Friday, 11 May 2012

UP 2 154 drawings 2day + quite a few question marks

Heading into Barnsley city Centre and spot that nobbly tree on the right (Reminders of Van Gogh). I was looking for it mindyou, so I decided to stop and investigate further, which therefore means -draw. A Whole Avenue of Knobbly trees. I love the interference on nature that humans have imposed on these trees, hopefully without harm, not unlike a good bit of topiary that appeals to me for the same reason- Bizarre creations, part forced, partly out of our control. Drawing so often helps you see, the chance to 'stop and stare", the patterns, rhythms, echoes- the contrast to the street lamp next door- which also has beautiful lines and a different elegance. All this before I've even arrived!

I only had 17 more drawings to do in order to reach my 154 destiny . Do I have to stick to 154?, what if as is often the case my counting is wrong, and I go over? Will I be swallowed up in between the cracks in the paving stones? What would be worse- less? Getting home to count only 153?  What would happen then?
Today I had to arrive at my spot twice. It was my warm-up, as I wasn't quite ready to start when I arrived at my spot, it had been a long absence. So, having arrived, I left again, trundling back to the car, thinking that I might have brought the wrong paper (It looked a bit white).I compare it with the 137 drawings laying on the front seat. It is the right paper, the paper is as yellow as it needed to be. I leave back to start again or to carry on my beginning. As I leave the car I just slip a rag over the 137 drawings in order to cover them up. Making them safe? Not to be seen? Don't want anybody nicking them- why would they? Are they too precious to me? (When you draw do you give a little of yourself each time? Luckily the body and mind is good at replenishing itself if it does)
Ok... bravery- gulp... breathe... place pen (Is it the right size, feel of mark? The pens may look the same but like most things there is an individuality- In its marks- may have run out of ink more than another, got a squashed tip, a sharp line-it doesn't all just come down to me )

On my spot, been away a month or 2, weather's not changed much but the light has. Pan pipes playing again,that column looks more yellow then it did before. I've drawn it 137 times and it looks very different today- what's going on with my eyes today?
At first , as expected, self conscious- what is this drawing about? Is it just a superficial observation that oozes from the deliciousness of black marks on paper?- Then I get into the joy of that deliciousness, I let go and I'm away.  Hello Barnsley and everybody in it.
It doesn't mean that self-consciousness doesn't re-appear or that its a negative event- how else do I make decisions? take risks with the drawing?, explore another direction? The drawings may look similar but there is a 1000 events or more (Told you I was no good at counting) that take place between my hand, eyes, brain and the world over the edge of the paper.
Lunch stop at Kay's Cafe this time- I didn't feel like stopping but its sometimes good to force one into place- helps "collect " oneself. Take a breather. Today I was number 46.  Can never decide if I work better on a full stomach or an empty one, did I suggest I breathed before and during drawing? In this case I'm full to the brim and ready to overflow - drawings 146,7,148 and 9 just pour out.
I've never discarded a drawing from this 154, maybe because they exist together, the drawings never felt they went wrong, they sometimes just didn't go quite right, or I decided I would follow a different "Story/theme" for a while.

Today there were the usual suspects- plethora's of mobility scooters, more wheels and enclosed children in pushchairs but today there did seem to be a lot of walking sticks. I don't want to draw them as a political statement- this was about postures and lines. Trying to catch that moment when the body is in front of the stick as it leans on the stick behind. There may not have been any more walking sticks then on any other day, I was just seeing them. I also created a little drawing story as I drew the same person several times and wondered what or who she was waiting for- the story told itself as I stood and stared and drew more. drawing no.150 told me an answer that might or might not  have been the answer to my question.
I was a bit surprised that nobody approached me as I was drawing- maybe I was engrossed in a way that wasn't open to it for people to feel comfortable. A man did pass by and very specifically said to me in passing "Sugar in the morning"
Getting to the end, I plan an action for the last few drawings. What I thought I would do was gather momentum so that the last 2 drawings were FULL of everybody who had passed by in that time- the busyness of it all. Would I finish with a flurry? flourish? with feverpitch? But actually what happened I was affected by my surroundings, it started to rain and the rain looked beautiful, and it fell on the drawing and I thought that looked a bit beautiful too- It was like the knobbly trees but the other way round- Nature taking back control. Can I count? probably not but did it matter? probably not. Thankyou

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