Mostly linear, and distortion results from experimenting with shape to achieve variation. I start with no preconceived plan, drawn at random and, as the drawing takes form, it dictates how the drawing develops to completion.
As I draw – I try to find those essential shapes, at the same time evolving a personal style that is an inspiration to myself. Inspiration is a necessity, otherwise I’m overcome by tiredness. I try to put thought towards placing and orientation. What I put on paper is a language of shapes, with no concern for anatomical truth.
So, when I work, I do not know what I am going to do at all. The idea arises from the working itself. There is this unfoldment which I participate in, trying to come in when it is necessary to give it form in this way or that way, and not trying to interfere with it too much – to let it reveal itself. The whole problem is one of becoming sensitive to its intention, its unfolding. At the same time, controlling the energy, to give it form, to be participating all the time. It is a balance between revelation, as it were, and form.
I discover the meaning, what it’s about, through the doing. I don’t have a meaning and then draw it – but draw it and the meaning comes through and tells me what I want to say. The ideas work themselves while working.
It’s all about rearranging things through the imagination than on the imitation of natural appearances – a truth to feeling, rather than appearances – verisimilitude.
A few marks on a page can evolve from an embryonic mystery to a hand that eventually grows a body. Drawings can construct and deconstruct. The marks involved connect with the idea of an object, a process that has to do with conception and not with resemblance. Primitive figuration is a kind of ‘ intellectual realism’, reserving the term ‘visual realism’ for the western adult’s preoccupation with mimesis.
Adding line to line, they have an accumulative value whereby, hopefully, the enlighten and enhance one another.. The first marks are irrational – they start suggesting things. Then suddenly, in a bit of drawing, you may get a bit of truth. You kind of stumble towards something that is worthwhile. The unforseen rises as you draw.
I aim to simplify the lines and articulate the image with a structural simplicity, constantly grasping what I think is essential and shaping it by trying to reveal its essence compellingly. I must try to draw the essence of things – eliminate everything unnecessary. Refine and pare down forms in order to arrive at their essence. Somehow it can all be said in a few lines. Lines that keep looking for truth and beauty, mystery of life. The expression of the drawing comes from the relationship of the lines togetherness, their linkage, the way it all binds together. The lines have to feel right together, they have to belong to each other. Its harmonising shapes. Its getting lines to greet each other.
I want my drawings to go into directions that enliven me. Let’s have an ‘alive’ drawing rather than a life drawing. I want to put peace and assurance and vivid stillness in every line.
To-day, like most days, I shall draw a line.
Nulla dies sine linea.
No day without a line.
No day without a line.