Number 2 of what could be a series – six of which I feel are almost there. I’m hanging them on the walls in my studio, waiting for them to ‘speak’ – more colour? tone down or highlight an area? add more ‘features’? Sometimes it takes weeks before a piece is silent and lets me put it on the shelf. I did the ‘base’ last summer in a flurry – I could almost call it inspiration – but it was more of finding the right colours to use. Kept looking at them but nothing moved me to start drawing. Did try though but had to erase my efforts. Colour is what I start with and with the monoprint I’m leaving it up to the unpredictability of the print to create a structure. I can now use a quote from Braque “Let us forget things and consider only the relationships between them” – in this case colours instead of “things”.
A title for this piece has not yet arrived, but might turn into one in my tree series. The tree itself is one that I can see from my work space, it’s a gigantic alder growing at the edge of what was a large pond many years ago. I stopped myself going further – I have a tendency to stuff an image with too many details, now you can, if necessary, complete the image yourself.
The problem with photographing graphite on paper is that light bounces off the surface making even dark areas look grey and uninteresting. From a group of drawings entitled Being these came out the best. The one on the right though is called Icarus and is my reaction to seeing, in a documentary about free climbing, a climber fall from a great hight almost down to the ground before releasing his parachute. I honestly thought I was going to witness a death. The relief when the parachute opened was immense.
More trees! Shaking, waving and being together in a fragile sort of way. What will happen to them – no defences against us. If you have read Tolkien – you might remember when the trees are marching in aid of ‘the good’ – an unstoppable force. I can almost feel the earth shaking under their heavy footsteps.
The title for this piece is taken from an interview with Ian McKeever, an artist whose work I love. It seems we both start with a layer and then, at least I, push against what whould seem to be an inevitable progression. It must not just go there, colours blazing and forms fitting in. Although of course I seek some balance, coherence and beauty and looking at it now perhaps ‘some’ is an understatement. My preoccupation with the unseen systems of warning, information and protection used by trees is one aspect of this piece, I also wanted to show that life is still going on inside them despite their loss of leaves in the winter.