Scale and Commitment

I’ve run out of the big beautiful paper, and can’t at the moment afford to get any more.

But that’s ok, I think… it gives a natural break in order to assess if that is in fact what I need.

In order to do this I’ve returned to some pieces…

I’ve returned to some larger pieces deemed unsuccessful, chopped them up a bit and then returned to the pieces as new. This has been moderately successful. I’ve learned some interesting things about composition by doing this, as some of the drawing falls off the edge of the paper. This prompts me to think about the unseen drawing in potentia… which sounds a bit pompous as I write it down. However, as my drawing is still concerned with touch, affect, relationship, it does have relevance, thinking about what might be, what could be… hmmm… to go back to…

I have also been doing some smaller, very small drawings. Four inch squares. These tend to also be on old chopped up paper, as trials of materials and techniques in the beginning… or as a sort of warm up exercise. Useful. They also have me thinking about composition. 

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I think (as in a previous post about my tendency to go at things a bit frantically, to always hit for the six) that I have neglected the negative space and the empty spaces on some of these drawings. When I look at the ones I really like, as opposed to the ones that are merely ok, there is an imbalance of sorts in the composition. There are areas of the paper, more than 50% I’d say, where not a lot is happening, and then where I have drawn, it is heavy, at one end, falling off the edge again…

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There’s something in this, I’m sure. 

Brinkmanship. 

How close can I get before I fall off too? 

Who can I dare?

Who shall I take with me?

Having worked on these smaller pieces at least I have decided one thing.

I do need more big paper.

By working on big paper, I commit. I know that I will be working on a piece for more than a couple of hours. Some of the big drawings gave been a couple of weeks in the making. There are times when they are right, go wrong, then become right again. I go away, then come back into the room two or three days later, and know what needs to be done, that I didn’t know when I left. That simply does not happen with a small drawing. This isn’t about having a nice thing to hang on the wall at the end (although I do have lots of nice things you can have on your wall if you like). It is about that commitment to the paper. I need to feel the size of it, stretch across it on my table. I need to swipe my arms across the lumps and bumps made by the paint before deciding how to use the pencils.

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