This was started with the whole image in mind, the whole drawing just building up from these simple forms. I wanted to see what would happen with the overall effect of lines criss-crossing all over the place, connecting up most circles but leaving others untouched. There was a certain satisfaction seeing the circles being surrounded or joined up by these communication lines, a comparison to today’s ever complex systems where we all stay in touch or parts of the world that come under the ever increasing threat of road building and other forms of communication.
Moving on from the planar drawing of perfect grasses 1 and 2, this was created in a circular ‘flower’ like format, really just keeping my freehand skills up and just working on building up the individual blades. As the pic developed, the blades take longer to draw as the have to hide behind the blades in the forground. As with many of my pics, the circle becomes a ‘sun’ like object as the blades become denser towards their base.
The artist (me!!!) did not imagine this entire picture in one time, similar to my other larger drawings. The black hills in the distance were drawn first followed by the smaller crystalline cliffs in the foreground. Sketches of the house followed this to the left and tree (far right), some balloons, and the explosion to the very left, the lake, the sun and finally the garden along the base of the picture.
The farmhouse to the left looks high over the valley and the sun can be seen with its milky reflection in the lake. The balloons fill the sky with business, the sky left unshaded to give the balloons more attention.
Alot of attention was focused on the balloons, giving them all individual designs. Some look more 2 dimensional, particularly the largest balloon in front of the explosion.
All the plants are imaginary ones, like it’s on another planet (just like the artist I hear you saying!). Notice there are no baskets to the balloons, a play on the clean line of the pear shape. The first drawn balloon was the one with the thick vertical stripes to the right of the sun. This originally was a freehand error in the actual pear shape, so I made use of these lines, making them look like tethers.
One needs a good look at this busy picture to notice the balloon preparing for flight in the bottom right of the picture and the white ‘groping’ hand in the scree slopes at the base of the crystalline hills.
Tightening up the gaps between the black impressions, this has been the ultimate experience of ‘naked eye’ accuracy to date. Two circles, one absorbing, one expanding, the idea taken subconsciously from a colour drawing of an orange and blue star entwining each other in my fathers collection of Life Science books called ‘The Universe’. Once you start this project,, its only the edges of the A4 page and distractions to do your 9-5 job stopping this being a life long project. What happens outside the edges, just like our natural misunderstanding of our grip on the limits and expanse of the universe.
This was like changing gear when it came to depicting detail on A4 paper. The vastness of space swirls around and is sucked into a fine point, depicted by a minute 8 pointed star. Construction lines were hand drawn with use of a ruler to ensure this swirling affect was even and accurate. On the opposite side, matter is being ‘thrown out’ from a pure white centre, possibly from within a funnel. The black streaks increase in size as they splay out to all areas of the picture, darkening all along as one moves further away from the centre. The matter is elongated and follows the swirl as it is drawn into the central 8 pointed star. All around the edge, the farther out one goes, the ‘matter’ resumes a more relaxed ambiguous shape, resembling a decrease in energy, approaching stillness at the corner of the picture.
Spending two hours at the highest point of the old amphitheatre, with pencil in hand, deep blue sky, limitless sun, pure milky warmth and swarms of paid Japanese camcorder rushing tourists fitting in a heavy schedule. And then there was me. Should I be spending this time watching the swifts dart across the beauty of the Arles skyline, concentrating on the gradual coming together of this river facing view pencil sketch or going back to the tent to cook my own food so as to save money on not eating out. Back in the cooler settings of my dear friend Kates’ house in Ireland, this view was expanded in pen and ink for Kates’ 67th birthday and to say thank you for my elongated stay. All the buildings were very much a representation of what I saw and sketched, not from a tacky tourist photo.
This dream emerged six years before starting the picture, each ‘world’ having its’ own individual designs. A four-fingered branch grapples each one; utmost care being taken to hide the rear worlds and branches to give the picture a 3D effect. However the patterns do not wrap around the worlds, so appear as discs. The surrounding ‘eye’ pattern surrounding the tree is to give the whole picture more weight and balance, concentrating the white around the tree and root system.
Expanding into wide screen format, this simple pattern was a pure ‘see what it would turn out to be.’ It did actually turn out to be technically quite hard as no real perspective had been planned until half of the drops had been completed. Some degree of dissatisfaction kicked in as the smallest, furthest away balloons tagged along the horizon. Once the sea built up the picture, it very much improved my happiness in its outcome.
Having gone for an evening walk near where I lived on the edge of Salisbury plain along the edge of the imber trail I suddenly heard a woosh of birds in formation flying past. Not being visible they etched out in my mind this carving out of the sky, leaving white trails behind them. The images of the birds I wanted to create were the fastest birds around, the swift. My love of the moon depicting an otherwise still night was set under the nearer trails, leaving a rather blank space in the top left of the pic so recreated the same trails again but trying to keep the detail there.
My feelings towards producing something which created a swarm, a focused point, a really just see what would happen if you add more fine ‘ticks’ perpendicular to each other. So this could be likened to a swarm of bees, a satalite view of a city, being more concertrated and crowded towards the centre or even further out into the universe.