making drawings

 A section of the collaged drawing on the second piece of paper 

A section of the collaged drawing on the second piece of paper 

These works started out in Seawhite’s Studio in West Sussex, on a very large piece of Fabriano paper - about 10 feet by 6 feet – which was attached vertically to a wall. I made marks, limiting myself to using beautifully sharpened pencils, really concentrating on the feel of the pencil on the paper and the nature of the marks I was making. It was a deliberately slow, thoughtful process. After several days the paper was covered and I then tore it carefully into pieces and collaged these on to a new, large piece of paper.

 

 

I had no preconceived ideas when I started my mark making (apart from to use only pencils), working intuitively, and it was only towards the end of covering the first piece of paper that I started to think about woodlands, wildernesses, the awakening of primeval landscapes, and the seethe of life that exists in these places. As I collaged the torn pieces, images started to emerge and I followed the lines and shapes of the marks to lead me towards more recognisable images, which I then layered with oil bars, very aged newspapers and even lichen. In the final stage, after tearing the second piece of large paper in a deliberate way, I made a series of individual pieces of work.

 

What to put in the spaces between the trees, on the second large piece of paper, became a preoccupation as I thought about the moving air and what floated and drifted in it: particles of leaf and bark, teeny bits of feather, a fraction of a leaf skeleton, the tiniest shavings of stone, weeny shards of snail shell, snips of leaf veins, desiccated petals, empty seed husks light as a ladybird’s wing – a flummery of teeny, weeny pieces floating, whirling, pirouetting, drifting ascending, swept across warm air speckled with pinheads of pollen. A curdle of little histories, end notes of seasons, faded papery swansongs. Just as in the wilderness, ideas floated and pirouetted in my mind, tumbling, drifting, settling on the page.

 Big drawing with some spaces filled in

Big drawing with some spaces filled in