Tuesday, 20 May 2014

What to keep or ditch?


Who knows what I intended when I picked up the pastels? (This is just a small part of a bigger piece.)

All I knew was that something was leaning on me. Pestering me. 

After a busy and demanding day, after cooking dinner, after clearing up, after getting a few things ready for the next day, after relaxing and losing hold of any sensible thoughts, too tired to read that page of my book yet again in the hope that I might get it this time.....As soon as it looked like I was heading to bed, every common sense thought was telling me to leave whatever it was until the morning.

That's not what I did. 

Happy in the scratchy rhythms of chalks on paper, happy to let the "whatever it was" emerge however it wanted, I found myself barefoot at the kitchen table instead. And after half an hour of frenetic mark- making that seemed to make no sense and perfect sense at the same time, I was tucked up asleep.

Next morning, while eating a slow breakfast, I sat across from the previous night's sketches, saw areas like landscapes within the bigger piece. Not at all what I was expecting. Keep or ditch? Tricky choice. I turned the page upside down and got cracking. The mysterious hills and valleys had been overlaid by the time my hands were grubby again. I was making the Fabriano work hard for me. 

But 2 days later, still shaping this piece into more of what it seemed to want to say, I was scrubbing at the surface with the edge of my palette knife and another range of shapes hinted at landscapes. More erasures followed and lots of scraping out, but given how these little worlds keep emerging, I've decided to let those areas stay as long as they strike good chords with the piece. For now!

It has been hot and sunny here. And I've been drawing outside in the garden. The merry go round horses are running through beautiful sunsets and evenings that hang out long and blue and make you slow down on the empty beach, after the tourists have headed home.....


It is also the time of year when weeds attempt world domination. I'm sure they grow overnight. I am busy with my plot. First broad beans tasted great. Gooseberries are almost ripe. Look at the apple tree.......