This week I've been spending a lot of time researching subjects all over the country for various galleries.In the next few months my new pinned papercuts will be popping up in Haworth, Newcastle, Cambridge, and some brand new pieces in Masham Gallery. It's a great excuse to spend time trawling the internet, scanning maps and going out in search of the perfect folly. It also means I have a lot of drawing to do.
I never used to be a big fan of drawing - I've always liked the idea of having lovely sketch books bursting with beautiful illustrations, but in reality I was never pleased with my drawing style and frequently abandoned new sketch books after 'spoiling' them with one bad doodle. Recently however I've really started to like my drawings, and now a detailed line drawing of my new subject is an indispensable part of the process. As well and making sure I have all the proportions and composition right, I like the fact that I have a proper example of 'prep' - something I can compare the final papercut to, or pull out if I ever want to tackle the same subject again. For the last year or so I've been doing all these drawings on A4 office paper, something I enjoy using as it's such an easy surface to work with, a good size for my pinned pieces and it's cheap! But as of this week I finally decided to take the risk of starting a proper sketch book- one that hopefully I'll be proud of. Here are a few snaps of my drawing collection...
My style of drawing reflects my style of artwork in general - I don't like to use shading, and instead prefer to reduce a building or landscape to a series of solid lines, and then create depth another way, whether it be through the texture in the paint, or as with my recent work, the arrangement of the cut paper. I can attribute this style to my first term at university, when I discovered the work of a Scottish artist named Chad McCail (whom I was lucky enough to have a tutorial with) whose paintings and drawings are incredibly detailed, yet simplistic looking due to their lack of shading and tone. As well as introducing me to gouache paint (which I love and use exclusively now), he also made me realise that I didn't have to try and draw everything in that sketchy, still life way that I'd been taught in school. I loved the idea of flattening a landscape and ending up with lots of solid, clean shapes, which apart are completely abstract, but fitted together create a scene.I have worked with lots of materials and in totally different styles since then, but I ended up returning to those original ideas years later, and they shape my work today.
|Tenby Harbour, 2012|
The first two subjects to enter the sketchbook are for pieces going to Cambridge Contemporary Art in April. The Wimpole Folly which is just outside Cambridge, and the Round Church (drawings below). This week I also finished a piece for the Imaginarium Gallery in Haworth - The Beamsley Hospital.
Better get back to my drawing, have a great weekend!