ON DRAWING 2019
I suppose when drawing we are concerned that the manner of making the drawing is indicative of the intention of the drawing: finding a way in which the both are inimical may seem to be paramount, determining a mark which is both responsive to content and matter. Locating a surface which becomes integrated with the mark has long been a concern of mine. Recently I have been working with reed pens on a handmade, plant based, Japanese paper. Holding the pen in a particular way has brought about some resolution of the problem of my arthritic hand. Moreover, drawing in this manner slows down the hand, resulting in more room for contemplation of the process and the resulting marks, becoming a slower resolution of the intention of the drawing. Lately I have had to sit down to paint, but since I am able to make these drawings in shorter bursts I can stand, which is of vital importance as a drawing can therefore become a form of performance, emanating from the balls of the feet. The Japanese paper, which is unsized rather than Western sized paper, encourages one to use a shorter movement, and in this the drawing is less inclined to be descriptive and more a re-presentation of the sense of a reconstituted reality. This is different from, but allied to, using additive colours and washing them, thereby integrating the colour and surface in some way echoing the nature of light in the narrative paintings of 'Cloth and Skin' seen at Salts Mill and later at The Beardsmore Gallery.
Petheridge in 'Primacy of Drawing' writes about a category of drawing: 'Dumb Drawing', I take this to mean a drawing that does not reference the 'stylistic hand' from which the many languages of drawing are absent. In trying to arrive at a way of drawing which, although conscious of the transformative nature of mark making, is directed to the inner narrative of the drawing. In so doing I am aware of those tangential factors of immediacy and substance.
Bob White February 2019