Saturday, 26 April 2014
This drawing was made sometime in 2005 or 2006; I cannot remember exactly when, although I know that it dates from the time after I had withdrawn from Winchester School of Art, during which period, before our removal to Somerset, I worked in isolation at the lodge in rural Hampshire. It is reminiscent of the Nimbostratus drawings, published in earlier posts, but I believe it to be a far superior drawing; indeed, I am uncomfortable about having published the Nimbostratus drawings, as to have done so evidences an assumption that I considered them worthy; a somewhat shaky understanding of their virtues as I now come to realise.
The cloud drawings had been becoming darker overall following withdrawal from my PhD, and I made many studies of stormy formations on offcut pieces of paper, unfortunately without due consideration of the relationship of drawing to paper size and shape. None of these studies survive.
When I now consider a return to the making of cloud studies, I turn to just three drawings for reassurance and inspiration. This drawing is one. I was, at the time of making the drawing, enamoured of mass rather than form, or of line. I liked dust and powder, and found it a more intuitive, emotional way of working, to spill dust and powders onto paper and then ease them into the surface using a fragment of linen cloth wrapped about my forefinger. Working thus I felt a more intimate connection with the drawing and materials; the tiny circular movements of my finger were like caresses, my breath was cast over the face of the paper, my entire being was concentrated, alert, vigilant, abstracted. It was an almost erotic experience; certainly an act of love.
I shall not remove the Nimbostratus drawings from this online diary, whatever the discomfort I feel on allowing them to remain, for I have learnt from them, perhaps belatedly, and they stand not only as failed endeavours, but milestones on the path to more mature and proficient works, which I hope that I shall be able to realise in the immediate future. I now believe that my intuition regarding the road ahead was apposite, and feel that I wish more than anything to resume my practice in the depiction of storm or rain cloud formations. To that end I direct my attention to the "overarching" skies, and rehearse in my mind the articulation of dust and powder upon the enticingly receptive surfaces of the papers I have stored away against the day when I feel able to make a new beginning.