It’s a busy Autumn. November sees a group exhibition of The Pie Factory Artists, late October is The Pie Factory Margate open studios (in a few days), and we’ve recently ended the SGFA’s annual open exhibition DRAW18 in London. Other work is also heating up.
Aimless creative play is vital, particularly when most of my time, creatively or otherwise, is spent in long-session, detailed and intensive focused work. With a couple of large, detailed, intensive artworks completed, I thought it time to play a little: ease the pressure, enjoy the process for no other reason than the hell of it.
Drawing for the sake of it is freeing, yet difficult to justify in a buy world that demands every waking moment is functional and earning. More affirming activities take a back seat too often: it’s a daily battle for me.
A few fun images was the result of hours of “just doing it” (and a few pieces of paper in the recycling bin). I think I need to actively schedule some of this time into my week. It was fun.
Much of my past work involves many hours of meticulous drawing. Every stroke of the pencil considered, controlled, directed. An interesting exercise might be to to give up that control.
The Tide Drawings are controlled by the sea itself. Video or time-lapse recordings are taken of tide movement. Each is projected as a still onto a sheet of paper, and the frontmost edge of the water at that moment marked as a simple pencil line.
Uninteresting results are common! The most effective include man-made or natural shoreline features, that form negative-space within the marks directed by the tidal flows.
There remains a slice of artistic influence in the execution of the pencil line, and small decisions made where the leading edge of water was ambiguous in the image.
I aim to extend the scope of such drawings, capturing an entire section of coastline during the full transition of the tide, for example. I will need a high vantage point that can be maintained for 4-6 hours or more. This coastline’s white cliffs might prove useful there.
I’m delighted to have another solo exhibition at Ramsgate’s York Street Gallery, form 2-9 May 2018.
This year my focus has been on The Isle of Thanet’s shoreline borders, the white cliffs in particular.
While paddle-boarding around the coast here, I was struck not by the cliffs themselves, but how they affect the colour, light, and structure of the sea at their feet. The white cliffs are a common feature for local artists, but could images be created that feature them, without showing them?
The main drawings in this year’s exhibition do just that. They feature not only the reflections of the cliffs, but the expressive nature of the works echo the movements of the water experienced while paddle-boarding there.
Paddle-boarding forms a minimalist platform on which one stands to paddle. The experience of every movement of the water is acute, particularly when tides are driving waves towards the cliffs which are reflecting them back to the sea. Particularly complex wave and tidal flows run through these waters making it a unique experience on the water.