from source. My over riding fear pre and post drawing is that I will not be able to produce pieces of similar quality or interest to those which I have done before. When I go I have these good pieces in mind and feel pressure to recreate them....all these internal wranglings and self inflicted blocks are a devil to work through. What I need to practise every single time I draw is staying in the present being totally in the moment and not in the past or the future. This is when I do my best work this is when I am most myself.

I know when I shed these inhibitions and let it flow, I become almost unconscious of developing anything and simply make marks. I have to disconnect from control.

As I work I learn more about what subjects make me connect and buzz, landscape is always a start but as I recently discovered at Devils Dyke on a dull day I need contrast and lots of it. Following my gut reaction which is a lifting feeling of huge potential when I see something is an instinct I can trust, when I got to the Dyke I was really disappointed, I felt like a child about to get the puppy I'd always wanted and then getting a battery powered toy dog. Whereas driving past and walking on the downs near Hassocks was amazing. I think there was a strong sense of being too close and actually trapped by the subject at the Dyke and I need a sense of space between me and the subject. I love high horizons, sweeping lines and undulating mounds of earth, the way that clouds race across the land obscuring it and changing it completely just like intense sunlight rising from behind a hillside. The best thing we did at the Dyke was to roll down the sides!

Thanks to Clare Whistler for the images, the company and the belief.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Drawing Closer

The Colonnades, limited edition print shop £30)

My drawing practise 
I draw in order to see.  I want to see things more clearly, differently, to gain better understanding of surfaces, form, contrast and space. It slows me down and stills my urgency to record and develop ideas. Through the process of mark making I become physically and emotionally involved with my environment. This connection is important because it allows me to interpret what I see, to get beyond the immediate.
Drawing enables me to begin developing a visual language for identity both external and internal. This is a life long growing cathartic narrative of how I see the world and its objects; this is an extension of me. A visual story revealing and mapping my life.
I find it stimulating, challenging, exciting and frustrating. I cannot, not draw. I cannot create work without drawing, it focuses and strengthens integrity. Drawing is about being raw, open and honest. 
Wave series #10 and 11 are in Rye Art Gallery until 24th March.
Wave series  #10

Wave series #11