All of the current pieces are tied to opportunities lost due to social distancing…. so time to start anew and work with the restrictions. I am going to try to be true to who I am for as long as is responsible – who wants to be dictated to by a bug? but I imagine that time is coming …
This has no deadline, no purpose or goal, it just is. It is about being in the landscape, about being alone with that landscape and how perception shifts given time and space. Interpretation and response rather than fact.
I went out sketching, not expecting much from it other than an excuse to be outside, for head space really. It is a spot I know and have worked from before, between two villages west of York. It is a secretive landscape, a battlefield site of deceptively ordinary farmland, looking open and honest. I watched a man walk down one of the farmtracks and he promptly disappeared and re-emerged, and again, and again. There are dips and pleats that are hidden, boundaries and areas that are unknown as you drive past but it looks so flat. It must have been a devil of a place to fight over (Marston Moor – 1644, English Civil War – Royalists(Cavaliers – long haired romantics) v Parliamentarians- (grumpy frumps inc Oliver Cromwell as a calvary officer)).
At first it did not excite, but after a wander and a giggle at the info board about the battle I settled down with some charcoal and drew. It was meant to be bold and incredibly messy – even took some babywipes!- but it become precise and more about the patterns made by cultivation fitting onto the land and with in its structures. A lot more thinking happened than drawing. The sketches were ok but not focussed enough. I still get caught trying to make a “good” drawing, what ever that is, rather than a useful one.
Change of scale, change of media, change of location. Away from the source so I didn’t get caught up in making a likeness, in the studio – which is bigger than the ground floor of my house- and a neutral space, and with simple media, black and white slap it on paint and charcoal on brown paper. Fun morning playing, making layers, painting in and painting out. Bigger, more gestural, less inhibited, yet far more focussed and precise in their purpose. These are the two I got most out of doing, not perfect but they were never meant to be – they are stepping stones to a textile piece. It is now at fester zone, thinking, plotting, defining before doing, and probably redoing and redoing before it feels right. I am planning on going back in later today to take another look and make some more mess – the handwashing directive comes naturally when working with charcoal and bad habits like finger painting.
Of course, for various reasons , certain parts appeal more than others! The next questions are about how to translate into fabric.
This blog is about my work and I want it to be that still. I am sure that many will be writing and posting about the pandemic etc, that is not my way of dealing with the situation.
If you are a bored creative, feeling a bit isolated and frustrated try out the York Textile Artists public facebook page. We are planning to post challenges and projects for you to get involved with, some as daft as a brush, others more proper and textiley. If you don’t do facebook go onto our website and sign up for our newsletter – we have plans……….