Sunday, November 21, 2010

Drawing a Blank #6

graphite & watercolour/30x20cm

Being the latest in the slowly-evolving sequence of drawings representing, on an exact, measured 1:1 scale, the subject/object matter of folded, creased & crumpled sheets of A4 paper.

On this particular occasion, the object was subjected to a light crumpling in its folded state, resulting, when subsequently unfolded, in the formation of something of the nature of repeating & 'mirrored' patterns occurring upon & across the textured surface, within & in addition to the regular cells of the grid into which the folded paper becomes creased, an inadvertent 'decorative' element further compromising, as described tonally by the action of observed natural light, the 'blankness' of the white sheet.

This accidental complexity of the low-relief surface resulted in a most laboriously- & slowly-processed drawing, realised during the course of the sessions on the 6 available working days within an extended, 'compromised' total of 13, due to the prevailing available natural light conditions of the season: such a working process seems untenable, & therefore thought is required as to exactly what might now be feasible in terms of continuing work at this dark & 'inefficient' time of year - the 'blanks', one fears, are very much on hold as the days draw inexorably in yet further...


Moon Wiring Club 'An Audience of Art Deco Eyes', 'Shoes Off and Chairs Away', 'Striped Paint for the Last Post', 'A Spare Tabby at the Cat's Wedding' & 'A Field Full of Sunken Horses'
Laura Marling 'I Speak Because I Can'
She & Him 'Volume Two'
Leonard Cohen 'The Essential..'
Pontone Autumn Mix

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Drawing a Blank #5

graphite & watercolour/30x20cm

Being the latest in the sequence of watercolour drawings processed from the subject-object matter of folded, creased & lightly crumpled blank sheets of standard A4 paper, represented on exact 1:1 scale (laboriously plotted), the image, with its all-over surface of non-hierarchical incidental visual detail, thus coinciding with the physical limits of the picture plane.
Once again, there’s that play, the employment of the device, of the flat representation of what was originally a flat plane subsequently transformed into something of a low-relief three-dimensional object, the drawing being a record of the fugitive action of natural light upon the undulations of its surface, of the subtle tonal gradations of the marks made upon the once uninflected sheet by the folding & crumpling process.

Becoming more deeply involved in this particular body of work, as it seems to be in the process of becoming, however slowly-evolving (taking into account specific seasonal factors, pertaining to the limited availability of natural daylight in which to work) & thus far production-light, certain art-historical correspondences emerge in which context(s) the drawings might be situated, even if only coincidentally &, not unusually, superficially.
In the interests of a certain integrity, at least of overriding personal aesthetics, all such artists & their work have featured previously, either specifically ‘in relation’ or otherwise as being of interest.

Other than an aforementioned similarity, at least, particularly, at the outset of the project, to some of Vija Celmins' wonderful drawings, of enveloped letters, photographs & images torn from magazines, & the historical tradition of the realistic representation of fabrics folded & draped, the first such example with which to consider something of an affinity is that of Kees Goudzwaard, & the artist’s paintings based on the subject-object matter of various paper & masking tape constructions of a variety of dimensions, all of which are represented, in oil on canvas, on a 1:1 scale, & include numerous subtly modulated grey & ‘white’ examples of.
Many of Goudwaard’s images, which maintain a compelling tension between trompe l’oeil realism & abstract design, also feature something of a grid structure, to whatever fairly rigorous or looser degree, by virtue of the use of the linear element of the strips of tape, another compositional device which links them in some manner to the drawings of creased & crumpled paper, the original objects upon which such are based are initially folded into such a formal pattern, of course.

The horizontal & vertical structure provide by the purposeful creases, & other accidental incidental diagonals & ‘facets’ of the crumple-inflected surfaces, might be considered as being not-too distant from aspects of archetypal Cubist composition, of course, a feature which generally haunts proceeding here, whilst the use of paper as subject-object matter also bears a relation to collage.

Obviously there’s something about any work utilizing the grid & surface modulations of whites & greys that might recall, generally & a number of particular examples of, the work of the familiar figure of Jasper Johns & also Robert Ryman’s ‘white paintings’ (although both are more usually associated with the palpable physicality & sensuousness of their surfaces, even Ryman's smooth ones) but, it occurred, ‘riffingly’, that there also might be something of a distant echo of Vilhelm Hammershoi, whose contemplative compositions are characterized by an habitual, exquisitely-realised muted tonality & overall ‘greyness’, & frequently include the cell-like details of domestic interior architectural features such as windows, doors, etc.

As ever, there’s such a richness to & wealth of art history that the occurrence of contextualizing correspondences are inevitable & unavoidable, but such are always welcome & more often than not informative & instructive.


She & Him 'Volume Two'
Laura Marling 'I Speak Because I Can'
Moon Wiring Club 'A Spare Tabby at the Cat's Wedding'
Sparklehorse 'It's a Wonderful Life'
Jesca Hoop 'Hunting My Dress'

And so the new Moon Wiring Club release - the CD but one aspect of the 'Tabby bundle' that constitutes its whole - arrived, ahead of expectations, to be discovered sheltering, by something of a spooky coincidence although not, perhaps, particularly unusually for something of a feline nature, underneath the car...

More will surely follow upon the subject of the richness of the sonic & visual wonders to experienced within this cornucopia of delights, suffice for now to report that the first hearing of the CD during a misty, damp & darkening autumn afternoon provided much of the anticipated entertainment & more developments besides...