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.