Sunday, 12 August 2018

'Thinking about painting/thinking about drawing'

Oil paint, and charcoal on primed canvas
Rita Kaisen

The idea that painting and drawing can somehow be combined is an old obsession of mine.
Many attempts at this 'combination idea' ended with me pulling my hair out in despair.

I came to (largely) separate the two distinctly different ways of expression. The work produced for this exhibition was an experiment, and it has reminded me of how co-dependent the two disciplines really are.

This painting/drawing was a deliberate question: when is a painting a drawing?....when is a drawing no-longer a pure drawing?...and why? And most importantly: does it even matter??

This is not a comfortable work, and this was not plain sailing. It's never easy to draw, or paint, but this was difficult for other reasons than the usual ones.

It was very difficult to keep the questions I was asking myself at the top of the agenda... I forced myself to leave certain marks, (quite a lot of marks) because they felt true to drawing, but less so to painting.

The image is a painting/drawing of a small stone. The stone is largely grey/black/white, but with a tinge of red and blue in the dominant white stripe.
I originally wanted to keep the image monochrome in line with the idea of pure drawing, but simply had to put the red and blue in there! (and again: is drawing necessarily monochrome??)
the yellow was a happy accident. I used Buff titanium/mixing's a tube of paint I bought to bulk out the white in the undercoats, to save on my Titanium white. It shows up as yellow, and happens to be almost identical to the colour of the raw canvas. That tickles me, because of the huge importance of the paper, or ground, in drawing.... especially if a drawing is to be viewed as original and not a reproduction.

Some prominent questions:
  • Monochrome ? …... No, not necessarily.
  • Ink, pen, brush, pallet knife ? …..... Not really important.
  • The base/surface ? ….. not really important.
  • Drawing digitally, with shadow etc. ? ….yes, any tool.
  • Line, dot, line becoming a shading.... 'taking the line for a walk' ? …. Yes, all of that stuff.
  • Can drawing and painting be combined ?? ….. yes... and no!
  • Is drawing and painting totally different things?? ..... yes.
  • Is painting and drawing co-dependent?? ….. yes, to me.
  • Does it matter?? ….. yes, to me.

Exhibited as part of the group show 'towards each other', curated by Stephen Carley and Sean Williams, June 2018 at 35 Chapel walk, Sheffield. An exhibition asking the question: what is drawing?

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