Saturday, 20 February 2010

on being unable to make work

It is February, and I am unable to make work, a state of affairs that began in November 2009, and has continued throughout the Winter. I have made some scribbles, and did make four drawings of rows of tiny black, leafless trees, but I am afraid that they are not good , and have consigned them to the bottom of the boxes where I store my drawings. It is all I can do to refrain from cutting them up, my usual practice with drawings that are not successful.
The voice of experience tells me that this painful period will pass, even if it takes months to do so. At present my mind is as barren as a desert, utterly devoid of ideas, and confounded by the quality of ideas and expression I see in the work of others. It is during these periods that I descend on previous works with a vengance, seeing in them only inadequacy, or paucity of expression and technique, and I commit acts of destruction. At these times I am consumed by self distrust, and reduce to nothing drawings that I am embarrassed at having made, unable to see good or bad, with any degree of trustworthy judgment.
I have exhibited little over the years, and my drawings remain in their boxes, unframed, unseen except by myself, and occasionally members of my family. It seems to me increasingly that I draw for reasons that are entirely private. My works embrace only the personal; narrow in terms of the scope of ideas they engage with. I might describe them as tentative expressions, using fragile materials, and cautious methods; I cannot bring myself to draw directly on the surface of the paper without an intervening means, such as the tissue paper drawings.
I find my drawings eccentric, and odd, the suspension of images in a sea of white paper, for example, without context or other content, without reference points or clues as to how they may be read.
I am concerned with making only the barest intervention and impact in terms of the images I produce, and the means by which I produce them. I find myself unwilling to use photography and photographic processes any longer, as I am anxious about the impact on the environment that these processes effect. I have attemptemted to reduce the effect that I have to the minimum, yet am seduced by pastels, and wax crayons, and coloured pencils. I have used, with the delight I felt as a child, felt tips, and permanent markers, and watercolours. It is difficult to remain aescetic.

No comments:

Post a Comment