Sunday, 31 January 2010

untitled rainbow drawing

This is the second of the two untitled rainbow drawings made in September 2009.
I read that Werner Herzog likes to think of the films that he makes as being children. They are to be cherished as expressions of the self. If they are lame or disabled in some way they must receive greater love.
It is difficult for me to love my own work. I am intimately familiar with each drawing, but that is not necessarily love. Many I destroy, some of which I later regret having lost, and the pain of their loss is a deep hurt, akin to self harm.
The practice of drawing is intimate and exploratory in a way in which I believe no other practice to be. One's first tool, as a child, is the crayon or pencil, or felt tip, all drawing instruments. Mark making thus is elemental, absorbing, although this early period of discovery is short. All too soon, one becomes aware of one's shortcomings, and frustrated by one's inadequacies. Who does not remember the struggle to render perspective, or to depict the limbs of a figure as accurately as possible?
The rainbow drawings allowed me an escape from these concerns. I drew as I may have done when first a child, the crayons bunched in my fist, the wax going down on the paper as though it were an enemy. The pencil marks over the wax are subtle, but entirely uncomplicated, just short strokes of graphite, no sophistication.

untitled rainbow drawing

This drawing is one of a pair, both of which remain untitled. Sometimes a title, or a name for a piece arises in one's mind like a bubble rising in water. At other times they require a good deal of patient research. And very often a piece will defy any attempt to name it, as it is with these two drawings, neither of which have yielded to my efforts to title them. They were both made in September 2009, as well as the obscured rainbow drawings, and the dark rainbow drawing. It was a month during which work went well.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Winter rainbow II

This drawing is entitled Winter rainbow II, and was begun at the same time as Winter rainbow I, but finished several months later in the early part of 2009. My concerns remained the same, the use of the symbol of the rainbow to give shape to my experience of clinical depression, but whereas Winter rainbow I is bleak and raw, Winter rainbow II is softer. I wanted to take the image of the rainbow, and suggest something other than hope, which is why the images are clouded, obscured or rendered almost brutally.
For many months I was unable to draw anything other than the obscured rainbows, and I drew those almost obsessively, anxious at first that they might appear naive, or eccentric, and then beginning to accept them as unexpected, odd expressions of a troubled mental landscape.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Winter rainbow I

This is a drawing entitled Winter rainbow I, and was made in the last months of 2008. At the time I had recently been discharged from psychiatric hospital, and was beginning the long slow journey of recovery from depression. It was during these months that the rainbow drawings began, although a rainbow had appeared in a quite different drawing from the Summer of 2008.
This rainbow is sparse and cold, and almost brutally drawn, the wax crayons lending a lack of finesse.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

dark rainbow drawing I

This is a drawing entitled dark rainbow I. It was made in September of 2009, and preceded the obscured rainbow drawings. Sometimes drawings happen quite quickly, and follow on from one another with an ease that always takes me by surprise. This drawing was made within hours, and suggested itself to me as I worked.
The obscured rainbow drawings were begun in a rush, but finished slowly over the ensuing weeks, and I almost destroyed them before they were finished.

obscured rainbow drawing III

This is the third drawing from the obscured rainbow series of drawings, entitled obscured rainbow drawing III.
The drawings are made from wax crayon, graphite pencil and pastel.
To my eye, these drawings look almost naive. The wax crayons are bright and soft; they are the drawing tools of childhood, the graphite pencil and pastel belong to the toolbox of adulthood. I had conceived of these drawings as being made with the undirected spontaneity of childhood, yet with a distinctly adult theme. Although it is unfortunately true that children also experience depression, one's suffering as an adult, and as a child is different.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

obscured rainbow drawing II

There are three drawings in the obscured rainbow series. This is obscured rainbow drawing II. There are other rainbow drawings also, forming one of the two series of drawings that I have been working on most recently. I chose to explore the condition of clinical depression by using the archetypal symbol of the rainbow in a way that would be different from the expected.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Opening post

This is my first post, and I begin by posting one of my drawings.
This drawing is one of three "obscured rainbow drawings", made in September 2009, and is entitled, "obscured rainbow drawing I".
It is made from wax crayon, pastel and graphite pencil.