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Ten days to go to complete my project.
Looking at this artwork that I made recently reminds of reading The Chronicles of Narnia as a young girl. The link between it and the wondrous CS Lewis books is somewhat obvious in that there is an allegorical quality to both the drawing and to those wonderful stories which I never really understood but felt captivated by none the less.
I had no interest in reading any other fantasy tales nor have I since which makes me wonder what it was about the books that enraptured me.
Whatever it was I know it still exists in me. I’d call it an attunement.
Being of an artistic bent is an all consuming plight. No clocking in or out. The preoccupation is constant. That doesn’t always equate with stream lined industriousness. In my case I find it a hindrance to productivity. Not knowing where to start or how to adroitly harness the beast being my greatest obstacles to manifesting that which roars to be born.
The work is in grappling with that and what that involves. I am the work and the work is me. I can’t shut myself off to create instead I have to align myself in a way that the work flows out of me and this is an ongoing and deeply mysterious battle of sorts.
It is a process of breaking down and reassembling continuously. Allowing all things to exist to become the force of creation being always in flux,a part of everything and nothing at once.
It all takes time. The practice of creating is incorporated into the stream. The rewards come in unexpected ways.
Henry Miller put it thus:
“I didn’t lack thoughts nor words nor the power of expression— I lacked something much more important: the lever which would shut off the juice. The bloody machine wouldn’t stop, that was the difficulty. I was not only in the middle of the current but the current was running through me and I had no control over it whatever.”
The photo is of a breakfast painting of Rapperswil in Switzerland where I spent a memorable afternoon in 2013.
Sitting at the table feeling relaxed and amused in the company of my good friend Monica, the remains of a fine feast before us I was inspired and saw in the debris the church tower, clouds and the hill beneath the blue blue sky.
This drawing of the artist Francis Bacon in pencil is a study of a black and white photograph of the artist. It was the result of seriously intense concentration. It was a case of mapping out the dark shapes and plotting them on the page at times forgetting altogether that it was a face I was drawing.
It involved much measurement and cross checking from all angles to put the picture together. I don’t draw grids but use my pencil when I need to measure and keep track of distances. The grid is too mathematical. I want my hand and eye to be in the work as much as possible while striving for accuracy and likeness through paying strict attention to the relationship between the shaded areas.
It is abstract to work in this way because the face is dismantled into areas of light and shade and then restructured according to the placement of areas of varying degrees of darkness. It felt quite surreal when the features appeared and as they did I could get a real sense of being behind the face.
Am feeling grim this evening in light of certain world events. Sometimes I find it very difficult to bear the horrors of mankind and for whatever reason tonight I feel it intensely.
I find it hard to express myself accurately and know from experience the words will have a better chance of finding their way out if I don’t force them.
This abstract drawing seems to say a little of what my left brain can not.
I am glad to be an artist. Happy to be part of a population I understand and to be able to speak that language. Art is soothing in the viewing and in the making. It expresses for us things we are unable to identify or to consciously know and allows us the potential to be more than our minds.
I’m grateful for it.