Thursday, 17 January 2013
untitled cloud formation drawing
This untitled drawing would have been made in 2005 or 2006, and like some of its companion drawings, eschewed destruction, although it had been relegated to the bottom of one of the boxes where I store unframed works. Along with a contemporary drawing posted earlier, it had been in my thoughts for some weeks before retrieval, whereupon I decided to publish it, and include it in the suite of cloud drawings for which I still have some regard.
I feel a faint stirring of hopefulness when I look upon this drawing, and the other untitled cloud drawing recently reinstated in my affections. Both drawings lie on the floor of the back bedroom, and I look upon them each day, trying to find in myself the necessary courage to recommence the drawing of cloud formations, but with the precious gift of hindsight.
I am immensely heartened by the knowledge that there is an established canon of works depicting cloud formations- I often need reassurance of this nature before I can proceed, and remember feeling extremely insecure and somewhat embarrassed when I was engaged in drawing rainbows. I have not an idea in my head for a new work, but a cloud is not an idea, the execution of a drawing of a cloud formation does not require one to be in possession of an idea. It is as close as I can get to making a purely abstract drawing, which I would love to be able to do. Always there is an imperative in my mind that whatever I draw has to depict some object or phenomonem - I can never escape into the realms of abstraction. However, it is eminently possible to take flight into a landscape of clouds, to find a release whilst gazing upwards at the heavens, rather as my mother did when a little girl, lying on her back in the grass during a Summer afternoon rest period at infant school.
It is not my intention to draw clouds from direct observation, at least, not at first, rather to attempt to construct drawings of imaginary formations, relying on remembered observations. I need courage in order to proceed. I am deeply afraid by the thought of committing myself to the making of suites of cloud drawings, am frightened by the spectre of self harm which forever looms in my psyche, and manifests itself in blows to the head and face when I experience failure. For failure is inevitable, but I must learn to experience it as a vital part of learning; one must make mistakes in order to make progress. There will be failed drawings, as, I am hoping, there will be drawings that I may regard as successful. I do not intend to attempt to copy the drawings above, rather to absorb them into my thoughts as gestures made in graphite and coloured pencil dust, which gestures I may consider on my journey to new works.