With a large drawing, there’s much paper to fill. I begin my large drawings as I begin all things — with the largest shapes first. But after much has been covered and developed, there’s still much to go, and I find myself drawing and seeing a section at a time. It is as though I throw out my line into one corner of the pond, fishing there. And the individual fishes come into focus as though swimming up to watch me, as I “watch” them. They watch me draw them.
I was reading about audacious ideas. And I was thinking about youth. And I was wondering if the brightness of youth might be applied to life after one is no longer young. You can still think young thoughts. And can you combine it to more mature skill? I was thinking about the scattered but happy ideas I had about art as a girl. Was wondering what if I had taken a different path. There are other sorts of art I might have made, other threads I might have followed than the ones I did. Are any of those avenues still open?
Can you look at the world in a bright young way and make things as though anything were possible? And yet have a mature skill? Is it a bright dream? Is it an ambition? Or is it a yen for a new thing?
I pause from time to time while I’m working just like anyone else. And during one of today’s more memorable pauses my mind wandered off to consider the question of still life again. I was sitting facing my koi painting which I’m just now resuming, but my thoughts had drifted to the possibilities of cabbage — even of many large cabbages, perhaps. With them might be sleek white leeks, and dusty brown potatoes, and the whole was to be surrounded by the most lovely rich darkness of browns and inky black shadows. I began quizzing myself why I would be painting this thing, a large modern “larder” picture.
The larder picture would be a study in the beauty of young shades of green like the first sprouts of spring grasses or like the cold sturdy welcoming leaves of a stout cabbage. Around it all, darkness. So, how do you make the colors be like layers of light? Or the dark, like layers of darkness?
As some readers have already discovered, those who popped over for a squiz, I was a guest blogger at Gabrielle Bryden’s Blog. Gabrielle is the Australian poet I met via the confluence of Paul Squires’s poetry at Gingatao and Chinese silky chickens and hamster jealousies too complex to relate here. Suffice it to say, I’m delighted to be featured there. And the Koi are delighted as well. The hamster, on the other hand, now has something new for her jealousy.
Now that my pictures are getting to be better known, I guess it’s just a matter of time. I think I’ll sit a while and wait to see if the Museum of Modern Art calls.