Thursday, 7 April 2016

Drawing a Week 2015-2016

Back once again! What began with the 'Drawing a Day' project in 2013* continued in a moment of madness for a second time in 2014** and in 2015 evolved into the more manageable, 'Drawing a Week' 2015-2016!
February 27th 2015, Mono print and ink on paper.
Despite having finished it in December last year I have been uncharacteristically slow in getting this sketchbook scanned and uploaded online, this is largely due to the fact that I don't feel that everything I produce needs to be made public. Sketchbooks, to most artists are generally quite personal or private things and feature often the most honest and rawest work; some of which is ugly or badly drawn and other works experimental and full of an integrity of purpose. 
Against that better judgement perhaps, I've eventually decided to present this project here. Though genuinely still a bit reluctant to do so, I value the opportunity to reflect on them through writing this post and comments from the public and peers more than my insecurities of sharing them to a wider audience.
What a year 2015 was! I'd made the decision to do at least one drawing a week, in my A5 Sea White of Brighton, sketchbook -this was as consequence from wanting to allow more time to produce and experiment with the work as well as be able to produce more work outside the sketchbook. In fact images that began life as tests or drawings in these books have grown and continue to be starting points or references to new work I'm creating at present. In variation to last year 2015's offerings were in a much wider range of media, from pencil, to ink, mono printing, silverpoint and watercolour (though often a combination of a few). This was in my view the most successful aspect of the 2015 drawings and the re-introduction of mono print significantly gave a rekindled sense of life, expression and depth to my work. Nothing still quite matches mono printing, for quality of line, chance and sensitivity in my opinion. 
March 5th 2015, Mono print and ink on paper.
Other changes to the 2015 drawings were that they were considerably more open to chance in how I experimented with media, allowing the medium to dictate the drawing rather than the other way around.
 The subject matter for the drawings followed tangents of thought that were parallel to work I was creating outside the sketchbooks, so for the first time last year work I was making outside the sketchbook was fed by work I'd previously done and vice versa [probably most evident in the mono print works/tools]. They had a bit of a dialogue which I'd like to develop further this year.
 The mark-making and type of line was expanded upon from the previous 'drawing a day' projects which was mostly due to the introduction of silverpoint which forced a broader depth of layering/mark-making to happen and has impacted on being more experimental with marks during mono printing i.e. applying different pressures of line to create different thicknesses.   
Working bigger has also significantly changed the intensity and surface of the drawings from previous years allowing for more surface/texture/background and detail.
Whilst I feel marginally my drawing continues to improve there are still many aspects I aim to develop which include; 
Working more/if not entirely from life: In many ways the better drawings have still been those drawn from life (i.e. real objects, things). There is a 'flatness' that comes from drawing objects, animals, things from photographs or off a screen. Similarly a sense of movement or resonance from drawing actual objects may bring a new challenge or perspective to the work -sense of immediacy or 'lived' moment that could invigorate my drawing. Its a challenge that slightly daunts me, but would be an opportunity to really demonstrate my passion for the 'remarkable everyday'.
May 28th 2015, Acrylic ink/pencil on paper.
Cylinders: Just a small observation, but an important one. I seem to struggle with cylinders! The bases of paint cans, cups, bases of round or curved objects etc. They never look quite right, even when I think they do -I don't notice it until looking back on it much later. I'd like to improve drawing this form as well as perspective and 3D forms generally.
More experimental: So far I have been almost solely representational in my consideration of 'what a drawing is' but conversely one of the more interesting drawings from 2015 was the below image; a completely playful experiment made by rolling a ball covered in ink inside a tube. I'd like to try more non-outcome based or preconceived ways of drawing and instead play with ways of making marks. This wouldn't be to abandon the representational stuff but I think it would open and loosen-up my way of drawing that may worth trying. 
Work bigger/different paper/outside of sketchbook: I think working outside of sketchbooks is a lot more liberating in terms of having a freedom to make more marks, stain, pour, paint etc. I also prefer the tautness of paper outside a sketchbook to print onto. So more experiments outside the sketchbook and on different papers.
Develop threads of thought: It has to be said that all previous drawing projects seem erratic in their subject matter and tone; going from the political to caricatures or illustrations. In many ways as touched upon earlier, not many are directly observations. Whilst this form of spontaneity has been very  cathartic I am conscious that it leaves many ideas or ways of working undeveloped. My suggestion is to take a starting point and work from it continuously evaluating and learning as I go in order to refine or explore ideas/mediums/subjects in greater depth rather than treating imagery to the equivalent of fast-food!

January 21st 2015, ink on paper. 
Overall however, I have already been actively making work during 2016. None of which as yet is sketchbook-based, interestingly, so I am keen to reinvigorate this thread to my practice but want to approach it with the new suggestions mentioned above and see where the work takes me. The dark sincerity remains for me that drawing is still a pleasure and a mystery that is very integral to my practice and my overall sense of being/purpose. 
Therefore I am once again pleased to present the 'Drawing a Week 2015-2016' project below where you can put to test all my above observations and hopefully draw your own conclusions...

Created with flickr slideshow.


(Note - you can either watch the flickr slideshow here or if it doesn't work on your phone/tablet then please click on the link below)
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