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Drawing Out Fragments Of Beauty (Or Something)

April 15, 2013

I was making a youtube presentation two days ago when I came across this fragment of a small sketch which I feel has an element of beauty to it. It’s one of those images that has been enhanced through  my slightly unique blend of digital manipulation and has taken on a rather delicate and mysterious quality. Drawing for sculpture is about working out ideas and they’re often worked and worked in resolving the idea  to the point where details such as the head are almost overlooked.It’s an area of my sketching that troubles me because a badly drawn head pretty much spoils the whole look, so I’ve worked hard to rectify this area and here are a few examples.


This is the original image which is barely as big as my thumb nail and  blown up it takes all those delicate qualities and adds something new, I find the exploration of detail fascinating because it often throws up  interesting results which all help with the creative process.


Art is a visual language and how well you communicate through your marks is an important factor in the equation. Often art is misconstrued as a raw talent or inspiration but that is just the starting point, you ask most artists and they will tell  you it’s about hard work and commitment. In my case I have to work through so many problems with an empirical approach because it’s the only way that I can truly see if something works, I’m often accused of being a dog with a bone and that pretty much sums up my approach. I do sometimes attempt a more minimalistic approach with casual lines and an air of flippancy as I pay homage to the anti-craft in art brigade, but I’m usually disappointed with the results. I have no choice but to relentlessly try to improve so that I am free to make anything that I want.


Having mentioned beauty I can’t really define it and maybe it’s the wrong  word but I’ll stick with it for now and attempt a definition of what I’m trying to say or look for. In this case I’m looking for a well proportioned face with an acceptable level of symmetry, it also need to exude a level of character, dignity and strength and yet be balanced with a sense of vulnerability to represent humanity. Technically it also has to match  a criteria that allows you to enjoy the drawing without being distracted by uncertain lines and clumsy technique. So in this case beauty is meant to convey a respectfully balanced depiction of humanity


Of late I’ve been working more and more with the female figure which is why all these drawings depict women but the principles underlying my approach are not about gender, though gender does have a huge influence on your approach and work.she attracted butterflies

The fragment above is taken from the drawing of an angel and is one that I quite like even though the drawing  is a little awkward


The monochrome drawing above is a fragment of a drawing I made a few days ago, one that I had left lying around with an unfinished face because I didn’t want to spoil it with a badly drawn one. I’m glad I waited because I managed to draw quite  a nice one I feel. Part of my recent spate of life drawing (without a model) is a confidence building process and of honing skills and focusing thought before pushing on with more interesting concept, I guess you could say taking stock.

godess2My drawing has always been a big issue in my life, it plagued me both at school and college as I struggled to make headway with it and the more I struggled the more it effected my drawing. In the end I had  a kind of psychological problem with it that made me quite tense and unable to draw what I wanted so for years I kept it as a private pursuit until a couple of years ago when I thought what the hell just do it. So I took a new approach and have slowly improved it to a point where I think that I’m starting to produce one or two interesting drawings but more importantly I’m using drawing to develop new ideas. I think that so much of what we do and how we do it, is controlled in the mind and I’m aware of so many inhibiting forces that I continually have to overcome I know some of it is about ignorance which you counter with acquiring knowledge but the factors holding you back are more complex, or at least they are in my case. Factors such as a lack of belief, self-confidence and self-esteem though when you analyse it there is something you can do about it, for me that’s positive thinking and telling yourself you can do it, but what really drives me is that I have my one life and I don’t want to waste it with doubt I want to achieve what I feel capable of and that is what I will do. It’s not  about pleasing anyone else because praise and recognition don’t really add to your feeling of achievement in fact they may just end up being a distraction. In short what I’m saying is that my drawing suffered because the reactions of others served to distract me and now that I do as I choose, my own style, ideas and techniques I am free to achieve my potential and beyond. Sometimes the answer is plain and simple, you dig deep and you do it your way with conviction and belief and I sometimes see this quality that I admire in the work of others where they had the conviction and character to express their own unique outlook without fear or compromise.



embnrace1Having written this little piece with beauty as a starting point I now feel that beauty is not the word I was looking for and I still can’t think of a suitable  word, I guess that sums up why I make sculpture, because in sculpture I’m never lost for words.  🙂

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